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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (6)

2
votes
1answer
67 views

Can etc. mean “or something else”?

Just saw the definition of word miss from some web dictionary, which says "to fail to hit, catch, etc something." I suppose this could be written as "to fail to hit, catch, or do something alike ...
1
vote
2answers
34 views

What is the meaning of “assisted interaction”?

Searching Google didn't help much and in the context below, it was related closely to "face-to-face interaction". Citizens may also simply prefer face-to-face or assisted interaction when applying ...
2
votes
3answers
118 views

A word for series of unintentional events that lead up to a blunder?

Unintentional or human error all coming together to cause an unfortunate incident? What's a good word that best describes this?
1
vote
1answer
60 views

What does the phrase 'much the most" mean?

Is it really a phrase? I found it in Tom Sawyer - "...and the most hospitable and much the most lavish in the matter of festivities that St Petersburg could boast..."
1
vote
2answers
75 views

A word for a smile that is hard to repress and/or easily provoked?

I have used "irascible smile" when talking of a friend who is almost always smiling. I was asked to define the word by someone unfamiliar to its use, and reached for the dictionary (electronically) to ...
0
votes
2answers
51 views

What's the difference between “insulated” and “isolated”? [closed]

I don't know the difference because they have the same meaning.
3
votes
0answers
188 views

How were last names created? [closed]

How were last names created? I've heard that names like Smith and Baker were from their original family occupation. But names like Lee and Ballsack?
-2
votes
1answer
104 views

Reasonable phobia name for fear of alcohol evaporating before you can drink it [closed]

I am curious as to what the phobia name would be for the fear of the alcohol in your drink evaporating before you can drink it. It appears most phobias are rooted in Greek and sometimes Latin. Some ...
1
vote
2answers
76 views

What is “a'rovin”? [closed]

I have been listening sea chanties and I found one named The Maiden from Amsterdam, but in the lyrics it says A rovin', a rovin' Since rovin's been my ru-i-in, I'll go no more a roving, ...
-3
votes
1answer
40 views

is this sentence right [closed]

"nothing cannot be fix in 0 seconds so result is no fix" Is this sentence right in the way of grammaticality and meaning
1
vote
1answer
102 views

What's the origin of “this is going to come to a head”?

I have used the phrases "This is going to come to a head" or "coming to a head". I think I know what they mean, I think I'm using them correctly. So...where do these phrases come from? And, ahem, ...
1
vote
0answers
49 views

How do I invent a word targeted to english speakers? [closed]

I'm looking for rules, guidance, and structure that will allow me to invent a word (or series of words) that would be easy for an English speaker to pronounce and remember. The intent is to generate ...
23
votes
5answers
8k views

Is there a word that means “multiply by ten”?

I'm wondering if there is a word that means to 'multiply by ten'. I'm curious based on my interest in the word decimate, which used to mean to remove a tenth of something.
0
votes
0answers
50 views

What's the meaning of “we couldn't shake it”

I've heard this phrase in a song, but I don't think its meaning lies in terms to get rid off something. I'll never forget you Although at times we couldn't shake it
1
vote
2answers
134 views

“hands-on mentality” - what does it mean? [closed]

Some employers demand "hands-on mentality", it is often used in job descriptions. Can someone explain what exactly this phrase means?
2
votes
4answers
672 views

harmless coloured water vs harmlessly coloured water [closed]

In the passage... The remarkable thing about many of the medicines dismissed then as 'snake oil' is not so much that they failed to live up the outrageous claims made for them - those that weren't ...
0
votes
1answer
24 views

What does it mean to be “creative along practical lines of endeavour”?

A long time ago I received career guidance and that(the quotation withing the question) was advice given. I am a software developer and I always wanted to understand that statement and whether I am ...
0
votes
1answer
90 views

What does “Sperit” means?

I figgered about the Holy Sperit and the Jesus road. I figgered, ‘Why do we got to hang it on God or Jesus? Maybe,’ I figgered, ‘maybe it’s all men an’ all women we love; maybe that’s the Holy ...
0
votes
2answers
64 views

“I will refuse nothing that you ask of me”

Is the expression "I will refuse nothing that you ask of me" equivalent to saying "I will do everything that you ask of me" in a strict sense? Thank you,
0
votes
4answers
73 views

What does quotations around a single word in this sentence signify? [closed]

What does quotations around a single word signify? For example in a letter or email- Thank you for sharing the information. I'm reading it and "listening" (as always). Does it signify emphasis? As in ...
2
votes
2answers
331 views

Correct or correctly: “I got them all correct / correctly”?

I just answered a battery of test questions, and posted the following comment: "I got them all correctly." Should I have said "I got them all correct."?
1
vote
3answers
107 views

What is the meaning of “duh” in this sentence?

Though I know the meaning of each word except 'duh', I have failed to realize the meaning of the following sentence. Why do researchers get so many grants to do stuff that's like, well, duh? ...
6
votes
7answers
1k views

What is the word for a person who sets up a new business / foundation, etc

What is the word for a person who sets up a new business / foundation, etc. Founder would be too basic and does not imply setting up the structure of the organization. Same for initiator? In Dutch we ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

What does “We made the window” mean?

I was watching the TV show "White Collar" (episode: Parting Shots). The FBI arrests a man who transferred money illegally into his own account. Below is a comment made by an FBI agent: We made ...
1
vote
1answer
32 views

Can I write “a technology-freed society” to mean “a society freed by technology”?

I'm writing a report and want to say "a society freed BY technology". Can I write "a technology-freed society" to mean that? Does it sound correct to a native speaker's ears? Or does "a ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

What do you call a pathway or hole made in a hedge or undergrowth by the track of an animal?

What is the word for a hole of pathway made by an animal in the hedgerow or undergrowth?
3
votes
2answers
690 views

Explain to me, please, yet another meaning of a word “stream”

I cannot understand the meaning of the "stream" word in the following particular usage example. In my dictionary it has a lot of translations, but all of them somehow related to the "flow" word. So I ...
0
votes
3answers
55 views

What does ' Loyalty gave way to desire and Garrett' mean? [closed]

I am wondering what this expression means. It is from the movie 'Flipped' and here is the rest of the sentence. 'Loyalty gave way to desire and Garrett, the turncoat told Sherry what I was up to.' In ...
-3
votes
1answer
66 views

What does “ascended to rule the heavens” mean? [closed]

Can you help me explain the meaning of the phrase "ascend to rule the heavens on" in the sentence below? Myth was born in Thebes of Geb and Nut who ascended to rule the heavens on their death.
0
votes
3answers
65 views

what is customer/sales/product lead? very confused the word “lead”?

I am working in online advertising industry, and many time people use the word lead is kind of something that a company should achieve. Lead sometimes means a customers who actually bought products or ...
2
votes
1answer
184 views

Charles Bukowski's “best dick” [closed]

I am reading Charles Bukowski's Pulp and as non-native English speaker I am finding decoding certain expressions challenging. For example the main character, Nicky Belane, often refers to himself ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

Who is a “vocal customer”? [closed]

I know the meaning of vocal, but I don't know what does a vocal customer mean. Does it mean a gadfly customer?
0
votes
1answer
43 views

lie awake or stay awake? [closed]

Soon, we will lie awake to talking and laughing until the sunrise Soon, we will stay awake for talking and laughing until sunrise
3
votes
1answer
131 views

Does 'extraordinary', 'exceptional', 'outstanding' always carry positive connotations nowadays?

When I take the word 'extraordinary', 'exceptional' and 'outstanding' literally, it simply means something 'out of the ordinary', 'rare and/or unusual', or something which 'stands out from the rest', ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

The Subject of a Participial Construction

The following passage is quoted from the article in Newsweek by Leah McGrath Goodman, titled "Thomas Piketty Says He Was Ambushed": [Financial Times’s economics editor Chris] Giles, in his ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

the official responsible, the responsible official [duplicate]

EU legislation is full of 'responsible officials' and 'responsible persons', 'responsible authorities' and the like (e.g.'at least one responsible person must be resident in Estonia' 'a responsible ...
0
votes
7answers
274 views

What is the appropriate single word for describing an over clean person? [duplicate]

Assume we have a person who always washes his hand before using his gadgets, don't like others to touch his belongings, always makes sure the chair surface clean before sitting, Is there an ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

order-blank. what does it mean? [closed]

a traveling man working over his order-blanks. what does "order-blanks" mean? I searched the Net and didnt find any.
0
votes
3answers
69 views

Whether True or Not, it is Confusing [closed]

Please read the sentence below: Personal data refers to data, whether true or not, about an individual who can be identified from that data; or from that data and other information to which ...
-3
votes
1answer
73 views

What is the meaning of “figure-8 mission”؟ [closed]

I'm just reading this short story titled "Alan Bean Plus Four" by Tom Hanks. The story is about four guys who want to travel to the moon. The writer has used the expression "figure-8 mission" in his ...
0
votes
2answers
76 views

The meaning of a few quotes [closed]

I am writing an analytical essay on a old story "Bright Phoenix" but there are a few sentences that I do not understand. What is the meaning of the quotes and what is it referring to? The wolf also ...
3
votes
2answers
230 views

What word sounds similar to “magnanimous” but means “impressively large”?

A friend of mine often uses the word "magnanimous" to mean "large and impressive in a positive way". Examples: "Look at this magnanimous snow!" "He had a magnanimous, bushy eyebrows." I understand ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

to stalk the block

I cannot find the definition of the verb phrase "to stalk the block". Can someone explain this? The context is: After yuppies and dinkies, a new creature from adland stalks the block.Source: ...
2
votes
2answers
236 views

Is 'empty chair', when used as a verb, literal or metaphorical?

The latest verb to have become all the rage in Britain is to empty chair. It arises from the failure of the political parties, so far, to reach agreement with the broadcasters on the structure of the ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

What is the difference between to notify something to someone and to notify someone of something

Many speakers find the construction 'to notify something to someone' incorrect (as opposed to to notify someone of something) - see for example ...
1
vote
3answers
56 views

The fierce side of things?

Red flowers in their season and scarlet berries in the winter-time were offered at his shrine, for he was a god who laid some special stress on the fierce impatient side of things, as opposed to the ...
-2
votes
1answer
27 views

Does this use of whether make sense? [closed]

Does the use of "whether" make sense in this sentence? For instance, the use of line designs in the background imparts the notion of constant motion, whether that motion be simply the air.
0
votes
2answers
62 views

What is meant by “mercy your ears”?

Setup I'm asking this question because of a song lyric that I'm trying to make sense of: Lean my direction and mercy your ears Obviously, lyrics often do not follow the rules of grammar, and ...
5
votes
1answer
442 views

What is a “rehab stint”? [closed]

I have looked through all dictionary meanings of "stint" (even at the Urban Dictionary), but have not found a meaning which is implied in "rehab stint" as a collocation. I have found a longer ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

What does “is for” mean exactly? [closed]

I get the main idea in phrases like "L is for the way you look at me" and "A is for Apple", but I don't know the exact meaning. If you were to use other words instead of "is for" which synonym would ...