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

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0
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1answer
19 views

What does “provocative fictions” mean? Are they one kind of fiction?

I see this phrase in such sentence"The world knows his name, knows his reputation as the prolific author of provocative fictions, novels that..." But i wonder whether "provacative fiction"is a type of ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

Difference between the prefixes, “mis” and “dis” [duplicate]

What is the difference between mistrust and distrust?
1
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1answer
56 views

What does “falling and missing the ground” mean?

I don't understand the use of the phrase "falling and missing the ground". How can one fall and miss the ground? What does it mean? Update Apologies. I found the use of the phrase at ...
66
votes
5answers
6k views

What does 'TL;DR' mean and how is it used?

I do my best, at my advanced age, to come to grips with the apparent acceptability of such widely used words/expressions/abbreviations as lol/LOL, IMHO, AFAIK, etc. However, TLDR/tl;dr defeats me. ...
2
votes
3answers
70 views

Arrogancy vs. Humility

Is there a word or phrase to describe a state of mind within an arrogant person who has been overwhelmed in a debate by another person who is humble in his/her demeanor, but armed with the truth to ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Eytymology of the expression “Pissy Pants McGee.” [closed]

What is the origin of the expression "Pissy Pants McGee"? Thanks!
1
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3answers
95 views

“Is that good?” vs “Is that any good?”

Is there any difference between the meaning implied by: Is that good? and Is that any good? I would appreciate if you give examples to show the differences, if there is any. ...
0
votes
3answers
57 views

I'm looking for a word like “routing out” that also describes a “blind gamble”

When my old dog and I had a regular local park, upon entering, she used to immediately run through all the bushes, hoping to flush out any squirrels. She didn't know if there were any squirrels ...
1
vote
2answers
108 views

Why is it “Thank you! You’re subscribed,” not “You subscribed,” or “You’ve subscribed”?

I received e-mail from New York Times that reads; What We’re Reading: Get recommendations from New York Times reporters and editors, highlighting great stories from around the web. “What We’re ...
-1
votes
1answer
49 views

An expression for someone who causes “pain” and for those who receive this “pain” [duplicate]

What do you call a person who gives only pain to his dear ones (whom he cares about the most)? What do you call a person who gets only agony from the person he cares most?
0
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3answers
93 views

Is the usage 'literally nuts' correct? [closed]

1) Suppose there is a very stupid person. Is it correct to tell that he/she is 'literally nuts'? 2) What about using it if the person is mentally ill? This came up in an informal talk with my ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

What does “optic stems” mean?

I'm watching an episode, some may recall which one, of a comedy show and one guy says something like this if I hear correctly: "I looked this woman in her optic stems" which is part of the joke, ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

in fact, in point of fact, as a matter of fact

Today I was tempted to write "in point of fact" and immediately wondered if this expression differed at all from "in fact" or "as a matter of fact." Dictionaries define one with the others. ...
-2
votes
2answers
70 views

What is the difference between a “vapor” and a “mist”?

What's the difference between "vapour" and "mist"? I ask because I was reading the Wikipedia article for Electronic Cigarettes and there is a lengthy and acrimonious discussion. I don't want to get ...
0
votes
1answer
75 views

What is the difference between supposed to and meant to

It is because it was always meant to be so. It is because it was always supposed to be so. What is the difference between meant and supposed? There must be more but all I can deconstruct ...
1
vote
2answers
127 views

What does “She is tall for her age” mean?

I read the following sentence She is tall for her age. Now I'm greatly confused about its meaning. Does it mean "she would have as long age as she is tall" (perhaps showing prediction) Or ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

Safe Deposit Box

I get really annoyed when I hear "Safety Deposit Box" - to me, the thing the box is deposited in is a Safe, not a Safety. Is my annoyance justified? Why do people say "Safety" when it's both harder to ...
39
votes
18answers
7k views

What is a word that means unforgettable but with a negative connotation?

When I look up unforgettable in a thesaurus, I get words like enduring, remarkable, or exceptional. These all are positive; I just cannot forget such a wondrous thing! I, however, want a word that ...
3
votes
4answers
876 views

What does “There’s less to the deal than meets the eye,” mean?

There was the following passage in New Yorker’s (November 18) article that came under the title, ”Is China really going green?”: “But here was President Xi Jinping pledging that, by 2030, his ...
1
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3answers
68 views

Distress vs anguish

Is there any difference between the words (nouns) distress and anguish? They seem to be quite similar.
0
votes
3answers
53 views

Meaning of “or” in “working on applications to sell or for any other purpose”

A licence reads: If you are an individual working on your own applications to sell or for any other purpose, you may use the software to develop and test those applications. I'm having ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Good men in robes

It is time for good men in robes to rethink their responsibilities while heeding Edmund Burke's warning: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." ...
4
votes
2answers
671 views

What's the meaning of “flatlands of paper”

In the following paragraph, Edward Tufte speaks of "flatlands of paper." I don't understand its meaning: Even though we navigate daily through a perceptual world of three dimensions and reason ...
-1
votes
1answer
90 views

“Do you ever get hit” and “Have you ever gotten hit” [closed]

Do they have the same meaning? If not when to use each of them.
0
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1answer
40 views

Meaning of a sentence in a play

What is the meaning of the sentence said by Derry in the Susan Hill play On the Face of It given below? In case I see you looking and mind and get upset
0
votes
1answer
37 views

What exactly is a “principle of action” or a “principle of conduct”?

Initial Context I was reading one of John Henry Newman's (Cardinal Newman for the non-Anglicans) sermons, specifically "Religious Faith Rational" from Parochial and Plain Sermons... Near the ...
0
votes
2answers
48 views

Can “As [adjective] as [noun] is” in the beginning of the sentence mean “Although/despite [noun] is [adjective]”?

In a blog post about web development, I found an interesting phrase: As awesome as CSS counters are, don’t forget about our old friends ol and li. From the context, it seems to mean ...
2
votes
1answer
69 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
107 views

Who uses 'inveritable' and 'inveritably'?

Does anyone here use inveritable in the sense of unavoidable, or the usual occurrence? I have heard people say things like: It was 'inveritable' that the manager would have to leave after the ...
2
votes
2answers
212 views

What is the definition of “solipsized?”

It seems like only "Lolita" uses this word. According to Google, solipsism is "the view or theory that the self is all that can be known to exist." From this definition, I conclude that for one to ...
0
votes
4answers
65 views

Peculiar use of the term “rationalization”

But whatever you call it, [Fordism] has been a system based on large-scale standardization and vertical organizations that require a strict division of labor and an extreme rationalization of ...
2
votes
2answers
56 views

Through wood and break and many a fertile field: what is “break”?

A poem from A Canterbury Tale (1944): Six hundred years have passed. What would they see, Dan Chaucer and his goodly company? Today the hills and valleys are the same. Gone are the forests ...
0
votes
2answers
97 views

meaning of “some people agree that”

I am discussing with friends the meaning of the following sentence: "while some people agree that there are less women in science because they don't have the skills, others will argue that it is ...
0
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2answers
62 views

What does “peak and pine” mean in this ballad?

From scoutsongs.com Oh, My Darling Clementine In a cavern, In a canyon, Excavating for a mine, Dwelt a miner forty-niner, And his daughter Clementine. Chorus: Oh my darling, Oh my darling, ...
0
votes
3answers
106 views

What is the difference between 'decrease' and 'reduce' in the context set out below?

While walking at a brisk pace with a friend, I said we should "reduce our pace", but immediately corrected myself to "decrease our pace". I then went back and forth, not being able to decide which one ...
0
votes
2answers
38 views

disturbance / passive or action

I just wrote this. "In addition,I have been learned concerning microbial toxins by Microbiology course. At the same time, Physiology and Biochemistry courses helped me to understand how toxins could ...
1
vote
2answers
90 views

Is there a semantic difference between “manipulable” and “manipulatable”?

In all the sources I can find, the terms "manipulable" and "manipulatable" are both defined as some form of "able to be manipulated". But depending on the source, one word seems to be related to ...
0
votes
1answer
100 views

What is the difference between gibbet and gallows?

I was just reading this communique: We got to the moat - crowds were huge. Went up to the Merchant Marine Memorial on Tower Hill. On the site of the gibbet. I initially thought of giblet ...
0
votes
1answer
85 views

Does the word “dashily” exist in English?

Could someone, please say if the word "dashily" exists? I couldn't find one in any vocabularies. A few hours ago I saw this web clip (The Vampire Diaries), and beginning from 00:40 Damon says: ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

Great trials have turned on less

What excactly does it mean when in a sentence "It occured to me then that great trials have turned on less."?
1
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2answers
154 views

What does the term “Wouldn't blink twice” mean in context and what is it's meaning literally?

I did not find any results to my liking on google or on English SE. What does the term "wouldn't blink twice" mean when used in a sentence as follow: "If I saw [person's name] walking down the ...
2
votes
1answer
111 views

In the rap Baby Got Back, does Sir Mix-a-Lot's anaconda want buns or not? [duplicate]

In the rap Baby Got Back, Sir Mix-a-Lot claims: My anaconda don't want none unless you've got buns, hun. Which at first glance would appear that his pet snake doesn't want any (food, presumably) ...
0
votes
1answer
77 views

Word for person with lots of energy

What do you call someone who has lots of energy and always in good mood.
2
votes
1answer
60 views

“In general,…”: do mathematicians use this phrase oppositely from everyone else?

In mathematical writings, one often encounters statements involving the phrase "in general" in the following sense: After the number 2, the next few prime numbers (3,5,7) are each odd numbers, and ...
-1
votes
1answer
53 views

what is the meaning of the following lines? [closed]

Please help me to know the meaning of thefollowing "Now set the x value to anything but zero,LED should be on position"
0
votes
1answer
74 views

Use of the phrase “so that”

In my current understanding, after the phrase "so that" should be the purpose of the action/incident preceding to "so that". For example: Darwinism must die so that evolution may live. However I ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

Is there a relation between the words “import” (trade) and “important” (valuable)?

Is there a relation between the words import (in a trade sense) and important (special, etc)? It seems to me that there is, or rather that there should be, but I was wondering if anyone can give some ...
4
votes
2answers
510 views

'Broken Shells Make Temple bells' meaning? [closed]

There is a great Irish song 'As I Rover Out'. The 'Omnia' band made a remake of this song called 'Who Are You?' The meaning of the certain sentence in this remake became a subject of discussion ...
2
votes
1answer
165 views

The word “darg ”

What would the word darg mean in the novel 'the invisible man' where a person has been bit by a dog of a carrier person.
1
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3answers
147 views

“make a change” or “make a difference”

I was reading a book with tests when I encountered this question: < "If you quit your job, you'll have to make do with fewer material possessions. Those who've decided to (make a change/make a ...