This tag is for questions related to definitions and nuances of meaning of a word or phrase.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (6)

5
votes
2answers
187 views

Word/Phrase for the 'news is always wrong'

Not entirely sure this is the best place to ask, but I'm looking for a word or phrase that I possibly heard a long time ago. It encapsulates one or two ideas: The first (and possibly more important) ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

What does “you you’re writing about” means in the following content?

Yes. I wrote from the point of view of someone who was sad. But when you’re taking on a part, it’s usually you you’re writing about. Your psychiatrist would say it’s you.
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Meaning of “in the way their culture dictates” [closed]

Please tell me the meaning of in the way their culture dictates in the following sentence: In this documentary we meet many girls from across the world, as they come of age in the way their ...
3
votes
2answers
77 views

What does 'personality cult' mean?

I hear this so many time while reading about famous people on news channel/social media. Where is this term derived from?
0
votes
1answer
22 views

What is different of these: Host, Organizers, Sponsors, committee? [closed]

I don't know the different of "Host, Organizers, Sponsors, committee" in the conference.
0
votes
3answers
131 views

Up to now vs until now

I want to say that something is currently completed, in a percentage. Which sentence is correct? Up to now the job has been completed by 10% or Until now the job has been completed by 10% ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

when and how I can use plural form of a noun.

I am still confusing on when I should use plural form of noun. For example, "Nancy survived her five-hour ordeal by following another intuition: She engaged the dangerous stranger in constant ...
5
votes
4answers
13k views

Is 'quantitate' a synonym for 'quantify' or just a misnomer?

I have always used quantify, but have been encountering quantitate more and more in scientific literature. Is quantitate a "valid" verb and a synonym for quantify? Otherwise is there a subtle ...
0
votes
1answer
247 views

What does ' My stomach turned to water mean '?

I found this phrase in To Kill a Mockingbird, but I am not sure what it means. I understand it is a metaphor. But what is the speaker trying to say here?
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Explicit vs Specific

Recently I asked on the personal productivity Stack Exchange Is there specifically a reason why there isn't an ADHD tag? The context here, being that people with ADHD have issues with productivity, ...
0
votes
2answers
38 views

What does the term “economics of discovery” mean?

The Internet transformed the economics of communication. Then other technologies, like the Web, were built on top of the Internet, which has become a platform for innovation and new businesses. ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

Signs vs. Signage

Native speaker here, and recently I got into a discussion with my pops about the word 'signage'. His contention is that the word 'signage' is entirely superfluous and is only used as a $5 alternative ...
1
vote
2answers
127 views

Meaning of 'proverbial worm'

"An appropriate and dramatic end to a singular and yet typical case," said Thorndyke, as he put down the newspaper. "I hope it has enlarged your knowledge, Jervis, and enabled you to form one or ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

What's the meaning of “what's the draw”?

I watched the TV serials How I Met Your Mother. And the phrase came out when Robin said, "What? I mean, I don't hate kids. I'm-I'm just not a kid person. I mean, yeah, it's cute that their shoes ...
-1
votes
2answers
62 views

It was Lily this and Lily that [closed]

The following sentences are taken from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. What would you paraphrase the sentence "It was Lily this and Lily that"? I was the only one who saw her (= Lily) ...
1
vote
4answers
2k views

Meaning of the full title of Darwin's “On the origin of species”

The full title of Darwin's work "On the origin of species" is: "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life". My ...
28
votes
2answers
3k views

I just read about a house that had a “busybody” What is a busybody?

I was reading O'hara's 10 North Frederick and in describing a house he mentions a dumb-waiter, a speaking tube and a "busybody." What exactly is a busybody?
1
vote
3answers
51 views

What does “for comfort” in “too fast (close / hot/ warm / crammed) for comfort” mean?

I was drawn to the phrase, “Too fast for comfort” in New York Times (August 10) article with a headline, “China devalues its currency amid economic slowdown.: The move appeared to be a response to ...
0
votes
2answers
88 views

What is the difference in meaning between these two sentences? [closed]

He isn't meant to be disrespectful. He didn't mean to be disrespectful.
0
votes
1answer
36 views

What is “corrective discipline”?

I have a question and need your help. What does "corrective discipline" mean in the following passage? Does "discipline" here mean "training" or "restraint/control" or something else? Context: ...
1
vote
2answers
82 views

Unaffected vs Uneffected

I have always struggled with this. Consider the following statement: Format string before insert into database else return unaffected string Would I use unaffected or uneffected in this ...
2
votes
5answers
5k views

Difference between “meaning of life” and “purpose of life”

I have seen and heard both, but I cannot tell the difference between "meaning of life" and "purpose of life". Could anybody explain it to me? When to use which?
2
votes
2answers
100 views

Is this meaning of “scurrilous” only known/understood to speakers of American English?

A few weeks ago I stumbled across the word "scurrilous", meaning "given to the use of coarse or vulgar language". I shared this word with two other people, but they had taken it to mean "scandalous". ...
0
votes
3answers
71 views

Meaning of “like least”

I came across this phrase when completing an exit interview for my summer internship and I'm not sure how to interpret it. An example of the use is: "What do you like least about school?" I'm not ...
-1
votes
1answer
86 views

Meaning of “using 10-dollar words to describe 10-cent ideas” [closed]

I came across the phrase "If you enjoy using 10-dollar words to describe 10-cent ideas,... " , but I am not sure what it means, specifically when related to Hindi. Do we have a similar expression in ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

What does “Q1/2/3/4+year” mean? [closed]

I've started to see a lot this use: Q1 2016 Q4 2016 But what does it exactly mean? What does Q stand for?
1
vote
1answer
605 views

What is the meaning of 'Oshkosh by Gosh'?

I was recently watching a TV series named suits where a character said "Oshkosh by Gosh". I googled it and all I could find was the meaning of bagash from this site. Urban Dictionary - Bagash What ...
-1
votes
3answers
105 views

What means when “you're not sold on 1-3”?

I found a funny pic on the internet with reasons to date me, but i don t get this line: " if you re not sold on 1-3, look at my butt"
0
votes
2answers
67 views

What does “Failure to fail” mean?

Paul Krugman, economist and Op-ed columnist of New York Times wrote in his article under the title, “G.O.P. Candidates and Obama’s failure to fail" - August 10. The shared premise of everyone on ...
0
votes
1answer
20 views

Still to be learnt [closed]

If something is still unknown and we want to say that it will happen only in the future that we learn about it, is it correct to say like this: We already know some details, but the rest is still ...
1
vote
2answers
82 views

How do you reconcile these definitions of the word 'cynical'?

From the Google Search dictionary (similar definition at oxforddicationaries): 1.believing that people are motivated purely by self-interest; distrustful of human sincerity or integrity. ...
1
vote
2answers
48 views

Question about the word ilk?

Is it grammatically correct to use the word ilk as in, for example, this sentence: Ilk regardless, whether of noblemen or blackguards, no man has ever. . . . The Merriam-Webster dictionary ...
1
vote
2answers
136 views

What does “mphm” mean? [closed]

I'm reading The Good, The Bad and The Smug by Tom Holt. It's a British-style fantasy/comedy in the Hitchhiker's tradition, and is good so far (page 89). But, something is throwing me: often a ...
0
votes
2answers
42 views

Meaning of “reinforce that approach”

I want to rephrase the following sentence: "Reinforce that approach with the language you use." The sentence is taken from a guide for facilitators.
7
votes
5answers
4k views

What does “I like girls just fine” mean?

I watched a movie about a boy — and someone asks him: — You don't like girls, do you Nathan? (Edit: with a smirk) — I like them just fine. I confused with 'just fine'. What does it mean ...
11
votes
6answers
7k views

Difference between “garbage” and “trash”?

What's the difference between garbage and trash? Is the difference significant?
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Meaning of “By the time”

Graduating with a bachelor's or master's degree from a college or university located in a country where the primary language is English by the time you would start the Ph.D. Program would qualify ...
2
votes
3answers
113 views

What is a “spring lobster?”

I recently stumbled upon the phrase spring lobster. Never having heard of such a phrase, I tried to find a definition of it online, but nothing definitive surfaced (although an entire industry does ...
0
votes
2answers
81 views

You just happened to have it on you [closed]

What does "You just happened to have it on you" mean in the following conversation? R: There are some things in my research log which might be relevant to your case. Now that you have stopped ...
-1
votes
2answers
65 views

Single world that is use for Home related all services

I am looking for single world that can stand for all Home-related services like: Painter Electrician Carpenter Driver Mobile fixer plasterer Plumber I may be use more services outside the home. If ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

What does “throw back” mean?

In this sentence: I've throw back a lot of orange juice. What does to “throw back (orange juice)” mean?
0
votes
2answers
119 views

Can you use the word “bearing” to mean causing?

Can you use the word "bearing" to mean when smething causes something? For example, I'm trying to write a poem thing and I'm using the sentence "the bleak bearing blanket of fog" to describe how a ...
1
vote
2answers
217 views

What is the difference between “extended from” and “extending from”?

Scenario 1: part A is extended from part B Scenario 2: part A is extending from part B Is there any difference between these two descriptions? Would any one so kind to help me about this? Thanks in ...
0
votes
4answers
561 views

What's the difference between “I'm happy” and “I have a happy heart”?

What's the difference? Could you say that romantically? About an infant?
0
votes
1answer
56 views

Meaning of “on the wax” from an article in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

I do not follow the meaning of "on the wax" below, and do not find its usage in any online dictionary. Yet the original text appears in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, thus peer-reviewed. So I ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

What is the meaning and usage of “erstwhile”? [closed]

What is meaning of erstwhile and where is it used? How can I use this word in real life while texting, talking, and so on?
-1
votes
1answer
29 views

Whats the meaning of 'They have let us know that they would like to move forward'?

"They have let us know that they would like to move forward " Does it mean that they will let us know if they are going to move forward or not or does it mean they told us that they decided to move ...
2
votes
4answers
5k views

Where did the word 'golliwog' come from?

I am aware that the term is considered offensive. And I know that it refers to soft faced black dolls. But before that character was introduced, did 'golliwog' have meaning? I mean was it made up, or ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

subjective or objective role of “let alone…”

A Navaho sand painting ritual for a sick child is a mystery – we literally cannot read the signs nor subscribe to the belief, let alone the science, that she can be made better this way. Does ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Is the term “expendable capital” superfluous?

I want to use the term... "expendable capital" ...to describe... "a company's available budget for a particular thing" Am I using the the word "capital" innaccurately and is all capital ...