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

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-1
votes
1answer
596 views

'irritated' vs. 'aggravated' [closed]

Which is more correct? The constant itching over the last week left him quite aggravated. The constant itching over the last week left him quite irritated. Merriam Webster ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

What does the statement “Once I did bad and that I heard ever. Twice I did good and that I heard never” mean?

What does the statement Once I did bad and that I heard ever. Twice I did good and that I heard never. mean? In what situations is it meaningful?
0
votes
1answer
9k views

What's the meaning of the word “tad”? [closed]

I always see the word in sentence like, "it's a tad faser". Or people say "tad", as if they are frustrated. So, what's the meaning of the word? When to use it?
1
vote
2answers
8k views

Do “owed” and “due” mean the opposite?

I wonder if "owed" and "due" mean the opposite in the following quote from Wikipedia? In banking and accountancy, the outstanding balance is the amount of money owed, (or due), that remains in a ...
1
vote
1answer
6k views

What does “bedroom eyes” mean, from a physical standpoint, if anything?

The phrase "bedroom eyes" came up in another question, and the person who used it remarked that to him/her it meant that, from a physical standpoint "that means they've got dilated pupils". This ...
1
vote
1answer
297 views

The revenge of the gifted amateur … be afraid, be very afraid … [closed]

What is the meaning of the word 'amateur' and how is the amateur compared with the professional in this article on computing. http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=1822283 They are ...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

What's the meaning of “throw out”

Ultimate fist pumping workout. My friend threw out her shoulder by fist pumping at a club once. The comment was made from a gif. In this gif, it shows a man doing a workout holding a barbell ...
2
votes
0answers
187 views

Meaning of “advance” and “develop” [closed]

The context: P1: We lost nearly a decade of research because of the moratorium on embryonic stem cell research. P2: The moratorium [on embryonic stem cell research] aided in the advancement ...
0
votes
3answers
405 views

Is “human resources” men? [closed]

We help you verify, validate and monitor your systems live, 24/7, with our human resources who are rich in experience, commitment, dedication, flexibility and with high analytical skills... ...
2
votes
1answer
395 views

What's the meaning of “structure” here?

How do you define structure in this context? I'm unsure which definition is appropriate from the dictionary. P1: Healthy, fit people that can't die are like poison to big pharma. The new ...
3
votes
1answer
101 views

“Leakage” in context

I have been reading a text about spotting lies by analysis of voice, gestures, etc., and cannot understand the word leakage in this sentence: ... clues of emotions... These are what provide ...
0
votes
2answers
6k views

“Thank you for your kindness, but I am not fond of this”

Suppose somebody gives you something — for instance, a chocolate — and you do not like it, so you give it back to the person. Is it then correct to say something like this: Thank you for your ...
4
votes
2answers
378 views

What is retraction in pronunciation?

As in: [I]n English /t, d, n, l/ are retracted before /r/. [emphasis added] —Wikipedia, “Allophone”
7
votes
3answers
284 views

This book will change your wife – trope?

“This book will change your wife.” The cliché is “This book will change your life”. By changing one word, the cliché is transformed into a more interesting sentence: in this case about a novel, 50 ...
4
votes
4answers
132 views

Using “reduction” in a title

I am writing a paper where I will use the title Reduction by half. This is supposed to describe a method which reduces something by half, but I am not sure if Reduction by Half is the right way to do ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Does the word “apparently” imply that I personally do or don't believe the statement following it?

When I say "Apparently, xyz", does that imply one of the following, and if so, which one? From observation, I believe xyz to be true, but I leave open the possibility that I might be wrong. I ...
-2
votes
3answers
10k views

“Humility” vs. “humiliation” [closed]

What is the difference, if any, between humility and humiliation? My friend's dad said humility is good, humiliation is bad, and the first link on Google says "leaders often confuse the two," but ...
2
votes
2answers
77 views

A suggestion for a change by reviewers

One of the suggestions that I got in my paper review is just indicated as a mistake in There is, however, no proven criterion when to stop. What is wrong with the above sentence. Word ordering? ...
-1
votes
2answers
902 views

What does “sizing” mean in this example? [closed]

What does "sizing" mean in the following quote from http://www.wikihow.com/Press-a-Shirt: Lightly spray the hanging shirt with sizing or spray starch (optional) then remove the shirt from ...
-1
votes
3answers
1k views

Immigrants or Emigrants? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Emigrant” vs. “immigrant” What's the difference in meaning between “emigrate” and “immigrate”? I understand the ...
5
votes
1answer
354 views

Meaning of “stays” in this example

From http://artofmanliness.com/2011/04/06/how-to-iron-shirt/ Iron around buttons, never over them. Even if there is fabric laying over the button, as in the case of a pocket with under-buttons ...
6
votes
5answers
809 views

A word to describe the structure of “The Song That Never Ends”

The song has been described as a "self-referential and infinitely iterative children's song". I would like to use a word that encapsulates this description. I have considered recursive, but does that ...
-2
votes
1answer
120 views

Are 'contemporary' and 'contemplate' related words? [closed]

Do the words contemporary and contemplate relate to each other in any way?
-1
votes
1answer
660 views

What is the meaning of “I don't need no stinking counters”?

The context is this video at timeline 43:26 seconds . That's too fancy for me. I don't need no stinking counters. What does this mean? Is it an American or British expression?
1
vote
1answer
1k views

“First year birthday” or “first birthday”

What should I say to refer to the baby's first year birthday? The baby turns one year old on that day. Is it correct to say first birthday party or should I say first year birthday party?
1
vote
1answer
320 views

Why is the “round figure” of a person associated with being “comforting”? [closed]

Example: Miss Beam was all that I had expected middle-aged, authoritative, kindly, and understanding. Her hair was beginning to turn grey, and her round figure was likely to be comforting for a ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

Just a entrance alone will continue a lot of people entrance adult to recreate [closed]

“Just a entrance alone will continue a lot of people entrance adult to recreate,” pronounced Manager Gary Lamb. (http://boston-massachusetts.us/conservation-plan-also-brings-development-in-maine) ...
0
votes
3answers
5k views

Lost in the Midst vs Mists of Time [closed]

Which of the following is more correct, and why? My attempts at Googling haven't produced a definitive answer, and all seem as sensible as each other going from base definitions. Lost in the mists ...
0
votes
1answer
475 views

Does “invidious” come implicit with malice or consideration? Or is it just absent of care?

"Invidious" (the often misunderstood) is known to involve harmful or threatening effects — at least insomuch as one party feels "resentful" or similarly about the situation. So there are at least two ...
4
votes
5answers
632 views

Is the use of ‘Red meat’ for ‘Substance’ very popular? Can I say ‘Your talk doesn’t have any red meat,’ to talkative person?

Today’s (Aug 28) Washington Post carries the article titled, “Red meat on the menu as convention kicks off” followed by the following sentence. "GOP delegates are scheduled to take the vote that will ...
0
votes
2answers
16k views

Meaning of “get your head out of your ass” [closed]

What's the meaning of to get your head out of your ass? P1: Scientists turn blood cells into stem cells v. never gon die yall. P2: F-k population control. P1: Science can save us if we ...
13
votes
2answers
18k views

“Stack” vs. “pile” vs. “heap” of paper

What is the difference between stack, pile or heap of something, let it be for example paper? CS+IT people might tend to use the word heap, because there is a widely known datastructure by that name. ...
-1
votes
1answer
624 views

What do “parergonal” and “parergon” mean in the following sentence? [closed]

What do “parergonal” and "parergon" mean in the following sentence? Can anybody suggest some synonym? Thus, the figurative signification of structure does not escape but instead confirms the ...
10
votes
3answers
775 views

Does “prescriptive” have solely a negative sense in some communities?

Motivation: I recently used this phrase: (1) people who read English prescriptive grammar books I was aware from personal experience that a significant number of people (maybe not a majority, ...
1
vote
1answer
751 views

“Take a look at” vs. “look at” [closed]

I am not a native speaker. Could you please explain the difference between the phrases "take a look at" and "look at"? For example: Take a look at this issue. Look at this issue. What ...
3
votes
3answers
22k views

Origin of phrase “sow wild oats”

What is the meaning of the phrase "sow wild oats"? Where did it come from?
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Used since sometime in the past until now (and still continuing)

How can I express that something has been used for a while and is still being used? …used a xyz system that has been in daily use for several years. I'm not sure whether this expresses that the ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

“That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” [closed]

With Neil Armstrong's death today, many news sites are posting articles that quote Neil Armstrong as "That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.". My question is, does the quote ...
3
votes
2answers
122 views

Question about “And / Or”

I see this cropping up more frequently, particularly in legal discussions. My understanding was that OR included both logical clauses of AND and OR. Has it become necessary to specify "and/or" vs. ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

“Contemporaneous” vs “simultaneous”

I've done a bit of searching but cannot find a definitive distinction between contemporaneous and simultaneous. I personally use the words interchangeably. Am I correct in doing so?
0
votes
2answers
833 views

What does the phrase “Vast majority of people live in the world without” mean? [closed]

As I describe in the question title I want to know the meaning of the phrase highlighted in the following quotation from the 5 August 2012 blog of author Edward Hersh: Look around you. Wherever ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

“Regret” vs. “remorse”

I would like to better understand when I have to use regret and when remorse. In Italian we have two words: Rimpianto: used when I'm sad because I didn't do something in the past (e.g. I didn't buy ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

“Take a decision” vs. “decide”

I realise there is a small element of subjectivity, but for the purposes of efficient use of the English language, I wonder if one should say "take a decision" or simply "decide". I feel like many, if ...
4
votes
2answers
457 views

Origin of meaning of 'express' such as a fast train?

I seem to recall reading that 'express' to mean a rapid transport service (e.g. express train) has its origin in the verb 'express' to mean to press out. Can anyone shed any light on this? (Of course, ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

“Computing” vs. “computation”

Can anybody explain the difference between computing and computation? Which one is correct: computing/computation node (to refer to a server) computing/computation power (to refer to the FLOPS of a ...
10
votes
4answers
949 views

Ambiguous connotation of “just” - How do natives interpret these?

First of all, these questions are a bit related but not what I'm actually asking about: Is “I just spent all my money” grammatically incorrect? “I just ate them” and “I've just eaten them” - What's ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What does poking with a stick mean?

Please see the context from this blog of Joel Spolsky: Since you have to poke at Windows Calculator with a stick, it doesn't have to be as fast as Excel. What does he mean by poking with a ...
1
vote
4answers
2k views

What does “When a thing is funny, search it carefully for a hidden truth” mean? [closed]

I found this quote by George Bernard Shaw: When a thing is funny, search it carefully for a hidden truth. Can anyone please explain the meaning of this sentence?
4
votes
2answers
615 views

Meaning of “public affairs” and “public interest”

The definition of political from OALD is: connected with the state, government or public affairs Is the definition of public of public affairs definition 1 or 2 or neither? of, relating ...
3
votes
2answers
107 views

Can I say “peerless mission?”

My friends are telling me that calling a mission peerless - a unique mission - is not correct. Is that true? I thought that unique is very much equivalent to peerless.