Questions tagged [meaning-in-context]

This tag is for questions about the meaning of a longer passage of English. A SPECIFIC CONCERN must be emphasized.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Meaning of “build-up”

What does "build-up" mean here: Many hair products contain chemicals which can cause build-up, resulting in dull hair or a change in perceived texture.
1
vote
1answer
999 views

Meaning of “cut loose and cause havoc” in the following sentence

When Uncle Fred suggests to his nephew a visit to a suburb, once an estate owned by an uncle when he was younger, Pongo is amazed and relieved, believing the suburbs do not hold anything like the ...
5
votes
3answers
519 views

Meaning of “bulging with Pongo's lunch” in the following sentence

From Uncle Fred Flits By by P.G. Wodehouse: The meaning of bulging by dictionary is: protruding part, a sudden increase in number or quantity, and last is: an advantage. I don't see any of these fit ...
3
votes
2answers
981 views

Meaning of “I've been doing this long enough to drink”

Here is the context I've been a software developer for twenty-one years -- among other things, that means I've been doing this long enough to drink! ;-) But seriously, though, I can't imagine doing ...
3
votes
2answers
641 views

Meaning of “Almost every kinky kind was being had and enjoyed.”

I saw this sentence in NYT OP: "Almost every kinky kind was being had and enjoyed." What does the part in bold mean? What grammar rules pertain to it?
28
votes
6answers
487k views

What is meant by “pun intended”?

I am not a native speaker of English. I came across many articles which used the phrase "pun intended". In many cases I am not able to grasp the meaning of the sentence as what this phrase mean in the ...
8
votes
5answers
117k views

Usage of 'Dear All' [duplicate]

Is it correct to use "Dear All" at the beginning of the e-mail, when you are writing to more than one person? It seems so informal to me. Is there any better way?
2
votes
1answer
10k views

What’s the meaning of ‘they don’t make them like that’?

(As an incredibly beautiful girl with silvery hair crossed the Hall, many boys gaped at her.) "I’m telling you, that's not a normal girl!" said Ron, leaning sideways so he could keep a ...
15
votes
9answers
81k views

What does “double-down” mean when used in a context other than Blackjack?

I saw the phrase “double-down” in the following sentence of the Washington Post article (June 28, 2011) titled “Why Michele Bachmann is no Sarah Palin.” “Palin is notorious for doubling-down on ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

What’s the meaning of ‘smooth chin’?

“Well … it is amazing,” said Bagman, rubbing his smooth chin and smiling down at Harry. “But, as you know, the age restriction was only imposed this year as an extra safety measure. (…The rest is ...
4
votes
5answers
13k views

What is the origin of being in “hot water”?

When a person is suspected of doing something that is wrong, they are said to be in "hot water". Why? Did law breakers long ago have hot water thrown on them for their punishment? Were they dunked in ...
4
votes
2answers
409 views

Meaning of “the body soon learns to stand down in the face of fat”

The following is from the transcript of a podcast. Dieters can choose from an array of snacktackular options in which sugars and fats are replaced by artificial, low-calorie substitutes. That sleight ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

Meaning of “poured it on and poured it out”

In this part of the song "2 Out Of 3 Ain't Bad " by Jim Steinman, I cannot understand the phrase "poured it on and poured it out": ... And maybe you can cry all night But that'll never change ...
2
votes
1answer
11k views

Meaning of “two out of three ain't bad”

In this song's lyrics, I cannot understand the phrase "two out of three ain't bad" : ... I want you, I need you But there ain't no way I'm ever gonna love you Now don't be sad 'Cause two ...
21
votes
9answers
31k views

Difference between “commit suicide” and “suicide”

One of the examples in my English composition book (for learning to write my language's sentences in English) was "Why he committed suicide under such a good circumstance is an unsolved question.", ...
5
votes
3answers
37k views

“Punctuality is the politeness of kings.”

Can someone please explain the meaning of: Punctuality is the politeness of kings.
7
votes
4answers
965 views

Is “latte” a countable noun?

I have learned that liquids are uncountable, except for measurements such as "three cups of water." So, does "three lattes" in this context refer to three cups of latte?
9
votes
1answer
2k views

“You were already having been going to do that!”

From one of the Futurama episodes: Farnsworth A: You people and your slight differences disgust me. I'm going home. Where's that blue box with our universe in it? Farnsworth 1: Oh, you'...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Meaning of “The most I ever did for you, was to outlive you, / But that is much”

What did the poet mean by the following lines? The most I ever did for you, was to outlive you, But that is much. — Edna St. Vincent Millay I am not able to understand the meaning completely, ...
1
vote
2answers
372 views

What does “bar hate” mean?

The controversial law will also bar hate speech and harassment. What does it mean in the example above?
2
votes
2answers
4k views

What is “rose up” here, and what does it mean by “out of it” and “pantomime demon”?

From The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis: He never finished what he was going to say for at that moment something happened. The high-backed chair in front of the fire moved suddenly and there rose up ...
2
votes
3answers
852 views

Meaning of “my fool of a sister can't get at you”

Another phrase/sentence I don't understand from Narnia Book 1 Magician's Nephew: Digory was quite speechless, for Uncle Andrew looked a thousand times more alarming than he had ever looked before. ...
-1
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the meaning of “drains” in here?

"I expect someone lives there in secret, only coming in and out at night, with a dark lantern. We shall probably discover a gang of desperate criminals and get a reward. It's all rot to say a ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

What does “all rot” mean in here?

I expect someone lives there in secret, only coming in and out at night, with a dark lantern. We shall probably discover a gang of desperate criminals and get a reward. It's all rot to say a ...
21
votes
9answers
6k views

Referring to past times with “hence”

From Tor.com, an interesting use of the word hence: Minutes ago, J.K. Rowling finally announced her plans behind Pottermore, the mysterious website that appeared a week hence with only a “Coming ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

What is the meaning of “Already wet, aren’t they? Little squirts!”?

“Peeves, get down here NOW!” barked Professor McGonagall, straightening her pointed hat and glaring upward through her square-rimmed spectacles. “Not doing nothing!” cackled Peeves, lobbing a water ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

Meaning in context and grammar

From Narnia book 1 chapter 1: "Is Mr Ketterley really mad?" "Well either he's mad," said Digory, "or there's some other mystery. He has a study on the top floor and Aunt Letty says I ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the meaning of “six words away”?

What's the meaning for "six words away"? I heard it repeatedly in the movie Coach Carter. Edit: In the scene in a bus, when the coach blasts the team for sneaking out to a party without informing him,...
7
votes
2answers
250k views

What does “run of house” mean with regard to hotel room type

I have seen a room type at a hotel like below; Family Room 2 Bedrooms & Living Room Run of The House Everything is OK except the Run of The House thing. What does it exactly mean here? AFAIK, ...
13
votes
4answers
69k views

What does “if and when” mean, and is it the same as “when and if”?

Rather than trying to describe my beef with this idiom, I will give a bunch of successively objectionable examples. None of these are taken from real life. As I see it, if (and when) both "if" and "...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

How to understand “like it or not”?

This is from the transcript of a podcast. How many times has it happened to you: you’re sitting around watching a rerun of Friends and you think: Man, if only I could catch a whiff of that hazelnut ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

What does “wound up” mean in this case?

What does "wound up" mean in this case? And is it treated as adjective? In The Magician's Nephew from C.S. Lewis's Narnia series: "Alright, I have then," said Digory in a much ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Schedule on Tuesday

Take the following sentence. We want to schedule your appointment on Tuesday. Does this mean they want the process of scheduling to take place on Tuesday, or do they want my appointment to be on ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

“It’s the height of the season”?

The question is from the transcript of a podcast: Mmmm, blueberries. It’s the height of the season, and I’ve been tossing a handful onto cereal, into pancakes or just straight into my mouth. I don'...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Is “gets” the correct tense to describe a continuous process in “John gets mentored on a daily basis”?

John gets a mentor to guide him throughout his life. — OR — He gets mentored on a daily basis. I believe this is just as acceptable as the simple past: John got a mentor to guide him ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Meaning of “set such store” (not a shop)

I can't understand this sentence: No other professor in Great Britain set such store by being called Professor. In this case store is not a shop or a place to store something. I guess that the ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

What does “wicking” mean in “aircraft quality wicking”?

I read the following in an aircraft magazine where it describes a product: XXX Product is Aircraft Quality Wicking!! The product is a polishing product that one can use to polish something smooth ...
1
vote
3answers
4k views

What does “which” mean in this sentence?

This sentence is from a transcript of a podcast: The researchers say that even mammals that breed year round—which should offer protection against seasonal shifts—may still feel the impact of ...
8
votes
1answer
347 views

“But winter babies are more likely to die before they turn one.”?

The question is from the post here. I don't understand what does the last sentence mean here. The Chillinghams can give birth all year, not just spring and summer like most U.K. mammals. And the data ...
4
votes
2answers
7k views

Meaning of “pragmatic” [closed]

What is the meaning of pragmatic in this example? Another C construct, the #pragma directive, is used to instruct the compiler to use pragmatic or implementation-dependent features. A most ...
16
votes
6answers
6k views

What is implied in calling someone “Citizen”?

In many dystopian stories, people call each other citizen. In other contexts too, I'm thinking Citizen Kane for example. Why? What is implied here?
9
votes
1answer
7k views

It's a little low on grist

In the movie Easy A, Emma Stone's character has the following conversation with her parents: Mother: What's the rumor mill churning out these days, anything interesting? Girl: You know, not ...
4
votes
3answers
7k views

In the sentence “Each time you sleep with someone, you also sleep with his past,” what does “past” mean?

I saw this sentence in a website: Each time you sleep with someone, you also sleep with his past. What is the 'past' mentioned here?
3
votes
3answers
910 views

What does “crowding out” mean?

The risk is at some point, the bond market vigilantes are going to wake up in the U.S., like they did in Europe, pushing interest rates higher and crowding out the recovery. What does "crowding out" ...
3
votes
1answer
242 views

“I'm all mashed up inside.”

I'm all mashed up inside. Inside the Lost (TV series) a guy named Boone who got desperately injured imparted his physical situation to the doctor with the above sentence. The guy prefers to die, and ...
3
votes
1answer
974 views

“Touring team” vs. “Exhibition team”

When we are not playing competitive games, our three touring teams play against three exhibition teams. What do the bold terms mean?
1
vote
1answer
981 views

Usage of 'yesterday' for future [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: I need <something> yesterday? For couple of times, mostly in movies, I realized that yesterday is commonly used for future. Here is an example sentence: I want it ...
64
votes
10answers
8k views

What's the difference between the adjectives “strategic” and “tactical”?

I recently read this sentence: It was a strategic move rather than a tactical one. I have trouble interpreting it. Can someone help?
1
vote
2answers
164 views

“The odor of strong rum made a greasy pass through the room.”

I found the sentence as a ldoce sample sentence for "odor". The odor of strong rum made a greasy pass through the room. "... made a greasy pass through the room". What does the writer mean? The ...
26
votes
3answers
8k views

Why is there a “mean” in “Greenwich Mean Time” (GMT)?

What's the meaning of the word "mean" in "Greenwich Mean Time"? Shouldn't we simply say something like "Greenwich Time"? I don't understand what the word "mean" is doing there.

1
89 90
91
92 93
95