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

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1
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2answers
717 views

Does the term “comma separated” mean “Goodbye” in any way?

I've received an email from a colleague who is leaving the company — and it's titled "comma separated" along with the usual yadda-yadda. This is the first time I've come across this usage of the ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

What does it mean to “grow organically”?

I understand what the term as it's applied to Biotechnology, Chemistry. I am not quite sure what it means when it's applied to other area. One example is: Or do you allow the specifications to ...
1
vote
4answers
39k views

What does the phrase “I’m down with” mean?

I was wondering about the meaning of: I am down with something. Also, I was wondering whether people say: I am up with something. If so, what does it mean?
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Why use 'way' in this sentence?

This question is way too vague Why not just: "This question is too vague"? What's the meaning of 'way' in this sentence?
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Does “bend your knees, please” have the same meaning as “squat down, please”?

Do these two sentences imply the same action?
0
votes
3answers
125 views

Does 'from' in this example mean 'some'?

I have chosen for you from the best of our personnel. Can 'from' here also mean 'some'? I have chosen for you some of the best of our personnel.
2
votes
2answers
694 views

Should I write “repartee” with an accent?

Does repartee need an accent with it in writing? Also, what does it mean? Edit: Can you please provide an example sentence or two? I'd really appreciate it!
1
vote
6answers
6k views

What is the difference between “legacy” and “inheritance”?

Can someone explain the difference between legacy and inheritance?
8
votes
5answers
6k views

Does “to err on the side of … ” indicate wrongdoing?

Does the phrase "to err on the side of ...," specifically "err on the side of caution," indicate that it is wrong to be "on the side of," the object? "Err" makes me think of "error," and is such the ...
4
votes
1answer
135 views

“loving” vs. “love”

Boy your loving is all I think about 1) Why not a comma after 'boy'? Is this grammar correct, because it looks like two subjects? 2) Why not 'love'? What's the difference in this sentence?
5
votes
3answers
194 views

April Fool's day = April (Fool's day) or (April Fool)'s day

Ok, that is a bad example :) I was wondering how should I understand the phrases like April Fool's day. It could be understood in two ways, could it? April (Fool's day) - The day of Fool occurring ...
2
votes
1answer
799 views

What are the meanings of 'oppress', 'repress' and 'suppress'?

What are the meanings of 'oppress', 'repress' and 'suppress'? Does it matter between Help Help! I'm being oppressed! and Help! Help! I'm being repressed!?
6
votes
1answer
24k views

What is the difference between “exemption” and “exception”?

It seems that exemption and exception have the same meaning. However, they seem to be used differently. When should we use one and not the other?
2
votes
2answers
8k views

What is the meaning of “runneth”?

What is the meaning of “runneth” in My Cup Runneth Over?
1
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2answers
2k views

Does “lesser” as in “lesser man” refer only to moral strength and goodness or can it encompass physical and mental stamina?

Does "lesser" as in "lesser man" refer only to moral strength and goodness or can it encompass physical and mental stamina?
3
votes
2answers
6k views

What is the meaning of “till death do us part”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Till death do us part” It's a English name of a forthcoming Chinese film. The Chinese name is “Best love”.
2
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the difference between “prophecy” and “fortune telling”?

Maybe a week, maybe a month; you will meet a tall dark stranger; the next few weeks are going to be hard on your energy levels.... What are the real/inferred differences between “prophecy” and ...
11
votes
6answers
68k views

Where did “I'm Jonesing” get its meaning from?

I'm Jonesing for a little Ganja, mon... I'm jonesing for a little soul food, brother... Where did "I'm jonesing" come from?
4
votes
2answers
1k views

“Not much I can hand to you this very moment”

What's the meaning of this sentence? Not much I can hand to you this very moment.
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Meaning of “steady-as-she-goes financial package”

I was reading this article and I'm not sure about the meaning of this sentence: Despite rise in inflation and borrowing, chancellor to court medium earners in 'steady-as-she-goes' financial ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

Meanings of “take it easy”

The phrase “take it easy” has several different meanings, and it's not always easy to tell between them from context. I'm referring specifically to the standalone phrase (grammatically, an ...
10
votes
4answers
817 views

What does ‘Long on looks, short on spirit’ mean?

I found the phrase ‘Long on looks, short on spirit’ in the Washington Post article written by Ann Hornaday (http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/movies/jane-eyre,1164774/critic-review.html#reviewNum1). ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Confusion about a stanza from Rudyard Kipling

Following is the stanza: Teach us delight in simple things, And mirth that has no bitter springs; Forgiveness free of evil done, And Love to all men 'neath the sun! What does second ...
2
votes
3answers
8k views

What's the origin and reasoning behind the phrase, “I've got a monkey on my back”?

900lb Gorilla I can appreciate, but "I've got a monkey on my back" - two opposable thumbs down...
6
votes
1answer
565 views

What does 'should' mean in this sentence?

'She walked through the forest, and who should she see, but the Big Bad Wolf!'
1
vote
3answers
6k views

What's the meaning of “a staple amongst the community”?

In this context: trying to become a staple amongst the community
7
votes
4answers
987 views

“Connotation” vs. “Definition”

There seems to be some ambiguity between the connotation and definition of a word / word group / phrase. The dictionary entry seems to be that a definition is more of a primary description of a word ...
3
votes
3answers
272 views

“Help save the planet with your mobile phone”

Does "help save the planet with your mobile phone" have a different meaning or connotation than "help save the planet using your mobile phone?"
1
vote
2answers
1k views

What is the difference between “destruction” and “deconstruction”? [closed]

I am Hungarian, and I can completely understand the words destruction, construction, and deconstruction, although the corresponding Hungarian words are rarely used. I don't know if the con- possesses ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

How did “tongue-in-cheek” get its current meaning?

A statement is said to be tongue-in-cheek if it is not to be taken seriously. How did this meaning come into vogue? Where did it originate from?
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Where does “funk” and/or “funky” come from and why the musical reference?

Free your mind and your ass will follow - The Mothership has landed!! Why 'funk', of all words to describe such bootilicious music?
7
votes
3answers
546 views

What does “I can prove it on an abacus” mean?

I've got a feeling it means "I can prove it in a very simple and an ostensive way". Is this so? Update: The context. http://www.laddertheory.com/commoncriticisms.htm Search for "abacus".
1
vote
1answer
978 views

Meaning of “scared the hell out of someone”

The phrase I read on yahoo.com is the following one. Tendulkar never scared me, says Akhtar. The Pakistani maverick pacer said it was Adam Gilchrist and Brian Lara who scared the hell out of ...
6
votes
4answers
4k views

What is the meaning of “clubbed to death?”

What is the meaning of "clubbed to death?"
11
votes
5answers
6k views

Can you still call a woman “handsome”?

On the recommendation of some regulars here, I managed to watch the movie The Madness of King George over the weekend, and found it excellent. Anyway, one funny scene in the movie is when King ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What do sales people mean by “don't sell the steak, sell the sizzle?”

Who coined this phrase, and what is the meaning behind it?
3
votes
6answers
3k views

Can “as” ever properly mean “because”?

We often encounter as used to mean because. As we know, as is not merely ambiguous: it’s hexiguous or octiguous. I’m especially uncomfortable when I find the usage in a technical paper1, where ...
3
votes
3answers
491 views

“Automatic door—push to open.”

This is the wording on signs I've been seeing quite often recently. It seems to me quite nonsensical; if you have to push the door to open it, it isn't automatic. Is that the case or is there ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Does “he has some issues to work out” have some special meaning?

Does "he has some issues to work out" have some special meaning? Is it an idiom? How is its meaning different from "he has some problems to solve"?
7
votes
7answers
3k views

“will have seen yesterday”

This is a part of a sentence: As many of you will have seen yesterday, . . . What does it mean? The words will and yesterday seem to be in contradiction. Is that a correct sentence?
2
votes
2answers
357 views

Why do golfers yell: “Fore”?

Feeling rather bogeyed, I'm looking for some fore-closure to this query — help!
2
votes
7answers
4k views

Meaning and etymology of “tiger by the tail”

Am I trying to take someone's Frosted Flakes? Is this sage advice or an old wives' tale?
6
votes
2answers
740 views

Perdition vs Hell

What is the difference between the religious connotations of Perdition and Hell?
0
votes
4answers
273 views

“Extirpation” vs “Perdition” vs “Smash”

I am a bit confused, how can I use these three words differently when their meaning is almost the same? Extirpation Perdition Smash
6
votes
3answers
10k views

Meaning of 'cf.' [closed]

it refers to a discrete life form that has properties of mind (i.e. experience and character, cf. sentience)
22
votes
8answers
34k views

What's the difference in meaning between “emigrate” and “immigrate”?

What's the difference between emigrate and immigrate? They seem to have the same definitions in the dictionary but they are antonyms...  
3
votes
6answers
401 views

“Discover” or “invent” in mathematics context

A very theoretical question I came across with friends some time ago. I am not a native English speaker, so I may be misunderstanding some details, but as I understand: 1) Discovery relates to a ...
-1
votes
1answer
1k views

What does “email exchange” mean?

What does "email exchange" mean?
5
votes
4answers
8k views

What is the etymology and literal meaning of 'Cock a snoot/snook'?

I've been using this expression all my adult life but have no idea what it means or where it originates. Google searches lead me to the description of it being to do with putting your thumb on nose ...
2
votes
2answers
706 views

What does “step up” mean?

Japan steps up cooling operation. This is from BBC.