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

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4 views

Word/phrase for a feature that could be both good and bad for something

Take this scenario: a tool has a specific feature that could be regarded as an invaluable benefit for. However, this feature, if used in opposite direction may be counterproductive. In other ...
2
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3answers
80 views

Person versus People

When is the proper time to use the word "persons" in a sentence instead of using "people"?
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2answers
60 views

Levelized in“ levelized cost of energy” [closed]

I have read a report titled "Lazard's Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis. What does this technical term "levelized cost of energy" mean?
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0answers
29 views

What does “something x something” means? [on hold]

In English, I see a lot of: book titles and movie names that has "something x something", I searched about it and I found nothing... I think it means and but I'm not sure...
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2answers
31 views

Racialization definition

I am completing a PhD. It is imperative that I find a reasonable definition of the term racialization. I am not using it as a verb for racism. Rather I am attempting to use the term to describe hoe ...
2
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1answer
41 views

What does “pass it” mean?

I love the show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, but I can't understand the meaning of this sentence: We eat a bag of dirt, pass it in a kiddie pool, and move on... What does pass it mean? Is it to ...
2
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1answer
249 views

Is 'artisks' a word? (I met this word in 'The Invisible Man')

In 'The Invisible Man' by H.G.Wells, there is a sentence;"Wait till the summer," said Mrs. Hall sagely, "when the artisks are beginning to come. ..." Mrs.Hall is the wife of Mr.Hall, who is the ...
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3answers
66 views

What does “delinquent” mean in this context? [closed]

I'm more or less aware of the meanings of the word delinquent. However, I can't decide what it exaclty means in the following quote which is from god is not Great by Christopher Hitchens and where he ...
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3answers
40 views
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1answer
37 views

What is an “American style shopping mall”?

Consider the phrase: "American style shopping mall?" Implicit here is a large multi-story enclosed gallery with lots of shops on a passageway that connects the "Generators" (large department stores ...
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3answers
2k views

what does “fancy-ass” mean?

What does fancy-ass mean in the following sentence: And after that, getting hired by some "fancy-ass".
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2answers
180 views

What's the meaning of “out of being an ass”?

The actual sentence is: "Keep in mind that you can't apologize your way out of being an ass." What does it mean?
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3answers
52 views

What does salt and slug mean in IT?

salt: For web developers, exposing your .git folder to the world is a novice mistake. It allows anyone to download your entire source code repository, which often includes database passwords, ...
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0answers
40 views

Screp - definition

I encountered the following sentence, which is supposed to be related to how managers of a company can improve quality, I am especially unsure about the word "screp"... Screp of cross-dock totes. ...
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5answers
3k views

Tea for the Tillerman

In the song "Tea for the Tillerman", there are two things that baffle me. The pronunciation of the word "Tillerman". It sounds to me that he is saying /tilman/. Why is that? What does a tillerman do ...
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1answer
95 views

Etymology of the phrase “Dependency injection” in computer science

It's my understanding that this used to be simply referred to as "reference passing" but later became formalized into a pattern that implemented a design principle and acquired the new name. Can you ...
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0answers
36 views

Is there any other way of the expression on this phrase? His breathing was becoming less labored

Or, "Eventually, the old guinea pig was unable to move and her breathing was labored." I am looking for other way of saying in an exactly same meaning.
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5answers
3k views

Meaning of “modulo the fact”

I came across this sentence in the American Heritage Dictionary, but still do not understand it. This proposal is the best so far, modulo the fact that parts of it need modification. The ...
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2answers
60 views

On a shady street

I wonder what image does the expression'on a shady street'invoke in a native speaker if he or she comes upon following paragraph. "They were from a nice family in a nice house on a shady street. ...
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7answers
4k views

Bodkins and bodkin - Same word different context?

Does bodkins in odd's bodkins mean the same as bare bodkin, which appears in Hamlet?
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1answer
36 views

Difference between Paper and Article for scientific writings

As I know, in most of situations (in scientific context) these two terms are used to point to same thing and even they are used interchangeably. For example, Theory of value with public goods: A ...
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1answer
31 views

What is a state pair?

In the beginning of the first chapter of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain I read: The old lady pulled her spectacles down and looked over them about the room; then she put them up and ...
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1answer
89 views

What does “wind levels” means in this context

I'm having a difficulty understanding something from the book You Only Have to Be Right Once, by Randall Lane, p. 32: Pulling onto the 405, he attentively configures the optimum temperature and ...
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5answers
315 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. ...
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5answers
4k views

The origin of the term half assed

Does this slang originate from half asked, since the difinition means exactly that. You only did half what I asked you.
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2answers
69 views

What does mean “snap right back to your book”

I need help to know what this sentence means? I have trouble understanding phrase "just snap right back to your book" Sometimes it feels as though your attention has wandered for just an instant. ...
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4answers
68 views

When should hyphens be used to make text clearer

In an earlier post - Phonetic understanding of tongue twisters - a comment was made that "hyphens ...(are) ...not needed in speech, so they must be extraneous". The phrase prompting this assertion ...
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1answer
50 views

What does bimonthly really mean? [duplicate]

Does the bi prefix mean that it is every second month or twice a month?
1
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1answer
84 views

Which one is correct “delivered to” or “delivered at”?

Should I say Food delivered to your doorsteps or Food delivered at your doorsteps?
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2answers
45 views

Word for “Writing phrase on something”

Is there a word that represents the act of writing a phrase on something? In this case, I'm trying to advertise a club by "engraving" or "inking" ping pong balls with a phrase such as "Join this ...
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0answers
36 views

the fairest to be Patakied

Bea was attractive, though by no means the fairest to be Patakied. This is the sentence that comes from the novel by Tibor Fischer Under the Frog. The official translation of this clause to my native ...
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1answer
54 views

“Code of Alabama” usage in this sentence

From Harper Lee’s 1960 novel, To Kill a Mockingbird: Atticus’s office in the courthouse contained little more than a hat rack, a spittoon, a checkerboard and an unsullied Code of Alabama. Isn’t ...
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4answers
113 views

“Premise” as a location

Can the word "premise" ever refer to a location or building? I have noticed that "premise" is being used in the computer industry to refer to a computer system that is located at a customer's place ...
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1answer
128 views

What is the meaning of “ironically” in this passage?

A rocket launched and shortly afterward exploded, on Tuesday. Below is passage from a news article written about it: This was the second launch attempt for the mission. Monday evening's try was ...
1
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1answer
110 views

“Ex Machina” versus “Deus Ex Machina” [closed]

I have recently watched a movie called Ex Machina. I searched for the meaning, but Deus Ex Machina was the closest to this title. There certainly must be a relation but can someone please tell me ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What does “lift their skirts … and grab the eyeglasses right off someone's face” mean?

From Gavin De Becker, The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals that Protect Us from Violence (1998): "That's true," she said. "Every day I have to predict what the kids will do, and I succeed for ...
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1answer
26 views

Are these two meanings of “phenomenal” related?

I had seen the word phenomenal translated into Chinese words with an equivalent meaning "of phenomenon" in more and more text especially regarding sports. For example, LeBron James had a ...
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7answers
80 views

What is a good word I can use for the talking I do with myself in my mind?

'Monologue' seems like a close fit, but I think more people associate it with one-sided conversation. Correct me if I'm wrong. 'Soliloquy' seems to be only concerned with plays and dramas. Can I use ...
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5answers
112 views

Similar phrases meaning 'give kudos'

See, in one of our employee evaluation systems, we would like to implement a feature by which any employee can show appreciation to another employee that he has got help from or whom he thinks to be a ...
2
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3answers
82 views

Is there a single word (or expression) used to describe a person who only does their job when the boss/manager is watching?

"Quick the boss is coming, we need to look busy" Is there a single word (or expression) to describe a person who only does their job while someone (the boss/manager) is watching, but who does ...
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4answers
3k views

Meaning of “I never give a sucker an even break”

What does this phrase mean? I never give a sucker an even break. Does it mean that the author of this saying is unwilling to offer somebody who he doesn't like a break/rest while he is working?
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2answers
50 views

the meaning of “they should not look nearly as different as they do”

The three species (Man, the chimpanzee and the gorilla) share almost 99 percent of their DNA, and on that basis, surely, they should not look nearly as different as they do. Am I right in ...
18
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8answers
2k views

Is there a term for ascribing acts of the human mind to non-human objects, and when is it appropriate to do this?

Nota bene: English isn't my native language, so when I say acts of the human mind, I attempt to generalize things such as making assumptions, drawing conclusions and (to some extent) to reject. To me ...
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2answers
34 views

GRE Sentence Completion -2

It comes as no surprise that societies have codes of behavior; the character of the codes, on the other hand, can often be _________ . A) predictable B) unexpected C) admirable D) explicit E) ...
0
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3answers
113 views

What does “tend one's spinning wheel” mean?

However hard I tried I've failed to get the exact meaning of tending his spinning wheel here. It would be argued, and indeed I would argue, that Muslim intransigence would have played a ...
0
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1answer
43 views

Is there any difference between 'artfully' and 'artistically'? [on hold]

Is there any difference between 'artfully' and 'artistically'? e.g., are there any subtle differences between an 'artfully plated' dish and an 'artistically plated' one?
0
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1answer
48 views

What does “over-formal” means? [on hold]

An ideal article should have the following: • Appropriate and Correct English Professional, but not over-formal, U.S. English.
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4answers
143 views

differentiating between all that and what

Original (extracted from the book The Scarlet Letter): Like all that pertains to crime, it seemed never to have known a youthful era. My own rephrased sentences: Like whatever that pertains ...
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2answers
45 views

what is a cross signature?

I am told to get the cross signature done on the envelope containing my recomendation letter by principal but i have no idea of what a cross sign is? and how it is to be done on the envelope?
2
votes
1answer
74 views

How to understand “cat's evening wear”?

I really had a difficult time to understand this. It comes from a book I am reading, and it is used to describe a concept the author speaks highly of. Does it mean that something is very special? Or ...