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

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1
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1answer
13 views

the version for buildings [closed]

What does the word "version" means in association with building? The whole sentence is this: In Canada, the version for existing buildings is owned and operated by BOMA Canada under the brand name ...
1
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2answers
174 views

Usage of “I'm incredulous!” as an exclamation of shock or disbelief

Would the exclamation "I'm incredulous!" be an appropriate response to finding out some unexpected news, if the intention is to convey shock or disbelief?
0
votes
1answer
44 views

What's the difference between 'scribble' and 'draw'?

'SCRIBBLE' can be a piece of careless text +/or drawing while 'DRAW' is only drawing? Is it? In that way sometimes 'scribbling' can be used as a substitute for 'drawing'? Thank you for your attention. ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

Which word should I choose in this context?

I have participated in many campaigns aiming at providing some opportunities for students to perceive vicariously what was going on in the real life behind the economic data which they were familiar ...
1
vote
3answers
48 views

“celebrate on your father's victory” [closed]

I playing a MMORPG browser game. In this game we have village and warriors to fight each other. I have an enemy that he attacked me several times and he was successful in his attacks. So I came with ...
2
votes
2answers
10k views

Origin and meaning of “damn straight”

The phrase "damn straight" is now used as a way to emphatically agree with a statement, but where does it come from, and what did it mean originally?
3
votes
1answer
56 views

What does “w/” mean? [closed]

The B strings tuned w/ low E 7th fret harmonic-(6th string,7th fret).
0
votes
1answer
48 views

What is the right term for the metal bar used as an underneath of iron ramming?

I have to search some images of the metal bar which can be used as an underneath of iron ramming. But I don't know the exact word of it to construct my search query. Can anyone tell me the exact name ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

Is there a word like “evidence” that doesn't connote empiricism?

I would suppose that traditionally, evidence had this broad meaning that I seek, and that is why "empirical evidence" is a popular phrase. What I would like is a word that refers to a broad notion ...
29
votes
14answers
8k views

What is it called when something appears so obvious, no one expects it?

I honestly can not think of any examples that cannot be countered. Perhaps something like if a person brought a weapon out in the open to an airport - no one actually thinks it would be a weapon ...
3
votes
4answers
186 views

How would you call sitting with your legs crossed but one calf resting on the other knee?

Sorry, perhaps this has been asked before but I just can't think of what this way of sitting should be called. Is there a word for it? I hope so! To be more specific, you're sitting upright in a ...
4
votes
3answers
97 views

How did 'drone' come to mean both 'one who does no work' and 'one who spends most of the time doing menial work'?

Merriam-Webster's Eleventh Collegiate Dictionary (2003) gives the following definitions for drone in senses derived from the word for male honeybee: drone \drōn\ n {ME fr. OE drān; akin to OHG ...
4
votes
3answers
154 views

How did “party” come to mean “gathering”?

Is it just related to the fact that people participate in it? UPDATE. Judging by the comments, dictionary articles are absolutely exhaustive, and it just must be obvious to everyone how 'to take the ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

“Lifting a ban” — why does “lifting” mean “removing”?

In all other cases "moving something up" means creating or increasing something, like in "rising concern" or "erecting obstacles". At the same time "lifting a ban" means effectively removing the ban. ...
0
votes
4answers
408 views

Is “pseudonym” used for names other than authors'?

A pseudonym is a fictitious name for an author. Is the term ever used to denote an alternate or made-up name for anything else, such as a book, a product, or another kind of object? (The use can be ...
7
votes
1answer
110 views

Is there a sesquipedalian word meaning “first and maybe last”?

As in "Welcome to the First And Maybe Last Vernal Equinox Quest". We are having an over-the-top egg hunt-like event at the office, which we may never want to do again. ;)
0
votes
0answers
16 views

'Title' vs 'Designation' related to Business Cards [duplicate]

With respect to Business Cards, what is the difference between a Designation and a Title? i.e. if I am a Software Developer at a company, would that be my title or designation? Could an example be ...
24
votes
6answers
99k views

Difference between “résumé” and “CV”

What's the difference between résumé and CV? When is résumé used? And when is CV used? Are they equivalent?
0
votes
2answers
37 views

Should I use “tournament”, “championship” or simply “game” for an online competiion site? [closed]

We're releasing a website in which the users can submit and join video game competitions. The game can be League of Legends, FIFA, Counter Strike and so forth. We're not native english speakers so ...
2
votes
3answers
103 views

Does “on earth” replace “on the earth” in modern English?

I am a non-native English speaker. Since school, I was taught "on the earth" is equal to "in the world", and "on earth"'s meaning should be "indeed". But nowadays, I find "on earth" has replaced "on ...
1
vote
3answers
574 views

What does “trigger-happy on broken windows” mean?

What does this expression mean: to be "trigger-happy on broken windows"
1
vote
2answers
59 views

“trip us or trap us” meaning

I'd like to know the meaning of this phrase from a song by TheLastFiveYears: If I didn't believe in you I couldn't have stood before all of our friends and said, 'This is the life I choose- ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

Oneself vs by oneself [duplicate]

How these two sentens are diffrent? All are the same? I did it myself. I did it by myself. I did it on my own. I did it alone.
3
votes
5answers
7k views

What is the meaning of 'this is not here'?

What is the meaning of the phrase "this is not here"? I saw this on a door in a John Lennon video and wonder if this is a Zen phrase or specific English usage.
3
votes
1answer
42 views

What does “ceremonial” mean in this context?

What does "ceremonial" mean in this context? Thus, it was for freedom (legitimate moral and ceremonial freedom) that Christ set us free. Definitions of "ceremonial": 1. relating to or used for ...
4
votes
6answers
2k views
0
votes
2answers
61 views

Is this usage of “account for” correct? [closed]

Can "account for" mean "take into consideration", such as in the sentence "I forgot to account for the time it would take to drive here, so I'm late"? Oddly, I couldn't find such usage in any ...
-2
votes
2answers
101 views

references on the usage of 'ish'

Can anyone please help me. Is there any work/literature available to suggest that the suffix 'ish' can stand alone, or be used for approximation etc? any other information on the suffix 'ish' will be ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Meaning of a mixed metaphor from “The Gift of The Magi”?

This is from The Gift of The Magi by O Henry (William Sydney Porter). Oh, and the next two hours tripped by on rosy wings. Forget the hashed metaphor. (part 4, paragraph 5 in the reference ...
11
votes
9answers
6k views

Can the eldest sibling of three males call his younger brother “my older brother”

Had this conversation with a 26 year old male. He has finished a degree at Uni and told me I was wrong when I said you cannot call your younger brother your older brother. He is only older son to ...
-1
votes
1answer
49 views

what to use: Them or it? [closed]

Question about the phrase: please, could you fill out 3 documents in attachment and send them (or it?) to me Thank you in advance!
1
vote
4answers
53 views

A word for 'to empathize without identifying with'

I'm looking for a verb or noun that refers to our capacity to abstract someone else’s experience or experiences vicariously. Such a word would be good for describing what it takes to be able to ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

What does “Not to be a dick, but—” mean? Is “Dickishness” an accepted, stand-alone English word?

There was a recommendation of a new book, How Not to Be a Dick: An Everyday Etiquette Guide in www.Goodreads.com followed by this next sentence: “On the one hand, nobody wants to be a dick. On the ...
0
votes
2answers
88 views

What does “dredging deep for steel” mean?

'Owners had been advised to lock their stable doors, and to great effect had done so after the Derby. The Pump disclaims all responsibility for Sid Halley now ludicrously fingering Ellis Quint ...
2
votes
5answers
151 views

Word to describe “something that makes sense in your own head”?

I’m looking for a word — I’m sure I read it somewhere, but it’s not commonly used — which describes the situation where a theory (or something similar) makes sense in your own head but not to others. ...
103
votes
19answers
21k views

Is “women men girls love meet die” a valid sentence?

Is "women men girls love meet die" a valid sentence? If so, what does it mean? The sentence shows up in academic papers about the "Sausage Machine" for natural language processing. (A google will ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

The meaning of nailed in the conversation

In the following conversation from the Gilmore Girls episode "The Breakup, Part 2," what is the meaning of nailed: Summer: Tristan, stop. Tristan: You are making me chase around the party. ...
0
votes
5answers
9k views

What does “What are you into?” mean?

I personally don't use this question in spoken language but I usually see it in written language. I also frequently see that when someone asks this question, it elicits in turn the question "What do ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

What claims are there on the word 'ale' other than for 'cask-brewed real ale'?

The word ale has followed a movable pattern over the centuries, as the following extract from the OED will illustrate. The enduring characteristic of the word is that it has been employed in ...
0
votes
3answers
62 views

meaning of 'greasy dangers'

"....and I'm hungry, and I don't like to eat alone, and I'd be glad to have you face the greasy dangers of a meal at the Finn's with me.” It's a part of 'Nightmare Town' by Dashiell Hammett (1924). ...
1
vote
3answers
59 views

Need help understanding sentence with term “over constraining”

We do not believe in over constraining the team beyond its capacity. I'm having trouble understanding that sentence. What does "over constraining" mean? I found this but I don't see how those ...
1
vote
2answers
59 views

It would be… vs. it could be

When my doorbell rings and I think it is my friend at the door, what should I say? It would be my friend at the door. It could be my friend at the door. What is the difference between those two ...
3
votes
1answer
705 views

What is the accepted definition of the following words in this sentence?

Quoting DailyWTF: The Matrix! No, not the the uburbulous deprodication errebelously conceived by “The Architect”. What is the accepted definition of the following words in the preceding quote? ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

What does “as you are able” mean?

I feel like it could mean either "what you are capable of doing," or "what you are willing to do." Do one of those better represent the meaning of this phrase or are they both right?
13
votes
4answers
5k views

The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons

The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons. What does "the faster we counted our spoons" mean in the citation above?
6
votes
3answers
358 views

“Went” vs. “went along”

At work, he made up lies as he went along. At work, he made up lies as he went. Is one of those two wrong?
1
vote
1answer
492 views

Meaning of “My high kicks are not done in a line!”

My high kicks are not done in a line! The above sentence appeared as a legend in a T-shirt I saw once. It accompanied the caricature of a soccer player warming up, but I didn't get the pun ...
-1
votes
2answers
59 views

What are the uses of the modal verb “would”? [closed]

Besides the future-in-past sense in conditional sentences, what other alternative uses can the word would have in conversation?
4
votes
2answers
124 views

Pronoun reference & other enigmas in a poem by H. D. Thoreau

I'm trying to understand an excerpt from a poem — "Inspiration", by Henry David Thoreau (see below) — but there are two bits I can't quite get. The first confusing part is the verse "and in my day ...