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
48 views

What's the meaning of “off line”?

The following is a verse from Daniel Powter's song Bad Day: You stand in the line just to hit a new low You're faking a smile with the coffee to go You tell me your life's been way off line ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

Information unavailable to the audience

What is it called when a character knows something the audience doesn't? For example, if the character was stating something obvious like "today is your birthday", saying it only to inform the ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Meaning of “nine-to-five kind of person”?

What does "nine-to-five kind of person" mean? For example: The great thing about my job is just music, I get CDs constantly pushed into my hand, and I go to loads of gigs, so if you love music, ...
11
votes
1answer
558 views

What does “amletic” mean?

Today I encountered this question on StackOverflow and saw the word amletic, which I've never come across before (as a native speaker). ...and I have an amletic doubt about one thing. I looked ...
0
votes
0answers
54 views

What does “ be upon mental” mean?

What does " be upon mental" mean? For example in this sentence: "we Both must be upon our mental". Is it somehow about being crazy? It's a story in verse; it refers to Grimm's Fairy Tales. ...
0
votes
1answer
99 views

Words starting with “touch”

There are several words in English starting with touch, such as touchwood, touchstone, touchline, ect. (a list can be found here : http://www.scrabblefinder.com/starts-with/touch/ ) I would like to ...
0
votes
2answers
62 views

“As I go” expression

Could anyone please tell me what "as I go" means? Like in the following context: I will fill it out as I go.
1
vote
2answers
328 views

What does “Shall be” mean? [closed]

What does Shall be mean? I find it in different context, sometimes it seems to me that is means is or Will be and more likely Must be, but sometimes I can't figure it out, so if it means Must be, what ...
1
vote
3answers
115 views

What is a word for comparing two things but suggesting one is better than the other?

What is a word for comparing two things but suggesting one is better than the other? For example: John verbally compares a and b but hints that a is superior. With what word would I replace compares ...
13
votes
2answers
435 views

Reversal of the meaning of the word “restive”

According to google etymology the word restive originally meant inclined to remain still. But then it changed the meaning to the opposite. I would like to know if such phenomenon of revresal ...
0
votes
2answers
44 views

Meaning of “playing of favorites”?

I am came across this phrase in a CR presentation (slide #19). What is its meaning? Equanimity – Less “playing of favorites” with people, compassion
1
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1answer
52 views

Connotation of “visceral”

I understand that "visceral" with respect to a reaction or feeling is a very intense one. But I haven't found an authoritative source that describes a visceral reaction as being an exclusively bad ...
0
votes
0answers
52 views

What is the difference between “matter-containing media” and “matter”?

I'm reading the english wikipedia entry titled "Radiation". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation you can find the word in the first paragraph, or by searching. so... What is the difference between ...
7
votes
3answers
113 views

The usage of “banzai”

I started to reread a pretty old mystery of Thomas Harris, “The silence of the lambs,” which I once gave up reading because of difficulty of understanding the narrative studded with technical jargons ...
4
votes
2answers
65 views

What does “media (news) disruptor” mean?

There is the following passage in the article titled, “Why disruptors are always white guys” in New York Magazine September 10 issue: “It’s happening again. There’s a list of “media disruptors.” ...
12
votes
2answers
880 views

Why does common usage of “random” feel so incorrect?

I am bothered by the modern usage of the term "random", and am wondering if "it's just me" or if there is a reason for my being discomfited. Take for instance, this lovely bit: The column and table ...
0
votes
0answers
11 views

treated him as a child [duplicate]

1-His wife treats him like a child. 2-His wife treats him as a child. Is there a difference between the meanings of 1 and 2? 3-His wife talks to him like a child. 4-His wife talks to him as a ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Does “Each product is defined into final detail” have a meaning?

I was asked to proof-read an english text. The sentence "Each product is defined into final detail" caught my eyes, as I do not know if it is valid. I believe the client wants to say "Each product is ...
4
votes
0answers
86 views

When did the word “intercourse” become sexual? [closed]

When reading books written in the 1800's, the word intercourse is used without any sexual connotation. Example: during our intercourse with others. It is similar to relationship or dealings.
3
votes
2answers
128 views

What is the usage of “in it fat” in this sentence?

I found this sentence: It has in it fat, which gives energy. I can't figure out the usage of the part "in it fat". Can anyone kindly explain it or maybe give some examples please?
0
votes
1answer
87 views

What does 'sharp' mean as it relates to being physical? [closed]

Someone told me "You are very sharp, though I will leave it up to you to decide if I mean mentally or physically". What does sharp mean in the 'physical' context?
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Meaning of “They are so used to me” [closed]

Can you tell me meaning of this: "They are so used to me that they know my schedule." Which means that they know him or something else?
2
votes
1answer
143 views

Words that changed meaning in past hundred years [closed]

I am looking for a list of words that were used to mean something different from for what they are used now. some words are such that whose meaning has changed completely and some words have more ...
1
vote
3answers
128 views

Did Shakespeare really mean meat pies by baked meats?

Here's from Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 2(The Arden Shakespeare edited by Harold Jenkins). Thrift, thrift, Horatio. The funeral bak'd meats Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables. Jenkins ...
1
vote
2answers
72 views

Meaning and Usage of the word 'Welter' [closed]

Could anyone make this understand to me the meaning and usage of the word 'Welter'? I gone through Vocabulary.com and found this. Use the noun welter to describe an enormous, messy pile, like the ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Question of Initialisms vs Acronyms [duplicate]

Today I was driving by a UPS truck, which for those unfamiliar is a delivery truck used by a shipping company. By standard definition UPS could be seen as an acronym as you can pronounce it "ups" ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

Favorites is/are empty [closed]

I'm not English native speaker and I'd like to know correct form of this sentence. If I want to say that my favorites folder is empty what's the verb I should use in this case? I mean when the ...
17
votes
1answer
995 views

What is the meaning of the word “inriation”?

I looked up the definition of the word elation in Webster's Revised Unabridged 1913 dictionary and found the following definition (Page: 476): Elation E*la"tion (?), n. [L. elatio. See ...
5
votes
1answer
93 views

Word/Phrase for the 'news is always wrong'

Not entirely sure this is the best placeto 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
76 views

Meaning of “I know for a fact don’t anybody go by there”

I know for a fact don’t anybody go by there. What is the meaning of the italicised part?
25
votes
5answers
6k views

Difference between “I am really sorry” and “I really am sorry”

I know they are slightly different, but I can't tell how. I've read about the usage of the word "really" in a negative sentence. But it didn't tell me about how the position of the word "really" can ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

BrEng: “pull your finger out”, “cock up” and “stuff it” What do they mean?

In the British sitcom, The Thin Blue Line, Detective Grim makes three intelligently crafted sentences, which are given below. What do they mean? It's my arse on the line, so you better pull your ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

'balls have dropped' what does it mean?

I am seeing an episode of a British sitcom, The Thin Blue Line, where an officer makes a remark Just once in a while, I'd like to nick someone whose balls have dropped! What does this sentence ...
0
votes
2answers
102 views

Different between 'effect' and 'impact'

Someone asks me this question: 'How much work is it to fix issue? then I'm trying to determine potential impact.' My answer is that 'very little work should to be done to fix this issue. And there is ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Use of the word “definitive edition”

Can I use the phrase "definitive edition" to explain that a product has the most up-to-date and highest quality in the field as opposite to mean "last edition of the same series"? Thank you for your ...
-2
votes
1answer
46 views

What's the meaning of 'Polypropylene ear right/left' [closed]

What's the meaning of 'Polypropylene ear right/left'? Polypropylene is a kind of material. What does ear right, ear left mean?
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Usage of “fanny” as verb

I am not a native English speaker, hence please bear with me. I understand that fanny means mess around and waste time. Can someone suggest how I might make a sentence which uses fanny, as an ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

What is the difference between “the door opened” and “the door was opened”? [duplicate]

What is the difference between "the door opened" and "the door was opened"? Are there subtle differences?
0
votes
0answers
19 views

Is there a word for 'religism'? [duplicate]

I'm searching for a word with a meaning similar to Racism or Sexism but within the context of religion. Is there a word for this meaning?
3
votes
1answer
72 views

Unless in third conditional sentences

"Jane wouldn't have found a job unless she had gone to London" is a natural-sounding sentence and has two different meanings, depending on whether Jane really did move to London or not: (1) "Jane ...
5
votes
1answer
541 views

Difference between 'oxymoron', 'paradox', 'contradiction' and 'misnomer' [closed]

What is the difference between the words oxymoron, paradox, contradiction and misnomer? For example, Benevolent dictator is an oxymoron. If I replace oxymoron with misnomer, paradox, or ...
2
votes
1answer
127 views

What is a word for doing something that you don't want to do?

I am reading Of Mice and Men, and I am trying to come up with a word that describes how George manages to shoot Lennie at the end of the book. I have come up with Self Discipline, and Overcoming ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

What is the meaning of 'though'?

Okay, of course I've used different popular online dictionaries and the translation makes sense in the most cases. Sometimes I find usages of 'though' where I don't get the meaning of the word. ...
2
votes
2answers
137 views

Paradox ? I never understand this clearly [closed]

The sentence: I want to finish this game but wish it never ends. Also if possible can you explain what makes a sentence a paradox exactly ?
1
vote
1answer
75 views

Difference between inculcate and indoctrinate?

I was curious about the difference between to inculcate and to indoctrinate? Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks.
1
vote
2answers
124 views

Does “exotic” have any connotations of sexiness?

Part of a (possibly offensive or at least cringe-worthy) ad says "We have to go out accompanied and what is better than dating a beautiful exotic Latina woman here in Colombia, right?" From a ...
3
votes
1answer
81 views

What does “having the mad dumps” mean in this context?

one judge actually sat in judgment on his own case where the wife was accused, among other things, of having the mad dumps, silently, for three days This is taken from a piece voicing disapproval ...
0
votes
2answers
132 views

What's the accurate meaning of “forget yourself”?

I was looking for a translation of the German expression "bevor ich mich vergesse" (lit. before I forget myself) and looked up if the literal translation could be used. In German this expression ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

'Preciseness' and 'Precision'

Ok, by my current understanding of the two words, the sentence: The preciseness of this precision is very definite Is grammatically correct. Correct me if I'm wrong, and if so; what is the ...
1
vote
2answers
99 views

'computer programming is quite literally black and white'

I was thinking about this in the context of creating task requirements, having having to explicitly define how a program is to function. One might say: Law is often described as black and ...