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

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3
votes
4answers
560 views

Does “nattering” have a negative connotation?

I hear people saying that they're "having a natter" with their friends, or 'If you want to have a natter about starting a project, give me a call!'. On different websites there are different ...
0
votes
3answers
390 views

What does “be proactively available to help others” mean?

Actively going to others to provide help even if they don't need it? Being available actively to help others whenever they need it? Or something else?
2
votes
2answers
111 views

What's the meaning of “concave” in this context?

What's the meaning of "concaved" in this senctence: As long as voters’ utility functions are concave, voters prefer policies that do not change drastically.
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Difference between “at date” and “to date” [closed]

Two Examples: It is the social networking giant's biggest acquisition to date. The deal to buy it includes $4bn in cash... plus an additional $3 billion in stock to WhatsApp's founders and ...
1
vote
5answers
741 views

What is the word that describes the group mentality against changing the status quo?

I am looking for a word that would be used to describe a person (better if a noun) or a group of people who refuse to even consider anything other than the status quo. I would like something that ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

What does this “ridiculous” mean?

It was ridiculous how adorable you are. A father said so to his daughter. Does this “ridiculous” carry a very strong feeling?
0
votes
1answer
559 views

What is the meaning of `Position Fulfillment`?

I can't understand the meaning of Position Fulfillment in Human resource context. Is it same as Position History? an example: Any help would be appreciated!
3
votes
1answer
535 views

Why is there a drastic difference in meaning between *amused* and *bemused*?

I'm sorry if this is a duplicate, but I have yet to find an exact match by search. Both words use the same root of muse, which as a verb means to lose yourself in thought, ponder, etc. So, clearly ...
8
votes
5answers
10k views

“Chief Cook and Bottle Washer” meaning and etymology

In my experience, referring to someone in an organization as "chief cook and bottle washer" has multiple possible meanings: person has a wide variety of duties in the organization person is very, ...
0
votes
2answers
322 views

A meaning for a proverb?

what's the meaning of the proverb "No man is an island entire of itself" by john donne?
0
votes
1answer
4k views

What does “has got to be” mean?

Source of the phrase: Player Union Strikes Called Off "And looking along the table, really, there should be more smiles than you're seeing. I think people are tired. The reason there should be ...
0
votes
2answers
103 views

“By some at least of the merchants” — what does this syntax mean?

The thirteenth century also witnessed the adoption of armorial devices by some at least of the merchants. — (Goodall, John A.., Heraldry in Italy During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, ...
1
vote
1answer
4k views

“Back it up” meaning [closed]

What does back it up mean in this context? He can be cocky, but he's got stuff to back it up.
0
votes
1answer
66 views

What is the meaning of Converted Leads

When i found job on job website, i found the term Converted Leads job(Related to marketing). Please explain to me what it mean and what are the tasks will be done by this job? Any information would ...
1
vote
1answer
510 views

What does the sentence mean?

I just got an email telling me about a company's 2013 profit. The first sentence is very short, but it is hard to understand for me. XXXX(company name) misses by $0.05(per share), beats on revenue. ...
2
votes
2answers
12k views

Meaning of “if the shoe fits wear it” doesn't fit

Just now I read the phrase's meaning and was surprised. I always thought that the meaning goes like this: if something is in a really bad or unacceptable condition, but it's serving the purpose, then ...
1
vote
1answer
25k views

Difference between Let, Let's and Lets? [closed]

Many people use "let, let's and lets" in conversation What's the difference between them?
4
votes
1answer
12k views

Are “the fact of the matter” and “as a matter of fact” the same?

For a long time, I had only known the phrase "matter of fact" to be used in "as a matter of fact..." However, for quite a few days, I have also been hearing, "the fact of the matter is..." in news ...
-5
votes
1answer
891 views
-1
votes
2answers
5k views

“Same old, same old” [closed]

"It is the same old, same old style." In this sentence, what kind of phrase is same old same old? Is it a adjective?
2
votes
1answer
598 views

Time before now vs. time before us

We all know that before normally means "earlier in time", but I've been thinking about the opposite meanings of those expressions: The days before now (the past) The days before us (the future) ...
0
votes
2answers
10k views

Relationship between Juxtaposition, Oxymoron, and Paradox [closed]

Explain the definition and relationship between "juxtaposition", "oxymoron", and "paradox". I'm supposed to apply this to Romeo and Juliet too, so any examples including them would be appreciated. ...
1
vote
1answer
114 views

Streamer/Ribbon Difference Question

Just a different question but it's bugging me, I need an answer. I used to come from France to the USA when i was a boy to visit my family, and to my great annoyance (they thought it would suit my ...
1
vote
5answers
367 views

What does “people of the concrete steppes” mean?

I read this on an economics blog (http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2014/02/in_the_1930s_it.html) and tried to google it, but the results seem to just be people using it, no one explaining it. ...
3
votes
4answers
22k views

what is the difference between the words “tall” and “high”?

Are there any differences between the words "tall" and "high" ? For instance, tall building and high building I'm not sure what are the differences between them.
1
vote
1answer
738 views

Evaluated by using vs Evaluated by

Is there a difference between following sentences: XXX has been evaluated by Y1,Y2 and Y3? XXX has been evaluated by using Y1,Y2 and Y3? XXX has been evaluated using Y1,Y2 and Y3 I ...
0
votes
1answer
340 views

“Posits” vs. “suggests”

I am new to academic writing and keep seeing the word "posits". Does "the author posits" have the same value or meaning as "the author suggests"?
2
votes
1answer
3k views

When Americans say someone has ''no accent'', what do they mean exactly? [duplicate]

As in my title question. Do they mean a specific region of the US, something else?
0
votes
1answer
4k views

What is the difference between “have not to” and “have to not”?

English isn't my native language, of course, to ask something like this. I personally thought that "have not to do something" and "have to not do something" were the same. But recently, I've seen a ...
4
votes
2answers
930 views

That will teach me to

The other day I was cutting a mango using a sharp knife. I had sliced off one side of the mango and was then cutting a grid pattern in the flesh to be able to "open out" the side to eat the mango ...
2
votes
2answers
521 views

Can the word ‘fillet” be used as a verb to mean criticize or ridicule?

There was the following sentence in the New York Times article titled “Marry first, Then cheat” dealing with François Hollande’s “mistress scandals”: “Over good wine and small portions across ...
2
votes
3answers
301 views

The meaning of the word assumed

What does 'assumed' mean in this sentence? Practitioners may perceive constraints and challenges to providing high levels of confidentiality to young people, in the form of assumed duties to ...
2
votes
3answers
5k views

What's the meaning of “unplugged”?

English is my second language and I'm wondering what's the exactly meaning of "somebody unplugged"? Such as "Joe Biden unplugged"?
0
votes
2answers
483 views

Using source as a verb to mean “to provide a citation”

Recently on the meta for English.se, I used the following sentence: Personally, I think we should source answers if possible, but this is also sensitive to the level of the asker. My question ...
4
votes
1answer
9k views

What is the difference between the words negative and negatory?

What is the difference between the words negative and negatory? I looked up the definitions here and they are pretty much the same.
0
votes
1answer
100 views

What does *she had spiked out stylishly* mean?

Context: “Hi,” chirped a girl beside me. I lifted my head to look at her. She was pretty in a ‘not in your face’ kind of way, she had short black hair with some blue streaks which she had spiked out ...
0
votes
3answers
99 views

“You can learn the basics in three lines or so” - Is that correct?

You can learn the basics in three lines or so. I want to say that you can learn the basics by reading a few lines of something (e.g. a text). Is that phrase correct?
0
votes
1answer
133 views

What does the bolded part of the sentence mean? [closed]

Giving medicine to relieve suffering, even if it risks or causes death, is not assisted suicide or euthanasia; nor is withdrawing treatments that only prolong a painful dying process. Like the general ...
1
vote
1answer
110 views

Denotation of Paradox

Google defines paradox in three ways, the first two being: a statement or proposition that, despite sound (or apparently sound) reasoning from acceptable premises, leads to a conclusion that seems ...
0
votes
3answers
129 views

“In [noun] terms” vs. “in terms of [noun]”

What are the differences in meaning between the followings? In society terms In terms of society
1
vote
3answers
1k views

plain and simple

"The chimpanzees were jealous, sexist, and possessive, plain and simple." In the sentence above, are plain and simple two adjectives describing the chimpanzees or are they part of an idiom ...
0
votes
1answer
802 views

What is the meaning of “heavier than heavenly”

What is the meaning of “heavier than heavenly”? I googled that but I didn't find the meaning. Google said it's as same as “heavier than heaven” and it's the name of a 2001 biography of musician Kurt ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

What does the word term mean when used in the following sentence?

So I have a boss from Ireland that works out of the UK. He tells me that he is on leave for a half term? What is he talking about?
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Why does the word 'peasant' have such a negative meaning in English?

In French the word *paysan (fem. paysanne) translates to English as 'farmer', as well as 'peasant'. (Collins). It is by no means demeaning in many European countries (including France) to refer to ...
3
votes
2answers
475 views

How to distinguish between uses of words like 'Marry'?

Marry can be used both transitively: "Paul Married Jane" and intransitively: "I got married". Thus making the word ambitransitive But it has a third use: "Paul, the vicar Married Jane ...
0
votes
2answers
185 views

A sentence with too many commas [closed]

Can someone please explain the following sentence? This perspective provides a primarily pragmatic justification, therefore, for confidentiality, in that any perceived limitations to, or ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

“Active” or “activated”?

Is there a difference between an active state and activated state? For example, if I activate an item, will it become active or activated? Does it depend on the context? How?
2
votes
5answers
4k views

What is the oldest trick in the book?

Is there one trick that is the oldest? I understand the Oxford definition of the idiom but when was it first used and what did it refer to?
2
votes
2answers
98 views

What does 'dance a control run' mean in selection of figure skaters for the Winter Olympics Games?

There was the following sentence in the Time magazine article titled, “Plushenko’s retirement is proof he should have quit before Sochi.” It says Evgeni Plushenko should have given way to a younger ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

“the element of imprecision” and “casual and bold”

Ran into this: For the hundredth time he resented the element of imprecision, the margin of guesswork that entered into the business. The project as he had worked it out was casual and bold, the ...