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Questions tagged [meaning]

This tag is for questions related to definitions and nuances of meaning of a word or phrase.

12
votes
4answers
3k views

Unfrosted light bulb

In Catch-22 there is following passage (my emphasis): The unfrosted light bulb overhead was swinging crazily on its loose wire, and the jumbled black shadows kept swirling and bobbing chaotically, ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

What does “IP” mean in military aviation?

In Catch-22 I found the mention of the abbreviation "IP": One of the surprising things always was the sense of calm and utter silence, broken only by the test rounds fired from the machine guns, by ...
19
votes
1answer
2k views

What does “Four-F.” mean? [closed]

What did "Four-F." mean in the United States of the 1940s? Here is the quote from Catch-22: They had to send a guy from the draft board around to look me over. I was Four-F. I had examined myself ...
1
vote
0answers
20 views

Can you say “what was —- a reaction to?”

If I mean to ask the main causes of something, so I want to know what something reacted to, can I say “what was the war a reaction to?”? It sounds pretty weird to me... I’d rather say “what did the ...
0
votes
2answers
63 views

What does this comment mean?

This YouTube comment has tons of likes. What does it mean? From Aladdin - Official Trailer Aladdin: Genie... I wish for you to make me a prince Genie: would you like to be a fresh one?...(...
4
votes
2answers
280 views

Usage and meaning of “up” in “…worth at least a thousand pounds up in London”

Two chairs like that must be worth at least a thousand pounds up in London. I don't know what the 'up' mean in the sentence. I'm even not sure which words — perhaps either 'a thousand pounds' or 'in ...
1
vote
2answers
93 views

What does “add years to my life” mean? [closed]

Please look at the following: Dear Katharine (very dear): I've had moments of despair during the last week which have added years to my life and put many new thoughts in my head. Always, ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Meaning of “…went as bad as you can go”

In the movie Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Hagrid says: "A few years ago there was one wizard who went as bad as you can go." What does "went bad as bad as you can go" mean? Why does he say ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

I made up the word, “performant”. Has it occurred in the English language? [duplicate]

By performant, I mean something that performs well. A piece of computer program code could be performant, meaning that enough thought went into it to make it perform well, making it an adjective; ...
-1
votes
3answers
58 views

What are the distinctions between 'happy' and 'satisfied'? [closed]

What are the distinctions between 'happy' and 'satisfied'? I understand they may be synonyms but I'd like to know more about the differences.
-1
votes
0answers
22 views

Drying instructions

I want to describe that a certain type of garment needs to be dried in the air without any artificial blow-drying or the air-dry function of the tumble dryer and what not. Now, I am trying for an ...
-4
votes
1answer
52 views

Explanation of Disraeli's quote (The Mighty Leviathan) [closed]

At leaf 239 in the book Sobriquets And Nicknames (1887), it reads: "Mighty Leviathan, The. A name given to Thomas Hobbes. Disraeli, in his Amenities of Literature, says:- The hardy paradoxes, ...
1
vote
2answers
24 views

“Nor” following the positive sentence

I came across this sentence in one of W.B. yeats poems: Poet and sculptor do the work Nor let the modish painter shirk I have never seen the “nor” in this way. Does it mean “don’t let the ...
0
votes
1answer
24 views

How to understand “one of utility”?

Having hard time wrapping my mind around "one of utility". For example: The evaluation criterion used in this discourse is one of utility. Does the software serve a purpose? Any help welcome
0
votes
3answers
92 views

Does the word “hovel” have an offensive connotation?

I came across the word hovel and I rather like the resonance of it. I'm aware it generally refers negatively to minimal, ramshackle dwellings, but I'm wondering whether or not the word is also ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Is language a technology or is technology a language? [closed]

Is spoken/written language a technology or is technology a language?
0
votes
2answers
33 views

The word 'hub' as an effective center

It seems that the word 'hub' is beginning to gain popularity as 'an effective center'. My questions is, when do people start using it in this sense?
2
votes
0answers
37 views

Vocabulary Question: Stane (verb); to stane to do something

I came across the word "stane" in a poem in the Paris Review, and I can't seem to find a definition that fits its use in the poem. I checked several dictionaries. Some didn't have it at all, and those ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

What does “mechanical parts” mean here?

In the IEEE essay "A New Standard for Quality Requirements", the author, Jørgen Bøegh, says; We needed to model systems that comprise communicating computer systems, and we wanted to include ...
2
votes
2answers
69 views

“shouldn't have {gone/been} to the party”

What is the correct rephrasing for this sentence? I went to the party and now I regret it. I shouldn't have gone to the party I shouldn't have been to the party
0
votes
1answer
29 views

What is a “stray copy” of a book?

What is the meaning of "stray copy" here? At about six I tuned to Graeco Roman mythology, lead gradually by Hawthorne's "Wonder Book" and "Tanglewood Tales", and by a stray copy of "The Odyssey" ...
1
vote
2answers
72 views

“Would tomorrow between 11:30-12 work for me to give you a call?” Meaning?

Can I expect someone to call me at 10:30? Why "for me" not "for you"?
-1
votes
1answer
34 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
1answer
23 views

What does “ I doubt we’ve heard the last word on quality models.” mean?

I read this sentence in the IEEE essay "A New Standard for Quality Requirements". In the article, the author, Jørgen Bøegh, says; Indeed, researchers have proposed several quality models with ...
2
votes
2answers
39 views

Plain good sense [closed]

I am not a native speaker and i want to translate an article.. Can you please tell me What does " she is full of plain good sense" mean? Is plain here an adjective?
2
votes
0answers
37 views

What is the function of 'a-' in the phrase 'cocks a-crow' [duplicate]

This is a beginning of W.B.Yeats's poem Under Ben Bulben: Swear by what the Sages spoke Round the Mareotic Lake That the Witch of Atlas knew, Spoke and set the cocks a-crow. What is the ...
0
votes
2answers
48 views

What would be the appropriate word for this project title: “optimal”, “optimum”, or “ideal”? [closed]

I'm looking to create an appropriate title for a science fair project and I'm questioning which of these three words would be most grammatically appropriate and correct: "optimal","optimum" or "ideal"....
0
votes
1answer
38 views

I'm confused about the word “against” in such sentence

This sentence extract from Spring document which is a developing framework of program language JAVA. However, once the call has finally reached the target object, the SimplePojo reference in ...
0
votes
1answer
18 views

“Reach outside” meaning

What does "reach outside" mean? for example: I admire the impulse to reach outside familiar cultural traditions in order seek wisdom America’s fascination with the quasi-mystical aura of Marie ...
1
vote
0answers
37 views

what is someone who is more than an acquaintance, less than a friend? [closed]

Is there a singular word for someone who is less than a friend but more than just an acquaintance?
0
votes
2answers
23 views

Is it appropriate to use “to ignore” as a stative verb? (as a synonymous to “to be ignorant of”)

Suppose I ask you: "What is her name?" is the following answer ok? "I cannot tell you, I ignore it" Or should I rather answer to in proper English: " I cannot tell you, I am ignorant of it" Does "...
0
votes
2answers
29 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
3answers
52 views

“pay out” vs “pay off”

"pay out" vs "pay off" In my company we are selling things and expecting to get money from customers by instalments. English is my second language. But I often hear things like "pay out payments" ...
6
votes
3answers
552 views

What does “the touch of the purple” mean?

I've come across a quote by Teddy Roosevelt which shows his admiration for Alexander Hamilton. It uses the phrase "the touch of the purple," but supplies little hint as to what it means. Roosevelt ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Ambiguity of a phrase in the Java specification documentation

I have met the following text in the Java Specification Lines are terminated by the ASCII characters CR, or LF, or CR LF. The two characters CR immediately followed by LF are counted as one line ...
2
votes
2answers
68 views

What is meant by: “She has too many feet and hands”? [closed]

What is the meaning of: She has too many feet and hands? Context: "A tall, awkward girl in a back seat, who seemed to have too many feet and hands"
2
votes
2answers
72 views

The meaning of `There's no way ever you'd use a computer to show it's true.`

Does the sentence: There's no way ever you'd use a computer to show it's true. mean: There's some way that I can show it's true by computer There's no way that I can show it'...
0
votes
1answer
30 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 "...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

Meaning of “whip” in a song by The Fold [closed]

My kids watch the "Lego NinjaGo" series and have been asking me about the title song, called "Weekend Whip" by The Fold. As much as I tried looking for the meaning of the word "whip" in the context of ...
1
vote
1answer
32 views

Meaning of “such of them as […]”

I've come across the following expression: Europe is a sleepy place. And such of our men as do not manage to emigrate to the Tropics are tired and sleepy along with it. (I, Robot, Isaac Asimov)...
3
votes
2answers
243 views

The meaning of ‘otherwise’ [closed]

I’m really confused about the meaning of otherwise in this sentence. From my understanding, otherwise is used to express what would happen on the contrary. However, in this context, the clause ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

can the expression (give it a go) be broken up

Is this sentence grammatically and stylistically correct, or is it very weird: He insisted to give it yet another quick go
10
votes
4answers
2k views

What do *foreign films* mean for an American? [closed]

What do foreign films mean for an American? Is it any film produced outside the US or any film from not English-language country (US, Canada, Australia, NZ, UK)?
2
votes
1answer
34 views

The local business community is working to amend a law that would increase foreign competition

'The local business community is working to amend a law that would increase foreign competition.' Does this sentence mean: 1. 'the community is trying to amend a law that is already increasing ...
4
votes
1answer
43 views

How is “ought” used in this King James Bible verse?

There's a use of the word "ought" from the Bible I don't understand. I've highlighted the relevant word: Acts 4:32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

Accumulated sum vs cumulative sum

Is there a difference in meaning between accumulated sum and cumulative sum? In this case we are talking about prizes we collect.
0
votes
2answers
74 views

Is there an opposite “-ism” word to nepotism?

Is there an opposite "-ism" word to nepotism? If nepotism refers to the nature of favoring one due to familial or friendly relations, surely there is an antonym to nepotism that conveys the favoring ...
0
votes
2answers
48 views

'In so far as' and 'As far as' --Are the two conjunctions synonyms?

'In so far as' and 'As far as' -- Are the two conjunctions synonyms? I was searching in Net, but I could not find the answer. They seem to be similar in meaning. Can anyone please explain, with an ...
-2
votes
1answer
59 views

Definition of the word “Word” [closed]

word | Definition of word in English by Oxford Dictionaries https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/word Definition of word - a single distinct meaningful element of speech or writing, used with ...