5
votes
3answers
154 views

What did “make love” mean in the 1920s?

This 1921 article gives "Ten Pointers for Domestic Happiness". Pointer V reads: Make love to your wife; continue to be her sweetheart. Neglect begets indifference that is fatal to married life. ...
1
vote
3answers
92 views

Meaning of “holloway”

Does it mean just "hollowed underground way" or there is something else? Word is taken from fantasy text.
2
votes
4answers
517 views

Meaning of “phoenix” in “Japan was a phoenix destroyed by the war”

An excerpt from the transcript of a lecture: And after that MacArthur stayed in Japan for six years working with the Emperor Hirohito and the new Japanese government, building its government and ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

What does “occasions” mean in this sentence?

The justiciarship originated in the king’s need for a responsible subordinate who could take a wide view of the affairs of the kingdom, act as regent when the king was abroad, and on other ...
0
votes
3answers
92 views

What are “pushing horns”?

This is from a song by Garth Brooks called The Cowboy Song: Pushing horns weren't easy like the movie said it was And I don't recall no dance hall girls Or hotel rooms with rugs You worked ...
5
votes
4answers
200 views

What does “trollpoking” mean?

The edit summary here says: cleaned up a bit, removed the trollpoking. I'm certain removing trollpoking is referring to the removal of: This answer is going to be deleted as off-topic, isn't ...
2
votes
2answers
315 views

Meaning of “top” in “to sleep as sound as a top”

From "The Early Bird", by George MacDonald. A little bird sat on the edge of her nest; Her yellow-beaks slept as sound as tops; Day-long she had worked almost without rest, And had ...
2
votes
3answers
78 views

Jumps vs. Leaps

Does a curve in science or finance have sudden jumps or sudden leaps? We talk about a discontinuous curve. My position is that jumps is more appropriate but I might be wrong.
1
vote
2answers
2k views

What does 'provision' exactly mean in a legal document?

Now I'm asked to look at a legal document(here) and answer the question that which provisions apply to a certain case. However, I don't know what the word 'provision' means in a legal context. ...
0
votes
2answers
62 views

The use of the term “absolutions”

I am curious as to if anyone else has heard of, seen, or used the term "absolutions." I purchased William F. Buckley, Jr.'s book The Lexicon a few weeks back, and this is one of the first words that ...
0
votes
4answers
94 views

A “friend” friend? Is that ironical?

Here is a quote from the "Lois & Clark" series: A: Who are you? B [a guy]: I'm a friend of her ["her" is another female character whom B is looking for]. A: A boyfriend, a "friend" friend ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

“Useless like tits on a log” vs. “tits on a bull” vs. “tits on a turtle” and so forth

I was reading an online book and there was the expression "useless like tits on a log". I googled to find more about this expression and I found a similar one: "useless like tits on a bull". Which ...
-1
votes
1answer
297 views

“I can command English.”

I saw a sentence: "I would like to be a scientist who can command English." What do you think about usage of "command"? Should we say " ...who has a good command of English."? Could you please ...
1
vote
1answer
534 views

What does “single spread” mean? [closed]

Recently I read an article about the Windows Phone design. The author kept mentioning the term spread, as in "single spread" and "long spread of content". I thought they would be explained later on in ...
-5
votes
1answer
117 views

Meaning of “function” in “I cannot stay here. I have a function tonight.” [closed]

I cannot stay here. I have a function tonight. What does function mean here? Is it oftentimes related to church activities?
5
votes
4answers
7k views

“Dignity” vs. “respect”

Today, I read an article, and one sentence talked about treating other people with dignity and respect I had thought I understood the difference between the words dignity and respect. But then ...
0
votes
1answer
150 views

What are metal pans and covers of a staircase? [closed]

What are metal pans and its covers of a staircase and what do they look like as mentioned in the following account? My boss and I were carrying 160lb sliding glass doors up an unfinished staircase ...
-2
votes
3answers
485 views

Meaning of “I'm a disaster” [closed]

What does disaster mean in the following sentence? I'm a disaster.
-5
votes
2answers
193 views

What does “faculties” mean in the context of this Coca Cola ad? [closed]

This advertisement (by Coca Cola in 1889) features the sentence "A glass adds to the pleasure of a drive or a walk by brightening and refreshing the faculties" In this case, what does faculties ...
4
votes
3answers
439 views

Can the word “deceiving” stand for “positive”?

I was puzzled with the line “(President Lyndon Johnson’s) appearances can be deceiving,” in the Washington Post’s (April 2) article titled “President Lyndon Johnson did indeed attend an Easter Egg ...
3
votes
1answer
333 views

Can we use “commiseration” and “condolence” interchangeably?

On what occasions can we use these terms and are they perfect synonym for each other to use interchangeably? Can we say to someone who has lost a friend "our commiseration to ..."?
0
votes
2answers
372 views

“Precondition” vs. “prerequisite”

In conclusion, security is the precondition of political freedom and political freedom is the prerequisite for economic freedom. Do precondition and prerequisite mean the same in the above? Is ...
1
vote
1answer
574 views

Meaning of “Blunt instrument” [closed]

I am having difficulties trying to understand this sentence: In some respects, Courses of Action are the more basic of the two. In and of themselves, however, Courses of Action tend to be rather ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

Meaning of “pitches add up” [closed]

I would like to know the meaning of the phrase "pitch adds up" as it appears in this phrase from an article in Fast Company: None of [the applications] fit the bill, and the pitches add up ...
0
votes
1answer
101 views

What can “Think flow” mean? [closed]

I'm investigating a Tom'n'Jerry sketch for cartoonists, containing basic graphics and tips how to draw the characters right. Unfortunately I don't have a digital version. So the problem is with the ...
-1
votes
2answers
276 views

What does “pre-delay” mean in this conversation?

This short piece of dialogue appears in the movie "Faces in the Crowd": Bryce: Shouldn't you be handing out gold stars instead of earning yellow ribbons on FarmVille? Anna: I was just ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

What does “creep” mean in the song “Creep” by Radiohead?

If someone knows English and Portuguese, I'd like help with a translation of the lyrics of the song Creep by Radiohead. The translations we have here translate creep to Portuguese as verme, esquisito ...
4
votes
2answers
198 views

meaning of “grunt” when it comes to towing

The title of the humorous story is "The Sun got stuck" “I don't suppose you could give us a tow, could you, sister?” Luna's eyebrows shot up, “How? With what? The sun's 400 times larger than ...
4
votes
1answer
145 views

What does “bite” and “quarter-backing” mean in this context?

It's from the first few lines of the foreword to Karl Llewellyn's "The Bramble Bush": These lectures grew out of an attempt in 1929 and 1930 to introduce the students at Columbia Law School to ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

What does ‘non-parter’ mean?

In the sleuth hound of 6, Wilbraham Place, Sloane Square, however, he speedily discovered that he had come up against one of the Untouchables, a man to whom even Oofy Prosser, that outstanding ...
0
votes
2answers
256 views

“chance” as a verb in context [closed]

In the following text, is "chance" a verb or a noun? Very few did better than chance in spotting which was which. Could I replace it with "guess"?
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What does “binder” mean? Why did it become a political buzzword?

I’ve been seeing a lot of “binders” in recent newspaper and magazine articles dealing with the recent Presidential debates. For examples: Time magazines October 19 issues carries the article titled, ...
2
votes
2answers
126 views

US English — “primary grains being produced” vs. “major cereals being produced”

I am correcting a Spanish-to-English translation that states, The primary grains being produced in the world are maize, wheat, rice, barley, sorghum and oats. I would prefer to use cereals ...
6
votes
2answers
208 views

What does “Watch the plain clothes” account for in terms of “Cheap liquor nationalism”?

International Herald Tribune (September 30) introduced a commentary of Japanese novelist, Haruki Murakami who is regarded as a favorite for this year’s Nobel Prize in literature on Japan’s dispute ...
-1
votes
2answers
224 views

What does “toast” mean here? [closed]

... Since there are only about 328 wolves in a state with a historic blood thirst for the hides of these top predators, the nonprofits are probably right that lacking protection, Wyoming wolves are ...
3
votes
4answers
62k views

What does 'abstract ideas' mean? [closed]

In the sentence for example: This book would also interest intelligent students with a taste for abstract ideas and theoretical arguments. What does the phrase "abstract ideas" mean? I looked up ...
-1
votes
1answer
76 views

Meaning of “drag” in “lights stretching across the main drag spelled…” [closed]

What is the meaning of drag in this context? (From first paragraph of “The Sanctuary”, by Elif Batuman, New Yorker, December 19, 2011) Directly outside the window, Vegas-style lights stretching ...
2
votes
3answers
476 views

Meaning of “classes meet at their regular times”

Classes meet at their regular times, and we're able to attend as many (or as few) as we want. — Source Does classes in this sentence refer to groups of students or different lessons such as art ...
1
vote
4answers
1k views

Difference between “focus” and “concentration”

What is the difference between focus and concentration in the following context? High-flow activities require focus and concentration; your mind is actively engaged in what you are doing.
3
votes
1answer
407 views

Meaning of “to have no patience for…”

He has no patience for the view that instead of raising interest rates his next move will be to cut the trendsetting overnight rate. I'm not a native English speaker. I read the above sentence in ...
1
vote
2answers
386 views

Dignitary vs VIP(Very Important Person)

Incidentally I have heard the CBS news about the Bulgarian president visit in US. The exact sentence was something like: We can't be too specific about the president's schedule due to security ...
0
votes
1answer
180 views

Meaning of “individual” in “dystopian texts […] emphasize the importance of the individual”

I'm trying to help my son understand an essay question but am having trouble understanding the question myself. He's studying George Orwell's 1984 and the essay question is this: Dystopian texts ...
0
votes
3answers
293 views

What does “realization” mean in this context?

I read a paper, named A Hybrid Novelty Score and Its Use in Keystroke Dynamics-Based User Authentication. It states in section 3 that For data sets, we used 10 realizations for parameter ...
4
votes
6answers
482 views

“Group” vs. “community” usage

Question 1 When we have a certain number of people that share the same interest, do we refer to them as: interest group or community [sharing same interest]? What would be preferred and more ...
3
votes
1answer
174 views

What does “O'Doul” refer to in this context? [closed]

In the latest episode of the sitcom The Big Bang Theory, there was this joke: I’ve got a lab full of alcoholic monkeys and tomorrow is the day we switch ‘em to O’Doul’s. I can't really ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What does ‘bookend’ mean in President Obama’s remark, “My address on Tuesday will be a bookend to what I said in Kansas”?

The Time magazine’s (January 21) article titled ‘Osawatomie Reprised,’ reported that President Obama said his address will "be a bookend" to his Kansas speech last month, in video previewing Tuesday's ...
4
votes
3answers
18k views

What is the difference between “brain” and “mind”?

Could someone please explain the contextual difference of this two words? If I for instance say: I am using my brain to decide in what direction to move. or I am using my mind to decide in ...
0
votes
1answer
347 views

Which word is the closest in meaning to “insouciance” in the given context?

Insouciance: His insouciance, which was kept in check by the law of custom, had its root, like most other evils, in selfishness (a) apathy (b) lassitude (c) deceit (d) indecision To me ...
4
votes
2answers
18k views

What are initials?

I am filling a form for living in the campus on a university in Australia. The due date for sending this application is near, and I have asked the very same question to them in e-mail and haven't got ...
8
votes
5answers
4k views

What is the meaning of “pole to pole” here?

In the poem Invictus by William Ernest Henley (Youtube) I failed to grasp the meaning of the line "black as the pit from pole to pole": Out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from ...