Tagged Questions

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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (6)

0
votes
0answers
12 views

Spill the metaphorical beans?

I was reading a comic book and ran into this phrase. Is there any difference between 'spill the beans' and 'spill the metaphorical beans'? here is the context. Talk show host: "But seriously, Reed. ...
0
votes
2answers
21 views

Meaning of smah

I was helping my child with her homework and noticed that she has learn words starting with with sm..., st.... I found word "smuh" which i had never seen before as English is not my native language ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Is “the best thing since sliced bread” supposed to be taken sarcastically?

On one day my boss said that a tool I had created to speed up my work was “probably the best thing since sliced bread”. Neither one of us is a native english speaker and we don’t also have any similar ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

What does commute/commutation mean in this context?

I am trying to understand the following sentence from a legal document. Can anyone explain me what 'commutation' means? Immovable property presently sold is free and clear of all seigniorial ...
3
votes
3answers
275 views

How to appropriately use the word “baby” as in the pattern “ ____ baby ___”; for example, “run baby run”?

As a non-native English speaker, I am not sure what is the meaning of this pattern "_ baby _" as in "run baby run"? Another example: "USA continues to "drill baby drill" (referring to oil). What other ...
-1
votes
1answer
31 views

What’s the difference between a software “developer” and a software “maker”?

We usually call someone who makes software a software developer. Why don’t we call them a software maker instead? What’s the different between software developer and software maker?
1
vote
0answers
25 views

conniption origin?

I viewed the thread about conniption dido - which I'd never heard before. But was wondering what true meaning of conniption was? I always figured it was an old medical term for seizure or ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

Can we say “the must info” in the sense of valuable information?

I heard the phrase once but don't know the context of conversation. Additionally, is "the must info" grammatically correct?
1
vote
1answer
62 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

“if and as” - Does it mean what I think it means and is it even grammatically sound?

Very infrequently, I'll use the fragment "if and as" in a sentence. For instance: Having it be double fudge chocolate cake in both cases comes off as needless frippery if and as the recipe is ...
0
votes
1answer
16 views

What does “provocative fictions” mean? Are they one kind of fiction?

I see this phrase in such sentence"The world knows his name, knows his reputation as the prolific author of provocative fictions, novels that..." But i wonder whether "provacative fiction"is a type of ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Difference between the prefixes, “mis” and “dis” [duplicate]

What is the difference between mistrust and distrust?
1
vote
1answer
45 views

What does “falling and missing the ground” mean?

I don't understand the use of the phrase "falling and missing the ground". How can one fall and miss the ground? What does it mean? Update Apologies. I found the use of the phrase at ...
46
votes
4answers
3k 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. ...
2
votes
2answers
52 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Eytymology of the expression “Pissy Pants McGee.”

What is the origin of the expression "Pissy Pants McGee"? Thanks!
1
vote
3answers
74 views

“Is that good?” vs “Is that any good?”

Is there any difference between the meaning implied by: Is that good? and Is that any good? I would appreciate if you give examples to show the differences, if there is any. ...
0
votes
3answers
44 views

I'm looking for a word like “routing out” that also describes a “blind gamble”

When my old dog and I had a regular local park, upon entering, she used to immediately run through all the bushes, hoping to flush out any squirrels. She didn't know if there were any squirrels ...
1
vote
2answers
97 views

Why is it “Thank you! You’re subscribed,” not “You subscribed,” or “You’ve subscribed”?

I received e-mail from New York Times that reads; What We’re Reading: Get recommendations from New York Times reporters and editors, highlighting great stories from around the web. “What We’re ...
-1
votes
1answer
41 views

An expression for someone who causes “pain” and for those who receive this “pain” [duplicate]

What do you call a person who gives only pain to his dear ones (whom he cares about the most)? What do you call a person who gets only agony from the person he cares most?
0
votes
3answers
75 views

Is the usage 'literally nuts' correct?

1) Suppose there is a very stupid person. Is it correct to tell that he/she is 'literally nuts'? 2) What about using it if the person is mentally ill? This came up in an informal talk with my ...
-1
votes
0answers
33 views

description of the sentence [on hold]

What do you call a person who gives pain to all those he loves or being loved What do you call a person who gets only agony from his loved ones
0
votes
1answer
25 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, ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

in fact, in point of fact, as a matter of fact

Today I was tempted to write "in point of fact" and immediately wondered if this expression differed at all from "in fact" or "as a matter of fact." Dictionaries define one with the others. ...
-3
votes
1answer
31 views

what is meant by “ I but a tell ” [on hold]

I've been searching the meaning of this sentence " I but a tell ", but I couldn't even find any answer, Does anyone know about it?
-2
votes
2answers
59 views

What is the difference between a “vapor” and a “mist”?

What's the difference between "vapour" and "mist"? I ask because I was reading the Wikipedia article for Electronic Cigarettes and there is a lengthy and acrimonious discussion. I don't want to get ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

What is the difference between supposed to and meant to

It is because it was always meant to be so. It is because it was always supposed to be so. What is the difference between meant and supposed? There must be more but all I can deconstruct ...
1
vote
2answers
99 views

What does “She is tall for her age” mean?

I read the following sentence She is tall for her age. Now I'm greatly confused about its meaning. Does it mean "she would have as long age as she is tall" (perhaps showing prediction) Or ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

Safe Deposit Box

I get really annoyed when I hear "Safety Deposit Box" - to me, the thing the box is deposited in is a Safe, not a Safety. Is my annoyance justified? Why do people say "Safety" when it's both harder to ...
38
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 ...
3
votes
4answers
822 views

What does “There’s less to the deal than meets the eye,” mean?

There was the following passage in New Yorker’s (November 18) article that came under the title, ”Is China really going green?”: “But here was President Xi Jinping pledging that, by 2030, his ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

What is a filler gap dependency? [closed]

I can't find a clear cut answer on what it means. Does it mean someone who constantly uses fillers in their speech? Please clarify for me if you can. Thank you
1
vote
3answers
55 views

Distress vs anguish

Is there any difference between the words (nouns) distress and anguish? They seem to be quite similar.
0
votes
3answers
47 views

Meaning of “or” in “working on applications to sell or for any other purpose”

A licence reads: If you are an individual working on your own applications to sell or for any other purpose, you may use the software to develop and test those applications. I'm having ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Good men in robes

It is time for good men in robes to rethink their responsibilities while heeding Edmund Burke's warning: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Difference between “recap” and “round up” [closed]

Is there any difference between "recap" and "round-up"? I'm looking for some roundups online but I'm seeing recaps and it's a bit confusing.
4
votes
2answers
661 views

What's the meaning of “flatlands of paper”

In the following paragraph, Edward Tufte speaks of "flatlands of paper." I don't understand its meaning: Even though we navigate daily through a perceptual world of three dimensions and reason ...
-1
votes
1answer
72 views

“Do you ever get hit” and “Have you ever gotten hit” [closed]

Do they have the same meaning? If not when to use each of them.
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Meaning of a sentence in a play

What is the meaning of the sentence said by Derry in the Susan Hill play On the Face of It given below? In case I see you looking and mind and get upset
0
votes
1answer
35 views

What exactly is a “principle of action” or a “principle of conduct”?

Initial Context I was reading one of John Henry Newman's (Cardinal Newman for the non-Anglicans) sermons, specifically "Religious Faith Rational" from Parochial and Plain Sermons... Near the ...
0
votes
2answers
38 views

Can “As [adjective] as [noun] is” in the beginning of the sentence mean “Although/despite [noun] is [adjective]”?

In a blog post about web development, I found an interesting phrase: As awesome as CSS counters are, don’t forget about our old friends ol and li. From the context, it seems to mean ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

Is there a word like “evidence” that doesn't connote empiricism?

I would suppose that traditionally, evidence had this broad meaning that I seek, and that is why "empirical evidence" is a popular phrase. What I would like is a word that refers to a broad notion ...
0
votes
2answers
75 views

Who uses 'inveritable' and 'inveritably'?

Does anyone here use inveritable in the sense of unavoidable, or the usual occurrence? I have heard people say things like: It was 'inveritable' that the manager would have to leave after the ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

What does “globally implored collapse” mean? [closed]

Heard somebody use it today. I think "globally implored collapse" means the collapse of somebody or something that a lot of people were begging for and wanting to see. What do you guys think?
2
votes
2answers
73 views

What is the definition of “solipsized?”

It seems like only "Lolita" uses this word. According to Google, solipsism is "the view or theory that the self is all that can be known to exist." From this definition, I conclude that for one to ...
0
votes
4answers
59 views

Peculiar use of the term “rationalization”

But whatever you call it, [Fordism] has been a system based on large-scale standardization and vertical organizations that require a strict division of labor and an extreme rationalization of ...
-3
votes
1answer
45 views

What the differ between car accident and accident car ?! [closed]

When I say 1- Car of accident 2- Accident of car 3- Car accident 4- Accident car & which one of them is correct and is these have the same meaning And why if one of them is incorrect Tank ...
2
votes
2answers
48 views

Through wood and break and many a fertile field: what is “break”?

A poem from A Canterbury Tale (1944): Six hundred years have passed. What would they see, Dan Chaucer and his goodly company? Today the hills and valleys are the same. Gone are the forests ...
0
votes
2answers
39 views

what is another way of saying “go to plan”

Please could someone tell me another way of saying "go to plan, I need to know for an essay I am currently writing in AS Level English Literature.
0
votes
2answers
78 views

meaning of “some people agree that”

I am discussing with friends the meaning of the following sentence: "while some people agree that there are less women in science because they don't have the skills, others will argue that it is ...