The meaning of phrases.

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1answer
17 views

“to take on a momentum of its own”

Can anyone help me with the meaning of the phrase "to take on a momentum of its own"? Does it mean "to start to continue its progress on its own without external assistance" or something like this? ...
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2answers
26 views

What does “in place” mean in the sentence “Can you do this in place?”

I have a problem from Cracking the coding interview book. Description is the following: "Given an image represented by an NxN matrix, where each pixel in the image is 4 bytes, write a method ...
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1answer
35 views

is it correct to use 'often a times'?

Does the phrase "often a times" exist? If so, what is the correct way to use it? Would the following sentence be correct? I have seen him loafing about in the streets often a times.
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2answers
57 views

How can I say this in other words? [closed]

Recently I took a personality test and got some good results. However, there was a part of the full description that I didn't understand. I'd like to know how I can say this text in other words, must ...
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0answers
32 views

meaning of “trailing clouds of glory”

Can anyone please explain a bit about the meaning of the phrase "trailing clouds of glory"? Context: Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting: The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star, Hath had ...
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3answers
55 views

What does “good doctor” mean?

There's this quote from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, about brain augmentation, that's been bothering me: I think, and my thoughts cross the barrier into the synapses of the machine – just as the ...
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2answers
48 views

A week on monday? [duplicate]

Someone asked "When is your job interview?" And the other answered "A week on Monday." What does it mean by using "a week" before Monday? Does it mean Monday next week?
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1answer
28 views

What is the origin of the phrase “Sharp Showers” in UK Met Office Forecasts

The UK Meterological Office is the government body responsible for weather forecasting here. On TV and radio forecasts, they have taken to using the phrase "sharp showers" to indicate sudden, heavy ...
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1answer
27 views

Which is the correct usage about act up? [closed]

Which is the correct usage of the verb act up? Your wound has acted up. Your wound acted up. Your wound act up.
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3answers
72 views

Person with Little Or No Knowledge [closed]

Person with Little Or No Knowledge is called what? I want to know one word for this phrase.
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2answers
68 views

Could someone explain to me the difference between “based upon”/“based on” and “according to”?

I am assuming "based upon" and "based on" are basically the same phrase. In my language, "based upon" and "according to" have pretty much the same translation. What is actually the difference? ...
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0answers
23 views

How can I interpret this short passage? [migrated]

The passage is a part from Barron's 6 GRE Practice Tests. Yet if Coupland and his compatriots do not recognize their place in Canadian literature, Coupland does recognize himself as a Canadian ...
0
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1answer
64 views

What is 'it' in this sentence? (Need interpretation) [closed]

Where sign language was found among Native American tribes it was largely uniform. I don't know what the real subject is in this statement and what it means here. Why are tribes and it, both ...
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2answers
31 views

what is the proper interpretation of “or”, does it mean earlier or later if not specified

If a phrase say you may terminate an agreement in 10 years or when 12 units have been sold, does this mean that you may terminate on the earlier of 10 years or when 12 units have been sold or the ...
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1answer
51 views

what does “hold off” mean [closed]

I updated my colleague about a travel subscription confirmation. And he said "Great News! Hold off on arranging travel until I hear from Bill today." I got the point - Dont arrange any travel. But I ...
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0answers
30 views

What does it mean to say “The tie has got quite a lot”

Today, when I was making some tea for myself in the staff room, my colleague told me something that I didn't really understand. I would like to know what does this saying mean. I filled half my glass ...
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1answer
25 views

What does the phrase “it wouldn't take” mean in this context?

An episode of Seinfeld has the following dialogue: GEORGE: "What day is today? Oh... Tuesday! Damn it. I shouldn't have worked out today. Mr. Wilhem has called a big meeting and now I'm gonna ...
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1answer
66 views

What is the meaning of…“and as many centuries”? [closed]

In the book Pinocchio in Venice by Robert Coover, there's this sentence: On a winter evening of the year 19—, after arduous travels across two continents and as many centuries... What does ...
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1answer
37 views

What is the meaning of “get held under the water”?

"You pull in the barrel and then you eat it and you just go spinning and get held under water forever" I read it but I didn't really get it. I mean does it means that he drowns? Please help me ...
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2answers
60 views

Term for referring to someone with mediocre words to describe their greatness

What is the term for describing the following sort of phrases used to humoristically, and almost affectionately, describe someone who is obviously well known to be superb in their field? Referring ...
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0answers
53 views

What does 'a box-like plan' mean? I met this in '' This Side of Paradise''

In '' This Side of Paradise'' by F.Scott Fitzgerald there is a sentence As they stepped into the machine he hurriedly slapped the paint of diplomacy over a rather box-like plan he had conceived. ...
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2answers
40 views

Origin and meaning of “chaff before the wind”

I've usually encountered the phrase "chaff before the wind" in the context of the Bible and the Book of Mormon. I would like to know where it originates from historically and what imagery should come ...
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0answers
47 views

What does “dolphins … get second billing” mean?

The dolphins had deduced, correctly, that they would get second billing. What does this sentence mean? Is "second billing" an idiom of some kind?
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1answer
45 views

I admired the theme to his theft

Hello everyone I am a non-native student of English. To improve my English I love reading books. Now I am reading a book "Second Hand" by Michael Zadoorian about a boy who owns a second hand store and ...
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3answers
61 views

Where does the phrase “flag it” come from [closed]

Where does the phrase flag it come from, as in Oh, flag it, it's not working, I'm going to bed.
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1answer
40 views

“empirically ubiquitous”: what does “empirically” mean here?

I am translating an American article about a theatre production, and there's a phrase I can't understand. It uses the word "empirically" but if I'm not mistaken has nothing to do with ...
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1answer
59 views

What is the meaning of the phrase “all the more impressive”? [closed]

Vestager has a reputation for toughness, stemming from her time as economics minister and deputy prime minister in Denmark. She managed to push through the Radikale Venstre party’s centrist agenda ...
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1answer
36 views

Does 'hook up' imply a superficial relationship?

I am a non-native speaker. I would like to express that something happened two years after a character has formed a relationship with a loved one. This is what I wrote: Two years after I hooked ...
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1answer
55 views

Say “you guys” to a group of people [duplicate]

Can we say "guys" to a group of people, that group possibly including women? Example sentence: I am looking forward to see you guys then!
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2answers
269 views

“to take someone to task” does not mean to make someone do something?

I just looked up the translation of the German expression jemanden zur Rede stellen. The one translation for that expression I found was to take someone to task. I use the German expression to ...
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3answers
91 views

Exact meaning of 'swallow thickly' [closed]

What does the phrase "swallow thickly" mean?
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4answers
46 views

What does “wont to suppose” mean? [closed]

Here is the source: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1910/06/medical-education-in-america/306088/#disqus_thread "Our teachers were men of fine character, devoted to the duties of their ...
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0answers
39 views

meaning of as - as in following sentence [duplicate]

"The Plaza hotel is as near as it gets to the best shopping along New York's famous Fifth Avenue." Whats the meaning of this sentence?and what does as-as means here?
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4answers
756 views

what does the preposition “up” mean in “He got beaten up by other kids in school”?

Many times I heard people say that "beat up someone". But on the internet, I can only found this definition which does not seem matching with the word beat up in the above sentence "beat-up:(of a ...
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1answer
44 views

What does 'For long, in need' mean? [closed]

What does the phrase "For long, in need" connote?
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2answers
70 views

Does inscrutable mean “hard to figure out”?

To figure out usually means to find out.....although on Dictionary.com, it's defined as "hard to understand or solve" with none of its definition close to "to find out". What puzzles me more is the ...
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1answer
41 views

what do “free to change” and “but of all models” mean?

What do "free to change" and "but of all models" mean in this sentence "Topologists, for example, do not study the singularities structuring the possibility space of a model free to change in its ...
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0answers
36 views

a very strange sentence. please help to understand [duplicate]

There is a book by Galina Demykina "The lost girl and the scallywags" (a Russian one, translated into English, 1977) and there is a very strange sentence: "Zoya saw nothing save thick, ever so thick ...
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1answer
56 views

What's the meaning of the expression “without the presence of God and Jesus.” [closed]

When I was reading an article, I came across a particular phrase and couldn't figure it out. The secret formula of Coca-Cola is fiercely protected, so much so that only two people who work at ...
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1answer
65 views

Meaning of the phrase “cutting their noses to spite their faces”

What is the meaning of the phrase "cutting their noses to spite their faces"? I came across this phrase in the following context : As many as 22 states currently are cutting their noses to spite ...
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1answer
40 views

What does “nothing that” mean? [closed]

I read this article- Greeks take to the streets for dueling rallies that reflect a divided nation in Washington post. And I'm confused about what the "nothing that" means in this part : The ...
3
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3answers
239 views

Is there a word similar to Verbatim that means “Too many meaningless words used”? [duplicate]

Is there a word similar to Verbatim that means "Too many meaningless words used" ? I am looking for a word which describes the statement is meaningless with too many words.
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6answers
749 views

non-condecending term that has the meaning that is usually associated to 'first world'

I've always thought of the 'first world' as countries with modern technology and science, proper education, viable economies, and freedom from other social issues which allows individuals to enjoy a ...
2
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1answer
55 views

What is the meaning of this “go in and out”? [closed]

What is the meaning of this "go in and out": (from Randall Jarrell’s The Bat-Poet) The chipmunk said in a pleased voice: "My day." He sat there and listened while the bat said: In and out the ...
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3answers
89 views

What does “bet-covering” mean in this context?

As always, I'm stuck in a Hitchens sentence from God Is Not Great. Here it is: If you believe in god and there is a god, you win. If you believe in him and you are wrong — so what? I once wrote a ...
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1answer
65 views

the switch went on (definition)

I heard this in a documentary. The speaker is some serial killer who claims he started his rampage after watching a video. He goes like this: "I put one of the videos in and what came on the ...
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1answer
64 views

'Head over heels' - why? [duplicate]

The phrase 'Head over heels' is quite often used when someone falls over: He fell head over heels But, in my mind it doesn't make much sense. If your head is over your heels (feet) then you're ...
3
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2answers
78 views

'I eat kittens before ponies' vs 'I eat kittens before I eat ponies'

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 kittens before ...
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1answer
38 views

What “harbor deception” mean? [closed]

Everyone lies to their neighbor; they flatter with their lips but harbor deception in their hearts harbor means 'a place of refuge', and deception means 'the action of deceiving ...
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3answers
373 views

What does “snooze factor eleven" mean?

In the opening of “An open letter to the White Walker Army” in The New Yorker (June 12), Sarah Larson exclaims: Dear White Walkers and Your Thousands of Undead Wights: I get it—you’re scary and ...