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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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5 votes
3 answers
184 views

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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
100 views

Need an accessible explanation on nitty-gritty details of how semantical distinction between count vs uncount nouns works in English

Sorry if this question has been answered before, I have been unable to find anything remotely adequate on this website. What I want: to learn patterns that allow to be better at guessing (and/or ...
-2 votes
2 answers
132 views

What does ";" in "If in Your Dreams; the Flood" mean?

Context: "If in Your Dreams; the Flood" is the title of a visual novel. In short, it's story about a girl who suffers from constant nightmares, namely she has dreasm about the flood, and each time she ...
0 votes
0 answers
28 views

meaning of to drive out between trains

I am reading Edith Wharton's famous 'Afterward' (1910). Which is a struggle for me since many of her sentences and words are beyond my understanding. (English is not my native language) Anyway, today'...
8 votes
1 answer
461 views

Is "farfel" an idiolectical quirk/part of a familect?

My whole life, my family has used "farfel" to refer to anything small, unwanted, usually fabric-based, and out of place (i.e., on the floor; not in the trash). Lint, a few millimeters of ...
8 votes
6 answers
31k views

In the phrase "the scales have fallen from my eyes" why did they use the word "scales"? [closed]

It's an odd word there. I've never thought that I had "scales" on my eyes when I couldn't see. Why didn't they use something like "darkness" or "clouds"? When I think of scales I think of Lady ...
5 votes
8 answers
3k views

What is the meaning and derivation of 'cowp'?

I just received an email from Scotland with the word 'cowp' in it. I had a vague recollection from my own Scottish background of such a word but could not remember what it meant. The OED has only this ...
0 votes
1 answer
52 views

Historical use of "reading" for Transportation

Seen in a print advertisement for D. & C. Line, dated 1914: YOUR RAILROAD TICKETS, reading between Detroit and Buffalo or Detroit and Cleveland, are available for transportation on D. & C. ...
8 votes
2 answers
9k views

Usage of "please" at the beginning of a sentence

Please report more details. Please do not send your faxes from the office. Please do not hesitate to contact us from our website. Does please have the same meaning, in those sentences? In the second ...
0 votes
0 answers
37 views

What does ´added twist´ mean? [duplicate]

in the sentence : He performed his experiments with patients , this time with an added twist . it differs from ´with a twist´
8 votes
3 answers
71k views

What does the expression "With a twist" mean?

I would like to know the meaning of the expression "With a twist" and the context in which it can be used - examples are welcome. I have an understanding of it in the lines of "Traveling with a ...
0 votes
0 answers
36 views

What's the meaning of "burrish"? [closed]

As the title said, I wonder what's the meaning of burrish ?
0 votes
2 answers
72 views

What is a Word for the Repetition of a Theme Song throughout a Show [duplicate]

What is a word to describe the theme song of a show, such as a movie or cartoon, in which it recurs often, but in a toned-down mode such as played softly by a single horn or string instrument. The ...
0 votes
0 answers
36 views

Miscellany vs. Miscellanea [closed]

What is the difference between "miscellany" and "miscellanea"? From what I read about, it seems that a book that consists of short stories can be called "miscellany" but ...
1 vote
2 answers
65 views

Deck as verb and the accompanying preposition

As per Cambridge dictionary and others, the word 'deck' in its verb form means to decorate or add something to something to make an effect: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/deck ...
1 vote
1 answer
1k views

Cultural Backlash Meaning [closed]

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 ...
4 votes
3 answers
4k views

Haste or no haste? That is the question

The proverb "More haste, less speed" apparently means: You make better progress with a task if you don't try to do it too quickly. Oxford Dictionary What is the difference betwen 'haste' and '...
3 votes
4 answers
6k views

Adjective meaning "that can be tied"

What is the most common adjective used to describe objects that can be tied. I would think of tieable but it does not seem to exist in the wiktionary.
1 vote
3 answers
496 views

"Was to have" expression

In 1958, Evans joined Miles Davis's sextet, where he was to have a profound influence. What is the meaning of "was to have" here?
2 votes
1 answer
4k views

"Meet me" VS "Meet you"

As a student of the English language, I have always considered the meanings of such phrases as I'll meet you... and You'll meet me... to be identical in nature, since the verb meet tends to be ...
7 votes
1 answer
979 views

What is the meaning of "sutting "?

On Netflix, I came across the word sutting while watching a British series called Supacell. It seems that the actor was talking about a gun. Unfortunately, I haven't found its meaning in any ...
-1 votes
1 answer
46 views

Can anyone explain the meaning of "as an old fisherman used to say when I was a boy not so very long ago, ..."

I read a novel, there is one sentence I cannot understand: And he slapped the little bunny's back and gave a hop, skip and jump to one side, and then laughed some more, for he was as happy as a clam ...
6 votes
3 answers
269 views

How does one determine if something is "Modern" or not?

I’m wondering if there is a formal way of determining if something is considered ‘Modern’? For example, No one in a modern war has ever ... Modern farming techniques have ... Modern smartphones need ...
8 votes
4 answers
2k views

What does ‘a grade-hog’ mean?

I would like to know the meaning of a grade-hog in this New York Times quotation about How We Learn by Benedict Carey: Carey, a New York Times science reporter, begins his book with a confession: He ...
1 vote
2 answers
1k views

What is the meaning of "Ha et cetera"?

In William Golding´s Paper Men, the main character keeps saying "Ha et cetera". What does he mean by this? Is it simply another way of saying "ha, ha, ha" (laughter)?
0 votes
0 answers
19 views

The presence of "the" in the sentence of "Find all (the) indices of the ' ' character in a string" [duplicate]

Find all the indices of the ' ' characters in a string. Find all indices of the ' ' characters in a string. Do these two sentences have any difference? Which one is it if one is more natural than the ...
2 votes
2 answers
8k views

What does "You're as bad as the old Irish woman who took the two pills to be sure, to be sure..." mean?

What does "You're as bad as the old Irish woman who took the two pills to be sure, to be sure..." mean? And if you know what it means, can you also specify the origin of this phrase? To be more ...
2 votes
3 answers
2k views

Inventory or repository?

I have a program for managing products and intermediate artifacts stored in a human concrete building somewhere. The program is not only manage the artifacts existed, but also the resource planning ...
7 votes
3 answers
9k views

Meaning of the quote "there are dinner jackets and dinner jackets" from Casino Royale (2006)

Vesper Lynd: There are dinner jackets and dinner jackets; this is the latter. And I need you looking like a man who belongs at that table. Here what does the line "There are dinner jackets and ...
1 vote
3 answers
828 views

How to express 'to some degree' and 'excessively' meaning exactly using 'rather'?

How can I know that the word "rather" is meaning to some degree or excessively in a sentence? They seem make sense to understand as any one of those two meanings in some examples below. eg: It'...
0 votes
1 answer
56 views

Harry Vandiver's comment on the infinitude of Wilson primes

Wilson primes are prime numbers that meet a specific criterion. Only three such numbers are known: 5, 13, and 563. In Paulo Ribenboim's book "My Numbers, My Friends: Popular Lectures on Number ...
0 votes
1 answer
59 views

The meaning of ''as also'' in the given paragraph?

Pakistan Nationals as also "persons resident outside Pakistan" holding Pakistani securities desirous of sending or taking out the Pakistani securities not covered under the succeeding ...
2 votes
1 answer
13k views

What is the difference between "whereabout" and "whereabouts"

What is the difference between "whereabout" and "whereabouts" I have heard both of them, but don't know the difference. Merriam-Webster just calls whereabout a less common variant ...
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is "sinnate" a word? What does it mean?

From Typee by Herman Melville (1846): The loins of the warrior were girt about with heavy folds of a dark-coloured tappa, hanging before and behind in clusters of braided tassels, while anklets and ...
7 votes
3 answers
6k views

"feint" and "feign": Are they synomyms?

Both to feign and to feint seem to mean to pretend. Are they synonyms or the same word with only a different spelling? Or is there an actual concrete difference in their meaning?
9 votes
7 answers
22k views

How did "pissed" come to mean "drunk" or "angry"?

How did "pissed" come to mean "drunk" or "angry" in expressions such as: "I'm pissed" OR "I'm pissed off"? All dictionaries I consulted just gave that definition. So, does it have anything to do - ...
-1 votes
6 answers
3k views

Are "zugzwang", "catch-22" and "catch-33" synonyms?

Are these words synonyms? zugzwang — a situation where one player is put at a disadvantage because he has to make a move when he would prefer to pass and make no move catch-22 — a logical paradox ...
6 votes
3 answers
3k views

Runners in her hose?

This is from a song that Johnny Cash sang. I want to know what runners in her hose means: Back when we could laugh and play On family reunion day Didn't we all look funny In our ...
2 votes
3 answers
7k views

"water pool" vs "swimming pool" [closed]

Is it correct to use water pool instead of swimming pool? In some hotel descriptions I have found water pool, but it looks like it was a mistake.
2 votes
4 answers
7k views

What is the difference between "palazzo" and "palace"?

I have noticed that palazzo is used not only in Italian but in English too. So what is the difference between palazzo, and palace (in English)?
0 votes
3 answers
9k views

Do assesment or make assesment?

What should I use for this sentence? I do compliance assessments in facilities every day. Or I make compliance assessments every day. Thank you.
-2 votes
0 answers
87 views

Meaning of " sucked the root "

This passage is from the book IT by Stephen king As Mellon and Hagarty passed, each with his arm linked about the other's waist, Webby Garton yelled out: 'I ought to make you eat that hat, you ...
-2 votes
0 answers
54 views

Is "disjoint partition" a pleonasm?

Do the noun "partition" and the verb "to partition" by themselves imply disjointness/non-overlapping?
5 votes
5 answers
3k views

Are there examples of triple entendres in English?

I don't know if triple entendres exist. I did a lot of online research, but I what I found were examples of double entendres. There were examples that claimed to be triple entendres, but they had one ...
4 votes
2 answers
186 views

Why is it called a "commandment" instead of a "command"?

What does the -ment add to the word command that command doesn't already have? A command is something that is being obliged to be done or something like that, something that you follow. Likewise, a ...
-1 votes
3 answers
558 views

Is there any difference between "spider-man" and "human spider"?

I am trying to write a review of a text. I am trying to understand the context of two phrases: "spider-man" and "human spider". Do they mean different things? Although these two words were used ...
2 votes
1 answer
357 views

What is the meaning of '"It's nart'ral" in "Pollyanna" by Eleanor H. Porter?

From a part of "Pollyanna" written by Eleanor H. Porter: Old Tom shook his head. "I know. I've felt it. It's nart'ral – but 'tain't best, child; 'tain't best. Take my word for it, '...
1 vote
0 answers
156 views

What is the meaning of "pranging" in this context? Is it US slang?

In the book Palace of Treason by Jason Matthews, I encountered the following sentence, that I summarized to eliminate unnecesary information: She weaved through the crowds of pedestrians in the red ...
4 votes
3 answers
12k views

The difference between "only one" and "one and only one"

A teacher announces, "There is only one student who failed the course." Does the teacher’s statement mean anything different from the following version? "There is one and only one student who ...
3 votes
3 answers
105 views

“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 ...

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