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28

I'm pretty sure it means that he looks good in a hat. Not sure if UrbanDictionary is a good reference, but this is the definition I mean: Rockin' Wearing something proudly and/or looking good wearing something. He's really rockin' that new hat of his! He's really rockin' that new haircut. Taken from UrbanDictionary: Rockin'


17

Headlines are not always monointerpretable. They tend to have several interpretations - which is good, they make you read the article for more. Actually, there are even more possibilities than the two you mention. he may have multiple wives, and he killed the tenth one he was married ten times - this one he murdered he may be married or not, but he ...


15

My eldest son can rock a hat. I am the opposite: even great hats look terrible on me. To rock a hat is to look great in a hat. On an errand this weekend, I saw these chic summer hats on display.... They’re designed by Eugenia Kim, a New York based milliner. I was tempted to buy one but I’m not sure I can rock a hat. and It's not top brands or ...


7

According to Wikipedia an illusion is any distortion of the senses. Dictionaries similarly don't explicitly define illusions as visual. So no - it's not a tautology, optical defines what kind of illusion it is. An example of an auditory illusion, is the Sheppard's tone.


6

To rock a hat is a slang term meaning to wear a hat. How one looks in the hat is not always relevant, although it can refer to looks depending on how the phrase is used. In this example the only implication is to wear a hat: I think I will rock a hat for the party tomorrow night. Whereas in this one it is strongly suggested that Eric looks good in the ...


6

Mrs. Mummery is tired. Why is she tired, Mr. Mummery might wonder. "Mrs. Mummery is tired because she works too hard. I warned her, but she insisted on turning out the dining room today" says the help, Mrs. Sutton. "That's what did it. That's why she's resting." (As I am an American, I have never turned out a dining room, but I have cleaned it and ...


5

To give someone up might apply to someone putting up their child for adoption, or something of a similar nature. She gave the baby up because she wasn't ready to be a mother. She wants to give the baby up because she's not ready to be a mother.


5

There's quite a few idioms in there, very suggestive of Mrs Sutton being uneducated / lower class. "Turning out the dining room" - cleaning / tidying the dining room "It was X done it" - incorrect conjugation of "It was X that did it". So Mrs Sutton is (with some incorrect English) saying that the act of cleaning the dining room was what caused something ...


4

Optical illusion is not a tautology, any more than an auditory hallucination is. An illusion is a thing that is or is likely to be wrongly perceived or interpreted by the senses. The word comes from the Latin for "to play against" or "to mock". There are sensory illusions other than optical. There are auditory illusions, olfactory illusions, illusions of ...


3

I'd say that the negative connotations associated with the terms 'overachiever' / 'overachieving' derive largely from the implication that the person referenced is being claimed to be less good than their results would indicate. It is being claimed that they 'flatter to deceive'. It's the insinuation that 'they're not really as good as they seem to be' ...


3

Yes, it definitely can have negative connotations. "Overachieve[r/ing]" often carries an implication of smugness, superiority, or over-eagerness, and in some cases, possibly a sense of being overextended and trying to do to much. While this isn't universally true - it's not hard to find positive uses - the negative connotation is sufficiently common - and ...


3

In the Law of Wills, "relatives" are legitimate and "relations" are related by blood whether lacking legitimacy or not: Source The popular meaning of the word "relatives" or "relations" is that of all persons within any degree whatever of consanguinity or affinity. But when the word "relations" is used in a will to denote a class of beneficiaries, it ...


3

Fodder is food for animals. In an idiomatic way, it is used in much the same way here as in the expression food for thought. The allegations could provide Russian officials with material to create a pretext. The word fodder usually comes with negative connotations. Although it provides something for them to create that context, it will not provide any ...


3

Latter is at the end. Being the second of two persons or things mentioned; near or nearer to the end. It has more to do with placement, so to speak. Location, real or figurative. Between captain and major, the latter is the higher rank. My favorite is the latter part of the book. Later has more to do with time. She arrived an hour later than expected. ...


2

The editors of The Oxford Learner's Thesaurus (2008) argue that even though sometimes they are interchangeable, relative is often used "when the exact relationship between the people is not known or does not matter," whereas relation is used "especially when you are stating or asking the degree of relationship between people."


2

The only example I can find where the two are not interchangeable is in the expression no relation". When two people have the same surname but there is no family tie, the words no relation are often inserted e.g. G. Smith, K. Smith (no relation). It is used to negate, to separate, not to link. In French, the word relations exists, but it means contacts in a ...


2

My speculation is that "relations" now carries a rather negative connotation. The most common use of "relations" that I can think of is of a sexual nature. Usually, trying to sound more tactful, media and other outlets will basically use this type of terminology over anything more direct. I personally would not feel comfortable using this word for this ...


2

As medica said in a (now deleted) comment, "He" is a ranger. In the series, Rangers go on forays beyond the wall, into the wild lands to suppress the people who live there. Each foray is called a "ranging". Many works of fiction employ invented vocabularies as part of the fictitious world invented by the author.


2

I don't have a whole lot to base this on, but to use an example given by another poster: "The ticket sales barely/hardly cover the expenses" - either could be used but there is a different "feel" to them. It seems to me that they are completely different here. If the ticket sales barely cover the expenses, they cover them, but only by a little (e.g., ...


2

It's a reference to the prophecy that King Arthur will return. The idea is that he was once king, and will be again. As far as I know, T.H. White did in fact coin the phrase for his Arthurian book The Once and Future King, but you'll occasionally hear it adapted for other uses ("ladies and gentleman, the once and future champion!"), presumably as an ...


2

I'm taking a guess here, but in T.H. White's book of that title about Arthur (if I remember correctly), Merlin, who plays a very prominent role in the book (perhaps more so than even Arthur, at least in the Sword and the Stone book), is traveling through time backwards, so to Merlin, Arthur already was king (Merlin complains about life in the 20th c). Merlin ...


2

didactic (from the Greek didaktikos, "apt at teaching") means intended for instruction; instructive; 2. inclined to teach or lecture others too much: a boring, didactic speaker. Most instructors are, by nature, didactic. In medicine, the Socratic method (a didactic approach) of teaching is used, and has been for centuries. However, it is abused, and when ...


2

From Wikipedia: Stereotypes of Jews are caricatured and generalized representations of Jews, often of a racist nature. Jews are commonly caricatured as having large noses or hook noses. I don't think the meaning of the phrase goes anything beyond physical appearance. Such stereotypes would be considered rude and insensitive and would be best avoided. ...


2

Conk is a colloquial expression for nose, quite frequently implying a large size. See also definitions 3 and 4 here. It would refer, in your example, to the stereotypical size and shape of a Jewish nose, which according to the Jewish Encyclopedia is perhaps not as widespread (no pun intended) as caricaturists would lead us to believe. I would suggest that ...


2

"Apple Appetite" isn't how a native speaker would put it. They/I would say any of the following: I have an appetite for apples I am hungry for apples I want an apple Thus, a straight substitute in context might be: Appetite for Apples Hungry for Apples? Want Apples? All of which would be reasonable restaurant names in my opinion (British English), ...


2

Fodder is raw material which can be used to build something. It is not particularly idiomatic when used in this way. While U.S. officials denied those accusations, confirmation of Brennan's visit could provide fodder for Russian officials to create a pretext for further incursions into eastern Ukraine. In this context, it means that the Russian ...


2

The Barlow knife in question was an inexpensive and substandard knife1. The boys were very excited to have a genuine Barlow. However, a counterfeit Barlow could not possibly have been a worse knife; thus the knife could not have been "counterfeited to its injury". 1 I assume Barlow also made better knives.


2

I would understand it in the following way: What was the cause of her being unwell? It was (her) turning out the dining room, (that was what has) done it (read: her not being well for "it"). Or: (that has) done it. I would not use the term incorrect English. Sayers renders the way simple uneducated people speak and that is interesting and attractive. If ...


1

A honky-tonk was an old American term for a bar that played music, usually country music. Playing the honky-tonk probably refers to a honky-tonk piano, which is a piano that has been modified to alter the sound it produces, making it sound more tinny or percussive. It might also refer to the style of music being played. Play the honky-tonk like anything just ...


1

Dixie is a form of American music, blowing dixie is probably also a pun on Whistling Dixie Double four time is four-four time, a musical time signature - somebody with more musical knowledge could probably explain this better but I suppose it's very fast or hard to blow!



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