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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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attached vs connected

I am confused with the two words, which one technically has a broader meaning? and maybe including another one, or you have alternative that could include both, thanks.
cmabill's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
201 views

Drinking vs drinkable

Knowing that drinkable refers to safe to drink, why do we often say drinking water in stead of drinkable water? I find potable water (i.e.water fit/ safe to drink) synonymous with drinking water. So, ...
Selfie geoupie's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
614 views

Definition of 'uncle-in-law'

I've been reading an old will and testament (Tudor era) and have encountered the usage of the term 'uncle-in-law'. My suspicion is that it would be rather odd (albeit not completely unreasonable) for ...
Noldorin's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
2k views

Meaning of "our eares are converted into cates"

In Archie Armstrong's Banquet of Jests (1641 edition), there's an account of a punning clergyman: A DIVINE willing to play more with words than to be serious in the expounding of his Text, made his ...
Luke Sawczak's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
389 views

Do the definition of goods include live beings such as live animals?

I am looking for a term that refers to both living beings and non-living objects in a legal context. Can I use goods, commodities, or items? I believe 'items' may work in this context since some ...
Mango Gummy's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
34 views

What is the difference between "in" and "at" in "Take Spanish at/in school!"? [duplicate]

What is the difference between the two statements "You wanna be cool? Take Spanish at school!" and "You wanna be cool? Take Spanish in school!"
Tom's user avatar
  • 1
0 votes
1 answer
207 views

What is the difference between "academic" and "scholarly"?

I have heard the words "academic" and "scholarly" used interchangeably, like "academic journal" and "scholarly journal", but I was wondering if there is a ...
user107952's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is the "convert to decimal form" usage of "decimate" still used?

Recently, I came across a page in an olden-day arithmetic book (early 20th century) It seems that the word decimate was used in the sense "convert [a vulgar fraction] into a decimal fraction&...
Selfie geoupie's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
69 views

How to understand "stick" as an intransitive verb?

It is when "stick" is used as an intransitive verb that makes me feel confused, so please help me with the following two sentences. The first one is from the script of a video game called &...
Yuhang Ma's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
211 views

Where does the second definition of applesauce, nonsense, come from?

Where does the meaning of nonsense in applesauce come from? I tried looking it up, and Etymonline says that The slang meaning "nonsense" is attested from 1921 and was noted as a vogue word ...
Sophia's user avatar
  • 21
3 votes
1 answer
194 views

“I don’t care if Richard Feynman (was / were) a purple leprechaun that lived in my butt!” [duplicate]

In this scene (link) from The Big Bang Theory Sheldon corrects Penny saying she forgot to use the subjunctive: Penny: Leonard, it's three o'clock in the morning! I don't care if Richard Feynman was a ...
NPS's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
68 views

What does "in a quiet pool" mean?

While I was watching a a True Crime documentary, the narrator said: The young pastor, his wife, and their three daughters looked happy and had everything they needed to live a comfortable life ...
basilinnia's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
125 views

Sharp sweet smell

What does "sharp" in sharp-sweet mean ? It's referred to a "smell of sweat" in my text. Does that mean more like "acrid" unpleasant irritating or "penetrating" &...
user avatar
0 votes
5 answers
1k views

Does "overwhelming" equate to "majority"? [closed]

I had a disagreement with somebody, and I am struggling to see how I could be wrong. Essentially, I referred to a representation of a certain group of people on a website as overwhelming; my exact ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
65 views

Feel like a sore thumb

In the film, someone walks through a suburb while speaking to a friend on the phone, saying, "I feel like a sore thumb out here." I found the meaning of "stand/stick out like a sore ...
Moha's user avatar
  • 23
3 votes
1 answer
599 views

What is the meaning of "in this setting" in mathematics?

I've seen the term "setting" or the expression "in this setting" in mathematics books and other sources. What does it mean? Examples: In this setting, why is the inverse function ...
Mike_bb's user avatar
  • 133
0 votes
1 answer
249 views

What does "an eater of broken meats" mean from this Shakespeare play?

In the clip below from King Lear, what does "an eater of broken meats" mean, what does he mean by that. I know it is derogatory and is most likely meant to refer to an awful person. ...
Ross Bush's user avatar
  • 131
0 votes
2 answers
79 views

When none exists in ways that are entirely relatable

I can't get the meaning of this sentence, from the book Same as Ever by Morgan Houseland. You'd find people seeking the secret to a happy life and trying to find certainty when none exists in ways ...
Nick Dolmatov's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
109 views

What's the difference between "I believe in God" and "I believe in a God"?

I've recently heard these two examples where I don't understand what "a" is supposed to emphasize: Somebody asks: "Do you believe in God?" Then gets this reply: "I believe in ...
Damocle Damoclev's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
39 views

Term to a describe group of words which define a range of intensity for a target word [duplicate]

Suppose the target word is "calm". What might be the term for a group of words that mean or describe the range of "calm"-ness:?. (i.e. "least calm", "less calm",...
razor_chk's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
37 views

Meaning of "you…calculate about your next victim and reckon on your chances of recompense…" and "why should I take only what no one else wants?" [closed]

In the following quotes from "The Stronger" by August Strindberg, what does "you sit here and calculate about your next victim and reckon on your chances of recompense like a pilot in a ...
tommy859's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
104 views

How to understand this phrase: a native son of Negro descent?

I came across this phrase in a paper on African American literature, and it made me wonder whether the phrase "a native son of Negro descent" could be used to describe a child who has an ...
Yuhang Ma's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
234 views

Is "fierceless" a word, and if so, what is its etymology?

From a Safire NYT column: Nobody intimidated him back, not the Government, whose I.R.S. he challenged; not the Mafia, some of whose hoods he defended; not the press, whose bad publicity he courted; ...
dewarrn1's user avatar
  • 131
22 votes
6 answers
4k views

Throttle is to slow down, but full throttle is max speed?

According to Merriam-Webster, to throttle means to regulate the speed via a constricting valve, especially to speed down. For example, "to regulate and especially to reduce the speed of (...
Juan Perez's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
34 views

What does density means here?

Someone said that someone has the right emotional density and I can't figure if it means he's a deep person or what
user21884's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
77 views

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
  • 21
-1 votes
1 answer
224 views

Which one of the following..., Single or Multiple possible answers

In a MCQ I was surprised to see that there were multiple correct answers to the following question: [...] Which one of the following entities can perform this action? I thought that "which one&...
gruvw's user avatar
  • 109
0 votes
2 answers
101 views

Can "particularly" mean the opposite of "especially"?

The common wording of the quote is: All generalizations are false, including this one. But can it be phrased like so? All generalizations are false, particularly this one. Meaning that there's ...
x-yuri's user avatar
  • 175
8 votes
1 answer
2k views

What does "neat" mean in 1950s slang as a noun referring to a person? (see: Grease)

There are two instances in the play/musical "Grease" where someone is referred to as "a neat", and I'm having trouble figuring out the meaning. The first instance is after Danny (&...
Pipeline's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
81 views

being nice vs. being kind [closed]

In the TV series Doctor Who, in his last episode 'Twice Upon a Time', the 12th doctor says: Always try to be nice and never fail to be kind. full quote on wikiquote What is the difference between ...
bjelli's user avatar
  • 111
-1 votes
1 answer
100 views

Meaning of "harvesting your eyeballs via electronic mail"

A few years ago I subscribed to the "Little White Lies” newsletter and in their latest edition there is a sentence I don't understand: We understand that, when it comes to harvesting your ...
RUBINSKY's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
60 views

Meanings of "carriage" in Enola Holmes

The following conversation takes place near the beginning of the movie Enola Holmes Mycroft: We didn't send for you silly girl, we sent for the carriage. Did you at least bring it? Enola: The ...
Starlight's user avatar
  • 184
0 votes
3 answers
110 views

How to express a situation when a class teacher briefly and quickly mentions a section without full coverage

How to express a situation when a class teacher briefly and quickly mentions a section without full coverage. What is the best word (verb & noun) for this situation. Is it called skim? This is ...
Sheudaniel's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
188 views

What's the meaning of "to outdraw" somebody? [closed]

In the lyrics of "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen, there's one line that has been puzzled me for a long time: Well, maybe there's a God above But all I've ever learned from love Was how to ...
LetterQuest's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
43 views

Is "intellectually exacerbating" grammatically correct; and does it mean what I think it means?

Is "intellectually exacerbating" grammatically correct, and does it mean something along the lines of "making others stupider"? If it doesn't, what adjective can I use in lieu of ...
HoodedHacker's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is "stife" a name for smoking cooking oil?

My parents and grandparents used to describe smoking cooking oil as "stife". Has anyone else heard of this? Perhaps I've spelt it wrong?
Dave Gamble's user avatar
3 votes
5 answers
1k views

How to talk about two different counts

In our scientific article, I have a sentence: The numbers of residents and transients are constant over time. I want to say that the number of resients is constant and the number of transients is ...
Tomas's user avatar
  • 839
-1 votes
1 answer
45 views

What is the meaning of "partial cloaks"

What is the meaning of ""partial cloaks" in this sentence? Partial cloaks that work like sophisticated camouflage -rather like the alien in the 1987 movie Predator — might be ...
Afaq Nafar's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
93 views

What's the word for when two worlds coexist in the same space simultaneously but one is hidden or veiled from the other?

Consider how the wizarding world is hidden from the muggle world in the Harry Potter/ Wizarding World universe. Or in Hell Boy II. The troll market is hidden under a bridge. Red can see it but it's ...
JayeVal's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
46 views

Is “actual” both a false friend and a cognate from Spanish to English?

English definition of “actual”: existing in fact; typically as contrasted with what was intended, expected, or believed. Spanish definition of “actual”: current, present, contemporary These are ...
Felix's user avatar
  • 1
3 votes
1 answer
126 views

When and where did 'hospice' in the sense of 'palliative care facility or program for the terminally ill' originate in English?

Merriam-Webster's Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, first edition (1898) has this entry for hospice: Hospice, n. {F., fr. L. hospitium hospitality, place where strangers are entertained, fr. hospes ...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
  • 165k
1 vote
1 answer
186 views

The meaning of "The paradox of courage is that a man must be a little careless of his life even in order to keep it." — G. K. Chesterton

I recently came across this quote by G. K. Chesterton. The paradox of courage is that a man must be a little careless of his life even in order to keep it. (Note that the version I initially saw ...
The Surgeon of Death's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
3k views

Etymologically, how did 'outrage' get 're-analyzed'?

Wiktionary: From... Old French... oultrage (“excess”)... derived from Latin ultrā (“beyond”). Later reanalysed as out- +‎ rage, whence the contemporary pronunciation, though neither of these is ...
zeno's user avatar
  • 819
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Meaning of "teen" in Aeschylus's play "The Persians"

I came across the phrase "how shall I bear my teen?" in Aeschylus' play "The Persians". I also saw "the children of teen" in "Seven against Thebes". What ...
Ellen's user avatar
  • 91
0 votes
1 answer
73 views

Galloping incompetence & galloping ineptitude

Is it correct to use "galloping" as a synonym of "extreme"? For example, I often see "galloping incompetence" and "galloping ineptitude". But Merriam Webster's ...
Greg Lovern's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
508 views

Meaning of "swindle" in "…while four to five days in London would be suitable to swindle across the streets" [closed]

I came across this sentence in a blog. Is the 'swindle' being used correctly? If yes, what does it mean in this sentence? In most cases, three to four days in Paris would be enough to skim through ...
Jeetendra's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
36 views

What is a pipeline in an enterprise or business context?

I've heard the term "pipeline" used in many different contexts. Now I'm trying to get some clarity on the terminology: What exactly is a "pipeline" in a corporate or business ...
user avatar
-2 votes
2 answers
111 views

What's the meaning of "jolly weezer" on the show WW2BAM?

A TV presenter of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" lamented it would be a "jolly weezer" if the man made less than his wife on a game show. What did he mean?
Mike Panek's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
147 views

"Ay me" origins and usage?

I have been recently reading Romeo and Juliet, and towards the beginning of the balcony scene, Juliet says Ay me. What does this phrase mean and when was it first created/used?
Enderman's user avatar
  • 103
0 votes
1 answer
166 views

What does "gadget" really mean?

In finding this article, I questioned my understanding of the word 'gadget'. My current understanding is the word is (and please let me know in your answer if I'm right or wrong on this one) ...
Dan's user avatar
  • 103