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

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13
votes
13answers
2k views
+300

What do you call someone who can't keep secrets?

Some one who is not good at keeping secrets. In my native language it is called "chugalkhor" but it's a slang. So I can't translate it. What do you call such a person who can't keep secrets because ...
-3
votes
1answer
67 views

Are all Congressmen idiots?

Really couldn't resist the question title :-) This question asks about the famous quote by Mark Twain: Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. ...
-4
votes
0answers
33 views

Email of replay to some one ask about me [on hold]

absolutely I'm remember you. I'm doing great, thank you for asking! Now I'm lecturing at Ahlia University
0
votes
2answers
50 views

The true meaning of “did not immediately respond to requests for comment”

This expression is included in almost any negative news story - stock price decline, corporate scandal, criminality, you name it - but to me, it's frustratingly vague. I see these as "weasel words" - ...
2
votes
3answers
24 views

Naming of paragraph subsections [duplicate]

Regarding the questions: What do you call those divisions of a book bigger than a paragraph but smaller than a chapter? Is not such a division best known as a PARICOPE from the Greek PARIKOPE or "a ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

What is a clustermug?

What is a clustermug? I could not find the word in a dictionary. Duke stopped laughing, but he was still smiling. Unabashed. "It's a clustermug," he said. The quote is from the novel Under the ...
6
votes
8answers
1k views

How can I explain the difference between “thrifty” and “stingy”?

Both the words "thrifty" and "stingy" have obviously different meanings - for example, the fictional character Scrooge is stingy, while someone following a budget is thrifty. Both imply saving money; ...
0
votes
0answers
46 views

Explain Corruption to a Five Year Old [on hold]

How would you explain what the English word "corruption" means in such a way that a five year old would clearly understand your intention? Example: "Because of corruption, the city works project was ...
1
vote
0answers
18 views

What does it mean to “frame an argument”? [on hold]

I have asked this same question on Yahoo! Answers before, but I didn't quite understand the meaning of it. The phrase is used like so: "See how the author framed his argument?; What is he doing up ...
0
votes
3answers
173 views

“Questions” have “answers”. What do “problems” have?

If questions have answers, then problems have ____? I know it sounds simple but I am not sure what the best word is.
0
votes
5answers
206 views

One single word for honour killing [on hold]

honour killing is a word that carries sentiments. But its Google synonym don't. Like assassination - is a more of a war machine word. butchery - is not right either. Do we have a single word for ...
1
vote
3answers
94 views

Use of “crack” in this statement?

Michael Leiter, NBC News National Security Analyst, was explaining what he thought would be the most important information in the recent MH17 incident. He stated what was more important than how was ...
0
votes
0answers
37 views

Meaning of “had had of” [on hold]

The other day someone said to me "If [name] had had of seen that then you never know" and it sounded weird.
2
votes
3answers
189 views

Is there any difference between “word-for-word translation” and “word-by-word translation” and is the latter actually valid?

First off, some data: According to COCA "word-for-word" has 60 usages, 3 of them are "word-for-word translation". "Word-by-word" has 26 usages, none of them are "word-by-word" (but some with ...
0
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
36 views

What is the exact meaning of this sentence?

The encouraging mails were not restricted to readers but also to some of the regular contributors to The Hindu .
5
votes
5answers
726 views

Thrice or triple?

There is a fairly well known recipe for Triple Cooked Chips. It involves cooking chips three different ways / times. Is triple cooked correct or should it be called Thrice Cooked Chips as they have ...
-3
votes
3answers
49 views

“Evocative” vs. “provocative” [on hold]

I am starting to use evocative and provocative interchangeably. I would like to understand the difference between these words and when one should be used instead of the other. I would also ...
-1
votes
2answers
38 views

a definition of the phrase “ On both accounts” [on hold]

hi I have a problem with this phrase " on both accounts". what's the definition? I see this phrase in TOEFL IBT tes 7. the student said two characteristic of something and the teacher said that. ...
0
votes
2answers
87 views

a 'geek', a 'computer addict'?

As I see some people, especially internauts, just by thinking that they had posted a video in youtube, or they have a facebook account, or they've created a blogger website etc..., they simply call ...
3
votes
5answers
324 views

Why CIA’s operation directed to suspicious people associated with terrorist group is called “Signature strike”

There was the following article in the Time magazine’ (February 11) titled “Drone home,” “According to reports in the New York Times and elsewhere, the Obama administration conducts so-called ...
4
votes
4answers
104 views

Can we authenticate the claim that “grungy” was used to mean “envious or jealous” in 1920s slang?

A recent question on EL&U asks "Where did the 1920s slang word "grungy" (meaning "envious") originate, if the modern word "grungy" (meaning "dingy") ...
9
votes
6answers
920 views

What is the difference between a 'rocket' and a 'missile'

Someone pointed out on the BBC News that the Malaysian plane was hit not by a 'rocket' but by a 'missile'. From the dictionary definitions I have looked up I cannot tell the difference. Missile An ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

What's the difference betwen perhaps and maybe?

I would like to know how to use them are theres alike? or just two differents words that can be used in the same way?
3
votes
4answers
46k views

What does the phrase “I’m down with” mean?

I was wondering about the meaning of: I am down with something. Also, I was wondering whether people say: I am up with something. If so, what does it mean?
3
votes
4answers
276 views

ostentatious vs pretentious [on hold]

Looking at the definition of these words it appears they are pretty similar: Pretentious: Having or showing the unpleasant quality of people who want to be regarded as more impressive, successful, or ...
0
votes
0answers
46 views

What does “Grass for his Pillow” mean? [on hold]

I'm reading an amazing novel, Lian Hearn's Grass for his Pillow, but I didn't understand the meaning of its title; it's the most complicated sentence I've ever seen.
-2
votes
0answers
23 views

meaning of “Subworks” [on hold]

I would like to know the meaning of the word subwork in the following text: Thick black power cables crawled over the street, climbing up the sides of buildings, and disappearing into holes ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

When and how did “momentarily” come to mean “in a moment”, rather than “for a moment”?

"Momentarily" used to mean "for a moment" only, and not "in a moment". Thus, newscasters could be divided into two clear groups: those who would say "we'll be back momentarily," and those who would ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

what is the meaning of “crowded back”? [on hold]

Here is the sentence: Old times crowded back into my mind as I watched her.
0
votes
1answer
26 views

What does “Essential Travels” mean? [on hold]

I live in Israel, and at the 12th of August I need to travel to some place in Russia. My travel goes through Turkey, as the place I am traveling to costs more and takes longer if I travel through ...
2
votes
5answers
5k views

Difference between “taxi” and “cab”

Definition of taxi: To ride or travel in a taxicab Definition of cab: A taxicab. Since the definitions don't show many differences, is it okay to assume that there is no difference ...
4
votes
3answers
264 views
+100

crazy as a pet coon under a red wagon

Has anyone else heard this phrase? I heard it growing up in western Kansas and have always wondered where it came from. My brother in law would say, "That dog is a as crazy as a pet coon under a red ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

“Stornry” Meaning

I was reading the Tao of Pooh, when I stumbled on this quote from the original Winnie the Pooh: "Can they fly?" asked Roo. "Yes," said Tigger, "they're very good flyers, Tiggers are, Stornry ...
0
votes
3answers
56 views

Difference between “novice” and “newbie” [on hold]

I can say "I am a novice in English" or "I am a newbie in English". Is there any difference between these?
-1
votes
3answers
52 views

Paraphrase this sentence please [closed]

It made her fear some conspiratorial, punishing power had carried her back home.
-1
votes
1answer
50 views

Usage of “then” [on hold]

We needed to meet with our proffesor to determine our thesis topic. This was our conversation: Me: Before I leave, may I come to your office on Thursday or Friday? I am going to my hometown on ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

How to use the idiom “in force”

I'm wondering how to correctly use the idiom "in force". Often "active" can be used instead, but are there any situations in which "in force" can be used and "active" cannot, or vice versa? More ...
0
votes
4answers
50 views
0
votes
1answer
50 views

what is the difference between “was” and “had been” [on hold]

He was with me for 2 days. He had been with me for 2 days. What is the difference in meaning between these 2 sentences?
0
votes
4answers
97 views

The “Oh to have…” expression [closed]

What does "Oh to have..." mean, as in "Oh to have a song in a national campaign" in Jon Lajoie's song "Please Use This Song"? Can somebody explain the origin and meaning of this expression? In what ...
1
vote
5answers
3k views

Is “mother tongue” exactly the same as “native language”?

Someone just told me "mother tongue" is exactly the same as "native language". I may be wrong, but I think the first one is not a good translation. Am I wrong?
1
vote
1answer
65 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

To Be Used Of/For

Does "to be used OF" mean "to be used FOR": wikipedia The English term "empiric" derives from the Greek word ἐμπειρία, which is cognate with and translates to the Latin experientia, from which ...
12
votes
12answers
52k views

What's the difference between pronunciation and enunciation?

What's the difference between pronunciation and enunciation? I learned this a long time ago in English class but forgot what it was. Clarification For example, Wikipedia says: Good enunciation ...
1
vote
0answers
32 views

Difference between “Folder version” and “Folder revision” [on hold]

I need to know the difference between a "file version" and a "file revision", assuming that they don't have the same meaning, I assume also that a version means that we've modified an existing folder, ...
3
votes
2answers
375 views

what is the difference between later and latter?

As cited above what is the difference between later and latter? Latter : occurring or situated nearer to the end of something than to the beginning, the meaning of latter is similar to later only. so ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Sophisticated positive or negative

When I searched for the meaning of the word sophisticated ,it does mean well advanced ,highly complicated etc. When I say my project is sophisticated what impression it can possibly make. The project ...
10
votes
7answers
4k views

Ambiguity of “quite”

The adverb "quite" has the following meanings according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary: 1: wholly, completely ("not quite finished") 2: to an extreme : positively "quite sure" —often ...
-1
votes
2answers
84 views

What does the term 'spoon' refer to? [on hold]

Note: This question is not about the assertion from the Matrix that There is no spoon. There are tablespoons and teaspoons which are two different things. However is there a plain spoon or does this ...