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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1answer
22 views

Meaning-based taxonomical data on English words

Words can belong to abstract classes, based on their meanings. For example, 'red' and 'blue' are both elements of the abstract class 'color'. I'm looking for general, meaning-based taxonomical data ...
2
votes
3answers
235 views

What does the word 'Joll' mean in 18th century English?

What does joll mean in the following sentence? ... give him the upper or right hand, and walk not just even with him cheek be joll, but a little behind him, yet not so distant as that it shall be ...
1
vote
1answer
22 views

Difference between “content” and “contentment” ?

Is there a difference between the words: content and contentment? For example should one use content or contentment in this sentence: I find (content/contentment) when sitting on a crowded subway ...
2
votes
1answer
32 views

What does “curfew” mean in the context of a concert?

I am going to buy a ticket for a concert, and the show description says: Door time: 7pm Curfew: 10pm I was thinking that curfew means the latest time you can access the venue, is this correct? ...
-4
votes
1answer
29 views

Meaning of paint out [on hold]

I came across with the following sentence while reading my book; George O.may paints out the following major users of financial statements What is the meaning of paints out here?
1
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2answers
163 views

“Inter-”, “multi-”, “cross-”, “trans-” in relation to disciplines

In academia the words inter-discipline, multi-discipline, trans-discipline, or cross-discipline are used to describe a type of combination between different disciplines or the uniqueness of a field. ...
2
votes
2answers
93 views

What does “Obama goes big” mean?

The article of New Yorker (November 21) begins with the following sentence under the title “Obama Goes Big on Immigration”: For a two-term President whom his critics used to call “the ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

collapse vs minimize

Is it right to use the word "Collapse" to describe what this button do or "Minimize" is more correct? What the difference in meanings of words "collapse" and "minimize" in context of computer ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

What does “What price [noun]?” 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
1answer
33 views

What is a courtesy message?

I have seen the term a few times in notification e-mails. Does it mean just a polite notification?
0
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0answers
22 views

What is “unilateral superiority over the public”

What does it mean? Is it when one party had complete control over the other?
1
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0answers
50 views

When did “to forgive” lose its primary meaning for pardoning and become solely about an emotional response?

During a recent debate I was having with a peer, I was shocked to find out that the word "forgive" no longer carries a primary association with the act of pardoning another individual (i.e., ...
2
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5answers
2k views

No coffee, no workee - meaning

No coffee, no workee What does that expression exactly mean? And how do you pronounce it?
1
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1answer
34 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
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0answers
54 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
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0answers
67 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 ...
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
58 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
66 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
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0answers
41 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
69 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
63 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
77 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
65 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
483 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
178 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
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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
55 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
82 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
61 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
119 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 ...