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
2answers
7k views

“Brought Forward” and “Pushed back”

During a conversation with a colleague about the time I had received an automated email, I noted that it had arrived 20 minutes late. I then checked the email schedule software and said: The ...
2
votes
2answers
79 views

make rare game of

It's a part of fairy tale 'The Giant's Heart' by George MacDonald. As soon as he began (to sing), other bird replied, making rare game of him. what's the meaning of 'rare game' in this sentence ?
0
votes
1answer
308 views

A particular usage of 'less seldom'

So, I've been reading A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin. I've come across the phrase 'less seldom' and I would be really glad if someone explained it to me: Even so, there was something ...
1
vote
2answers
295 views

Meaning of “shelves” in an accounting ledger

I'm a Romanian student trying to translate one of George Orwell's essays, “Books vs Cigarettes”. I came across this: Bought 36 9 0 Gifts ...
0
votes
0answers
33 views

What does the phrase “all but” signify in following text? [duplicate]

What does the phrase "all but" mean in this sentence? Interpol has all but ruled out terrorism.
4
votes
3answers
644 views

The meaning of “rack” or “rock” in “The Peasant Poet” by John Clare

From “The Peasant Poet”, a poem by John Clare: He loved the brook's soft sound, The swallow swimming by. He loved the daisy-covered ground, The cloud-bedappled sky. To him the dismal storm ...
0
votes
2answers
161 views

Is it ok to say “Don't visit the internet”?

I read the following recommendation of our IT department: Don't visit the Internet with Windows XP machines We're a German company. Is this sentence ok? I would have expected Don't browse ...
0
votes
3answers
651 views

To be worse than nothing

Here is paragraph which I quoted from a book. The words "penny a liner", "mendicant", "scullion", and "cut-throat", were epithets so intentionally inexpressive and equivocal, as to be worse than ...
-1
votes
1answer
2k views

What did the word “arcade” mean before video games? [closed]

I was browsing a document on the history of Leicestershire in the UK. About halfway down the page, in the "Leicester in the 19th Century" section, it said: Silver Arcade was built in 1899. What ...
-3
votes
1answer
382 views

What does this joke mean?

You wanna know what line doesn't work on a harp player? “Hey baby, wanna pluck?” It's a joke from a sitcom. I think I understood its general meaning but I don't understand what a "line on a ...
4
votes
1answer
5k views

“Will be gone” vs “Will have gone”

1) "By the time you arrive, I'll already be gone " 2 ) "By the time you arrive, I'll already have gone " I think both are grammatically correct but Are there any differences in meaning? And which ...
-2
votes
1answer
43k views

Thanking you in anticipation [closed]

Is this correct to use Thanking you in anticipation to say thanks?
0
votes
2answers
4k views

Do I have a couple of questions or a few? [duplicate]

I know what the dictionary definitions are for few and couple. Not looking for reciting the definition or etymology. I would like someone to tell me in common usage is it appropriate to call 3 of ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

Meaning of “Crises involving a tick.”

Here is the place where I saw this: http://feltron.com/ar11_04.html (in the right-bottom corner of the first page).
0
votes
1answer
116 views

What does “provided the translations” mean?

What's the meaning of: I provided the translations of quotations from non-English sources Does it mean, "I translated the quotations"?
3
votes
8answers
4k views

What is the meaning of “having one's kitten in one's pocket”?

This is an extract from 'The Man Who Knew Too Much' by Alexander Baron: Corporal Turnbull was a young man, but he was not a man to be trifled with. He had come back from Dunkirk with all his ...
0
votes
2answers
480 views

What's the meaning of “visiting fellowship”?

What is the meaning of "visiting fellowship"? For example: He also held visiting fellowships at Goldsmiths College in London
0
votes
1answer
18k views

what's the meaning of “it is not the case that”

what's the meaning of: "it is not the case that" However, it is not the case that there has been substantial, or even adequate, theoretical conversation and debate about these terms and their usage ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

concentration usage

Are the following sentences acceptable? In country X, wealth is concentrated in the low density rural areas. In country X, the blue people are concentrated in the low density rural areas, while the ...
-2
votes
2answers
78 views

If I were not made a man of at once

If I were not made a man of at once. I don't know what it's meaning is. 'a man of at once' means a man who can act boldly and quickly? Please help me.
6
votes
3answers
331 views

What is the term that represents knowing, and not knowing what it is like not to know?

I am seeking the word that means something similar to "when you know something (such as knowing how to ride a bicycle) and you do not know what it is (or what it feels) like to not know it." ...
1
vote
3answers
306 views

What does “in charge look” in this sentence mean?

A guy sent me this: I love your in charge look lol guys should bow to you. I really don't get what he means especially that "in charge look " part, as English isn't my native language. Thanks in ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Meaning of “additive form”

I'm writing a inferential visual analysis and I'm not sure if the phrase "Additive form" makes sense. The phrase is meant to represent a persons added form (for example clothing). I'm using it in the ...
0
votes
3answers
276 views

What does this line mean?

What is its significance for the enrichment of your knowledge and skills in your chosen course? English isn't my native, so, correct me if I am wrong. I can't really understand what this mean, ...
3
votes
2answers
350 views

What does “cooks crystal” mean?

Jack Reaper: So he works here? Sandy: Ya. It's bullshit though. He cooks crystal. I saw this conversation in the movie called Jack Reaper. What does "cooks crystal" mean? From the context it ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it considered offensive to describe someone as a Saracen? [closed]

Prior to the 17th century 'Saracen' was the name given to a Muslim, whether of Arab or Turkish origin. It originates from the Crusades, from a region called Sarakene in the northern Sinai peninsula. ...
3
votes
2answers
507 views

What does “sign the final flourish” mean?

There was the following sentence in Time magazine’s a bit old article (December 11, 2013) titled, “Pope Francis, the people’s Pope,” in which I was drawn to the phrase, “sign the final flourish”: ...
5
votes
1answer
6k views

How to use “resulting” and “resultant” as qualifier properly?

If I say that "the resulting object A" and "the resultant object A", do the two statements mean the same thing always, sometimes, never?
0
votes
1answer
139 views

What does “blow a story” mean?

Ben Horowitz tweets, "These annotations have completely convinced me that Newsweek blew the story." Does this mean that Newsweek was correct, and was the first to the scoop? Or does this mean that ...
2
votes
1answer
144 views

An easy way to differentiate between Compendium, Encyclopaedia, and Almanac?

Are there any tips/tricks for easily differentiating between Compendium, Encyclopaedia, and Almanac? To give you an idea—the question goes like this: Which reference would you use to find the ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there a difference between “less ambiguous” and “more unambiguous”?

Relevant examples: If you make the following changes your sentence will be less ambiguous. If you make the following changes your sentence will be more unambiguous. Do these sentences have ...
1
vote
2answers
312 views

What does “…considered to be, well, school” mean here? Does “…, well, …” change it's meaning?

In Time magazine (March 5) article titled, “The New SAT: America treats its language like garbage,” John McWhorter, an associate professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University ...
0
votes
1answer
179 views

What does pair done means? [closed]

I asked someone to reduce the amount of content that he provided to be included in a website and he suggested he can pair done the information. What does pair done mean?
1
vote
3answers
436 views

objectivization vs objectification

I'm in a bit of a trouble over the words objectivization objectification Which of the above would be correct in the context of making something objective (impersonal, unbiased). I suppose ...
0
votes
1answer
93 views

I'd tick you in all safe at night [closed]

Want the meaning of the above sentence in US english langauge
30
votes
6answers
6k views

What is the difference between Ukraine and the Ukraine?

Time magazine (March 5th) carries the article titled, “Ukraine, not the Ukraine: The significance of three little letters,” in which the following comment of William Taylor, who served as the U.S. ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

What does language-neutral mean?

Could anyone please tell me what is this word means? The ISO 8601 is not language-neutral for the DateTime datatype.
1
vote
2answers
3k views

What does “I'm all the wiser” means?

What is the meaning of this phrase? I'm all the wiser for the many wrongs I've done. This is from Armin Van Buuren's Take A Moment song. Wise - having or showing experience, knowledge, and ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Difference between **timid** and **coward**

While I was reading one-word substitutions in R.S. Agarwal's General English book, I came across the following question: One who always runs away from danger a) escapist b) timid ...
3
votes
2answers
8k views

“A and B both are” vs. “A and B are both” vs. “Both A and B are” vs. “Both of A and B are”?

A and B both are very good; A and B are both very good. Both A and B are very good. Both of A and B are very good. Are there subtle differences between the four sentences above?
11
votes
9answers
8k views

What does “America” mean? [duplicate]

Citizens of the USA naturally refer to themselves as Americans and refer to the country as America. When speaking to a person from Canada, he argued that it was incorrect to call the country America. ...
1
vote
2answers
285 views

I have questions about the paragraph I can't understand

Of groups of atoms collected together and able to think, to look out in wonder at the universe that made us, and build machines that can revisit our origins in the Big Bang. Question 1. What is ...
2
votes
2answers
48 views

in an evolutionary light

My observations helped me see human behavior in an evolutionary light. My observations helped me see human behavior in the light of evolution. Do these two sentences have the same meaning? ...
1
vote
1answer
85 views

Why is “back” used here even though it is the first action?

I knew I must reach the body for the key, so I raised the lid, and laid it back against the wall. This is the first time he has laid the lid against the wall, but why is back used here?
0
votes
1answer
35 views

meaning of “A group of graduate students planned to picket a movie theater that would not show a sexually explicit foreign film”

meaning of: "A group of graduate students planned to picket a movie theater that would not show a sexually explicit foreign film" does it mean that students protested for showing a sexually film? or ...
0
votes
2answers
815 views

What's the meaning of “emotional stake”?

What does an "emotional stake" mean? E.g: to increase the emotional stakes, I had my favorites in both.
1
vote
2answers
543 views

Two imperative clauses joined by coordinating conjunction taken as a conditional

I would be inclined to parse the sentence "Nobody move and nobody get hurt" as two commands: Nobody move. Nobody get hurt. In other words, this is equivalent to "Nobody move or get hurt" (for ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

“My goodness” expressed after hearing sad news? [duplicate]

Recently my cat died. He escaped my house and was attacked by a dog. Sadly he didn't survive. I emailed a male acquaintance ( were not close friends, live long distance, communication is not daily). ...
0
votes
1answer
390 views

What's the difference between “selfkill” and “suicide”?

I think selfkill is often used in games and suicide in real life. Is that correct?
2
votes
4answers
3k views

What does “no worse than …” mean?

What does the writer mean by saying "no worse than stealing?" It is thought the scam, which stores say is no worse than stealing, is a product of our ‘fast-fashion culture’, where trends are ...