Questions tagged [idiom-meaning]

An idiom's figurative meaning is different from the literal meaning.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
0
votes
1answer
24 views

In “It’s down the street from the museum” and “It’s around the corner from the museum”, what does “from the museum” mean?

In “It’s down the street from the museum” and “It’s around the corner from the museum”, what does “from the museum” mean? Does it mean “near the museum”?
1
vote
2answers
17 views

The difference between two phrases [duplicate]

I need to know the difference between two phrases "learn by heart" and "learn by rote". I would be grateful if you could explain it to me. I'm not a native English speaker.
3
votes
1answer
97 views

Britishism: see you fast

In Season Two Episode One of Happy Valley, the mentor constable explains to the new recruit how helpful it is to have a good relationship with the receptionist, Joyce: Oh, and get well in with ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

Idiomatic usage of “wanting to sit” vs. “taking/having a seat”

In the following examples: "When my dad turned 70, he often felt like wanting to sit" Vs. "When my dad turned 70, he felt like taking/having a seat." Which expression sounds more natural and ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Decisions, decisions. .

I have heard an English speaker say "Jump out of the window or stay for the Science class? Decisions, decisions...". Could you please tell me if this idiom means "what a difficult decision to make"?
1
vote
1answer
2k views

What is the meaning of 'lean all in my bladder'?

This verse comes from the song 'Old town roads' and I've never heard it before, can't find a definition/explanation online either. Thank you !
0
votes
0answers
30 views

What does “..<something> can go (only) one way from here(there)..” mean?

I am struggling to fully grasp the meaning of this idiom: ...(something) can go (only) one way from here (there). Here some examples of usage: Given that public finances are almost certain to ...
-1
votes
1answer
110 views

How come? and How is it that? [closed]

I use the set of words,not very often-"How come?" and "How is it that?" Can both the set of words be used to express same meaning? Phrase and idiom meaning of the two sentences are nearly same. ...
1
vote
1answer
32 views

Turn and Talk Meaning [closed]

What is the idiomatic meaning of turn and talk? For example: I turn and talk like a man leaving charges before a journey.
-2
votes
1answer
52 views

Top dog v Dark horse meaning difference [closed]

Could someone explain the difference between these 2 above please? Upon its win does a dark horse then become a top dog? Would a dark horse be more similar to an underdog?
-1
votes
2answers
56 views

What does “that ship never left the port” mean?

I've heard this used in Britain (specifically England). Could someone explain to me what its meaning is?
0
votes
1answer
41 views

What is the meaning of the phrase 'all our'?

I read a sentence recently: 'May there be sweet-sour flavour in all our lives'. What is the meaning of the phrase 'all our'? Does it mean 'in the lives of all of us' or 'all through our lives'?
1
vote
0answers
70 views

Explanation of idiom “Can't sit on one's hair”

Reading a book by Salman Rushdie ("Shame") and there's such an expression, I guess it should be an idiom, but I can't find its explanation. So, the author describes his younger sister. ...Who is ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

What does it mean “to have claim over something”?

This is a sentence from the book Everything I Know About Love: I thought we had claim over each other’s twenties before we’d inevitably have to give the other one up.
0
votes
1answer
56 views

What do these uncommon expressions mean?

I'm a non-native English speaker and I've heard and read a lot of expressions that I believe are supposed to mean "Goodbye"; however, I don't really know what they mean (in a literal sense) and how I'...
-1
votes
1answer
52 views

Meaning of “to gird up one's loins” (King James English) [closed]

What is the meaning of [to] "gird up [one's] loins"?
0
votes
1answer
30 views

“Failed of late” meaning? [closed]

What is meant by "failed of late" in the following: "How is your mother, Diana? Dear me, but she has failed of late. She looks terrible run down." ?
-2
votes
2answers
174 views

What does “bc same” mean? [closed]

What does “bc same” mean after a question? Sth like: Have you ever done that? Bc same. Thanks
-1
votes
1answer
35 views

What does “apathy on matters African” mean?

"America’s apathy on matters African is one reason such initiatives have slowed of late." What does "apathy on matters African" mean?
-1
votes
1answer
38 views

Mystical oriental kitten

In this article https://aeon.co/ideas/tidying-up-is-not-joyful-but-another-misuse-of-eastern-ideas what does this sentence mean? "Which, to be clear, they are. Poor old Confucius features in these ...
0
votes
2answers
50 views

What does “more than intended with” mean here?

"China's rulers reveal more than intended with clunky propaganda about their accountability." What does "more than intended with" mean here?
0
votes
1answer
97 views

Can't-be-arsed as an adjective?

Can't be arsed means can't be bothered. It means that one can't be bothered to do something. I've seen it being used as an adjective. What could can't be arsed ice cream mean? The original texts says:...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

What does “step back” imply here?

"The aim would be to block investment in only the most sensitive industries, such as defence, police it rigorously in important ones, such as technology, and otherwise step back." What does "...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

What is the exact meaning of “bid him be of good heart”? [closed]

“He is a prophet of this people,” Waraqa assured his cousin after hearing her story. “Bid him be of good heart.” What is the exact meaning of "bid him be of good heart" here? Pls help.
0
votes
1answer
215 views

What does “as has” mean here? [closed]

"In Britain the price of a new drug for cystic fibrosis has provoked fury, as has the government’s refusal to pay it." What does "as has" mean here?
1
vote
2answers
224 views

What does “as…as” mean here?

Even as legalistic an institution as the EU ought to be able to find a way around snags such as this. Can anyone restructure the sentence to simpler ones as it is not clear for me? For example, ...
2
votes
2answers
64 views

On the hoof expression

A friend has asked me if they can say: I said those words on the hoof. It doesn’t sound right to me as I’m used to hearing it with eating: I had to grab lunch on the hoof. Is it correct, and if so, ...
0
votes
2answers
615 views

The meaning of the expression “Never laugh at live dragons”

I'm a big Tolkien fan and have read LOTR and The Hobbit many times. However, there's one quote from The Hobbit that I've never fully understood, and that is the phrase, "Never laugh at live dragons". ...
0
votes
2answers
121 views

What does “jaw-breaking” mean?

"India’s prime minister has promised a "jaw-breaking response" to the killing of 40 Indian paramilitary police." What does “jaw-breaking response” mean?
0
votes
1answer
25 views

Why does a Californian utility spark wildfires? [closed]

"PG&E, a Californian utility, was forced into bankruptcy protection in January after insurers and creditors fled when they concluded that it could be on the hook for billion-dollar liabilities ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

“If I knew something about [X], I couldn't tell you what it is!”

Someone has told me that, because I asked about X. I know that the person has confidentiality concerns about the X-related issues. Now I'm wondering: does that statement imply anything specific? ...
2
votes
2answers
262 views

“Tinkle contest with a skunk”

What does the following idiom mean: "Tinkle contest with a skunk". And where was this idiom first used ? Does anybody know the origin?? Example: Yesterday, in an unsuccessful attempt to discuss ...
0
votes
1answer
263 views

What does “run the place” mean here? [closed]

"Virginia's state government seemed unable to find anyone to run the place who has not either applied boot polish to his face while at college or been accused of sexual assault. " What do "run the ...
0
votes
1answer
256 views

when can you use cut your teeth on something from the first person perspective?

I was helping a friend to proof read and found this sentence very cringey. 'Also, Chambers that give their pupil first-hand experience which they can cut their teeth on their legal careers in the long ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Meaning of “feet to the flames”

Nia Warfield, "Crude oil is on track for its best January ever," CNBC: Kelly also noted that investors are now holding oil companies' "feet to the flames" to increase cash flow amid the surge ...
1
vote
0answers
44 views

Idiom: “bulky and leaky”

What is the meaning and origin of the idiom "bulky and leaky"? I ran into it in the sentence: Java already has somewhat a (bulky and leaky) type of closure: anonymous inner classes There is ...
2
votes
1answer
90 views

Meaning of 'to charm water out of sand'

What is the meaning of the idiom 'to charm water out of sand'? I heard it in a conversation and cannot find any such idiom online.
-1
votes
1answer
41 views

What comes into mind of a native speaker on "Please do it yourself!”?

I have read a sign which started with "Please do it yourself!". I read it and started laughing. May be because a possible special meaning of "it" or "do it" like in "do it with somebody". Is this ...
0
votes
1answer
681 views

How disrespectful is it to say “with all due respect if there is any due” and is there another way of saying this?

What does it mean when someone says in a debate "with all due respect, if there is any due" and would it be considered a little disrespectful or very disrespectful? Also these days is the phrase "with ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

What does it mean by “wasn’t everybody saying”? [closed]

"As Mr Trump’s opponents called this a disaster, his supporters lambasted their criticism as hysterical—wasn’t everybody saying a year ago that it was sinister to have so many generals in the cabinet?"...
0
votes
1answer
178 views

“Standing on your dignity” meaning

Good day, I found an old Melbourne, AU tram ticket from sixties. On the back of it there is a writing "Standing on your dignity is a very insecure footing". Trying to decipher the phrase, I fail to ...
6
votes
2answers
586 views

“I hope she hangs the moon”

I am always on the watch out for new unfamiliar idioms, especially in American English, and today I found one “to hang the moon”. "And so she's now talked about a lot," McCaskill added. "I'm not ...
0
votes
1answer
297 views

What does “Step up the two of us” mean? [closed]

Can anyone explain to me, what does "step up" mean in the song Imagine by Ariana Grande, which she says at the beginning: "Step up the two of us, nobody knows us get in the car like skrrt"
1
vote
4answers
116 views

What does it mean by “in their thousands”?

"SpaceX and OneWeb, a communications firm, plan to launch satellites in their thousands, not hundreds." What does it mean by "in their thousands"?
0
votes
1answer
17 views

What does it mean by “a hotspot for anti-microbial resistance”?

"Widespread dumping of antibiotics in rivers has made the country a hotspot for anti-microbial resistance. " What does it mean by "a hotspot for anti-microbial resistance"?
2
votes
1answer
31 views

What does it mean by “made a national champion of”?

"Although the chip battle may have pre-dated Mr Trump, his presidency has intensified it. He has made a national champion of Qualcomm, blocking a bid for it from a Singaporean firm for fear of Chinese ...
1
vote
1answer
24 views

What does “risk divides too wide for any bridge” mean?

I read a sentence "China should re-learn Deng’s self-knowledge, or risk divides too wide for any bridge." Can you help explain the meaning of "risk divides too wide for any bridge" and show where the ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

What does “liberal's idea of a model” mean?

What does "no Ameican liberal's idea of a model" mean in the sentence "South Carolina, no American liberal’s idea of a model, has pursued a notably enlightened reform to the sentencing of non-violent ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

What does “the dog who caught the car” mean?

There's a back-and-forth email correspondence between Sam Harris and Noam Chomsky discussing ethics here. In one of the emails Sam says to Noam: I trust that certain of your acolytes would love to ...
3
votes
1answer
309 views

Phrase: “goes like a rattlesnake”?

While watching episode 3 of season 2 of "Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father" I came across the the following sentences, all by the same native (British) English speaker (aged 78 at the time of ...