1
vote
1answer
24 views

Phrase: give pause

What exactly does the phrase give (sb.) pause mean? Is it just a simple shortening of the following?: give pause to someone (or give someone pause for thought) cause someone to think ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

What's the difference between patent and obvious?

Patent is used a lot more in "serious" matters, like legal breaches, such as a "patent breach of law," but does that really mean anything? Does "patent" just sound more refined?
0
votes
0answers
42 views

What is the difference between “matter-containing media” and “matter”?

I'm reading the english wikipedia entry titled "Radiation". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation you can find the word in the first paragraph, or by searching. so... What is the difference between ...
7
votes
3answers
90 views

The usage of “banzai”

I started to reread a pretty old mystery of Thomas Harris, “The silence of the lambs,” which I once gave up reading because of difficulty of understanding the narrative studded with technical jargons ...
0
votes
2answers
87 views

What's the accurate meaning of “forget yourself”?

I was looking for a translation of the German expression "bevor ich mich vergesse" (lit. before I forget myself) and looked up if the literal translation could be used. In German this expression ...
1
vote
2answers
107 views

What is the meaning of the phrase “this side of x”? And how do I use it?

Since I don't understand it in the first place, I better just give you an example: Cracked.com example, says otherwise known as "the pettiest hobo crime this side of aggressive panhandling." ...
2
votes
2answers
60 views

What is the definition of definition?

Does a definition need to provide a unique or near-unique description or can non-unique descriptions also be categorized as definitions? For example: Is the statement "An apple is a fruit" a ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

What does “bupke” mean?

There was the following passage in the New Yorker's (August 27) article titled, “A scandal at the C.I.A. May be.” : In January I (David Shafer, novelist) filed a Freedom of Information Act request ...
0
votes
2answers
122 views

What two words best describe these features?

I am in the middle of developing an app. I'm having some trouble trying to decide the best usage for two features in particular. I know what both of these words mean, but I am becoming increasingly ...
-1
votes
4answers
115 views

Does the verb “trounce” have dual meanings of active and passive voice in its gerund form,”trouncing”?

There was the following sentence in Time magazine (June 28) article titled, “Reform in Japan – The third arrow” analyzing Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe’s so called, Abenomix policies to ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

Antonym of heartbreaker? [closed]

In one of my short stories, I have to compare a guy who is a heartbreaker to someone who is exactly the opposite of him. Instead of describing the opposite character of the guy, I am looking for a ...
1
vote
1answer
254 views

“Visible strap of the bra on shoulder”?

Is there any word for the strap of the bra that is visible on shoulder.? Mostly it is addressed as strap which is obviously a common word not specific to bra or any inner-wear.
0
votes
1answer
68 views

Age old question: What's the meaning of 'word'? [duplicate]

An old question, for which I could find absolutely NO reference on the internet for many years. Perhaps I wasn't looking in the right places, but I have no clue about its usage either. Then I ...
3
votes
1answer
123 views

Is “balanced literacy” a generic term, or elementary education specific?

“The Room for Debate Section” of New York Times (July 3rd) deals with “the Right Approach to Reading Instruction,” and throws the question; “The student-led approach to reading and writing known ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

What does 'address an issue' mean? [closed]

I always understood 'address an issue' to mean fix or solve an issue. However, a colleague of mine questioned this today and after doing a web search it seems that the more correct or common meaning ...
3
votes
4answers
98 views

Is the term “professional” justifiably reduced to “being paid to do something”?

I very often hear people call themselves professional at something they haven’t been doing long. On the rare occasions that I ask them how they feel able to qualify themselves as professional, the ...
2
votes
3answers
328 views

Pretty Please and Similar Phrases

I was wondering who uses 'pretty please?' Is it used mainly by girls? Under what circumstances? Thank you for replying.
7
votes
1answer
175 views

Are “was/were able to” and “could” interchangeable?

In a grammar book, the claim was made that in the following sentences one cannot substitute "was/were able to" with "could." The fire spread through the building very quickly, but everyone was ...
0
votes
2answers
94 views

What does “rooster tail”(ing) mean?

"The Winnebago galumphs across the landscape, scattering cows. It catches a wheel and sprays a rooster tail of red dirt." "catches a wheel"? And "rooster tail"? If "Catches a wheel" means the ...
1
vote
3answers
109 views

What is the usage of “need to want”?

"Indeed, whoever buys this needs to want a tablet and laptop in more or less equal measure." "Needs to want"? Isn't it a kind of unnecessary way around saying: "I think that people buy this if they ...
0
votes
5answers
2k views

What does “What are you into?” mean?

I personally don't use this question in spoken language but I usually see it in written language. I also frequently see that when someone asks this question, it elicits in turn the question "What do ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

What does “stuff one's nose into another's orifices” mean?

According to Maureen Dowd's article in New York Times (May 20) under the headline, “Remember to forget,” the European Court of Justice ruled last week that Google and other search engines can be ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

What does ‘Konrad Lorentz’s observation was “one sentence”’ mean?

New York Times (May 20) introduces a study of Dr. Johanna H. Meijer at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands that proves mice are really enjoying wheel-running in the article titled, ...
3
votes
2answers
379 views

What does repetitive “#s” before “pushy, bossy, polarizing women and men” account for?

New York Times (May 17) reported Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher of The New York Times decided to fire its executive editor, Jill Abramson, under the headline, “Times publisher denies gender ...
2
votes
3answers
558 views

Is there any difference between “word-for-word translation” and “word-by-word translation” and is the latter actually valid?

First off, some data: According to COCA "word-for-word" has 60 usages, 3 of them are "word-for-word translation". "Word-by-word" has 26 usages, none of them are "word-by-word" (but some with ...
4
votes
2answers
465 views

What does “love me do” mean?

As many of you know, there is a famous song by the Beatles entitled Love Me Do. Nevertheless, I have some doubts about the correctness of such a title. Does "love me do" mean the same as "love me" or ...
0
votes
2answers
156 views

The usage of “ inside-out and outside-in ” [closed]

Do we have both the usages of inside-out and outside-in? inside-out means: with the inner surface turned outward. So basically they are the opposite meaning? Perform inside-out and then perform ...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

Backfill - meaning

Source: http://rt.com/news/155168-us-eu-sanctions-russia/ But Europe has much to lose from imposing economic sanctions on Russia, and Obama said he sees how US-only sanctions won’t work. “If ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Partisans interest - meaning [closed]

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/al-qaeda-chief-urges-westerner-kidnappings-prisoner-exchanges-114335980.html "The Ummah (Muslim world) must support this jihad with all that it can, and the ...
0
votes
1answer
131 views

industrial-grade - meaning

The future of PHP looks very bright. Leading platform vendors such as IBM, Oracle, MySQL, Intel, and, most recently, Red Hat have all endorsed it. The new Collaboration Project initiated by ...
0
votes
3answers
27 views

…if to a reduced degree - meaning, usage

Even so, many of the original advantages of stored programs (such as enhanced security and reduction in network traffic) still apply, if to a reduced degree. The use of stored programs is still ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

To have a game in hand

I have come across the expression game in hand in an article on England Premier League, as follows: Third-place City has a game in hand but the surprise result against Sunderland, coupled with ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Check out of, check into - meaning [closed]

When you are editing a stored program, check it out of the source control system and load the checked-out copy into the MySQL Query Browser or other tool. When you are satisfied with your ...
0
votes
2answers
122 views

find something gone or find something has gone

Are both of them right? Next morning when you wake up, you find your kidney has gone. Next morning when you wake up, you find your kidney gone. If they are all right, what's the difference?
1
vote
3answers
1k views

“similarly to” in the sentence beginning

Similarly to the previous version of this product, this version contains the same feature and .... (a long description of the product) Is the usage of "similarly to" in the sentence beginning ...
2
votes
4answers
447 views

Fodder - idiomatic meaning

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/little-sign-progress-obama-putin-speak-231431925--politics.html While U.S. officials denied those accusations, confirmation of Brennan's visit could provide fodder ...
1
vote
3answers
35 views

Out - usage, meaning

Different databases use different naming conventions for variable-length string datatypes. VARCHAR(n) or TEXT(n) are common naming formats for variable-length strings. Figure 3-6 shows ...
0
votes
2answers
139 views

What is the meaning of “here” at the end of a sentence and how should it be used?

I have had a few international friends ask about "here" when used at the end of a sentence such as "I could use a little help here!" or "buy me some time here!". I would like to better explain this to ...
0
votes
1answer
81 views

The meaning of “that” in this case? [closed]

"He was given no direction or no influence, other than that of fair chance." Here, what meaning does that have?
2
votes
4answers
818 views

What special implication does ‘totally’ have in “He’s totally going to call you”?

There was the following sentence in an article titled, “Like, Degrading the Language? No Way” in New York Times (April 5), in which the author says Americans are moving backward on language: ...
-1
votes
3answers
92 views

Outlier - meaning [closed]

People are rarely interested in looking at raw data; instead, people engaging in data analysis will want to manipulate the raw data to better suit their needs. Examples of common data ...
3
votes
5answers
183 views

Do readers think of the word “ejaculate” beyond its common sexual meaning? [closed]

I am an editor, and a poet whom I work with has included the expression "I ejaculated little prayers" in one of his stanzas, which we all know has the dictionary meaning of "intensely calling out." ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

What is free-form data entry?

If you are creating a column for free-form data entry, such as a notes column to hold data about customer interactions with your company’s customer service department, then varchar will probably be ...
1
vote
2answers
106 views

get the boot courtesy - idiom, meaning

It seems that William and Susan aren’t getting along very well together, so one of them has got to go. Since William was there first, Susan will get the boot courtesy of the delete statement... ...
-1
votes
3answers
74 views

By the close, meaning

The Russian ruble strengthened the most since September 2012, adding 1.6 percent to 35.2230 per dollar by 6 p.m. in Moscow and trimming its quarterly decline to 6.8 percent. The Micex Index ...
7
votes
4answers
627 views

Usage of diffuse vs. defuse

I often hear phrases such as "infantry were sent in to diffuse/defuse the situation," and I am never quite sure which people are saying, and which is correct. Both seem to make sense. To me (a ...
1
vote
2answers
56 views

doubling as a “door stop”? [closed]

With only a handful of commands, the SQL data statements look deceptively simple. In my opinion, many of the available SQL books help to foster this notion by only skimming the surface of what ...
3
votes
13answers
312 views

A word for reading something thoroughly until one understands it well? [duplicate]

I was wondering if there was one word in English for "to read something thoroughly until one understands it well"? I am trying to translate a word which has this meaning in Chinese. Thanks.
0
votes
4answers
61 views

Touch an extension - meaning

Joe, the senior developer in a team of six, has a problem with his program. He studies it for hours, with increasing frustration, but cannot figure out the source of the bug. He wouldn’t think ...
0
votes
2answers
67 views

Meaning: one Benghazi revelation away from impeachment

Spoiler alert: he's siding with his friend Vladimir Putin and not with President Obama, whom the action star believes is one Benghazi revelation away from impeachment. I can't get the meaning of ...