Questions tagged [idiom-meaning]

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

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29 views

Why do we hang on “like grim death”?

The idiom to "like grim death" is widely understood to mean something such as: like grim death = With great determination. Oxford Lexico ‘we had to hold on like grim death’ Hence we find: ...
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Idiomatic meaning or allusion of “twirl a mustache” [duplicate]

“I have a mustache but I have not started to twirl it yet” What is the implication of having a mustache, but not yet twirling it?
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Red-eyed anarchy

https://www.google.com/search?q=%22red-eyed+anarchy%22 "the world still went wondering why red-eyed anarchy...", and "listening to the exposition of red-eyed anarchy", and "...
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Usage of the idiom TAR AND FEATHER [migrated]

Does the idiom tar and feather only apply to human? Would it sound awkward to the native English speakers if the idiom is used in the context of the following sentence? The contradictory pieces of ...
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What does the idiom ‘I don’t want to be the Babylonian messenger‘ mean?

Is it related to the idiom ‘don’t shoot the messenger’?
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What does the word 'operator' mean in here?

What does the word 'operators' mean in here? Does it actually mean technical operator or is it an idiom of some sort? I noticed a connection between the barn-burning section of The Moon and ...
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Meaning of “Guess what ? Corgi butt”

It seems the sentence "Guess what ? Corgi butt" is quite popular: a web search provides a wealth of stickers, mugs and T-shirts with the same exact wording (and many cute corgis in different ...
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What does the idiom “Yellow streak” mean? [closed]

My question is and I would like to know that at one time frequently used the idiom "YELLOW STREAK" now rarely used. The Idiom is used regarding, CHINESE PEOPLE".What does the Idiom mean?...
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Usage of the idiom you cant squeeze blood out of a turnip

Does the idiom you cant squeeze blood out of a turnip only refer to money or financial-related situation? Or could it be used for any other instances i.e. evidence. For example, would it be correct to ...
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'Mortgage One's Future' Meaning [closed]

What does 'mortgage one's future' mean? It's in this presidential address. I think it's used figuratively and means 'to put something at risk/endanger'. Am I right? What synonyms would you suggest?
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Is “Go down like a shot dog” a well-received turn of phrase?

I came across the phrase “It would go down like a shot dog” in the Hill’s article (December 30th), which comes under the headline, “Hawley (Josh Hawley -R-Mo) to challenge Electoral College result in ...
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“conquer by flood and by field”

While reading an English poem from Robert M. M'Cheyne (1813–1843), Jehovah Tsidkenu (= Jehovah our Righteousness) there is one stanza that reads Jehovah Tsidkenu! my treasure and boast, Jehovah ...
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Can “to close one's eyes” mean “to die”?

I am proofreading a translation and I came across this sentence: Man’s entire life, from the moment he first sees the light of day until he closes his eyes, does not suffice to fully understand the ...
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Is there a word for the process of giving a name or label for a concept?

I'm looking to know if there is a word for naming things like in the examples below: Instead of saying "the tendency of people to accept evidence to their ideas and disregard the ones that ...
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Meaning of some words

The closing decades of an artist’s life do not generally make the biographer’s heart beat faster, but Claude Monet is one of a handful of painters who bucks the pattern of an irrelevant old age. While ...
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What does the word “than” mean in the idiom “more often than not”?

What does the word "than" mean in the idiom "more often than not"? It's not sensible for me. Thanks a lot 🌹
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I need an English expression ( preferably slang ) to express my willingness and commitment to do something [duplicate]

I need an English expression ( preferably slang ) to express my willingness and commitment to do something ( e.g I will put my heart and soul into it )
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Meaning of “at an arm's length”

I am uncertain as for meaning of at an arm's length in the following sentence. I have taken this example from an online philosophical magazine. The answer seems clear at an arm's length, but let us ...
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1answer
103 views

What's the difference between Synergy and Gestalt?

I recently discovered these 2 terms while looking for a single term to represent the phrase: The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Which term better represent this idea? I'm a business ...
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What is the meaning or origin of the idiom “a Shakespeare and a Scott”?

I came across this idiom, "a Shakespeare and a Scott," which I have found in several different writings, and haven't been able to ascertain its origin, meaning, or an appropriate synonym. &...
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55 views

What does “you'll know me again” mean in British English?

I'm reading The Lives of Christopher Chant by Diana Wynne Jones, and someone says to a stranger who is helping him, "You'll know me again, young lady." What does that mean? I think it must ...
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1answer
27 views

What does this sentence/idiom/phrase mean?

I saw a sentence in a book: When George heard that the meal was on the house, he went to thank the restaurant owner for the free food. The sentence does not make sense to me. I tried Google ...
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2answers
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What does 'lying around" mean when working on a task? [closed]

Could someone please explain what does 'lying around' mean in the following contexts? I just updated the essay for the one I had lying around. Here is a study I had lying around for a while. Thank ...
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What is the implication in “Gerald ‘Mac’ MacLean”?

"Matthew Dimmock and Gerald ‘Mac’ MacLean gave me the benefit of their unrivalled expertise in the field..." (Jerry Brotton, This Orient Isle- Elizabethan England and the Islamic World, ...
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I need your breeze more than I need your keys [closed]

What is I need your breeze referring to? It's part of a song: I know I'm not supposed to look at you the way I look at you I know I'm not supposed to look at you the way I look at you I wear my shades ...
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Where does the phrase “is money is money is money” come from? And, what does it mean?

I have heard of similar idioms in the past. Not necessarily for money. I have found myself using it many times. For example: Is truth is truth is truth? I think I know what it means. I am not sure, ...
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“Worth their gold”, “worth its gold” - are these expressions idiomatic?

The question stems from this question on Literature.SE and the discussion that followed. History: The poem "Confessions of a Born Spectator" by Ogden Nash (allegedly) contains a line "...
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How is “eff and blind” used?

A crossword clue in the Times 2 Jumbo Crossword Book—an assemblage of crosswords published in the Times—reads "use obscene language". The answer given is "eff and blind", confirmed ...
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Is the usage “My heart jumps all over the place” correct? And what does it mean if it does?

Recently, I have come across this I looked at your face and my heart jumped all over the place. I tried to look it up in dictionaries, and the only entry I could find is here https://www....
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Meaning of “a siren calling attention to a fog that it does nothing to dispel!”

From the given sentence: a siren calling attention to a fog without doing anything to dispel it! What I understand is that, there is someone who discusses complex things, but does nothing to ...
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3answers
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Which sense of the term “mileage” is intended in the phrase “your mileage may vary”?

I gather that the phrase "your mileage may vary" basically means your experience may vary. But, in general use, the term "mileage" has two different senses, and both seem to be ...
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What is the meaning of “tear to rags”

I am quoting from The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, Silver Blaze: Holmes shook his head.'A clever counsel would tear it all to rags'.
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Meaning of 'war was brewing in'

I am studying a book and there is a sentence: "By early fall, war was brewing in Iraq." What does brew mean in this context? I thought 'brew' could only be associated with a beverage.
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What is the meaning of “far to the east”? [closed]

What is the meaning of "far to the east"? It was only ofter a day and a night's delay that the emperor, by detaching troops under Victor to make a long circuit, cross the canal far to the ...
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1answer
161 views

Meaning of “the great ones play hurt”

I was watching “Monk”, season 4 episode 3, where at the end Natalie says “Mitch was right. The great ones play hurt”. She was surprised by the “bold” and unusual action by Mr. Monk, but even with this ...
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4answers
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all fire and toe

I'm reading the as-told-to memoir, No Quittin' Sense, of a black man born and raised in East Texas circa 1895. He quotes the expression "all fire and toe". After we left, Marthy said "...
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244 views

Eat or be eaten?

I've a question about friends script and I don't know the meaning. It seems that it should be an idiom. The sentence is Mrs. Green: Monica! You look gorgeous! Last time I saw you, it was eat or ...
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“For all that” as subordinating conjunction?

In the sentence, “For all that they complain, they do nothing,” is the phrase “for all that” a subordinating conjunction akin to “notwithstanding”? Also, can “that” be omitted with no loss in meaning ...
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What is the meaning of “ such as” in this text?

No difficulties had delayed the invaders but such as Nature had interposed to thwart them.
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What does “End on a short note” mean?

I'm not a native English speaker could anyone explain the meaning in usage of the term "ending on a short note." I've searched Google and Stack Exchange but could not find anything.
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What is the meaning of “to vanish from casual view”?

To provide context, I've come across the phrase in the following extract: More than 900 Stone Age circles, or henges, are known in the British Isles, and there were probably many more of which no ...
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1answer
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What's the meaning of the phrase “got some big ones” in the sentence?

I happened to see this sentence in a subtitle of a movie, it said: "To think that you used an old man and a newbie as a decoy, you've sure got some big ones, don't you?". When i try to search the ...
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“Set in stone in 1979…” or “Carved in stone in 1979” at beginning of sentence?

If I start a sentence with "Set in stone in 1979, the government ban on so-and-so..." or "Carved in stone in 1979, the government ban on so-and-so...", are both of these examples correct in grammar? ...
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What does „stocks of things, recent stuff” mean?

My friend has a problem with the phrase in the title. We’re both non-natives of English and despite my advanced level I’ve never seen such a phrase. It was said by a bilingual child while telling ...
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1answer
141 views

What does “we can make it last” mean?

in that song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LzErRydJyE because I'm not sure about meaning
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103 views

Meaning of “ Priceless ”

There are so many words that have 2 opposite meaning and there is one word that I can think of is " Priceless " As its " Part of speech" of priceless is ADJ and if you look it up the meaning on ...
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The meaning of ''in the middle of nowhere''

Please tell me the meaning of this phrase:'In the middle of nowhere'. I've found its meaning in Cambridge dictionary and The free dictionary by Farlex, but still, I can't understand.
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a quotation from the economist explanation

"if someone gave you a penny for your thoughts, would they get change?" Could you explain the sentence completely?
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Meaning of “hats and cats”?

In the film High Society, Daxter-Haven has the following line when addressing a room full of people: Dear gentle folk of Newport -- Or maybe I should say, "hats and cats"? What is the meaning of "...
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284 views

What does it mean to be someone's bulldog?

I have a passage which introduces a contemporary scientist as "Darwin's bulldog". What is that?

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