Questions tagged [meaning]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
36 votes
8 answers
219k views

What's the difference between "adviser" and "advisor" -- are both interchangeable?

I work for a financial services provider and we deal with "Financial Advisors" all the time. Increasingly, I'm seeing people send emails and so forth with the term "Financial Adviser" and the terms ...
user avatar
  • 623
27 votes
7 answers
132k views

What does "had had" mean? How does this differ from "had"?

For example, what is the difference between the following two sentences: I had a bad day I had had a bad day
user avatar
  • 734
5 votes
2 answers
4k views

What is the structure of the sentence 'const to the rescue'?

The following is the context: Despite my fastidious coding habits, I have made a silly mistake and typed += when I meant to type +. As a result, when concatUnsafe is called, it will modify ...
user avatar
  • 2,467
5 votes
7 answers
11k views

Bodkins and bodkin - Same word different context?

Does bodkins in odd's bodkins mean the same as bare bodkin, which appears in Hamlet?
user avatar
  • 57.8k
2 votes
4 answers
512 views

How do you understand "I have to change my file names"?

If I say: I have to change my file names. What does an English speaker understand? "I have to change names of a single file." "I have to change names of many files." What is the rule here?
user avatar
  • 457
3 votes
3 answers
6k views

What does "graduate applicant" mean?

Does the term "graduate applicant" mean "a person who applies to get graduated" or "a graduate who applies for something"? If it is the second one, what can we call a person who applies for a ...
user avatar
  • 133
15 votes
13 answers
12k views

What does "from hunger" mean?

What is the meaning of the phrase "from hunger", as in, "This xyz is from hunger"? From the context I found it in, it appears to mean either very good, or very bad, but it's hard to tell which. The ...
user avatar
  • 36.4k
7 votes
5 answers
16k views

A list with only one item

I have a document where someone is suggesting we have a bulleted list with only one item. That sounds absurd to me. Doesn't a "list" imply more than one item?
user avatar
  • 179
3 votes
4 answers
3k views

Meaning of "owedst"

...Not poppy, nor mandragora, Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world, Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep Which thou owedst yesterday. — Shakespeare, Othello III.iii I really ...
user avatar
10 votes
7 answers
523 views

Is the word "yearling" appropriate for a recurring event?

The Stack Overflow / Stack Exchange sites all have a "yearling" badge. Active member for a year, earning at least 200 reputation. This badge can be awarded multiple times. So each year, if the ...
user avatar
  • 14.4k
34 votes
16 answers
14k views

Words with opposite meanings in different regions

I can't recall it, but there is a word in American English which now means the opposite of itself in British English. What words are there that have opposite (not just different) meanings in different ...
16 votes
4 answers
2k views

If I invent a word, what language is it?

I invented a word using medical terminology, Latin and maybe a bit of Greek. (I'm not honestly sure of the etymology of all the morphemes.) Considering that this word is primarily not of English ...
user avatar
7 votes
5 answers
12k views

Word meaning the reverse of 'Xenophobia'

Xenophobia refers to the irrational fear or hatred of foreigners. But recently I've seen people displaying (in newspaper articles and other places) an irrational fear or hatred of their own countrymen....
user avatar
  • 36.4k
98 votes
9 answers
390k views

"A few" vs. "few"

I have few friends. I have a few friends. I thought "few" means just one, two or even none. "A few" typically means more than two. However it seems to me some people say "few" when they really ...
user avatar
  • 3,584
38 votes
12 answers
101k views

What does “a couple” mean to you, and what does “a few” mean to you?

What is the proper way to use the terms “a couple” or “a few”? How should one use these words to avoid confusion? How do people use these words in practice. It was striking to hear that “a couple” ...
user avatar
3 votes
5 answers
4k views

What does the word "cinemaddict" mean?

Please explain to me (non-native speaker) what the word "cinemaddict" means. What synonyms does it have?
user avatar
  • 141
1 vote
5 answers
557 views

Which definition is more used for "determine"?

I've seen "determine" used for two completely different meanings: Zeus' mood will determine tomorrow's weather. (determine = control, dictate) The weather forecaster will determine tomorrow's ...
user avatar
  • 2,549
54 votes
3 answers
330k views

What is the purpose of using the word "why" in "why, thank you"?

I sometimes have heard somebody replying with Why, thank you. instead of Thank you. What is the meaning of the first phrase? What is the difference between the two phrases?
user avatar
  • 57.8k
10 votes
3 answers
3k views

What does "if only" mean?

Like in this sentence: The influence of the Titnaeus among early philosophical thinkers was pervasive, if only because it was the sole dialogue available in Europe for almost 1,000 years. (...
user avatar
  • 1,333
3 votes
4 answers
7k views

What are the possible words for a task?

I am looking for similar words to task for a document on scheduling tasks in the context of a project. My goal would be to find words that would denote meanings for three things. A word for a small ...
user avatar
21 votes
3 answers
27k views

What does “packing heat” mean?

I believe it means “to carry a weapon”, but I would also like the phrase origins, if possible. So the full question is: What is the meaning of the phrase “packing heat” and what are its origins?
user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
58k views

"To call" vs. "to ring"

What is the difference between the verbs "call" and "ring" in the meaning of telephoning? For example: I will ring you back shortly. I will call you back shortly.
user avatar
  • 9,963
1 vote
2 answers
11k views

What does "keen" in "keen intellect" mean?

her keen intellect What is the meaning of keen in the phrase?
user avatar
  • 57.8k
2 votes
5 answers
4k views

What does the expression "body shop" mean?

I recently encountered the expression "the man in the body shop", and I have absolutely no idea what it means. All help is welcome.
user avatar
  • 131
6 votes
4 answers
19k views

What does "catch the sun" mean?

What does catch the sun mean?
user avatar
  • 57.8k
5 votes
4 answers
9k views

What does "educated" mean in "educated guess"?

Make an educated guess. What is the meaning of educated in the sentence?
user avatar
  • 57.8k
5 votes
2 answers
3k views

Does "will you stop here, please" express a command or exhortation?

Will you stop here, please. Does the sentence express a command or exhortation? Is it equivalent to say, "Stop here!" or does it have an additional/different meaning?
user avatar
  • 57.8k
13 votes
7 answers
5k views

What does “akin to” mean in etymologies in dictionary entries?

Many etymologies in dictionaries say that some word is “akin to” a word in some other language. For example, here is part of the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary entry for salt: Main Entry: 1salt ...
user avatar
  • 66.9k
3 votes
3 answers
18k views

What does aw mean?

I have heard somebody saying aw, shucks. What does that mean? In which other cases is the word used?
user avatar
  • 57.8k
2 votes
2 answers
357 views

Is my use of the word "award" to describe a blog tagging game correct?

Anybody ever run into the blog post tagging? Like when somebody starts posting about certain topic (for example answering certain questions like what are your 10 habits, etc) and then they tag other ...
user avatar
  • 307
6 votes
2 answers
12k views

Meaning of "boroughs of New York City"

What does borough mean? Does the word have a different meaning when used in the five boroughs of New York City?
user avatar
  • 57.8k
28 votes
8 answers
258k views

What does "thy" mean?

I read a sentence containing the word thy, but I cannot find the meaning of that word. Is it older English, or is it still used in contemporary English today?
user avatar
  • 57.8k
17 votes
6 answers
138k views

What does "going forward" mean?

In more and more podcasts and presentations I hear sentences such as this one: That is our strategy going forward. What meaning does going forward add to the sentence? That is, how is it different ...
user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
18k views

What do "brave" (adj) and "courage" (n) really mean?

For me, if someone is brave, it has always meant that they face certain dangers or situations, even though doing so is something that scares the living daylights out of them. For instance, if a ...
user avatar
14 votes
4 answers
5k views

The use of "random" to mean "arbitrary", "unidentified", "unknown", etc

I'm seeing the use of "random" instead of "arbitrary", etc., with increasing frequency. To me, "random" has a specific meaning and is not synonymous with these other words. Is it correct to use it in ...
user avatar
14 votes
5 answers
6k views

New Oxford American Dictionary describes "the" as an adjective

When I look at the definition given from the Mac OS X Dictionary, I read the following definition. (I have set American English as interface language, and the dictionary used is then the New Oxford ...
user avatar
  • 57.8k
3 votes
4 answers
12k views

What is the meaning of the phrase "a man of the world"?

The name of one of the Ernest Hemingway's short stories is "A man of the world". It seems to me that I understand the meaning of this phrase out from the context of the short story. But all the same ...
user avatar
  • 9,963
2 votes
2 answers
19k views

When should one use the "recent past"? How much time should have passed?

When we can use "recent past"? How much past time qualifies for "recent past"?
user avatar
  • 595
11 votes
4 answers
54k views

"Before" vs. "in front of"

Especially in speeches I often hear a sentence like I stand here before you... However during my English classes in school (I'm German) we were told that before should only be used if you're ...
user avatar
20 votes
5 answers
49k views

Should I refer to "Section 2.3" or "Subsection 2.3"?

When writing a document that is divided into numbered sections and subsections, sometimes I would like to refer a certain subsection that has been numbered 2.3, for example. Here the 2 represents the ...
user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why "mind" means "pay attention to"

Why the word "mind" can be used as a verb, synonym of "pay attention to"? It has the same etymology of the "mind" (centre of thought, feelings, brain) noun? When it is better to use "mind" in place of ...
user avatar
  • 223
42 votes
2 answers
32k views

What does the phrase "Begging the question" mean?

What does the phrase "begging the question" really mean? And does it even matter if I use it correctly? Almost everyone just uses it as a synonym for "posing the question" these days.
user avatar
  • 53.6k
7 votes
3 answers
74k views

I thought "spare me with ..." means "don't bother me with the details of ...". Does it?

But according to my friend I am wrong. What do you think?
user avatar
  • 173
32 votes
7 answers
15k views

What does "great good" mean in the tutorial title "Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!"?

There is a site learn you a haskell with the title "Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!". Does "Great Good" mean "very very good"? Does the whole phrase mean "learning Haskell is good for you" or "...
user avatar
  • 1,095
61 votes
7 answers
49k views

Where does the "quint" in "quintessential" come from?

Doesn't "quint" mean "five"? What does that have to do with the meaning of "quintessential"?
user avatar

1
323 324 325 326
327