Questions tagged [phrase-meaning]

The meaning of phrases.

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Confusion about “weird flex but ok”

Why do people post their picture with the caption "weird flex but ok" whereas nothing weird on that picture neither they are showing off something. As far as I know "weird flex but ok&...
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What is the origins of the phrase “on the lam”? [duplicate]

After puzzling over this phrase for quite some time I came across the possible answers offered in this site. The one that seemed to show the most promising solution was the longest entry, which ...
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1answer
25 views

“At somebody's bidding” vs. “at somebody's behest”?

Do the following two sentences have the same meaning? If not, what is the difference between them? This briefing session is held at the Commander's bidding. This briefing session is held at the ...
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2answers
25 views

Missing data: not registered vs not available

I have a scientific paper table that has a few missing values. Values are missing as they were not recorded (written by a doctor) on patients' medical records. Should I address these values as "...
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7answers
3k views

What's a positive phrase to say that I quoted something not word by word

Sometimes I quote in my writing sombody else, but I do not know the exact words the other person had used. What is a concise and positive(*) phrase to describe this? I found different options on the ...
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1answer
44 views

“The answer is in the positive” vs “the answer is positive” vs “the answer is ‘yes’”

Is there any difference in meaning or appropriate usage between the following expressions? the answer is in the positive the answer is positive the answer is ‘yes’
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What is the difference between these responses? [duplicate]

Suppose I tell you that you can't understand what this means "fdhfshdgfjdsghskdrhgyc". You could reply "Yes, I can" or "No, I can". For the first phrase, it means that ...
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4answers
948 views

“What have they to say?” vs “What do they have to say?”

Is "what have they to say?" grammatical? If so, what is the difference with the phrase "what do they have to say?"? Do they mean the same thing?
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what's the grammar structure of “ought to” [duplicate]

I've seen many explanations that just treat ought to as a whole which equals should. but how to explain the function/role of each word separately? for example: I ought to go now. which role does to ...
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“I'd go careful OR carefully with that”

I have recently used this expression in an answer on another site: This is not a frequent structure and I should have more knowledge in the field to discern if you can say that about algorithms. You ...
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23 views

Position of Preposition phrases

Do all the following three sentences mean the same? Where should I put the preposition phrase. 1- In India, people love to eat mangoes. 2- People in India love to eat mangoes. 3- People love to eat ...
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1answer
29 views

Meaning of this piece of dialogue in The Call of the Wild?

Here is an excerpt from Chapter 1 of The Call of the Wild by Jack London: Yet his time came, in the end, in the form of a little weazened man who spat broken English and many strange and uncouth ...
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1answer
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Was “blue death” a popular term for Cholera in the US in the1800s?

I'm working on my dissertation on public health. I just came across Robert Morris' book on Cholera called, "The Blue Death". My university library doesn't have access to the book and both ...
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1answer
31 views

What is the meaning of “someone runs down the tree”? [closed]

I would like to know if the phrase "someone runs down the tree" has the meaning of someone who comes down from the top of a tree to the floor in a hurry? Is it right? If yes, can I use this ...
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1answer
32 views

Meaning of “squeeze the limit”

I was watching a movie and the phrase "squeeze the limit" came to my attention (if I heard it right). I have never heard the phrase before, and according to the Japanese subtitle, it seem ...
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1answer
32 views

Friendship Directionality

When I was younger, I thought of friendships bidirectionally ("we're friends"). However, not all friendships necessarily are bidirectional, or they might become unidirectional. Although I'm ...
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1answer
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What is the difference “I made him angry” and “I got him angry”?

These are from dictionaries, and it is hard to distinguish "make somebody/something + adj" and "get somebody/something + adj" and grammar books seldom talk about them Get 18 MAKE ...
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1answer
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What is the meaning of the phrase “you don't have it”?

The sentence goes, "You douchebags don't have it" It was said by a woman who complained about guys that were two-timing and they should fess up to their women.
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1answer
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Can anyone explain meaning of this phrase “I might as well be in OT”. It has been used in online chatting

"I might as well be in OT" someone has used this phrase during online conversation and I don't understand the meaning of this phrase. Conversation: A: Can you tell me a bedtime story? B: ...
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1answer
2k views

What does the phrase “or euer” mean in Middle English from the 1500s?

What does the phrase "or euer" mean in Middle English from the 1500s? It's often translated as "before", but I'm trying to find out specifically the cultural connotation of what ...
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1answer
35 views

What is the meaning of the phrase “as they relate to…”?

e.g. in the following sentences: This section presents recent developments in climate change as they relate to oceans. Two UN publications present the activities of the organization as they relate to ...
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2answers
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On Passage, Objections to the Contrary Notwithstanding

What does the following mean? There seem to be a lot of double negatives in here, so I'd like to understand this better. On passage, objections of the president to the contrary notwithstanding This ...
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1answer
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What's the meaning of “it was a tidy bow”?

I found this expression in a news article: When Vermont’s first coronavirus case was detected last month, it took two state health workers a day to track down 13 people who came into contact with ...
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1answer
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Meaning: “a race of one”

This phrase is found in "Stranger From a Strange Land" (Robert Heinlein). ONCE UPON A TIME when the world was young there was a Martian named Smith. Valentine Michael Smith was as real as ...
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2answers
131 views

Does “fatherly” mean “of the father”? [closed]

I found two expressions used quite a few times in a text, which I am translating as: the fatherly house / the fatherly embrace and it seems to me that I can use these expressions to mean the house/...
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1answer
24 views

What could “touch the incongruous” mean? (from an old story)

Reading an old story by A. Blackwood, I stumbled upon the following sentence (for the context, the woman is said to have some kind of second sight): And the idea of this motherly, sedate, and ...
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2answers
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Why do some double negatives oppose with the natural or instinctive meaning which apparently occurs from the context of sentence they're applied in? [closed]

There would be more double-negatives like these, but I specifically want to mention "This couldn't be further/farther from the truth". When this phrase is used, it apparently incites the ...
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1answer
93 views

Can “to close one's eyes” mean “to die”?

I am proofreading a translation and I came across this sentence: Man’s entire life, from the moment he first sees the light of day until he closes his eyes, does not suffice to fully understand the ...
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2answers
85 views

What is the origin of the phrase “burden of shame”?

I had never heard this particular phrase ("burden of shame") before today. All I can find on Google are references to a UB40 (a mostly-white reggae-pop band from the 1980s) song. Are there ...
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2answers
41 views

way/mode of life or way/mode of existence? [closed]

I have a hard time understanding the particularities of these expressions: Do we say way or mode of life or way or mode of living ? If I say mode of existence, am I using a specific expression as ...
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81 views

Is there such expression as “Charlie someone out”?

There is the following exchange in Deadwood series season 1 episode 3 ... Johnny: Al? Al: Yeah. Johnny: That cherry New York dude is downstairs askin’ for ya. Al: No good. Charlie him the fuck out. (...
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2answers
52 views

What does “Tree someone's or their game” means?

As contextually hinted here in the sentence "1838 – "Instead of having treed their game....", the meaning of possibly rarely-known phrase "tree his/her/someone's/their game" ...
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Literal & Figurative Meaning of 'Inform approaches' [duplicate]

I am unable to exactly comprehend the following sentence (word-by-word) as I am not getting what it means by 'Inform approaches' there: Assessments like 'Uwezo' are being used to inform approaches to ...
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1answer
50 views

meaning of “leave me alone”

I understand this to mean to stop bothering me or interfering with me, however, does it also mean to ignore me and pay no attention to me ever again? For example, I said to my brother, who kept ...
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3answers
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If I say that someone was mean to me, does that imply that they were conscious of it?

The dictionary doesn't help me with an answer. It gives me other words which may or may not require intent. mean (adjective) unkind, spiteful, or unfair. To be spiteful requires intent, to be unfair ...
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Meaning of “sort through” in this context?

Here is an excerpt from the book called I’m Right and You’re an Idiot (by James Hoggan). For example, environmentalists tend to see things in terms of black and white, good versus evil, “so they can ...
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What does the phrase, a person (who) is “a pair of khaki pants inside a Manila envelope” mean?

I came across the phrase, someone who wears “a pair of khaki pants inside a manila envelope” in Vanity Fair’s December 1st issue, which came under the headline,”Look at what we love. It’s on fire: ...
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1answer
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Use of recurring words - 'somebody who' [closed]

Think of somebody who takes you for granted, somebody who is treating you with disgust, somebody who thinks about you as a thing to use. Is that sentence well written? I mean the recurring part '...
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2answers
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What is the meaning of put us on deals?

Early on in my career as an investment banker, I asked to work with the biggest, baddest, scariest VP that ever walked the halls of Goldman Sachs. And my staffer who put us on deals, looked at me like ...
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1answer
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Difference between 'I love you' and 'I have loved you' [closed]

What is the difference between below phrases. I love you I have loved you
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Meaning of “to achieve the setup of a disaster recovery plan” (business language)

From a document I'm translating: Business Continuity A. Managers shall ensure that procedures within their area of responsibility are carried out correctly to achieve the setup of a disaster recovery ...
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1answer
69 views

What is “authorized signature competence”? (business language)

From a document I'm translating. The document lays down requirements for a company to comply with in order to pass certification: Authorized Signature A list of authorized signatures shall be kept ...
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1answer
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What does mean by “to step aboard by [someone]”?

I know that "aboard" is a preposition as well as an adverb. It denotes: on or onto a ship, aircraft, bus, or train: Cambridge Dictionary Example sentence: The ship sank, killing 155 ...
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Meaning of “weird's another place”

There's a conversation in an episode of Midsomer Murders (S06E04) that's been bugging me. In full context: Back to normal, then? Normal's a bit weird round here, isn't it, Mr. Wilson? No, Darren. ...
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“Insistently believing that this is a photo of Neil Armstrong in the face of everyone else's…” Can one really insistently believe something?

The sub-context is that there's an iconic photo of Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin on the Moon taken by a large format Hasselblad camera and in Aldrin's gold reflective visor one can see the photographer ...
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1answer
307 views

What does “betrun-cheoned” [betruncheoned] mean in Suttree by Cormac McCarthy

McCarthy's works are filled with obscure words, but this one is particularly strange, and prior to me posting this question, almost constitutes a Googlewhack. I'm reading the Kindle edition and so it ...
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1answer
51 views

Meaning and usage of “rife with uncertainty” [closed]

What is the meaning of "rife with uncertainty" and where it can be used? I search the meaning but I cannot find desirable answers. Moreover, is it possible to use the "rife with" + ...
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it seems we'll get the paper over the line

My supervisor wrote an email: ''We've got feedback on how our journal paper went. It seems quite helpful feedback, in that it seems we'll get the paper over the line.'' Could anyone tell me what he ...
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1answer
80 views

What does the sentence “I lit a cigarette that tasted like a plumber's handkerchief” mean? [closed]

In what way does a plumber's handkerchief taste like a cigarette?
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2answers
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What or who does 'the rick-thatcher' refer to in Middlemarch by George Eliot?

Here is the full quotation: No matter what a man is—I wouldn’t give twopence for him”—here Caleb’s mouth looked bitter, and he snapped his fingers—“whether he was the prime minister or the rick-...

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