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

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8
votes
2answers
252 views

“Style Cream”: what is it? [closed]

On this matter I have read other questions: “Sour cream” versus “soured cream”, “shaving cream” vs. “shave cream”. But, can someone explain what is the "Style Cream" to which this potato chips are ...
2
votes
1answer
276 views

The form of future implication: to be [closed]

As we all know "to be continued" refers to the future. However for some reason (I don't know why) we do not use "to be going to + verb" for this. Sarah to take to the stage tonight What does ...
3
votes
2answers
64 views

How to document a change to an earlier proposal

I wrote an e-mail proposal to send to a client but after asking a co-worker's opinion I decided to reformulate it. Now I have to describe what has been done but I'm not sure if the expression below ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Is “and then some” an offensive expression?

I started an internal email discussion with the title "Editorial: link issues, some spelling issues and then some". However, upon rereading my own mail, it occurred to me that this might express ...
-2
votes
1answer
198 views

What does “Plays pretty just for you” (a song's title) mean? [closed]

Should it be understood as "(He) plays, darling, only for you"?
2
votes
3answers
1k views

What does “insteadly” mean?

I have seen it couple of times in a chat room on the internet. What does "insteadly" mean? Is it a shortcut of "instead of"?
2
votes
4answers
1k views

What is a word to describe a person who wears several masks?

What word best describes a person who is deceitful and very complicated to understand? As they say, he wears several masks.
3
votes
5answers
1k views

Meaning of “have head in the wrong place”

What's the meaning of have head in the wrong place? Is a 19 year old too young for a 28 year old? I don't see it working out but there is no harm in trying. Most 19 year olds have their ...
5
votes
6answers
3k views

What is the meaning of “often mistaken, never in doubt”?

What is the meaning of "often mistaken, never in doubt"? In what context is the phrase used?
3
votes
3answers
108 views

“Admix” vs. “shuffle”

What is the difference between the verbs admix and shuffle? I'm not a native speaker, and in the case shown in the image below, I'd rather use shuffle.
8
votes
3answers
463 views

“It will be more of a sucks for him …”

I've seen the disparaging sense of sucks as a verb ("sucks to be you", "that sucks!"), but this particular usage from Price Caspian seems a little odd: Lucy heard Edmund say, "No, let me do it. It ...
2
votes
3answers
599 views

What does “at south of $100 million” mean?

From this article: Judge Alsup did take the unusual step of appointing his own damages expert. That independent expert valued the patent case at south of $5 million, and valued the copyright case ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What does “I'll kill that cat” in the play Dinner for One mean?

In the play Dinner for One, James the butler says, "I'll kill that cat," at time 14:05. What does this mean? Is he referring to the tiger rug which keeps tripping him, or is it a saying or ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Is this sentence “Sign up for class” correct?

Someone told me that the verb sign up isn't used to mean class registration. Instead, I should use to enroll.
4
votes
2answers
1k views

“rumor” vs “unfounded rumor”

If I'm not wrong, "rumor" means: A story or report of uncertain or doubtful truth and "unfounded" means: Having no foundation or basis in fact If so, what is the difference between an ...
2
votes
1answer
130 views

Some people are not determined to win

Does it mean He doesn't have a strong will to win Gods do not decide that he should win Bonus: How those 2 meaning of determined related? One means strong will, another means predestination.
1
vote
1answer
73 views

Meaning of “missile”

What's a missile in this case? Would you rather a cop grab a quick nap while not on a call if they're exhausted or drive around a two ton missile with a gun on their hip while half asleep.
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Use of 'at large'

Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at ...
1
vote
4answers
3k views

The meaning of “from that of”

I came across the following sentence on a website: Deaf children's emotional development differs from that of hearing children. I am guessing that the sentence simply mean that deaf ...
21
votes
7answers
14k views

Difference between “the very first” and “first”

I have the sentence: Who wrote the very first dictionary ever? Is it any different from Who wrote the first dictionary ever? I don't get how something could be more first.
5
votes
1answer
287 views

“Fight with the grape”: what does it mean?

I am reading Why the West rules---for now and found the idiom "to fight with the grape": Like the Medes before him, he fought with the grape: he let the Massagetan vanguard loot his camp [...] I ...
0
votes
2answers
5k views

“Would rather [infinitive1] than [infinitive2]” vs. “would rather that [subjunctive]”"

I am aware of sentences like Beth would rather study at the library than go to parties. There is another type of using rather that: She would rather that the plane leave early in the ...
1
vote
5answers
5k views

What is the precise meaning of “soul”? [closed]

I was translating a sentence which contained the Arabic word "نفس (nefs)" in an answer to a question. نفس is physical entity of a living thing, that feels and experiences earthly desires and emotions ...
2
votes
1answer
265 views

Meaning of “pull up”

What's the meaning of pull up? Tried pulling up on my cell(video), wouldn't work. Will watch when I get home.
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Understand the meaning of “tall order”

I was wondering why a "tall order" means a formidable task or requirement? Is it a metaphor? If so, how shall I understand it?
0
votes
3answers
610 views

Does the sentence “His confident visage hid insecurity” make sense?

I was wondering if this sentence makes sense, and if it does, is the meaning of visage in this sentence metaphoric? His confident visage hid insecurity.
1
vote
2answers
258 views

Assembler, Installer, Fitter

Say, you buy some new office furniture. You get the furniture parts delivered including the service to put the different parts - for example the desk top and the desk legs - together to complete ...
0
votes
2answers
11k views

Proper usage of “take your time”

What is the proper usage of "take your time"? Can we use it in the following context? Rachel sent me an email saying that she is busy and will not be able to meet me until the following week. In ...
-1
votes
3answers
369 views

Give Signs Of Uncertainty

The project gives signs of too much uncertainty. The project gives too much uncertainty. If I am trying to use sense 5c of this dictionary, would one of the sentences above be wrong? ...
0
votes
1answer
487 views

Looking for a word or words meaning to change something so it's more widely used and more efficient to use [closed]

I'm writing a proposal regarding website development work and would like a meaningful name for the proposal. I currently have a system for developing websites that isn't the most efficient and costs a ...
0
votes
1answer
187 views

Word order again?

I have been thinking about word order and its meaning, thus when we have for instance: Planet of the apes or Apes planet Proposal for extra work or Extra work proposal Which is the more ...
2
votes
5answers
7k views

“Enclosure” vs. “attachment”

If I understand it correctly, one usually uses the term enclosure when referring to extra documents to e.g. a letter. But what if these extra items are not other documents and papers? Say I have ...
11
votes
3answers
17k views

Difference between “packet”, “parcel” and “package”

The definition on OALD is identical for parcel and packet. parcel (especially British English) (North American English usually package) something that is wrapped in paper or put into a thick ...
1
vote
1answer
297 views

“Proceed” or “precede” [closed]

When I use Microsoft Word, it shows me that the word proceed is wrong with the following sentence: This is the only way I can proceed with school and it corrects it to the following: This is ...
3
votes
2answers
8k views

Difference between “belong to” and “belong in” [closed]

How would you understand this example? I actually belong in his world.
3
votes
2answers
212 views

What does “The devil take the waltz, my only regret is for the coda—I wish that had been a success!” mean?

"The devil take the waltz, my only regret is for the coda—I wish that had been a success!", Johann Strauss II said I don't understand what he said, and what he means to.
0
votes
2answers
55 views

Which sense of “out” is used here? [closed]

What's the meaning of out in this case? Oh and out on watching the vid. I learned my lesson on that.
1
vote
4answers
1k views

The meaning of “how” in questions

Some of my colleagues have argued that when a statement/question uses the work "how", the reader expects to get a list of solutions. Examples: "How could world hunger be solved?" "How can a ...
1
vote
3answers
10k views

When we entered, he had been there

So I heard this sentence and also few contradictions about that. Does it mean that when they entered, he was already gone because he had there been before them? Or he just was there before them and ...
0
votes
1answer
95 views

What is the meaning of “does is”?

I have read this sentence and can not get "does is" meaning. Which type of grammar is it? Couchsurfing is a fairly new website, and what it does is it allows travelers from different parts of ...
-3
votes
3answers
817 views

On/in its semantics?

Please help me in choosing the right preposition in the below sentence: The returned values seem a bit confusing on/in its semantics, Here I'm talking about returned values of a computer ...
20
votes
4answers
3k views

What's up with the word “egregious”?

According to Google's dictionary (and MacOS/iOS dictionary), egregious has the following definitions: I've seen words with multiple definitions, but not ones that are exact contradictions. Some ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

Meaning of “in your general direction” [closed]

I'm not a native English speaker, and I don't understand the meaning of the phrase "in your general direction." I have found its use in the line from Monty Python and the Holy Grail: I fart in ...
6
votes
1answer
465 views

What particular word is used for this doll? [closed]

A doll is created which looks like a human and is kept near or among crops in the farm to keep animals like deer away. I don't know what it is called in English.
12
votes
2answers
10k views

What's the difference between a “nook” and a “cranny”?

I think both words mean a sort of crevice or corner. Presumably there must be some significant difference. The words are almost always used together: e.g. She searched in every nook and cranny ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

What do “resolved” and “improved” mean when they are used about recovering from a disease?

Please have a look at the image below. What does the underlined words resolved / resolution improved mean in this image? And, what is the difference between the meanings of "improved" and ...
0
votes
1answer
273 views

Grammar correctness of “could” sentence

I would like to know whether the following is correct: Someone is knocking on your door. Who could it be? As far as I know, modal verbs do not change its form in reported speech: He ...
2
votes
2answers
997 views

Meaning of “first-level”, “second-level” in general

What do these expressions mean in general: first-level, second-level, ... ? For example, Response rates provide a first-level indicator of advertisement effectiveness. Conversion rates offer a ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

Meaning of “herding the cats”

What is the meaning of the phrase herding the cats? I've found one description on Wikipedia but it is not clear enough.
3
votes
3answers
161 views

Meaning of “work better for silence”

Holmes and Watson are alone in the room. Holmes: I shall work better for silence. Watson: Oh, well. I dare say I can find something quiet to do. Does he mean he needs silence to work? And ...