Questions tagged [meaning]

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

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What might the term "B-I-T-sweetie" mean in the context of Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes's play "The Mule-Bone"?

I am currently reading through Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes's 1931 play, The Mule-Bone, and I am rather puzzled by the term "B-I-T-sweetie," which shows up in this exchange in Act ...
qoheleth's user avatar
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Geographic Reasons for Phatic Expression "What's new?"

Quite a while back I had a language instructor tell me that the English phatic expression "What's new?" could be traced back in America to the fact that people lived very far apart from each ...
ChicagoShane's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
57 views

Why does the sequence of some types of adjectives differ?

I was reading a book, and a character calls another character "a gangly, little human". Now, if I were to use another adjective instead of little, say, tiny, I would have to say "a tiny,...
Anushka Kulkarni's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
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Familiar with the word "fadge"?

Anyone familiar with the word "fadge"? I have asked many people in the UK but none of them have ever heard of it. Most dictionaries do not list it. It is in the OED, Merriam-Webster, and ...
AGarg's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
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“Core” as the name of a class in school

When I was in middle school (roughly ages 10–13 years old) in the US in the early 1970s, they combined English—or what might now be called language arts—with social studies into a single class that ...
PaulTanenbaum's user avatar
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0 answers
161 views

What is "sylthane" in the context of a "sylthane bag"?

Frederick Forsyth's novel Icon makes reference to a "sylthane bag" in the possession of a British character. The context suggests that this is a small plastic bag of some form, but sylthane ...
RLH's user avatar
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Does "multiple" mean simply "more than one" or is it better used to connote division, duplication, or repetition?

First, "more than one" and "many" are acceptable meanings for "multiple." 1 : consisting of, including, or involving more than one: multiple births, multiple choices 2 : ...
Roister's user avatar
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What's the meaning of the phrase "Sunday afternoon name"?

In a computerphile video, professor Ross Anderson says that EMV is the Sunday afternoon name for chip & PIN, it's Europay / Mastercard / Visa protocol. As I understand this phrase means ...
Zurab Gvishiani's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
6k views

What's the meaning of the idiom "to lie flat" when applied to a document or project?

I'm encountering this idiom in a government/business context. For example, someone will say that changes to Document A affect Person X's workload, so we'd like to get that document "lying flat" for a ...
Kelly Tessena Keck's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
182 views

Ad hominem for non persons

An ad hominem argument is typically, according to Wikipedia, "a rhetorical strategy where the speaker attacks the character, motive, or some other attribute of the person making an argument ...
SoZettaSho's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Are “Get” or “Grasp” stative or dynamic verbs?

In Merriam–Webster, the definition of understand is as follows: to get the meaning of something / to grasp the meaning of something. Now my questions are regarding a sentence like: I don’t ...
Indranil Bar's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
899 views

The state of not knowing and/or ignoring each other

I'm looking for a word that expresses the state of not knowing and/or ignoring each other. In a blog post, I've found the term Principle of Mutual Oblivion. This is supposed to be a rule in software ...
R2C2's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
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English can be a right dastard sometimes. Why not?

Bastard, meaning one begotten and born out of wedlock, is a very old word from Old French (earliest OED citation 1297). Dastard, meaning one who meanly or basely shrinks from danger; a mean, base, or ...
Dan's user avatar
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Weathered around her eyes?

I'm an Italian trying to read English books and I came upon an expression I can't fully understand. The word is "weathered". From what I've seen, it means worn out by weather, but this is ...
Massimo's user avatar
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2 answers
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What is the sentence structure for this verse in John Keats' "The day is gone, and all its sweets are gone!"?

He writes: When the dusk holiday—or holinight [—][some versions put another em dash here] Of fragrant-curtain’d love begins to weave The woof of darkness thick, for hid delight, Should I read a ...
InfiniteSnow's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
733 views

Architectural firm vs. architecture studio

I regularly translate Hungarian articles into English, and an expression that keeps coming up is architectural firm. Now, these companies in Hungarian are called studios, thus some of my colleagues ...
meghatas's user avatar
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Erstwhile, meanwhile, and _?

If past is to present as erstwhile is to meanwhile, then present is to future as meanwhile is to thingwhile. What is the actual word that thing in the above statement refers to? Sometimes you hear ...
Lucky's user avatar
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822 views

Is "thus forth" valid English, and if so, what does it mean?

Is "thus forth" valid English, and if so, what does it mean? Searching through Google, this can be found in place of therefore and thenceforth/henceforth, but I don't see any specific ...
BobIsNotMyName's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
47 views

What is the etymology or history of "Your" for addressing a noble?

There are several ways of noble addressing, such as: Third person - female (Her) Third person - male (His) Second person (Your) e.g : Your Highness But, what are the meanings behind that? Why it ...
Jastria Rahmat's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
234 views

Can "even as" mean "because"?

I'm having trouble understanding the bolded sentence in the following paragraph. The use of enslaved laborers was affirmed — and its continual growth was promoted — through the creation of a Virginia ...
1_million_bugs's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
77 views

What is the effect of using dashes between each word in a sentence?

In The Bluest Eye, there is a quote: Grown people frowned and fussed: 'You-don’t-know- how-to-take-care-of-nothing. I-never-had-a-baby-doll-in-my-whole-life-and-used-to-cry-my-eyes-out-for-them. Now-...
Grapes's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
0 answers
421 views

What does "dematriculate" mean outside of an academic context?

In Tintin and the Secret of Literature by Tom McCarthy (Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint, 2008), McCarthy writes: The books are full of erasure: dematriculated planes; wiped runways; wiped memories; a ship ...
Marmitrob's user avatar
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73 views

What does "one more step from the future" mean?

I'm not sure it's a correct English sentence. Can it be interpreted as "bringing something back from the future and advancing the present"? Maybe it would be better to use "one more ...
raxaghi's user avatar
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2 votes
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820 views

Can "for" and “due to” be used interchangeably?

Trying to understand the logic of the below sentence to make the same kind of sentences. It's pretty hard for me because I mostly use "for" something like "for me" etc. This city ...
ziLk's user avatar
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0 answers
581 views

What does the phrase *order of tens* mean?

I've encountered the following paragraph in a paper Fortunately, the task can become much simpler if we restrict the domain to the set of all graphs on maximum k nodes, where k is fairly small (in ...
Blade's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
100 views

"Party on sideways" meaning

"This is one of my favourite couples to smoke up, drink down or party on sideways (does that sound weird?) with." This appears on a backpacking blog which suggests other blogs to follow. The ...
Maria Sanchez's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
80 views

What does this sentence mean exactly?

I edited the sentence so it gives better sense to you guys & thank you: These effects are rather as of the psychic forces of the body not being brought into cooperation with the physical forces, ...
Kristýna Bočková's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
581 views

Is there a difference between "lo" and "behold"?

I noticed, while going through the King James Bible, that the translators will translate a particular greek word as both "lo" and "behold." It seems like it is interchangeable to them. However, I don'...
David Anderson's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
216 views

What is the meaning of "pent"

Under the arching heavens of the afternoon swift passing, and the voices of children and women, The many-moving sea-tides, and I saw the ships how they sail’d, And the summer approaching ...
Connoisseur's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
117 views

Confused of "beat around the bush"

I have searched "beat around the bush" but it seems that it has two meanings based on my understanding. First is it's like you're insinuating or implying a topic/question to someone so it is not ...
ragiaba cl's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
657 views

'up' meaning each/apiece in sports?

I often hear sport scores being mentioned as '5 up' meaning the score is tied at 5 each/apiece. AHD gives: up adv. ... Each; apiece: The score was tied at 11 up. Can anyone ...
shay's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
2k views

Why is “remove to” no longer used?

By Googling, the difference between remove and move can be found as follows: As verbs the difference between remove and move is that remove is to move something from one place to another, especially ...
wordsalad's user avatar
  • 415
2 votes
0 answers
2k views

find vs find out

I know "find" is commonly used with something, and "find out" with information. However, I did see this sentence before: "I found that....", like, "I found that it costs more than I thought." My ...
Shuo Peng's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
1k views

Cultural Backlash Meaning

Backlash being strong public reaction against something, what exactly is cultural backlash? Googling it is not that helpful. I was reading an article that contains the sentence: The cultural ...
Lingua Noob's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
1k views

What does "some hats wear men" mean?

In the movie Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), there is a scene where Peter and his friend Ned are in Aunt May's car before they go to Liz's party. Aunt May says this line to Ned: May: Ned, some hats ...
user300475's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
414 views

Difference between intrusion on/upon/of/into

Different dictionaries suggest different answers. One example, suggests that all of them, except for of work. However, as we can see here the of structure is also possible. There must be a ...
Alister's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
130 views

The meaning of the word nonce in a specific context

I came across this word in a biography of the Beatles and I can't grasp its meaning, so I would be grateful to anybody who could try to explain it to me. I looked up various definitions in a ...
Marcia Grace's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the difference between the singular and plural forms, "varieties of choice" and "variety of choices"?

What is the difference between (i) "varieties of choice" and (ii) "variety of choices"? Does the location of singular or plural in a sentence affect the entire meaning of a ...
Doris.L's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
0 answers
444 views

Meaning of gosh all, git-up in this context

In the song Jeepers creepers by Louis Armstrong, there is a line that goes like this: Oh, gosh all, git up, how'd they get so lit up? It refers to the eyes of a person. My question is: what does "...
mitlabence's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
108 views

Possible use of "formal": absence of rigor

According to the Oxford Dictionary, the word "formal" used as an adjective has, among other definitions, these meanings ([...] are examples or precisions): Done in accordance with convention or ...
MoebiusCorzer's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
595 views

"that was a classic money handshake"

I'm reading the play "Dumb Show" by Joe Penhall. (See on Google Books) Almost at the beginning of the play one of the characters uses this phrase: classic money handshake. What does it mean? (Barry ...
user77755's user avatar
  • 603
2 votes
0 answers
203 views

For how long has "as" been synonymous with "because" in British English?

In British English, it seems that "because" can always be replaced with "as." Here is an example of "as" meaning "because" in British English: I popped down to the shops as we were out of loo roll. ...
ArgentoSapiens's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
6k views

Came "into" fruition?

My friend wrote some copy, explaining that her "company came into fruition because she realized the opportunity..." I've never used "came into fruition" -- only "came to fruition". Is "came into ...
Ethan's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
211 views

Connotation of a sentence in a listening material from TPO

(Here for the original audio source (MP3 file). The part in question begins approximately at 2'18'') This conversation is an excerpt from one listening material in a TPO (TOEFL Practice Online) test, ...
Vim's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
573 views

What does whole-animal mean?

Kindly explain the meaning of whole-animal The Country Cat (restaurant) is known for whole-animal, farm-to-table scratch cooking, and at PDX Sappington was determined to break down animals, smoke ...
AlinaSaidova's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
180 views

Some or more of something

I want to say "some 50 or more yards apart" (meaning at least 50 yards apart) but I'm not quite sure it's correct. I couldn't find the answer or an example of its use in google search. However, I ...
Colin's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
0 answers
199 views

about " should have to "

It's not right that he should have to ride the lightning. I found this expression in the story of "Ride the Lightning". I think it is okay to use "should ride" or "have to ride" instead of "should ...
Roy Kim's user avatar
  • 45
2 votes
0 answers
479 views

What does “do not get (too) vibed that something happened” mean? There is no clue in any dictionary

I stumbled upon this construction: “don’t get (too) vibed”, but I couldn’t get what does it mean. And there is no dictionary that gives an explanation, as far as I can see. “Vibe” is a very special ...
lyrically wicked's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
428 views

Is it possible to 'claim' a concession?

Underlying most OED definitions of the word claim, both noun and verb, is some notion of right or entitlement. ( An exception arises in the case of meaning 2c - the loosely used he claimed to be ...
WS2's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
140 views

Which one of the different meanings of the word "consensus" to choose

I'm struggling with a translation of a technical text describing the process of minimization of a logical function (computer science & tech. stuff) and I don't seem to compe up with any logical ...
crzpiot's user avatar
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