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

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0
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0answers
3 views

What is the role/function and origin of “to” being used in the idiomatic phrases “there's something to him/her/it” and “there's nothing to it”?

"something to him/her/it" Google Books (to him): Google Books (to her): Google Books (to it): The phrase meaning "there's something (with respect to/about) him/her/it (that is observable/...
0
votes
5answers
573 views

Noun or Adjective for someone who is good in managing resources and/or money

I am looking to describe someone who is good at keeping track of hir resource use and goods usage behaviour. This can be either for monetary currencies, but also for food, material or other ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

Word that describes a clown who weakens an argument by taking a side

When there is more than one side in a debate, an argument can be weakened by someone who is seen as stupid or a joker if they are vocal about it. This invalidates your beliefs because if crazy person ...
2
votes
3answers
886 views

Difference between eloquent and articulate

Is there an intended difference between the words "eloquent" and "articulate," or are they simply two synonymous adjectives? When I use the adjective "eloquent" I most often think of flowery, ...
8
votes
3answers
940 views

What does ‘be one’s “buddy”’ mean aside 'be one’s “friend”'?

What does ‘be one’s “buddy”’ mean aside be one’s “friend”? I was drawn to the phrase, “My short game’s always been my buddy” appearing in the following quote of Tiger Woods in the Time magazine’s (...
2
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2answers
207 views

Understanding “whistleblower”

The term, according to the Oxford Online Dictionary, means: whistle-blower A person who informs on a person or organization regarded as engaging in an unlawful or immoral activity. Also from ...
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1answer
35 views

Who are sales-wannabes?

I googled the word "wannabe" and found the following definitions "Someone who wants to be what they are not" and "someone who wants to be famous or successful". But how can it applied to sales? Here ...
4
votes
4answers
14k views

Origin of street names ending in “-hurst”

There is a large number of streets in the UK whose names end in -hurst, for example Ravenhurst, Gathurst, Oakhurst, Amhurst, Bonehurst, Eaglehurst, etc. Is there a common meaning for this -hurst ...
0
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1answer
8 views

what is the word decribes maintaing your body on the water surface

what is the verb or the word indicates the following action: when you are in the water and you cant swim but you just move you extremities so hard and quickly to remain on the water surface and to not ...
3
votes
1answer
66 views

Term for someone who leaves a relationship after the other person buys them a bunch of stuff

I'm looking for the proper term. So there's a female. Her name is Kaylee. Knows this guy that is madly in love with her and would give anything to be with her. Well, she is struggling and needs ...
1
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2answers
53 views

Is calling someone 'didactic' risking offense?

As I understand it, 'didactic' is used to mean something that has the ulterior motive of teaching especially in a moral connotation and also to mean patronising, or appearing patronising. So does ...
17
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4answers
12k views

Why does “fishwife” mean “mean woman”?

I have looked at the meaning of fishwife at Collins Language (I can't link directly to the definition) and it tells me: fishwife n (pl -wives) a coarse or bad-tempered woman with a loud voice ...
9
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3answers
15k views

What does ‘Camel gets his nose under the tent’ mean?

In the article of New York Times co-ed columnist, Maureen Dowd dealing with Republicans’ objection of the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ under the title, “Mad Men and Mad Women”, I came across an ...
28
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19answers
24k views

Single-word synonym for a “pedantic rule-follower”?

What do you call a person who always follows the rules, at the expense of everything else? I’m thinking there’s one word that can describe this, but I can’t place it.
1
vote
4answers
69 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. ...
0
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1answer
25 views

the difference meaning between humiliate and ridicule [on hold]

i get new word, ridicule, that means making fun of someone in harsh way how about humiliate. i think there both have similiarity but there both not a synonym. what is the difference ? thanks
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2answers
41 views

“Artists Take on Architecture”

"Psycho Buildings: Artists Take on Architecture" is the title of an exhibition. Does it mean "artists' understanding of architecture"? Thus, is "take" here a noun? If so, wasn't it better to say "...
2
votes
2answers
71 views

What is the meaning of “plumbing”?

I ran into the following sentence from this article: ...“Swarmkit” to refer to the plumbing open source orchestration project. After referring dictionary, I still can't figure out what is the ...
0
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2answers
47 views

which is the meaning and in which occasions you use the expression: “out and about”?

My colleague used "out and about" in a work environment and I'm not sure what she was meaning. Could you help me. Thank you. Lorenzo
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0answers
37 views

Is it right to say that and all? [on hold]

My many friends are using that and all.I am not sure it's right or wrong.Please help me .
6
votes
2answers
66 views

How many is many?

Many is a great word for its ambiguity. You needn't know the actual number and you're still fine to say many. It lets you speak without knowing, or focus on the main idea without getting lost in the ...
8
votes
2answers
76 views

What does “The Cruz-Trump relationship goes solid #TBT” mean?

Washington Post July 21 issue carries an article under the headline, “The Cruz-Trump relationship goes solid #TBT,” followed by the lead copy; And now the finale. Tonight is "Making America One ...
15
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6answers
99k views

What is a “street address”?

What does the term "street address" mean, as opposed to just "address"?
2
votes
2answers
48 views

how to correctly rephrase the sentence [on hold]

in the following sentence: ..such poor educational system produces scientifically sterile generations able just to regurgitate what i ment be "scientifically sterile generations" is, a ...
4
votes
3answers
67 views

What would be the proper usage of “Qua” in a sentence?

I'm a native English speaker, but I'm trying to expand my vocabulary slightly. I looked this up online, and the definition for it baffled me. How exactly would I go about using this particular word?
1
vote
2answers
377 views

What is the meaning of “phantastic” and what does a dated form of a word mean?

I recently saw this word used in a Android SE post and at first I thought the user misspelt the word but actually I found that a word "phantastic" exists. The phantastic meaning of yourdictionary ...
2
votes
2answers
9k views

Where did the term “at‑large” originate from?

I was listening to the radio and something caught my attention. The news journalist made the comment, “The suspect is still at‑large.” It got me thinking... First, I can only assume that the ...
2
votes
4answers
19k views

“Nervous” vs. “anxious”

Are these words interchangeable? When would you use one over the other? For example, is it correct to say you "feel nervous" or "feel anxious"? Is it correct to say you are an "anxious person" or a "...
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votes
1answer
24 views

Should I say “education resources” or “educational resources”?

In the following sentence: The stagnation in the educational process in middle east is quasi attributed to the deficit in the budget allotted to the education resources. Should it have been "......
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Difference between individual and standalone [on hold]

I am wondering what is difference between these two words. My dictionary says that they both stands for the same thing. Is that true? I do not think so. Please can you explain me usage of both of ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Significance of the term “London town”?

I have heard multiple instances of "London town" in Gwen Stefani's song Rich Girl, and in a commercial for the second Garfield movie (just a TV spot, not a trailer). I want to know what it means and ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

The usage of prepositions: in/at or at/in?

I've read an article (see the link below) and there's a sentence which confuses me: No matter if your delivery takes place in a home or at the hospital... If I rewrite it this way: No ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the meaning of “Bussin' juugs”?

I've been listening to trap music lately and I came across Gucci Mane's "Bussin' juugs". There is a lot of slang in the lyrics of trap music and given that I'm not a native speaker I didn't understand ...
1
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0answers
38 views

How has pathetic fallacy's meaning changed?

When John Ruskin first coined the term pathetic fallacy he truly did mean that people were committing a fallacy when describing inanimate objects as having characteristics (or having pathos so were ...
2
votes
2answers
80 views

I dislike his/him being blunt [on hold]

What is the difference between the two sentences below? Are they both grammatically correct? I dislike his being blunt. I dislike him being blunt.
0
votes
1answer
38 views

What does 'one' in this sentence refer to?

The past decade has seen a growing public fascination with the complex “connectedness” of modern society. At the heart of this fascination is the idea of a network – a pattern of interconnections ...
0
votes
1answer
23 views

what is the 'office of call-boy'?

And thus was the curtain rung down on the first act. The second act opened only a couple of days later, the office of call-boy—to pursue the metaphor to the bitter end—being discharged by a Belgian ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between “scream” and “shriek”?

I’m now curious because while I was updating the Wikipedia page for Onomatopoeias, I saw two different sets of sounds for scream and shriek. The sounds listed under these two sections seem to overlap. ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is “positive” chosen as the opposite of “normative”, as in “positive statement”?

I understand that the phrase "positive statement" means, when opposed to normative statement (like in economics), statements that describe facts without indicating (dis)approval, thus that are ...
2
votes
2answers
97 views

What might be the name of the educational stages prior to the university?

What could one call the educational stages prior to university? I know that there are the primary, elementary and secondary levels of education. But is there a hypernym for just the aforementioned ...
2
votes
2answers
52 views

Is this the correct use of “catalogue” [on hold]

Example: He came up with a catalogue of things his father said or did which upset him. Is the use of "catalogue" correct in this example? I personally think so, as the word derives from the Greek ...
1
vote
2answers
98 views

What do we call a person who does shoe polishing

In many countries, there are people in the streets who do shoe polishing on the go. Please refer to the attached image. What is the word for such a person?
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Is chicken coop acceptable in written journalism

Can we use chicken coop in a research, or there is a better word for that? The context is a refugee blaming the government for leaving her family in tents for so long. She says to the researcher that ...
3
votes
1answer
38 views

Figurative usage of “salvific”

Note that English is not my mother-tongue. Would a native speaker understand that the following sentence is trying to convey that the protagonist is relieved by the fact that he'd been able to set ...
1
vote
6answers
994 views

A “friend” friend? Is that ironical?

Here is a quote from the "Lois & Clark" series: A: Who are you? B [a guy]: I'm a friend of her ["her" is another female character whom B is looking for]. A: A boyfriend, a "friend" friend ...
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votes
2answers
50 views

Meaning of phrase “keep car in drive” [on hold]

I found this phrase while listening to John Mayer's song Why Georgia; tried searching for its meaning to no avail. I am tempted to keep the car in drive And leave it all behind What does ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

Is there a word for “ someone who hates people from their own country”? [duplicate]

A xenophobe is someone who holds a strong dislike toward people from other countries. My question is: is there a word for someone who holds a strong dislike toward people from their own country? I ...
1
vote
2answers
23 views

What does “Culture Devourer” mean?

So I've seen this expression in a sentence which seems to be a career. Can anyone tell me what does it mean? Poya was in his earlier days a culture devourer. He once went to a record store and ...
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votes
0answers
21 views

Is there any difference between the meanings of “phonetic translation”, “phonetic transcription”, and “transliteration”?

I was asked to provide phonetic translation for legal name (as original characters are none-Latin characters), does it mean I must make transliteration (or phonetic transcription)?
2
votes
2answers
41 views

A strange meaning of the word “handle”. Can it mean “a leader”?

I encountered an occurrence of the word "handle", which is strange to me, in an article, here is an excerpt: The cow, revered by Indian upper caste Hindus as a Mata (mother), has been used to spur ...