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

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3
votes
1answer
98 views

Is William Blake's usage of “to break a net” idiomatic or metaphorical?

The following passage is from William Blake's 1793 work "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell": A man carried a monkey about for a shew, & because he was a little wiser than the monkey, grew vain, ...
0
votes
1answer
306 views

what's the meaning of “naturally replenished”?

what's the meaning of "naturally replenished"? e.g. El Paso receives its water supply from a set of aquifers as well as from the Rio Grande, but the supply, upon which soils used for agriculture ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

What exactly does “heavy conversation” mean?

I think it is a serious conversation which has become boring. Am I right?
0
votes
1answer
195 views

floating dose behind the boat [closed]

I am reading 'The old man and the sea.' I've read this sentence as follows. 'But the bird was almost out of sight now and nothing showed on the surface of the water but some patches of yellow, sun-...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Is “Civic Virtue” related to moral in this context?

I came across this phrase: "While no relationship was found between altruism and intention to leave both the organization and the current job, sportsmanship, civic virtue and helping others emerged ...
0
votes
6answers
2k views

Does this sentence make sense? Correct use of the word constitute?

I was pretty sure this made sense but then I looked up the dictionary meaning of the word constitute and I wasn't so sure? By continuing to use the website and/or the Services you constitute that you ...
1
vote
2answers
134 views

What is the popper's business?

What is the popper's business? I don't know what the popper is. I heard somewhere the phrase. "He's in popper's business." please let me know:)
-1
votes
3answers
2k views

Does the word 'melao' have any special meaning when it is used as a name?

Yesterday, I told an Indian my English name is 'Melao', he smiled and asked me if there's any special meaning. In fact, I get this name from a song with Latin style -- 'Corazon De Melao', I think it's ...
2
votes
3answers
203 views

what's the meaning of “While this debate is ever unfolding”?

what's the meaning of "While this debate is ever unfolding"? While this debate is ever unfolding, there is yet another boundary, the economic boundary, which divides and develops border identity
2
votes
0answers
50 views

Does an analytic dictionary of English exist? [closed]

I read about this type of definition in a linguistics glossary. Analytic definition: a description of the range of reference of a lexical unit. This description is made up of ageneric term ...
2
votes
3answers
286 views

Plural or singular meaning of the word “Filter” in a phrase “Filter updates”

I would like to know if the phrase: "Filter updates" means "updates of filters" or "updates of 1 filter". So can this phrase "Filter updates" be used in plural meaning, so to say? Instead of saying "...
4
votes
1answer
8k views

What's the difference between “general” and “generic”?

What is the difference between them? Do they have different meanings? When should I use "general" or "generic"?
6
votes
2answers
7k views

Done and dusted

I came across the idiom 'Done and dusted'. I would like to know what is the origin and meaning of this idiom.
2
votes
3answers
717 views

Different word other than “rude” for describing ellipsis usage [closed]

I am having trouble thinking of a word that can describe this type of situation. Just as an example, over text, explaining something in detail to someone only to have them give a response such as, "...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

What's the difference between “attendee” and “participant”?

Attendee: Someone who is at an event such as a meeting or a course. Participant: Someone who is taking part in an activity or event. Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
0
votes
4answers
841 views

What does it mean when someone says, “I bid you no evil”?

What does it mean when someone says, "I bid you no evil"? Does this mean may good things come your way?
0
votes
0answers
17 views

What does all came fine but 2 means [duplicate]

I sent an email to a client with this sentence: Tried sending 39 packets this afternoon, all came fine but 2. I meant 37 packets processed fine but 2 were unsuccessful. Did I convey right?
3
votes
2answers
284 views

What does “gin-and-water reporter” mean?

The term is from "The Difference Engine" by Bruce Sterling and describes a certain kind of journalist. The story is set at the time of Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace/Byron. What does it mean?
2
votes
1answer
67 views

What’s the meaning of “fee-simple titles”?

What’s the meaning of fee-simple titles in: Late in the nineteenth century, Mexicans, whose claim to their land was based on royal decrees of the Spanish Crown (rather than the fee-simple ...
0
votes
1answer
218 views

What does “Cost” mean in this context [closed]

I'm reading a book about Distributed Systems (Computer Engineering). I faced with following context : Full transparency will cost performance, exposing distribution of the system What does "...
0
votes
1answer
515 views

What does this quote mean [closed]

What does this quote mean? I haven't a particle of confidence in a man who has no redeeming petty vices whatsoever.
1
vote
1answer
8k views

what's the meaning of “stations in life”

What is the meaning of 'stations in life'? Does it mean religion? 'stations in life' as in: Nonetheless, seams can make borders “semi- permeable membranes,” relatively more or less porous to ...
3
votes
2answers
11k views

“Conventional” vs. “traditional” [closed]

What is the difference between conventional and traditional? E.g.: My grandfather used to live a conventional/traditional life.
1
vote
1answer
15k views

What is differences between “Dear and Darling”? [closed]

What is differences between them? Are they similar or not? Dear Mrs. Smith. John, darling, could you pass me the sugar, please? Johnny dear, please listen up. May I introduce my dear ...
5
votes
1answer
514 views

What's the meaning and the origin of “skewer a sacred cow ?” [closed]

I've read this idom from an article, and it seems that the phrase "skewer a sacred cow" mean "to criticize" but I am not very sure. Does anyone know the exact meaning and the origin of this idom?
3
votes
2answers
180 views

What does “the Big Money crowd” mean?

I heard the following statement of Barron’s magazine piggybacked to today’s (April 28) AP radio news over AFN broadasting: “Two thirds of the money managers we surveyed think we are due for ...
1
vote
3answers
207 views

Meaning of “How do I respond when confronted by a person you spoke ill about me to a fault?”

How do I respond when confronted by a person you spoke ill about me to a fault? What does this sentence mean?
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the difference between “take to court,” “take the court,” and “take someone to court”?

Today’s (April 27) New York Times carried a caption,“Clippers Take to Court, but in Protest” and the lead-copy: The players made a statement a day after racially charged remarks attributed to ...
0
votes
2answers
4k views

The usage of “ inside-out and outside-in ” [closed]

Do we have both the usages of inside-out and outside-in? inside-out means: with the inner surface turned outward. So basically they are the opposite meaning? Perform inside-out and then perform ...
2
votes
1answer
329 views

Backfill - meaning

Source: http://rt.com/news/155168-us-eu-sanctions-russia/ But Europe has much to lose from imposing economic sanctions on Russia, and Obama said he sees how US-only sanctions won’t work. “If ...
2
votes
3answers
703 views

turned his back on [closed]

The following is a multiple choice question in an English test paper: He turned his back on them when they most needed him. The italicized part means: A. criticized B. ignored C. ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

level of detail between

The same level of detail between the 3D models and the real objects has been achieved. In formal language, does this sentence make sense? I'm not sure about the use of the preposition "between" in ...
0
votes
2answers
881 views

Words similar to “vainly”/“in vain” meaning it is pointless to even try do do something [closed]

I'm reading a poem which contains the lines "How vainly men themselves amaze / to win the palm, the oak, the bays". This got me wondering about words like "vainly" or "in vain" not meaning: "doing ...
2
votes
3answers
550 views

What do you call a friend you don't want to name to another friend?

This may not fall under english language SE, and if not I apologize, but I always wonder when I say "a friend and I did this" to another friend, if that sounds like I'm implying they are not a friend. ...
0
votes
1answer
183 views

Partisans interest - meaning [closed]

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/al-qaeda-chief-urges-westerner-kidnappings-prisoner-exchanges-114335980.html "The Ummah (Muslim world) must support this jihad with all that it can, and the ...
12
votes
3answers
25k views

“Criticism” vs. “critique”

What is the difference in meaning between criticism and critique?
0
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there a difference between “keep on doing” and “go on doing”?

Keep on: "to continue doing something, or to do something many times." Go on: "a) to continue doing something or being in a situation. b) to continue without stopping". From Longman Dictionary of ...
0
votes
2answers
944 views

Meaning of “man of his own invention”

There is a song "Something That I Want" (ending theme from Tangled). It has the following lines: She's a girl with the best intentions. He's a man of his own invention. What is the meaning ...
0
votes
1answer
120 views

Figuring out what's wrong with the sentence

I took a quiz given in the BBC magazine. it had the following sentence. The Queen arrived at the castle with the King by her side, in a dress adorned with hand-sewn embroidered dragons. please ...
1
vote
2answers
132 views

Difference between “glass” and “shot”

I heard this line in a song: It wasn't a shot of cognac, it was a glass of cognac. Then the crowd listening to the singer started laughing. What is the difference in meaning between these two ...
0
votes
2answers
5k views

What does “make it last” mean?

There is a song but I am not sure about the meaning of "make it last" in that song. Please let me know what it means and which situation I should use this? Make it last - Tim Mc Morris https://www....
3
votes
1answer
726 views

Etymology and meaning of the word “pizzled”

I heard of a term today called "pizzled" and am confused about it as there is a plethora of different definitions for the word. I first heard it in a speech by David Shing TNW Europe Conference. He ...
-1
votes
4answers
66 views

'As' for contiguous time

"I could have told you that would happen before you even started," said Jane as she sucked on the straw of her cola. In this sentence, Jane is obviously not performing a ventriloquist type act. The ...
1
vote
2answers
197 views

The noun that describes the object that is targeting

I'm looking for a word that I can't seem to find, and I'm struggling with how to find it. I'll use a blank in the place of the word and compare it other grammar to demonstrate what I actually mean: ...
0
votes
3answers
130 views

Is it necessary to discern between 'owing to' and 'due to'? [duplicate]

I recently wrote a paper, and the examiner picked me up on using 'due to' when apparently I should have been using 'owing to'. I understand that there is some difference between them, as was discussed ...
1
vote
2answers
569 views

Can I say “I concur with something” instead of “I agree with something”? [duplicate]

Hi I'm still learning English and I rather have problems with grammar. So my question is can I use I concur with this statement instead of I agree with this statement Is it weird? Does ...
1
vote
1answer
366 views

what's the difference between “Indispensable Amino Acid” and “Essential Amino Acid”?

As I have seen several times of the using of those two words in even the same book. But I don't know what's the difference meaning between those two words.
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Meaning of “it will do you in”? [closed]

What is the meaning of the expression "it will do you in"? I came across this sentence: if you are not careful, it will do you in.
2
votes
2answers
801 views

Programming vs. Coding

As a programmer, I often hear "writing a program" and "writing code" used interchangeably. The way I understand it, a program is a file which contains code written to perform a task or a series of ...