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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3answers
3k views

Is “between” always used for two things? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “between” vs “among” I know the word "between" is used when we are concerned with two things. But can it be used with more than two things?
0
votes
2answers
1k views

As yet + past simple/present perfect

I was unable to find out the rules here and what is the difference: As yet, he has not received the package. As yet little was known of the causes of the disease.
-4
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2answers
544 views

what is the meaning of “might sound”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “May” & “Might”: What's the right context? May, might confusion I can not understand this sentence and how it differ from may sound. ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

What does “please with sugar and knobs on” mean?

What does please with sugar and knobs on mean in the following sentence? Please, pretty please, pretty please with sugar and knobs on, do not ever look at your monthly/quarterly/annual ...
1
vote
1answer
444 views

What does “Booney II” mean in this context?

What does "Booney II" mean in this conext? It is in the name of a product from Columbia: Men's Silver Ridge™ Booney II
0
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2answers
98 views

Meaning of “like growing up”

What is the meaning of like growing up in the following sentence? Now, you grew up in Southern California. What was it like growing up on the beach in the summer?
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Is this correct: “Of [something] I have but none”?

This might be a pretty weird question, given that I'm using awkward grammar. Take into account that I'm trying to play with the language. The question is, would the following be correct? Of milk ...
11
votes
6answers
3k views

Can “crepuscular” and/or “twilight” apply to morning half-light as well as in the evening

I know that's "sorta" two questions in one, but I'm stuck in an argument with a guy who says both words can apply to morning half-light. I disagree and think both only apply in the evening. I think ...
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3answers
5k views

What is the meaning of “a hell of a lot”?

I read the following, but can not understand meaning of a hell of a lot: Todd: So when people go to your web site what can they see? Jason: Not a hell of a lot but I did draw everything on ...
8
votes
2answers
760 views

What does “pike hoses” mean?

I'm reading James Joyce's Ulysses, and while there are enough things I don't understand in it I keep crossing the phrase "pike hoses," or "met him pike hoses." Can anyone enlighten me as to the ...
7
votes
3answers
73k views

What does 'period' mean when someone says “something, period”? [closed]

I often encounter US people saying something like this: Something something something, period. What does that mean?
3
votes
3answers
1k views

What does “ever” mean in this sentence? [closed]

I read this sentence: Did that ever hit home! None of these definitions hits home. It's neither a question (in which it would perfectly match) nor a negative sentence. And it does not mean "at ...
5
votes
6answers
880 views

Is “youths” always used negatively?

The word "youths" always seems to be used in a negative sense (e.g. "Drunken youths", "Disaffected youths"), and our church has now adopted the more politically-correct sounding phrase "young people". ...
1
vote
3answers
13k views

Meaning and usage of “to no end”

What does the phrase mean in "He annoys me to no end"? Literally, does it mean that he annoys me forever? Or does it mean that he annoys me to no result?
1
vote
4answers
2k views

To make sense vs. to be making sense

- Hey John, what do you think? - I think that sucks! - It doesn't make any sense. vs. - Hey John, what do you think? - I think that sucks! - You're not making any sense. What's the difference ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

“Give someone trouble” — what does it mean?

I saw the usage in a translated novel, in which a boy's parents died in an earthquake, and as soon as he knew that both his parents were dead, the boy's immediate reaction was that now he was free and ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

What does “double down” mean in this particular context?

Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, said this in an interview: We're going to double-down on secrecy on products. I know this phrase is from Blackjack and it means to take more risk and expect higher return. ...
1
vote
1answer
216 views

Meaning of “take title in”?

Tomorrow around 3:30, I need a ride from the 7-11 to the quick cash place, gonna take my title in for some funds. I take it title here means the legal right to own something? And to take your ...
1
vote
1answer
159 views

Have you done your marketing today?

The first thing that comes to my mind when I hear the term marketing is a word that is related to advertising, business and commerce. A colleague once said to me that she went to do some marketing. I ...
2
votes
3answers
10k views

What does voice in writing mean?

What does it mean when people talk about voice when referring to someone's writing? Is it his/her specific point of view? or Can two people have the same point of view and different writing voices?
11
votes
2answers
36k views

Is “fair enough” the same as “OK”?

Is fair enough completely equivalent to OK? If not, under what circumstances should I say fair enough in my response? Any good examples will be most welcomed.
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Word to describe one who loves friends more than family

Is there a word to describe someone who loves his friends more than his family? For example, my brother is a sort of person who seems to be only interested in his friends (not me nor the rest of the ...
-3
votes
2answers
214 views

Meaning of “Nothing is working here like the rest of the world?” [closed]

I would like to know whether this phase has negative impact or it can be positive.
2
votes
3answers
5k views

Independence vs. Independency

Most often used is "independence" as far as I know, however what is the difference? I only found a question about "dependence vs. dependency" where is said that "dependence" describes the quality ...
0
votes
4answers
404 views

Meaning of “backwards” [closed]

What's the meaning of backwards here? Does it mean it's going towards a worse state? English is hands down the most comprehensive and efficient language. The language of an advanced civilization ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Does “upshot” denote something positive, negative, or neutral?

I’m a non-native speaker of English, and I’ve always felt that “upshot” was used to denote positive results. But I’ve come across a few cases recently where negative or neutral outcomes were ...
1
vote
2answers
181 views

What does 'open-work' mean here?

From The invisible man: His feet, save for socks of irregular open-work, were bare, his big toes were broad, and pricked like the ears of a watchful dog. This is the complete chapter. The ...
7
votes
4answers
20k views

Duplicate vs. replicate vs. reduplicate

What is the difference in usage between these three apparently-synonymous words: duplicate, replicate, and reduplicate. (Definitions from ODO) duplicate: make or be an exact copy of replicate: ...
-2
votes
3answers
616 views

Meaning of “go down” [closed]

What's the meaning of go down? Little did anyone know, the 47-year-old Silicon Valley executive was actually engaged in a giant scam...He was finally caught by Target security on May 8, and he was ...
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votes
2answers
483 views

“Indian-born Chinese” vs. “Chinese-born Indian”

I'm confused about these phrases. Does "Indian-born Chinese" mean that you live in India, and were born in China? Does "Chinese-born Indian" mean that you live in China, and were born in India?
2
votes
1answer
743 views

Definition of Thrilla with Vanilla

A foreign student asked me (her teacher) what THRILLA WITH VANILLA meant. I haven't the slightest idea and when I go to Google, the only reference is the Romney-Obama debate, as though the expression ...
4
votes
3answers
818 views

connotations of the word 'demure'

The official definition of demure is: "reserved, modest, and shy." But does it also imply submissiveness?
2
votes
1answer
145 views

Meaning of “slice” [closed]

What is the meaning of slices here? Switching barcodes is a pretty common crime and hard to catch if you're smart about it. Bringing your own barcodes to the store is pretty creative though. ...
0
votes
3answers
7k views

“never did” vs “never does”

Is the following sentence grammatical? : Jack splits a blade of grass. He won't speak up. Never does. Tom will. Always does. For some reason it sounds weird. I was wondering shouldn't it have ...
0
votes
1answer
715 views

What does “didn't pace himself” means? [closed]

For example, Raimund Preußen didn't pace himself at all, and after a series of daring offensive runs he was too tired to help out in the defensive play.
1
vote
1answer
3k views

Why do close cousins like terrific and terrible have totally different meanings? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Origins of the word “terrible” Two examples spring to mind immediately, the first being that in the title: terrible (bad) and terrific (good) The other ...
5
votes
2answers
18k views

Which is correct: “another think coming” or “another thing coming”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the origin of the phrase “you've got another thing/think coming”? Which is correct: "another think coming" or "another thing coming"? I have ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

“The likeliest problem” vs. “the most likely problem”

The likeliest problem vs. the most likely problem: are they both correct? do they mean the same thing? is one preferable over another?
0
votes
3answers
921 views

Is “are you done for” similar to “are you ready for”?

I heard this question: "Are you done for sushi?". I guess the guy who asked this question meant "Are you ready to eat sushi?". Is it right or did I mishear the question?
4
votes
1answer
2k views

When listing species of plants, what does “var.” mean?

Sometimes within the Latin names of plants, I will find the word "var.", which I assume is an abbreviation, e.g. Ursinia chrysanthemoides var. geyeri. What is the meaning of this? Is it sometimes ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

“Steamroller” to describe a person as very determined

Can "steamroller" be used to describe a person like in the following sentence? He is like a steamroller; nothing will stop him from getting work done. Or are there any other meanings to the word ...
0
votes
2answers
317 views

About type in application form [closed]

In the application form it says print or type. If we want to type do we need to type in capital letter or just by usual way(small and capital as necessary). Thank you.
2
votes
1answer
665 views

Meaning of: “If I could buy my reasoning I'd pay to lose” [closed]

In the lyrics of "It's my life" by No Doubt, there is: If I could buy my reasoning, I'd pay to lose Can someone explain what this means? Update Does it means: my feelings tell me to go left, ...
5
votes
2answers
620 views

Meaning of the verb “to pooch”?

I'm familiar with the word pooch as a cute synonym of doggy, but here is pooch used as a verb: It was just a poorly done deal and it just so happens to be the biggest deal ever for Nasdaq and they ...
1
vote
2answers
220 views

Adjective or noun in “the former” [closed]

Is the dictionary wrong? Here's an example; you decide (use the rules of grammar and common human natural-language sense, not the rules of logic, which rely entirely on antecedent definitions): ...
3
votes
2answers
487 views

“Technology” or “information technology”?

When generalizing about computers, the internet, software, smart phones and other gadgets, is it best to use just "technology" or be more specific with "information technology"? Humans have been ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

When do we use “suppose” and when “let”?

As a matter of fact, these two words are used a lot in mathematical contexts. Often, we use them interchangeably; but I do realize that that might not be correct. What should I do about this matter? ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

What's the meaning of “real gone”

As in the song 'Real Gone' by Sheryl Crow: "Everybody's lookin' for a way to get real gone." Does that mean something cool?
2
votes
3answers
568 views

Meaning of “Unless of the 'baby', thank you!”

I heard this dialogue in a drama: Tom: Let me introduce my baby brother, Jack. Jack: Unless of the 'baby', thank you! I wonder what does 'unless of' mean there? Or it is actually 'unless off'? ...
1
vote
4answers
15k views

“stress” vs. “distress”

From Cambridge dictionary, stress - great worry caused by a difficult situation. distress - extreme worry, sadness, pain. I'm not sure if the words 'distress' and 'stress' have the same ...