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

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What do these figurative descriptions mean?

I am a English learner and went to see The Revenant. But I found I cannot understand this movie at all, so I googled for a movie review of this movie, however I only found more confusion in this ...
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4answers
12 views

“Several suggestions have been offered for adoption by the panel”, who will adopt the suggestions?

I have a sentence Several suggestions have been offered for adoption by the panel. My question is, is the panel supposed to adopt the suggestions, or the panel offered those suggestions?
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1answer
17 views

What's the difference between public and private venue?

I'm trying to understand what's the exact meaning of public and private venues? From what I understand, a public venue would allow anyone to go to an event and a private one would require you to be on ...
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2answers
69 views

What's the definition for real estate in neighbourhoods that add value to people’s societal activities and social life?

In Dutch we know 'Maatschappelijk Vastgoed' but I can't find the right translation to English. If the phenomenon even exists at all in other countries. I'm looking for a word that summarizes the ...
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3answers
154 views

What is “corrective discipline”?

What does "corrective discipline" mean in the following passage? Though the pleasure which works of art give us must not be confused with other pleasures that we enjoy, it is related to all of ...
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3answers
33 views

Is there an online site or API that provides definitive, uncensored translations of internet slang words?

I am a computer scientist studying on sentiment analysis. I need to retrieve uncensored translations of internet slang words such as wtf, lmfao. There are some websites that provide translations for ...
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2answers
48 views

Question about the origin of 'as long as' meaning 'on condition that'

According to dictionaries 'as long as' means "during a period of time", (as long as you live), but it also means "on the condition that" (I will attend the conference as long as I can arrive on ...
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6answers
2k views

Context on using available vs accessible

Consider the following two sentences: 1) Please put the medicine in the living room so that it is available to everyone. 2) Please put the medicine in the living room so that it is accessible for ...
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2answers
15k 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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4answers
29 views

Meaning of this Ben Jonson quote

Many men believe not themselves what they would persuade others; and less do the things which they would impose on others, but least of all know what they themselves most confidently boast.
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1answer
32 views

Meaning of “would be” in “announced that he would be leaving Google”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joshua_Bloch What I can understand: I will leave google. I would leave google. What's the meanning of: would + be + verb-ing
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1answer
25 views

Why isn't there a word for the super-type of people and businesses?

I was originally framing this question as a search for the 'right word' but the site's suggestions pointed me to a previous question that was almost identical. So I'll turn the question around and ...
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2answers
46 views

Why is “envy” is considred a sin while “envious” is a rather desirable attribute?

We have two similar words in envy and jealousy. The American Heritage Dic. defines them as below. jealousy: A jealous attitude or disposition. Close vigilance. envy: n. pl. en·vies ...
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5answers
16k views

What is a trope, and how does it differ from a metaphor?

The synonym of trope is defined as metaphor, but there seem to be some other implications when using the word trope that metaphor does not have. Can anyone explain this simply and sensibly?
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2answers
18 views

Meaning of `put defeat behind`

Often I encounter with the following constraction in some articles Someone put defeat behind him Don't undestand the meaning of this whole phrase. Does it mean that someone succeed or failed?
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0answers
41 views

bumped vs faced [migrated]

Can anybody say me difference between BUMPED and FACED PS I heard in conversation: Yesterday I bumped with my friend. Does it make sense? In meaning he met his friend accidentally. Thanks! ...
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3answers
3k views

What is potass?

I'm reading The Four Feathers by A.E.W.Mason, it contains a reference to a beverage consumed by one of the characters:- It would have been strange, after all, he thought, if he had not been able ...
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1answer
36 views

Label word for someone? [on hold]

What would you call a person that causes harm to you( not physical) destroying your property and then is offended when you call them out on this? Not sure what word to use for their label.
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2answers
3k views

Differences between “atomic bomb” and “nuclear weapon”

What differences are there between "atomic bomb" and "nuclear weapon"? Is "atomic" only used when using talking about nuclear fission, whereas "nuclear" can mean either fission or fusion, as claimed ...
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1answer
34 views

Blazing in his eyes

The following passage is taken from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. I cannot understand exactly what the phrase 'blazing in his eyes' mean. What is the subject of the verb 'blaze'? ...
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2answers
1k views

What does “a bit of a tartar” mean?

Recently, a woman I know who lives in England (OK, she's my fiancee, if you want to know), wrote to me and described someone she knows as "a bit of a tartar". Now in context it seemed like a friendly ...
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1answer
281 views

Explicit vs Specific

Recently I asked on the personal productivity Stack Exchange Is there specifically a reason why there isn't an ADHD tag? The context here, being that people with ADHD have issues with productivity, ...
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1answer
189 views

Semantic difference between “spectator”, “beholder”, “observer” and “viewer”

As I understand it (not being a native speaker), a beholder has a more active relation to the scene or object he is beholding. It is "in the eye of the beholder", but not in the eye of the spectator ...
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1answer
48 views

What is the difference between valorization and commercialization of education?

What is the difference between valorization and commercialization? And what do precisely each of these words mean, when applied to education? valorize to enhance or try to enhance the price, ...
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1answer
48 views

Meaning of “False Positive”

My question title itself is self explanatory. Can any explain what "false positive" means? I got this word usage from one of my clients in bug report. Can anyone explain with usage in layman's ...
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4answers
57 views

What is the difference between “perpetrator” and “transgressor”? [on hold]

I don't quite understand when one might be applied, but not the other. Also, is anyone who committed a transgression a transgressor, or might they also be perpetrators? Does it make a difference? ...
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1answer
42 views

for + period of time + present continuous/past perfect tense [on hold]

What is the difference between (1) I've taken antibiotics for 10 weeks. (2) I've been taking antibiotics for 10 weeks. (3) I'm taking antibiotics for 10 weeks. (4) I take antibiotics for 10 weeks. ...
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2answers
34 views

What is “school annex”? [on hold]

Could you please explain what does the following expression mean: school annex I saw a building with this title on the front. However, I cannot figure out what it is exactly, and how does it ...
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1answer
54 views

Does “The UK” mean the state or its citizens?

When I have expressed criticism towards the UK government saying The EU policy is crystal clear ... The UK as usual in their bizarre anti freedom ways and I got an (obviously) UK citizen pissed ...
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2answers
27 views

to be riddled with something vs to teem with something

I'd like to ask how verbs 'to be riddled with something' (idiom) and 'to teem with something' (phrasal verb) overlap each other and can we replace with one another in the same sentence? For example: ...
2
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2answers
69 views

Fun + Challenging =?

I am looking for a single word that can be used to describe an activity (e.g., work or studies) that is both “fun” and “challenging”. Words I have tried include “intriguing”, “fascinating”, ...
2
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1answer
2k views

Meaning of “double dose”

What is the meaning of double dose? For example, I wish for you a double dose of health. Is it used in everyday English? What are its synonyms?
2
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1answer
82 views

I was set up in a sting [on hold]

I read someone's story and she said: "Then I was set up in a sting by the same woman who got me started. I was wondering what has just happened !! .. What is she implying ? I couldn't understand by ...
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0answers
78 views

What did Terry Pratchett mean by “avec”?

Terry Pratchett used in his disc world novels the word "avec" as a common food ingredient for french (in his books named "quirmian" or "Quirm" for the country) food. Excerpt from "Snuff" by Terry ...
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3answers
315 views

Meaning of the sentence, “she is the kind of lawyer most skilled at finding reasons not to do things”

I have read a passage from wikileak: AIT/T has had regular contact with Tsai Ing-wen on economic, political and cross-Strait issues (ref B). She is a savvy insider on formulating and ...
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3answers
10k views

What is the exact meaning of “You've got yourself a deal”? Is it only an American slang?

I came across the phrase, ‘got yourself a deal’ being introduced as a vulgar American English by a character in Jeffery Archer’s, fiction “The Fourth Estate.” In the scene Keith Townsend, Australian ...
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3answers
732 views

What does “The man that once did sell the lion’s skin While the beast liv’d was killed with hunting him” mean?

I came across the following sentence in the context of four professional men discussing a plot to retrieve their lost $1 million, swindled from them by a nouveau riche American banker in Jeffery ...
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1answer
79 views

What does “doing press” mean in the following context?

From this scan of Paul we were able to turn him into a 3D printable figure. Some of you may already have seen photos of the figure. Paul had them with him whilst doing press for the 'Hope For ...
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2answers
25 views

What does “Of such” mean in this context?

I do not know what "of such" means in the following quotation: “Of such great powers or beings there may be conceivably a survival . . . a survival of a hugely remote period when . . . ...
2
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2answers
101 views

What does “Take care sweets” mean?

A good friend wrote me an email and at the end she added Take care sweets. I guess it's something good, but not sure what is the exact meaning. I searched a little bit what does that mean and didn't ...
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1answer
36 views

Meaning of “would have to do”

Please help me to understand intonation of this message: You would have to do the graphics. Is it proposal, designation or expectation?
2
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2answers
76 views

What does “Retail politics” mean? Is it an established political term?

I come across the word, “retail (oriented) politics” in an article under the title, “All presidential politics is local” in Conway Daily Sun (December 23, 2015), which contained the following ...
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2answers
114 views

What's a word that means a person tries to find an easier, cheaper way?

My mother has always been that type of person who tried to find an easier/cheaper way. For example, let's say I need something for school she then says "oh no there is notebooks and pencils at the ...
2
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2answers
192 views

Is this meaning of “scurrilous” only known/understood to speakers of American English?

A few weeks ago I stumbled across the word "scurrilous", meaning "given to the use of coarse or vulgar language". I shared this word with two other people, but they had taken it to mean "scandalous". ...
3
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4answers
176 views

What is the word for knowing how to use something (phone, car, etc), but not understanding how it works?

I'm looking for a word which encapsulates the above concept. An example: when someone knows how to use their phone, but doesn't understand how to take it apart, put it together, etc.
0
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1answer
80 views

Meaning of “to have seconds” [on hold]

I'm watching Futurama now, and on episode s1e7 there is Zoidberg's quote I cannot understand nor find out the explanation. The dialog is: Amy Wong: Is this salt water? Bender: It's salt with ...
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3answers
2k views

Wid = Widow or Wid = With

In the 1800s the abbreviation "wid" is used in city directories. The first speculation is with a female listed first at an address, the term is used to designate a Widow with the male name following. ...
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4answers
2k views

'Meeting us' or 'meeting with us'?

What is the difference between meeting with someone or meeting someone? For example when I would like to ask someone if he is happy to meet with me and my friend for the first time, how should I ask? ...
2
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1answer
95 views

What does “should likely” mean?

For example You should likely do something. Does it mean "you should do something" or "you can do something"?
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3answers
12k views

What's the difference between “I am busy right now” and “I am busy at the moment”?

What's the difference between "I am busy right now" and "I am busy at the moment"? I mean, is there any shades in meaning that would be implied in one, but not not in the other phrase?