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

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2
votes
6answers
2k views

No coffee, no workee - meaning

No coffee, no workee What does that expression exactly mean? And how do you pronounce it?
0
votes
2answers
52 views

Is there any expresion in English that means “ in the right meaning ”

In Arabic we say ¨in the right meaning¨ when we want to add an expression better than the first one. E.g. ¨I am in best way today¨ or (in right meaning) ¨I am so happy¨. Thanks, can you help me ...
1
vote
0answers
14 views

What is the difference between 'of sorts' and 'sort of'? [on hold]

What is the difference between 'of sorts' and 'sort of'? Also, if they have same meaning then which one is better to use?
1
vote
1answer
30 views

'Birthdate vs birthday'- I know three other people who share my birthdate

We say birthday and not birthdate Generally, birthplace is used for place of birth but not birthdate for date of birth. What is the reason that birthday scores over birthdate when it comes to ...
0
votes
0answers
52 views

Usage of “I'm incredulous!” as an exclamation of shock or disbelief

Would the exclamation "I'm incredulous!" be an appropriate response to finding out some unexpected news, if the intention is to convey shock or disbelief?
5
votes
0answers
46 views

“If it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be…” What does this mean?

I'm translating a book, which involves logic and quoted the sentence from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass: "If it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ...
1
vote
3answers
60 views

Need help identifying subject in sentence with a conjunction

Currently, I am involved in a disagreement as to interpreting the grammatical meaning of the following sentence: “Restores 10% of Att as HP in battle.” Given that “Att” and “HP” are nouns (with ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

Meaning of “repay” in “the book repays close study”

What does the word "repay" in essence mean in the phrase "the book repays close study"? My OED defines "repay" as to make return for; requite [a service, action, etc.]... must repay their ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

What does “What price X?” mean?

I've come across phrases like "What price freedom?" a lot. I speak British English and it doesn't read nicely to me. It seems some words are missing. Does it mean "What is the price of X?"? Where did ...
0
votes
2answers
55 views

What's the difference in meaning between “grandiose” and “elaborate”? [on hold]

What's the difference in meaning between adjectives: "grandiose" and "elaborate" ? Thanks in advance.
0
votes
2answers
68 views

Teaching of smuh? [on hold]

I was helping my child with her homework and noticed that she has to learn words starting with with sm..., st.... I found word "smuh" which i had never seen before as English is not my native ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

What is the “WWJD” standard for?

I often see some young people wearing bracelets with 4 letters "WWJD". So, what is it?
1
vote
1answer
41 views

Origin, logic, and range of use of the verb ‘untrack’ and the phrase 'get untracked'

One of the terms that appears in Merriam-Webster’s Eleventh Collegiate Dictionary (2003) but not in the Tenth Collegiate (1993) or earlier editions of the Collegiate series is untrack: untrack vt ...
2
votes
3answers
906 views

What does “step up” mean?

Japan steps up cooling operation. This is from BBC.
2
votes
2answers
65 views

Is “Click bait” an Internet buzzword? How can I rephrase it?

I found a video showing a fireman who rescued a suffocating kitten from a fire smoke and resuscitated her by oxygen inhalation introduced in the article titled “Why that video went viral” in New York ...
-1
votes
0answers
37 views

How do I rephrase this?

As a result of seeing these sad situations, I have volunteered in clubs I want to say that due to the sad sightings that I've seen before, I am now volunteering in various clubs.
2
votes
2answers
66 views

“right of say” — legal term? poor translation?

I'm looking at a political document where Country A is saying Country B has no right of say over Area C. A cursory search did not turn up a legal term but I do not have an adequate legal dictionary ...
64
votes
5answers
6k views

What does 'TL;DR' mean and how is it used?

I do my best, at my advanced age, to come to grips with the apparent acceptability of such widely used words/expressions/abbreviations as lol/LOL, IMHO, AFAIK, etc. However, TLDR/tl;dr defeats me. ...
-1
votes
1answer
62 views

Meaning of “get it on”

What does phrase "get it on" mean in sentence "Am I wrong, cause I wanna get it on, till I die". I found a translation where "get it on" is translated as "to have sex" but i think it is not ...
2
votes
3answers
73 views

“Shamefully presents” vs. “ashamedly presents”

I'm editing a short movie. In the title screens, after the production company is listed, there needs to be a play on the common "Proudly Presents" text. It is with some chagrin that the production ...
3
votes
3answers
102 views

What do you call someone who has passed deadline? [duplicate]

What do you call someone who has passed deadline or someone who should return book to the library, but has passed due date?
2
votes
3answers
63 views

Arrogancy vs. Humility

Is there a word or phrase to describe a state of mind within an arrogant person who has been overwhelmed in a debate by another person who is humble in his/her demeanor, but armed with the truth to ...
1
vote
3answers
482 views

What is the basic meaning of 'dozy pillock'?

A character on "Last Tango in Halifax" often calls people a "dozy pillock" (not sure about the spelling for dozy.) I was trying to find a meaning for dozy and a better one for pillock than just ...
6
votes
5answers
5k views

Would anyone use “ramp down” as the opposite to “ramp up”

In the context, for example, of factory production I often read the phrase "ramp up production" or "a ramp-up in production". To me "ramp down" sounds a strange phrase to use as the opposite - does ...
3
votes
2answers
177 views

Define “plate” from Sweeney Todd musical

The opening song of the Sweeney Todd musical contains the following passage about his wife: There was another man who saw that she was beautiful... A pious vulture of the law who, with a ...
2
votes
3answers
15k views

“Prerequisite for” vs. “prerequisite to”

When is it appropriate to use "prerequisite for" instead of "prerequisite to"? Does it depend on context, or is it a matter of style? I googled the two phrases and found 4.5 million hits for ...
0
votes
0answers
18 views

What is the negation of “last”? [duplicate]

If the opposite of "last" is "first", is there a word for the negation, i.e. non-last element in a list?
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Meaning of “I'm surprised you ever do that.”

While reading some quotes from a book, I came across a quote consisting of the phrase whose structure I found hard to figure out. "You're so slow. I'm surprised you ever get anywhere." (From Aesop's ...
39
votes
18answers
6k views

What is a word that means unforgettable but with a negative connotation?

When I look up unforgettable in a thesaurus, I get words like enduring, remarkable, or exceptional. These all are positive; I just cannot forget such a wondrous thing! I, however, want a word that ...
1
vote
2answers
79 views

Rephrasing “the Lord's our Banner”

How to rephrase "the Lord's our Banner" for kids to understand referring to the story of Moses praying for Joshua to win the battle in Exodus 17:10-15. I am thinking of "God gives us victory" or "He ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

Use of the word “definitive edition”

Can I use the phrase "definitive edition" to explain that a product has the most up-to-date and highest quality in the field as opposite to mean "last edition of the same series"? Thank you for your ...
1
vote
3answers
54 views

Does “bankroll” mean “cash” if used as a verb?

I was watching the TV show "White Collar" (episode: Forging Bonds). Neal Caffrey is a bond forger. Neal is planning to steal money from a rich man named Adler. Neal needs some money to meet Adler, so ...
9
votes
3answers
18k views

What's the difference between “egotism” and “egoism”?

I am interested in the difference between these two seemingly synonymous terms.
2
votes
7answers
5k views

I'll take you home / I'll bring you home

Being both non-natives, I had some discussion today about the following situation: suppose you're at a party and you want to take/bring your drunk buddy home. I believe that: "I'll take you home" ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

What does “optic stems” mean?

I'm watching an episode, some may recall which one, of a comedy show and one guy says something like this if I hear correctly: "I looked this woman in her optic stems" which is part of the joke, ...
-1
votes
2answers
80 views

What does “Booting these guys” mean? [on hold]

I am not native English speaker, but in a conversation with an American guy, I come across this line. I am adding the situation where that guy used this sentence. He gave me some things to do, I did ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

need a word FAST because i am writing a story! [on hold]

OK, so I'm writing a story and I have a part when someone finds out that someone has an ability and the person who has the ability didn't tell anyone about it and it gets found out and someone asks ...
3
votes
2answers
147 views

Does -able have an imperative meaning?

In a question on SO I ran into a question about the meaning of word "closeable". As far as I know (and my teachers taught me so) it has two meanings: possible to close should be closed The ...
4
votes
3answers
118 views

What is a term describing the destruction of crops by insects, bugs, or vermin?

The term pestilence has some application of use to generally describe 2: something that is destructive or pernicious I have seen it used in reference to destruction of plants and crops by ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

At Up To together in a sentence?

Does it make sense to say "At Up To 30% off"? Shouldn't it either be "At" or "Up To"...not "At Up To"?
1
vote
3answers
2k views

How to understand 'flatter to deceive'?

How should you understand the expression: "flatter to deceive"? The Oxford Dictionaries defines flatter to deceive as: Appear promising but ultimately disappoint. Which is all nice and ...
10
votes
4answers
7k views
+500

What does “ratchet” mean and when was it first used?

The word ratchet is all over Twitter. Some real examples from just now: "All these ghetto ass ratchet ass girls at mchi are wearing these Santa hats, and they all claim to be Santa..." "I was ...
-1
votes
0answers
26 views

Can you help me find the definition and purpose of these satirical strategies? [on hold]

The bolded words are the category of satire the terms have been placed into. (ignore the ordering of the numbers used, they're merely being used like bullet points) Parody twisted saying Word ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

What does “not far wrong” mean?

First, what does the sentence below mean? He may not have been far wrong Second, why do we use have rather than has?
4
votes
1answer
12k views

What does “Hollaback Girl” mean?

Gwen Stefani says, "I ain't no hollaback girl" in her song. What does it mean?
1
vote
1answer
61 views

Is there a relation between the words “import” (trade) and “important” (valuable)?

Is there a relation between the words import (in a trade sense) and important (special, etc)? It seems to me that there is, or rather that there should be, but I was wondering if anyone can give some ...
9
votes
4answers
6k views

What is the correct name for posts made on twitter?

Well, I honestly tried to search for this but I drowned in twit* and tweet* results. Should I write: "my tweet" or "my twit"? "I am tweetting" or "I am twitting" ("to twit" vs. "to tweet")? ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Should it be an “unlike” or “dislike” button on Facebook?

I see an increasing demand for an unlike button on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Unlike-Button/72641866357 Facebook Adds An Unlike Button For Pages May 7, 2010 Facebook "Unlike" ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

What is the meaning behind “wag imagined”?

Today I read these sentences in The Economist "Lying, cheating bankers" “IF YOU can only be good at one thing, be good at lying…because if you’re good at lying, you’re good at everything.” ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

What does “stuff one's nose into another's orifices” mean?

According to Maureen Dowd's article in New York Times (May 20) under the headline, “Remember to forget,” the European Court of Justice ruled last week that Google and other search engines can be ...