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

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1answer
60 views

Has the word lust got any positive meaning to it?

I've been hearing it quite a while... Sexual desire is the only meaning I know... But have heard people using it positively too.. Which doesn't seem to be giving that "sexual desire" sort of relation ...
2
votes
3answers
120 views

What does “nuclear orange” mean?

And where does this expression come from? I have tried looking it up and looking up nuclear separately but haven't found anything useful. Edit: I've encountered this expression in the following ...
0
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1answer
43 views

What does “stand to” mean in the context of semiotics?

What does "stand to" mean in the following quotation of Charles Peirce?: 'A Sign, or Representamen, is a First which stands in such a genuine triadic relation to a Second, called its Object, as to be ...
1
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1answer
125 views

Section title for explaining where a subject fits into a field of study

A car is a form of transportation. But so is a bicycle. When a paper is discussing where a subject (say the car) fits into such a system and contrasting the car with the bicycle what should that ...
4
votes
2answers
100 views

From Soup to Nuts

I know that the phrase means "from one end to the other". Though I know many dinners that start with a soup, I know none that end with nuts. Hence the question - where does this phrase originate?
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5answers
133 views

word for a person who achieves the impossible [closed]

Single word for a person who achieves the impossible.
1
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1answer
93 views

What does “even so” mean in the following passage?

I found it in the Preface of Kipling’s ‘Life’s Handicap,’ and it appears not to have the standard meaning of nevertheless as discussed in How to use 'even so'? Here is an extended quote for ...
4
votes
1answer
93 views

Definition and Origin of “Kettlestone”

This turned up in my Tumblr dash yesterday. I work at a state park where we have some rather large grindstones/kettlestones set up around our visitor center. I get this question almost every day ...
0
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0answers
10 views

What's the meaning of “For far too many”? [migrated]

I'm looking for Far too many expression's meaning. Phrase I found the word in: For far too many, the dream has dissipated.
2
votes
2answers
61 views

What does “all not” mean exactly in this context?

All DriveTest Centres do not provide car rentals to applicants. The sentence above is taken from here. In my understanding, it means some DriveTest Centres may provide car rentals while others ...
1
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2answers
126 views

What does “There’s a few trees in here that it’s just kind of a ‘Where’s Waldo?’ if something happens.” mean?

Washington Post (August 2.) introduces a 390-year-old bonsai tree displayed in the Arboretum’s National Bonsai and Penjing Museum in Washington under the title, “This 390-year-old bonsai tree survived ...
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votes
1answer
241 views

the meaning of: 1. 'hind f'omus 2. light'ud knots

These two phrases are from Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman. I'm not sure, but I guess the first one (light'ud knots) is talking about a woman who can handle problems easily and is kinda independent. As ...
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1answer
88 views

The difference between 'I love him' and 'I am in love with him'

What is the difference between 'being in love with' someone and 'loving' someone, as in these two sentences? I love him. I am in love with him.
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8answers
1k views

Is there an adverb in English, meaning “with an interest”?

I would like to translate in English a Chinese phrase, whose literal meaning is "to do some action, led by an interest in some goal". On this account, I have been wondering whether there exists an ...
0
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5answers
65 views

Not as a Matter of Principle

I thought I understood something is "a matter of principle", but I can't figure out what "not as a matter of principle" in this context mean. Could anyone help explain it to me? It's from a novel I ...
0
votes
2answers
102 views

Is this a literal interpretation of “without reason”? [closed]

There was this quote in a movie: Men who kill without reason cannot be reasoned with. There are many interpretations of "without reason" It could mean that the person is mentally affected and ...
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1answer
85 views

Meaning of a henry ford quote [closed]

What are some possible meanings for the Henry Ford quote, How come when I ask for a pair of hands, I get a human being as well?
0
votes
1answer
66 views

What is the meaning of…“and as many centuries”? [closed]

In the book Pinocchio in Venice by Robert Coover, there's this sentence: On a winter evening of the year 19—, after arduous travels across two continents and as many centuries... What does ...
3
votes
2answers
71 views

What does “why” mean in this sentence?

What is the meaning and usage of why in the sentence below: All my aunts and uncles talked it over as if they were choosing a prep-school for me and finally said, ‘Why—yees’ with very grave, ...
0
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2answers
51 views

To blush To the Toes of Shoes

What does it mean when somebody says:" I blush to the toes of my shoes to admit "?
0
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3answers
74 views

“You will love him to ruins.”

You will love him to ruins. This is the first sentence of the book The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. Could somebody tell me what does that mean? Here is the sentence in context: ...
0
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2answers
57 views

I make money without getting my ‘can’ knocked off

From Trouble Is My Business by Raymond Chandler (1938): "You might do," Anna said, "cleaned up a little. Twenty bucks a day and ex's. I haven't brokered a job in years, but this one is out of my ...
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votes
2answers
82 views

What is the difference between “he is trustful”, “he is trusting”, “he is trusted”, “he is trustworthy”, “he is trusty”, and “he is trustless”?

Trustful means “having or marked by a total belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone.” So, does he is trustful mean that he trusts other people or that he is an honest person ...
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3answers
52 views

What is the difference of Vision from Objective and Goal

In the NHK’s TV program aired on August 1st, featuring Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, 2012 Nobel prize winner for Physiology and Medicine as the guest, Dr. Yamanaka told that his motto is “VW,” and explained ...
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votes
2answers
40 views

Does the sentence “the president drives the country through the difficulty” make any sense?

Once upon a time, I heard an American president say drive the country. I am not sure I misheard or not. If drive the country is idiomatic expression, then what is the meaning of drive in this case? ...
0
votes
1answer
22 views

Side-by-side meaning

A near future, where humans have been defeated by the viral parasites named Gastrea. They have been exiled into a small territory and live in despair, side-by-side in terror., when they said ...
3
votes
2answers
315 views

Does “painted lady” sometimes mean prostitute?

Does "painted lady" or "painted ladies" sometimes mean prostitute(s), who used to heavily use make-up? I have a suspicion that even Shakespeare did so, but can't find anything indicating it. Urban ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

“Definitely how many” Usage

One of the question given in the text book starts with 'Definitely how many students are there?' Does this mean "the exact number of students" or 'The minimum number of students'? May be a silly ...
0
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0answers
57 views

Bernie Taupin's “Voyeur” lyric

I cannot understand the meaning of the folowing excerpt from Bernie Taupin's lyrics to Elton Johns "Voyeur" (the bold lines): I’m looking, I’m looking back I’m trying to imagine this and that ...
0
votes
2answers
28 views

The rhetorical effect of “no more … than” construction

The following is a part of the section 15.70 of A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language (Longman). Rachel is no more courageous than Saul(is). The sentence implies that both ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

Meaning of “Green” and “GreenBack” in American english?

I found 2 new words on my American Slang book (Talk the way americans do). 1) Green 2) GreenBack Meaning of these words on my book : Green : money (Referring to the color green seen on U.S. paper ...
0
votes
1answer
26 views

meaning of “beat the measure”

When Keawe came to himself a little, he was aware it was the night when the band played at the hotel. Thither he went, because he feared to be alone; and there, among happy faces, walked to and fro, ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

“thick loaves”: meaning

I would like to ask you what do the native speakers of English mean when they say a thick loaf of bread? Does the adjective "thick" describe the bread's texture or size? Does it just mean that the ...
0
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1answer
44 views

“until late afternoon”: when is that?

Here is a phrase about supermarkets in Belgium: The idea for brewing with bread came when 31-year-old Frenchman Sebastien Morvan talked to a friend about food waste, specifically the bread ...
0
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2answers
50 views

I need to know why a hyphen was used in this sentence

I just found this sentence from the book I am reading now. "The revelation reminded of Stacey J., a would-be assassin I know well." I think I got a nuance, but I need some logical explanation of the ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

What does “due to any reason other than” mean?

I tried to translate this phrase (due to any reason other than) using Google Translate but it does not seem accurate. Could someone please help me to understand it? Does it mean "just only a reason"? ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

What does “Come on, let's wrangle up the cattle” mean?

Andy said this to Woody in Toy Story 1. Is this idiom?
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3answers
57 views

What does “Bo Peep” mean in this context? [closed]

Quiet, Bo Beep, or your sheep get run over! Source: Quora
0
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1answer
19 views

Meaning of 'noted lights'

;prominent individuals of both political parties, Society hostesses, well-known dramatic authors and novelists, and distinguished aeroplanists were dimly recognizable in that doomed throng; noted ...
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4answers
51 views

How should I call “summer prepared” for a car?

When a car has been made ready for summer, there is a word for it, at least in Dutch: the car is "zomerklaar". In case of winter it is called "winterklaar". Is there a word for it in English? A word ...
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votes
1answer
44 views

Any and some don´t have rules

In my university, in English Grammar, I learned I can use "any" for negative and interrogation sentences and "some" in positive sentences, but when I watch English movies, "any" is used in positive ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

Is there a difference between “heir” and “legatee”?

Merriam-Webster defines heir as "one who inherits or is entitled to inherit property" and legatee as "someone who receives money or property from a person who has died." Is there any difference ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

In Gary Bernhardt's talk about Ruby and JavaScript surprises, what does “wat” mean?

There's a video of a conference presentation by Gary Bernhardt about surprising behavior in the Ruby and JavaScript computer programming languages. At the beginning of the video, Seth asks the ...
2
votes
2answers
139 views

What does “wound for sound” mean and where did it come from?

This is a figure of speech that's been in my lexicon virtually forever. I'm not sure where I learned this, but to me it means "keyed up and ready to go". A combination of high energy, tension, and ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

I’m trying to please to the calling

Van Morrison’s song Moondance has these lines “And I'm trying to please to the calling / Of your heart-strings that play soft and low.” What are we to make of “please to the calling” -- an ...
5
votes
4answers
733 views

Word/phrase for a feature that could be both good and bad for something

Take this scenario: a tool has a specific feature that could be regarded as an invaluable benefit for. However, this feature, if used in opposite direction may be counterproductive. In other ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

What does “pass it” mean?

I love the show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, but I can't understand the meaning of this sentence: We eat a bag of dirt, pass it in a kiddie pool, and move on... What does pass it mean? Is it to ...
2
votes
1answer
345 views

Is 'artisks' a word? (I met this word in 'The Invisible Man')

In 'The Invisible Man' by H.G.Wells, there is a sentence;"Wait till the summer," said Mrs. Hall sagely, "when the artisks are beginning to come. ..." Mrs.Hall is the wife of Mr.Hall, who is the ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

What is an “American style shopping mall”?

Consider the phrase: "American style shopping mall?" Implicit here is a large multi-story enclosed gallery with lots of shops on a passageway that connects the "Generators" (large department stores ...
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2answers
55 views

What's a word (in any language) for “a setting for adventure/an epic”?

For an rpg worldbuilding blog I'd like to make.