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

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2
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1answer
45 views

Meaning of “keep up someone's lick”

I have come across this phrase recently. What does it mean? "she don't keep up her lick here...". From The Innocents Abroad, Mark Twain. "Why, this watch. I bought her out in Illinois--gave ...
0
votes
0answers
10 views

What is difference between Objective and Personel Statement?

I prepared two summary for my resume I want to let know about the difference between objective and Personal Statement. Personal Statement As an experienced Senior Web Developer, my abilities ...
0
votes
1answer
21 views

What is the meaning of “may very well be”?

I have come across this phrase recently. What does it mean? A young man who has read the life story of every eminent athlete of the twentieth century, or a coed who has steeped herself in every ...
1
vote
1answer
25 views

What does “twist” mean in this context?

From the poem "The Free-Selector's Daughter" (emphasis mine) I broke my pipe and burnt my twist, And washed my mouth with water; I had a shave before I kissed The free-selector's daughter. ...
0
votes
1answer
21 views

What does it mean ? ..an alternative to..?

All, I was reading a document talk about a computer science framework(dcm4chee). https://dcm4che.atlassian.net/wiki/display/ee2/Compression+Service But I have problem to understand some sentence of ...
1
vote
1answer
14 views

What does “thought of being bounded” mean?

The record books say that the extent of my domain is 120 acres. But it is obvious that, at every dawn, I am the owner of all the acres I can walk over. It is not only boundaries that disappear, but ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Meaning of no more likely

A is no more likely than B. Does this mean 1) A is either as likely or less likely than B 2) A and B occur with the same likelihood.
5
votes
2answers
60 views

Positive connotation of “fluke”?

Many sources (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, for a start) suggest the word "fluke" has mostly positive connotations when used in the sense of "accident." That is, "a fluke" properly describes a lucky accident, not ...
0
votes
1answer
282 views

Can “extremely professional” have a negative connotation? [closed]

If someone is described as extremely professional, might there be a negative side to it? This is how I would take it in many contexts, and I'm wondering whether it's justified. If some chap at work ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

Is nationalism specifically secular?

Does the word nationalism specifically imply a feeling of kindred superiority in a secular sense? For instance, if country X opposes themselves to country Y based on religious practice or reasons, ...
5
votes
3answers
413 views

What is special about a “communicating door”?

The other day I heard someone refer to a communicating door. The OED does not have a specific entry for communicating door but the definition they give of the adjective communicating is affording ...
1
vote
0answers
23 views

Is this correct usage of the word irony?

Comment on Reddit I understand that irony means an incongruity between what actually happens and what is expected. However, this user got downvoted for what I believe is an appropriate usage of the ...
2
votes
2answers
42 views

What do we call “A person who disowns during bad times and claims during good times”?

Is there any single word to describe a mentality of a person who disowns something during bad times and claims the same during good times?
4
votes
5answers
10k views

What do you call the person sitting behind the driver on a bike?

I know pillion is a seat behind the rider of a horse or motorbike etc. I would like to know the word for the person sitting on pillion.
0
votes
1answer
40 views

what is the meaning of this phrase?

I am not looking for a fact here, I know that this is highly debatable. My question is about the information mentioned here in the sentence: Many scientists believe that global warming and its ...
-1
votes
1answer
61 views

The meaning of “What a bum rap”

I got that words from novel. I've been looking for the meaning but still can't get what it means. Is that kind of slang? "Hi, Mr.Tushman! I see you're running a little behind today! Did your car get ...
0
votes
2answers
25 views

What is a “trigger reaction”

What kind of reaction is "trigger reaction"? Is it a reaction that itself brings about a lot of next reactions?
15
votes
13answers
455 views
+50

Synonym for “Blind Spot”

I'm looking for a term or an idiom to point to the weakness of something, specifically a computer program. Something similar to "Achilles Heel" but not that! I just found blind spot : "an area in ...
0
votes
1answer
25 views

Too blessed to be stressed [on hold]

What is the meaning of the phrase "too blessed to be stressed" ?
4
votes
1answer
21 views

Grammar questions regarding an excerpt from The Giver

I've been reading Lois Lowry's The Giver recently, and have questions regarding a sentence from her book. I know that some sentences in literature, like The Giver, do not always follow strict grammar ...
4
votes
4answers
5k views

Something can be estimated therefore it is “estimatable”?

While the meaning of the word estimatable is quite clear, it is not a real English word. Is there such a real English word with the same meaning? In case it helps, this is based on the INVEST user ...
5
votes
9answers
3k views

How do I interpret “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent”?

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. - Salvor Hardin This sentence has always struck me as a bit off. I see two ways to interpret it: If violence is your last option, you are ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

Springtime is when

I heard the saying below, and don't understand what it means. I heard it in a concert, but it is also recorded in an american book of proverbs linked below. (b) In spring a young man's fancy turns ...
13
votes
9answers
2k views

Words or phrases that describe a person who knows the answer to a problem but is not believed

I'm trying to find either a word or a phrase that describes a person who knows the answer to a problem or problems but is never believed. Or ignored. The nearest I can come up with is maybe the story ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Origin and meaning of the American 1960s slang phrase, “bread is”

I am trying to answer a question from a library patron who remembers the entire phrase, "bread is" that she and her friends used in the 1960s. She accepts that "bread" was used for money or "dough," ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Please explain to me the meaning of these phrases [on hold]

I have highlighted the words that I couldn't understand. Please explain to me what they mean. 1 Put returns between paragraphs. 2 Butler can be an explosive player, but as a batman struggles under ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

“Dear GOD, in heaven” [on hold]

Where does the phrase "Dear GOD, in heaven" derive from ? Isnt "God" assumed to be in heaven already. Or is there a reference that a "GOD" from hell exist or another GOD exist somewhere ?
1
vote
2answers
41 views

what does “Emperor lives on” mean? [on hold]

Simply, I couldn't understand that sentence. I found that sentence on an image on twitter . could you help ?
0
votes
2answers
37 views

Meaning of “I'll have it nicely dried”

I can't understand the meaning of the phrase "I'll have it nicely dried". Does it mean the same as "I'll dry it very well"?
1
vote
2answers
22 views

Meaning of “to campaign towards”

What does "to campaign towards" mean? "to campaign against" "to campaign in support of" "to campaign regarding something (either against or in support of)"
0
votes
1answer
27 views

GRE-sentence completion [on hold]

Although the warring parties had settled a number of disputes,past experience made them _______ to express optimism that the talks would be a success. A)rash B)ambivalent C)scornful D)intrepid ...
0
votes
0answers
15 views

The use of “Earnestly ask” [on hold]

I wonder if "earnestly ask" is proper to say when requesting someone to make comments for my proposal. The whole sentence goes, I do earnestly ask for your comments. Thanks!
2
votes
2answers
108 views
0
votes
1answer
41 views

Anyone helps me understand a sentence below?

In a recent article, I didn't fully understand the meaning of "on the books" in this context. Anyone with interests in ongoing presidential elections in the United States cares to enlighten me? ...
4
votes
1answer
89 views

What does “bucking traffic” mean?

I believe buck, in this context, means fight. So this would mean fighting traffic. When one refers to traffic, it can be described as having a flow, so to fight it would be to go against it. Or, it ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

“Woman” is to “coquette” as “man” is to what?

Wiktionary reads: coquette: a woman who flirts or plays with men’s affections. Is there an English word which fits the following definition? ???: a man who flirts or plays with women’s ...
5
votes
2answers
442 views

What does "Megyn Kelly promoted and teased the interview 'within an inch of its life'” mean?

Vanity Fair (May 19) carried an article reporting the most watched TV show held on May 17 on Fox broadcast under the title, “Megyn Kelly slams media “Bias against Trump” for criticism of her ...
2
votes
3answers
59 views

Specifics of “occupy” (and alternatives)

I'm writing some game rules where players' in-game areas move around in cities. The different cities are divided by zones, which basically means that different tiles are put together to form a city. ...
5
votes
2answers
95 views

“rendered mute” vs “rendered moot”

I have seen both, and now I am unsure when to use which. To the best of my knowledge "rendered mute" is roughly equivalent to "rendered speechless" and "rendered moot" to "rendered irrelevant". But I ...
2
votes
2answers
10k views

Meaning of “I'm so excited I could crush a grape”

I read this on a sports website, where a fan is welcoming a new signing in their team. I assume this means one is really excited, but what is the meaning of "crush a grape" - does it imply opening a ...
2
votes
7answers
6k views

Difference between 'Redundant' and 'Superfluous'

(I made a search for this question on this forum but surprisingly did not find related questions. Which is odd because surely this question is asked often.) First, the sentence I'm trying to use ...
1
vote
3answers
9k views

“As you mentioned” vs “as you said”

I've heard these two sentences a lot "as you said " and "as you mentioned". I'm a bit confused about them. I want to ask: what's the difference between these two sentences: "As he said before this ...
13
votes
2answers
13k views

What is the distinction between “role” and “rôle” [with a circumflex]?

One of our users, Stan Rogers, mentioned there was such a distinction, I think, when he answered a question and talked about how the orthography of foreign loan-words typically changes to conform with ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

What does “liabilities” mean in this context?

From CNBC's article "Will AI spark a wave of job losses in banking? This what the experts think". (Emphasis mine) "There's a lot of liabilities," said panelist Matthew Blume, director for client ...
4
votes
3answers
70 views

What is the adjective for this kind of presentation of data?

For example, one can state Jane is a student. She is 20 years old. Jane likes swimming and reading. Jane's closest friends are Carmen, Mia and Alison. Otherwise, this can be stated as Name: ...
0
votes
2answers
408 views

Accurate definition for poetic devices

Although I can recognize and construct phrases that include usage of poetic devices, I certainly cannot define all of them accurately. For example, I read in a book that metaphor is defined as ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

“10 Commonly Misunderstood Words In English”

We have all probably misunderstood words and then used them in the wrong context from time to time, so a little update might come in handy. This infographic from Grammar called 10 Commonly ...
0
votes
2answers
92 views

If parties and partying are both events, how are they different?

Smiles, walks, dances, weddings, explosions, hiccups, hand-waves, arrivals and departures, births and deaths, thunder and lightning: the variety of the world seems to lie not only in the assortment ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

What does it mean “double-digit lead”

I see that on the presidential election news these days that "Trump holds double-digit lead in 2 national polls", I don't understand what it means.
0
votes
1answer
13 views

Would “development of” suggest exclusive performance?

In a CV, "development of a ... software" is an appealing, short expression. But does it suggest that the author has accomplished the development on their own? Please advise, I may have to fall back ...