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

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14
votes
5answers
753 views

Is there a word for a question that leads to more questions?

I'm looking specifically for a word (noun or adjective) that means "A question that leads to more questions". Something that is difficult to answer because it would involve answering yet more ...
8
votes
3answers
6k views

What is the meaning of “all zero at the bone”? I can't make it out

From The Shining, by Stephen King: Jack turned back, all zero at the bone. What is the meaning of this expression?
0
votes
1answer
8 views

is simple a filler in this sentence

Things just simply don't work is simply a filler in that sentence ? by filler i mean that the meaning of the sentence is the same with or without it (i know this is not formal english, but i ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Are “adult” and “adulterate” cognates?

The word adult appear to have derived from the Latin term adultus, meaning grown up, mature, adult, ripe. Adulterate (and its cognate adultery) is reported to derive from the Latin adulterare - to ...
4
votes
4answers
170 views

Is listen-hear parallel with read-understand?

I'm trying to speak about the nature of music; I want to say that the very nature of the medium of sound, a kind of universal language, makes it impossible not to interpret what is presented to us. ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

What does “Nine Below Zero” mean?

There is a Blues Standard "Nine Below Zero" and I wonder what the phrase means. The chorus is Nine Below Zero, she put me down for another And it would also be super interesting where this ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

When do I collect my money '…as I pass Go'?

I was playing Junior Monopoly yesterday. The, er, grown-ups disagreed (!) over precisely when you collect your £2 pocket money. On the board itself the instruction is "...Collect £2 pocket money as ...
0
votes
0answers
13 views

What is the difference between phrases “buyer name” and “buyer's name”?

I really confused about using of possessive adjectives. One another example - "type of something" (type of thing) and something type (thing type) - what is the difference? Where and when should I use ...
-1
votes
0answers
14 views

lifetrivium meaning of this phrase in your opinion?

Trivium - The lower division of the seven liberal arts in medieval schools, consisting of grammar, logic, and rhetoric. What could lifetrivium mean?
4
votes
1answer
56 views

Difference between “compact” and “accord”

What's the difference between those two words? But the Marshall Islands holds an important card: Under a 1986 compact, the roughly 70,000 residents of the Marshalls The debate over loss and ...
3
votes
7answers
14k views

What does “what for” mean and where did it come from?"

There is a fight scene in one of my favorite movies in which the main character says "Give them what for!" I've hear this term many times before (usually from old south-eastern Americans,) but no ...
1
vote
0answers
25 views

In terms of poetry, what is the Thomas code?

I was reading a book review of Wittgenstein's Mistress on goodreads, and I came across the sentence, "Without such accessible lecture notes, I may not have ever cracked the Thomas code and may never ...
0
votes
1answer
191 views

How to describe this fact with an independent clause?

In fact, with more time being left to myself, I started to read books I had aspired to read when I was in high school. I mean I had more time for leisure, so I spent them on books. My usage ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Usage of “even when”

In my understanding, a sentence of the following form A requires B, something that may be difficult even when C means that A is difficult since a necessary condition B is difficult. While B ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

Why would the word “just” in a sentence cause a reader to miscontrue the meaning?

You meant to say that selling a jointly owned item would make sense for future monetary needs, wanting to know if the joint owner agrees. You say "Why don't we just sell the item as we no longer need ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

How is “totalitarian” properly used in a non-political sense?

The adjective totalitarian meaning: Of or pertaining to a system of government which tolerates only one political party, to which all other institutions are subordinated, and which usu. ...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

Other than - except for

Yesterday I used the sentence: "I know people except (for) you." and I have been told that the correct version is: "I know people other than you." Although I have been looking at related ...
3
votes
3answers
49 views

Tedious/unskilled mental work

Can one used the word manual work to define a process of a nonphysical work, where there is no need of skills, it is monotonic and there is a lack of automatization? For example: Someone creates ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

Definition Required Please

Could when people please help me with the following definition? I would like to know what the technical definition is when an individual uses the language of others or they adapt their language to a ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

The meaning of a statement

In a journal, the following statement is a condition for submitting a paper. Does this statement mean that I must pay in order to publish my paper? If not, what is its meaning? If desired, 25 free ...
6
votes
4answers
5k views

What does 'two-bit paper pusher' mean?

I often find a joke titled, ‘When a grandma goes to court’ followed by the line, ‘Lawyers should never ask a question if they aren’t prepared for the answer.’ I don’t know if it’s a popular joke or ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Is it correct to say “new kind of way to love”? [on hold]

What i wanna say is that it´s a new type of way of loving someone. Is "A new kind of way to love" correct expression? Thanks for nay help.
-3
votes
0answers
24 views

How to interpret “one of the best”? [duplicate]

Please look at the following sentence that my friend said today This is one of the best movies I have ever seen. I want to know whether this means that she has never seen any movie which was better ...
1
vote
1answer
20 views

What does “upstage card” mean in “If I play bridge, I will refer to playing my chosen suit as using an “upstage card.”?

There was the following paragraph in an article written by Joel Stein under the title “How Trump went mainstream (and you can too)” in Time magazine (May 26). “We should also be aware of our ...
1
vote
5answers
4k views

Meaning of the full title of Darwin's “On the origin of species”

The full title of Darwin's work "On the origin of species" is: "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life". My ...
3
votes
1answer
338 views

What is the difference between “mourning” and “grieving” someone's death?

It seems to me that both words are interchangeable, I can mourn or grieve the death of a loved one for weeks, months or years. And both terms mean to feel deep sorrow for the loss of someone dear. ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

What does “there” refer to in the sentence?

I've read a sentence in a Burmese story. "The medico went to the nearest village and there in the bazaar he found various kinds of meat and fish" I wanted to know whether "there" refers to "the ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Can a proposition be mistaken for a 'claim'?

You confirm that this is true. In which case..... positive declaration (eg. 'x' exists). I would suggest that the above statement is an 'if, then' proposition. Anybody making this statement cannot ...
1
vote
1answer
31 views

What does the phrase “made my hair” generally imply, and do men use it commonly?

I recently came across a women who was exclaiming that she had just "made her hair" after her boyfriend pulled her hair-band off. I have never really heard of this phrase before, hence the question: ...
-3
votes
1answer
50 views

What does clocks and honey mean? [on hold]

On the reddit AMA https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/4lbjwa/i_am_richard_dawkins_evolutionary_biologist_and/d3lz831?context=3 there is a following question Are clocks or honey more dangerous to ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

“no one can do anything.” Is this a complete statement? if so, what does it mean? [on hold]

if the stated is complete, could it mean any of the following options? a. Anything can be done b. Anything could not be done c. Anything is done d. Nothing can be done
12
votes
4answers
872 views

How does one “get rekt”?

I often see people write "get rekt" to someone when that person makes a mistake or when they beat the person to a goal. It's not immediately obvious what this is intended to mean. I assume "rekt" is ...
3
votes
2answers
8k views

Where does the phrase “crazy like a fox” originate?

If you say that someone is "crazy like a fox", it means that their behavior appears to be insane or nonsensical at first glance, but there's actually something very clever and subtle to it that's ...
1
vote
2answers
25 views

Bring someone back (down) to earth?

I thought that the idiom, "bring someone back/down to earth", meant taking someone off a pedestal, and seeing them for who they really are. For example: She needs to bring him down to earth and ...
2
votes
3answers
62 views

What does the phrase “ring around the roses” mean here?

Chapter 15 of A SHARE IN DEATH(mystery story)begins this way, Suffolk to Sussex to Wiltshire to Oxfordshire, ring around the roses. It made Gemma dizzy to think of the past two days. And tired. ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

How to communicate two elements of different syntactic/semantic type in the same sentence?

I have the following sentence, NAME is a community that helps each other code better by rating each other's efforts and helps managers pair with other fellow developers I was suggested by the ...
-2
votes
1answer
22 views

Meaning of “straw beneath my feet” in this context

I was reading 'Animal Farm' by George Orwell, in which, there was a sentence "but I know, as surely as I see this straw beneath my feet, that sooner or later justice will be done." I dont ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

please let me know the meaning of “Madam Secretary” dialogues

Whenever I cannot understand some English expression, I am getting big help from this site. Very useful website and good people. Anyway. I am watching American Drama "Madam Secretary" season1, episode ...
0
votes
2answers
51 views

“Relationship to” vs. “Relationship with”

I found two different terms regarding relationship: "Relationship with the applicant" while filling the invitation form "Relationship to the applicant" while filling the application form Whether ...
-2
votes
0answers
17 views

Formation, arrangement and alignment [on hold]

What are the differences between the meanings of formation, arrangement and alignment in a military or defense context (for example, to refer to the constellation of a military attack)? I'm trying to ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

What does “working out of” mean? [duplicate]

Can you please tell me what "working out of" means in this context? "African composers working out of European-based choral and instrumental art music traditions are gaining recognition, as are the ...
0
votes
2answers
103 views

Origin of “moke,” used in the mildly derogatory term “you lil' moke”

Does anyone know the origins of this term? I have only managed to track one reference to it. I heard it from my Granny who was Romani. The Online Etymology Dictionary has this short entry: moke ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

Meaning of following statement:

I came across this statement and I can't understand the overall concept of the part I have made bold: "Current trends in scholarship demonstrate a new historical and ethnographic consciousness. ...
1
vote
0answers
32 views

Combining two sentence in one while ensuring grammar errors are not present

Since English is my second language, I have been trying to wrap my head around the subheading I am writing. I feel like it would be better written if it was divided into multiple sentence, but I was ...
1
vote
2answers
10k views

Is there any difference between “clear conscience” and “clean conscience”?

I want to have a clear conscience so that I know to judge clearly what is right or wrong. vs. I want to have a clean conscience, therefore I will not do such an ugly thing. The ...
0
votes
1answer
107 views

The Subject of a Participial Construction

The following passage is quoted from the article in Newsweek by Leah McGrath Goodman, titled "Thomas Piketty Says He Was Ambushed": [Financial Times’s economics editor Chris] Giles, in his ...
0
votes
2answers
110 views

“Reassign to” or “reassign in”

I'm not a native English speaker and I'm always confused with the usage of prepositions. Vehicle’s ownership is reassigned to the name of the loan officer Vehicle’s ownership is reassigned ...
15
votes
15answers
505 views

Synonym for “Blind Spot”

I'm looking for a term or an idiom to point to the weakness of something, specifically a computer program. Something similar to "Achilles Heel" but not that! I just found blind spot : "an area in ...
2
votes
3answers
62 views

Meaning of “all the shadows had crept under their proper trees”? [on hold]

From Melisande, by E. Nesbit. (emphasis mine) They stayed talking in the garden till all the shadows had crept under their proper trees and the sun-dial said it was breakfast time. What's the ...
2
votes
2answers
51 views

Is “languid” the right word?

I was listening to some gentle, slow, emotionally warm music by Aaron Copland, and I thought of the word "languid" to describe it. But I wasn't sure of what languid means, so I looked it up, and it ...