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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2answers
5k views

What does “Thanks for having me” mean?

It seems to be used like "Thanks for inviting me". But it sounds like "Thank me, cause I was there". Looking for a better explanation and situations it should be used in.
0
votes
2answers
34 views

Are there any differences? - to buy x to purchase [on hold]

Are there any differences between the meanings of "purchase" and "buy"? Thanks in advance.
1
vote
1answer
29 views

I dont mistake or I dont make a mistake… which on of them is true?

I have a query about these sentences: If I do not mistake, she would be his fiancee ... but my teacher said to me that it must be expressed in another way ... If I do not make a mistake ... she would ...
1
vote
1answer
30 views

Cannot understand sentence in preface to “Old Indian Legends” by Zitkala-Ša

I'm reading the preface to Old Indian Legends by Zitkala-Ša, originally published in 1901. My mother tongue is not English, and I am having some trouble understanding - in detail - what she actually ...
2
votes
3answers
14k views

“Further, …” versus “Furthermore, …” at the beginning of a sentence (meaning the same thing)?

I am not a native speaker (my mother tongue is German). In the context of a technical paper (computer science), is there a difference between Further, ... and Furthermore, ... at beginning of a ...
0
votes
5answers
84 views

a word for a person who never attains a desire or goal

Is there a word in English that describes a person who never attains a desire or goal? I have found loser or dud or flop but these all seem to be informal, is there a better, more formal word that ...
-1
votes
0answers
21 views

What is the minimum number of objects in a stack?

A stack is defined by the OED as: A pile of objects, typically one that is neatly arranged In turn, a pile is defined as: A heap of things laid or lying one on top of another and A ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

“Charges levied” Actually a thing?

I am positive I've heard of "charges levied," as in "criminal charges brought against" (e.g. the sentence "The charge levied against my client is unfounded."). However, while searching for a ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

What does it mean to be “worth someone's keep”?

“Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. What does it mean ...
4
votes
3answers
207 views

Meaning of “all shelves about me towards the worse”?

"Here am I now upon my high place," he said to himself. "Life may be no better; this is the mountain top; and all shelves about me towards the worse. For the first time I will light up the ...
11
votes
4answers
28k views

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

I am interested in the difference between these two seemingly synonymous terms.
0
votes
0answers
40 views

“when it's snowing and when it isn't” vs “when it's snowing and when it isn't snowing”

Are either of the following sentences grammatically incorrect? Assuming they are both correct, is one preferred over the other? If so, in what situations is each preferred? I eat puppies when it's ...
0
votes
3answers
51 views

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

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
42 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. ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

“How are we?” vs. “How are you?”

What's the appropriate response to "How are we?" and what is it actually referring to?
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Why does the word 'peasant' have such a negative meaning in English?

In French the word *paysan (fem. paysanne) translates to English as 'farmer', as well as 'peasant'. (Collins). It is by no means demeaning in many European countries (including France) to refer to ...
1
vote
2answers
58 views

Help on interpreting this sentence? [on hold]

These same perspectives may contribute to a 'glass ceiling' prohibiting relationship-oriented (i.e. feminine) leadership behaviors from being integrated into organization management structures. I ...
1
vote
1answer
85 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Meaning of word “nicy” [on hold]

Can you explain me the meaning of word "nicy"? I'm newbie in english, and I've already tried google translate, but I'm not sure. Maybe there is some informal forms, or other ways of using this word.
9
votes
5answers
325 views

This book will change your wife – trope?

“This book will change your wife.” The cliché is “This book will change your life”. By changing one word, the cliché is transformed into a more interesting sentence: in this case about a novel, 50 ...
1
vote
2answers
81 views

what is the meaning of “dry up and blow away” in this sentences?

"The Canadian flag's supposed to be a symbol of power... it's a leaf! Yeah, don't mess with us or we'll dry up and blow away!"-Jeremy Hotz Suppose that truth had simply dried up and blown away in the ...
2
votes
2answers
56 views

Is the definition of a word also a synonym of that word? [on hold]

When writing, you can substitute the definition of a word for a word and still make a correct (if more complicated) sentence. Does that make the definition of a word a synonym for the actual word ...
1
vote
1answer
27 views

What counts as a polearm?

Based on the definition, I would think both lances and spears are a type of polearm. However, in some cases, I have seen the word polearm used separately to lances or spears. For example, in the game ...
1
vote
2answers
32 views

“Restricted in” [on hold]

"Product has been restricted in: list of countries" Does this mean the product is available only in the countries listed, or not available in them? Thank you.
1
vote
2answers
3k views

Origins of round in “round of applause”

A round of applause is a short period or burst of applause. What are the origins of the meaning of round in this phrase, and indeed the phrase itself? Are there any other phrases that use round in ...
0
votes
1answer
112 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
vote
3answers
68 views

Can someone help me to understand this difficult sentence structure?

Please help me to understand the following. I have difficulty with the passage that appears between the two dashes. Gutman argues convincingly that the stability of the Black family encouraged ...
1
vote
3answers
54 views

what does “First quality” mean?

My English teacher asked me what "First quality" means? No website on internet gives any definition of that term. is it correct to say like this? Starbucks is famous for its first quality coffee
0
votes
1answer
41 views

bleed inside out/got-have got

I've been wondering if there is the expression "I bleed inside out" or if it is correct. For example "someone or something makes me bleed inside out" - as we say "it breaks my heart". And actually I ...
1
vote
2answers
64 views

Single word that could mean three other words

I would like to know whether there's a word which could mean these 3 things: Support Like Congratulate I hoping to use it in my website for user's status. I would really appreciate if you could ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

Reading Comprehension Question: How to narrow down to correct answer? [on hold]

Passage (Its a bit long) The pioneers of the teaching of science imagined that its introduction into education would remove the conventionality, artificiality, and backward-lookingness which ...
1
vote
2answers
47 views

Difficult sentence strucure [on hold]

His thesis works relatively well when applied to discrimination against blacks in the US, but his definition of racial prejudice as "racially-based negative prejudgements against a group generally ...
3
votes
3answers
112 views

What does “… which is somewhat long in tooth” mean, and what is the source of the phrase? [on hold]

This is the complete sentence where I found it. It is from an online training about the Linux operating system. e4defrag is part of the e2fsprogs package and should be on all modern Linux ...
2
votes
1answer
75 views

What to call words with permanent prefix, but no unprefixed form? (ex: nonchalant, untoward) [duplicate]

What do you call prefixed words with no unprefixed counterpart? For example, there's no such thing as a "chalant person". Bad behavior may be "untoward", good behavior is never "toward". What are ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

First wife vs. Former wife

Does one of the designations indicate that one of the partners is dead vs. divorced? First vs. Former
0
votes
3answers
89 views

What is the difference between “to curse” and “to swear at”?

Both of them mean to use bad words, but I don't know their differences. Please explain with some examples! Thanks!
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Meaning of up front

I came upon this paragraph: Dennis was taken back to the jail. He carefully removed his new suit and put it on a hanger. A guard took it up front. I can not figure out what the guard did with ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

“Are you having a good day?” Is it about me or about the weather?

When I'm asked over the phone in a long-distance call "Are you having a good day?" is this a question about me (my mood, my health), or about the weather? Assuming I'm speaking with a Brit, that ...
0
votes
2answers
68 views
3
votes
2answers
57 views

What does “to-” in today, tomorrow, tonight mean?

As in the title. Does it mean anything? Does it mean the same thing in all of these words? What is its origin? Are there any other words with "to-"?
1
vote
1answer
30 views

“I consider that …” in place of “I think that…”

I often see people use the verb “consider” in place of “think” as in (a) “I consider that this project will be completed in three years,” (b) “We consider that this deficiency can be overcome ...
7
votes
5answers
995 views

Is “I can't stop laughing” the same as “I can't help laughing”?

I know "I can't help laughing" means I can't stop myself from laughing. What I want to know is "I can't stop laughing"* also means the same. Thank you guys for helping me out especially prem, your ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

'Mental illness' or 'Mental disorder' or 'Mental condition'?

I was recently diagnosed with ADHD, and when talking about it, and other mental conditions like depression, bi-polar, schizophrenia, I'm wondering what term to use. Is there perhaps a distinction ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

What's the difference between “case by case” and “case to case”?

What's the difference between "case by case" and "case to case"? I often hear the former from my Japanese students. When I asked them where they got the phrase, they always say they learned it from ...
0
votes
2answers
58 views

Usage of *was going to do* [on hold]

The following is an article by Patrick Wintour in The Guardian website. Miliband’s team admitted that they were slow to realise the danger. One close adviser admitted that he was initially ...
2
votes
4answers
130 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
74 views

What is the meaning of the phrase 'word of hand'?

I've heard somewhere the phrase "word of hand". What does "word of hand" mean? Can it mean something like "word of advice/help/aid", similarly to the phrase "to give hand to somebody"? UPDATE: ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

Nobody would believe what an effort it is **to do what little I am able**,--to dress and entertain, and order things

Nobody would believe what an effort it is to do what little I am able,--to dress and entertain, and order things. (a part of "Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman) I don't ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

If “propriety” is from the French for “property”, why is it now about proper comportment?

I was trying to reverse-translate a quote I mistakenly believed to be originally in French that I saw in English, so as to find the source. (It turned out to be from Jeremy Bentham.) In the process, I ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

What could one-minded word mean if it were to exist? [on hold]

Unfortunately I can not use like-minded as my app name, it is used already, and I though one-minded would have the same meaning: people with same mind, interest. What do you think? Do you know any ...