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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's the difference between a spouse and an espoused partner?

I was looking at the Wikipedia article about Julian Assange, and was confused about this particular information: Spouse(s): Teresa Doe (married 1989; divorced 1999) Partner(s): Sarah ...
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44 views

Meaning of expression: “After the powder, the jam”

In Agatha Christie's novel "Hickory Dickory Dock" there is a scene between "employer" and "employee", where the former one begins by criticising heavily the practices of the latter but ends on a very ...
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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 ...
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57 views

Difference between supplemental NP and absolute clause?

What is the difference between a supplemental noun phrase and a absolute clause? In these examples and in general. Is it just the non-finite nature of the second example? Are they not serving a ...
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60 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 ...
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213 views

Etymology and distinction between pottage and potage

At dictionary.com, there is a bit of an inconsistency in the origins and meaning of two historical variants of the same (probably French) word: Potage noun, French Cookery. 1. soup, especially ...
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39 views

What is the meaning of the following sequence of words: “adj or pp+as+pronoun+verb”?

What is the meaning of the following sequence of words: "adj or pp+as+pronoun+verb"? Example: It is climate that largely determines the type of agriculture that may be carried out in a particular ...
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172 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 "...
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396 views

Looking for a word that describes the merger of two words, is this an example of Portmanteau?

This is slightly awkward to explain, so I will be as clear as possible. I am aware of what a portmanteau is, as you will see below, but I am unsure if my examples classify as such. I'm looking to ...
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1k views

What does “nine while nine” mean?

In "Nine While Nine" by The Sisters of Mercy there is this line: Nine while nine and I'm waiting for the train... What does "nine while nine" actually mean? I've never encountered anything similar ...
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1k views

Expired - Non-Expired

I have to classify users, like Expired users and users who are not expired. Shall I use the term Non-Expired to indicate that a user is still valid and has a long enough validity period? Is there ...
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337 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 ...
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148 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, ...
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272 views

The relationship between and correct usage of the words Chronometry and Horology

Wikipedia for 'Chronometry' states: Chronometry applies to electronic devices, while Horology refers to mechanical devices. While on 'Horology', Wikipedia describes it in more detail, creating an ...
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462 views

Distinguishing among classification, typology, taxonomy, and ontology?

I recently wrote a thesis applying archaeological typology to art attribution. In the process, it became clear that disparate disciplines share analogous debates regarding classification. I'd like to ...
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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 ...
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39 views

Is this sentence grammatically correct and can be used for Women's Day?

Let women rise and use their strength to contribute to the world. I need to use this sentence for a Women's Day social media design. But there are two doubts: Should it be women or woman? Let women ...
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21 views

Obscure definition for “amount”

I've found an obscure definition for the noun "amount" i.e. https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/amount "the full value, effect, or significance of something" https://www.merriam-...
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29 views

What does 'Whitman's poet' in the passage?

I think 's generally indicates possession, but in the following passage, the usage evades me. Does it mean 'Whitman's poetry' or 'a poet like Whitman'? Long before Walt Whitman wrote Leaves of ...
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21 views

“I better” as an answer

Is it okay to use "I better" simple as that as an answer. Example if I wear a costume and someone says "you look like a mermaid" .."I better!"
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58 views

What's the history behind the phrase “I hear Violins”..?

At work I often listen to Pandora with headphones on. Today it played a beautiful chillout track I hadn't heard in years: Conjure One - Center Of The Sun. The song lyrics use the phrase "I hear volins"...
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23 views

homonym, do words such as Conviction, Commitment, Dissipation fit as homonyms also?

With the strong assumption that a word like "right" is a homonym, do words such as Conviction, Commitment, Dissipation fit as homonyms also? Or is there some core to the varied definitions and usages ...
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48 views

Omit “while” before -ing form

Can I omit "while" before -ing form? Are these two the same in terms of meaning? I think while walking. I think walking. I can see a problem with different verbs: I learn while walking. I learn ...
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18 views

adverb vs. adverb + enough

Interestingly, only 38% of couples bother to get married these days. Interestingly enough, only 38% of couples bother to get married these days. What is the difference between the meanings of 1 ...
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31 views

“Luke drove as if they were in a jeep, in high gear with hammer changes on the corners.”

This is a sentence from John le Carre's novel 'The Honourable Schoolboy'. Does anyone know what 'hammer changes' mean?
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meaning of 'narrow' in 'narrow possessiveness'

What does 'narrow' mean in the following sentence, which is from Political Ideals (1917) by Bertrand Russell? He will not desire for his country the passing triumphs of a narrow possessiveness, but ...
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25 views

What we call tests that we can work from home?

For designer's and writer's jobs, candidates get tasks that they can work from home and later they submit it. Can we call that type of tests 'an aptitude test?'
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64 views

What is the difference between 'Corporate' and 'Corporation'?

I've done an extensive search but didn't find anything on that. Is 'Corporate' (as a noun) simply a shorter form of 'Corporation'? Also, if a condition dictates that 'a company name can't include ...
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19 views

Type of usage with determiners/phrases

The bride looked radiant, a fairy tale princess. The bride looked radiant — fairy tale princess. She'd known him all her life, a great friend. She'd known him all her life — great friend. On these ...
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0answers
35 views

US bonds are now paying less vs yields

US bonds are now paying less 3-year US bonds, shorter-term bonds, are now paying less than 5-year ones. For some, that’s a signal of an impending recession. Different bonds have different ...
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0answers
20 views

Meaning of delivering project commitment

I recently came over a couple of job offers and curriculums where someone delivers project commitment. Intuitively, I would say this means that someone "commits" to the project by ensuring deadlines ...
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12 views

meaning/form , using English

a beach wedding attended by Mrs Feeney's father... In this sentence attended is a past participle part of a passive or adjective?
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266 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 ...
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127 views

What's the meaning of this quote? “May he who loves not others love himself.”

"May he who loves not others love himself." What's the meaning of this quote? I couldn't understand it.
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46 views

Meaning of 'shot havoc'

In D. H. Lawrence one can find a lot of unusual constructions. Here's the one (from his essay on Herman Melville's Moby Dick): He was a mystic who raved because the old ideal guns shot havoc. The ...
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39 views

Best practice regarding the words until, till, til, 'till, 'til and to

I often see in English the word 'till used as until. Example I'll wait 'till the end of time. Now I have found out that this may be wrong. The correct writing is without the apostrophe 'till and ...
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69 views

Word to describe “quick-witted streetchild”

I'm talking of a certain wit that is characteristic of streetboys and streetchildren in general. I'm not sure if streetchildren is the best way to describe these kids. That might not be very common in ...
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35 views

Which is the meaning of “palm-to-forehand”?

I am reading a science-fiction short story and I met this sentence that I can't understand. You can read the whole sentence in the attached file. "Palm-to-forehand" What does it means? Think you ...
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53 views

What does “out” mean after words?

What does "out" mean after words? "work out" "check out" "point out"
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46 views

The meaning and usage of “believe”

In my native language, believing in something means accepting it as true without a proof: For example, asking whether you believe in God is correct, as it doesn't imply said God actually exists. Or, ...
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72 views

Does the word “glitz” have a negative connotation?

On Google, it is defined as something "extravagant but superficial display", or "to make something glamorous or showy". That doesn't sound negative to me; however, other sources make it sound as if it'...
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47 views

Axioms in English: If we try to find the root meaning of every English word in the dictionary,which word will we land on the most

Assume an alien has landed on Earth and wants to learn English with the help of an English Dictionary. He looks up the meaning of "the". Meaning of "the": "denoting one or more people or things ...
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55 views

Protected by legislation

Recently a friend of mine had to take a workplace safety quiz, and one of the questions asked: "Discrimination is a form of workplace bullying protected by legislation. True or false?" The answer ...
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59 views

Does “We're going to buy you X” sound vaguely confrontational, vs. “We’ll buy you X”?

McWhorter, J, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue (2009), p 127. [emboldening mine]   What they think brings English back to par with German and the rest is, for example, the tricky English future ...
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29 views

What do you call someone who holds other people to rules they don't believe in themselves?

Title. This is a very mundanely used word, but I forgot it, and it has been bugging me for a while now and it just won't come back. Maybe someone can help me out quickly. I feel stupid for even asking....
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49 views

Can I use “wheel” instead of “switch”?

In Longman Dictionary, under 'asleep at the wheel/switch', it says that asleep at the wheel/switch: not paying attention to a situation, so that something bad happens • Several publishers were ...
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39 views

What does 'triumphs' mean in Bacon's essay?

But I cannot tell; this same truth is a naked and open day-light, that doth not show the masks and mummeries and triumphs of the world, half so stately and daintily as candle-lights. "Of ...
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181 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 ...
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69 views

What is the meaning of expression “There's more fours than fives”?

Does anyone know what this expression means? My father loaded trucks in the 1950s with a guy who said this. The only explanation I ever got was that it was some kind of gay slur. But for the life of ...
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118 views

Difference between Having Said that & Despite of

I am not able to find out difference b/w Having said that & Despite of. 1) I like John as a person. Having said that, I don’t like his attitude. 2) I like John as a person. Despite of, I don’t ...