Questions tagged [phrase-meaning]

The meaning of phrases.

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2answers
376 views

This statement is false [closed]

This statement is false: What does this one liner mean? I just read this in a site of one-liners. Though this is grammatically correct, I wonder if it will have a solid meaning. Can we use such a ...
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1answer
2k views

What does “putting your head into my mouth” mean?

The following passage is from the novel Ivanhoe by Walter Scott. "By St Dunstan," answered Gurth, "thou speakest but sad truths; little is left to us but the air we breathe, and that appears to ...
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What does the phrase “tell us what you really think” mean?

What does "tell us what you really think" mean? It seems to be used when someone is telling us what they really think...
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1answer
191 views

What is the meaning of some phrases used by Dickens? [closed]

I cannot interpret the following sentence from Dickens' The Haunted House, particularly the bold parts. Can someone help, please? If this should meet the eye of the gentleman who favoured me with ...
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1answer
176 views

What does “breathing of the lighter elements” mean? [closed]

I'm reading Yelizaveta Bam of Daniil Kharms (tr. Neil Cornwell) and stumbled upon the following dialogue: Ivan I.: But who then lights the lamp? Pyotr N.: No one, it burns by itself. Ivan I.:...
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353 views

What does “an apparent majority” mean?

What does "an apparent majority" mean in the following sentence? An apparent majority of the public no longer believes this budget is sufficient. Which of the following interpretations apply? It ...
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2answers
25k views

“at most” vs. “at least” [closed]

I tend to use two phrases randomly with speech but I'd like know to what's exactly the difference between the two? Let's suppose for example: Spend at most $20 on the lunch. Spend at least $20 on ...
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1answer
2k views

What is the meaning of “some” in this sentence? [closed]

What does some mean in the following sentence? Does it has a meaning similar to hardly any? Some consensus has been reached regarding the theoretical basis for measuring the cost of travel time.
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3answers
746 views

Simple meaning of “A mellow edge isn't an oxymoron”

I got this as my astrology prediction. A mellow edge isn't an oxymoron. Buy their drinks. Show them why you're so famous. What oxymoron means is A figure in which an epithet of a contrary ...
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3answers
35k views

“Never slap a man who's chewing tobacco”

Is this a proverb? What does it mean and what is the origin?
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4answers
110 views

Does “digital crafting agency” sound good and is it meaningful for a company's description?

There are some web development studios who call themselves a "digital agency". For our small team we're going to take a similar tagline, "digital crafting agency". Does this sound okay to native ...
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2answers
7k views

What does “Small-ball crap” mean?

I heard it on House of Cards, the American TV series. The Congressman says it during a political discussion: I hate this small-ball crap! What is its meaning and etymology?
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What does this phrase mean?

You must not lament in conversation with your savior over the trifles of an average boy. what does it mean?
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1answer
509 views

You throw no low blows and rise above the rest

You throw no low blows and rise above the rest. What does it mean?
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3answers
471 views

What does “in s****” mean in the following context?

I was reading a short story when I stumbled across the following sentence. "[H]e overheard his dad say it wasn’t worth its price in shit." I was a bit surprised with the negation. I'm used to the ...
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4answers
230 views

“aim life with money” [closed]

I am planning for a tattoo with image of target logo. and the caption I thought is "Aim life with money" Money being an arrow and the life being the "center of target". I wanna make a point as in.. "...
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2answers
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What does the expression “rabbit-out-of-a-hat” mean? [duplicate]

I read this phrase on a guide for texts about mathematical logic, it says that this proof is “rabbit-out-of-a-hat”. What does this mean? Is it a slang expression? The exact sentence is: A ...
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2answers
2k views

Clarification on “Who stars opposite X in some film?”

I’ve always understood the phrase Who stars opposite [x] in [film]? to mean: Who is the deuteragonist in [film]? specifically where the deuteragonist is on the same side as the protagonist. ...
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1answer
184 views

The walls stand only forty feet above the wave tops, yet plunge many hundreds to the city behind

The phrase refer to the walls of a fantasy city, which are very strong and protect it from enemies and from the sea. I can't say if the phrase means that the walls are hundreds feet deep in the sea, ...
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1answer
2k views

“Get everything together”

Right now my life is kind of in a mess I'm unemployed and barely have a place to live. If I want to tell my friends that I will meet and hang out with them once I sort myself out. Does "get everything ...
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2answers
1k views

What does “might” exactly mean in the following excerpt?

This is a excerpt from Le Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory, and I want to know the exact meaning of might regarding the context. Some say by might we mean: being allowed to and some say it ...
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3answers
12k views

When do you use “you don't say”?

you don't say My doubt is whether you use this for exclamations or for agreements, all the references pointed out for saying it when one is surprised but I am sure I have heard some one say this in ...
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1answer
1k views

What does “hero of ages” mean?

Talking about a great fantasy hero, it was said that he "was the hero of ages". What does that mean?
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1answer
500 views

She went around in about a hundred and seventy, for nine holes - meaning

I read the "Catcher in the rye" and I found it difficult book for not native reader (Compared to for example Steve Jobs biography. There is a lot of guessing what the author means by particular ...
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1answer
209 views

“State of the art” [duplicate]

"State of the art" Why the word 'art' is used while it refers to an advance technology? Does it always mean up to date? Is it really not related to art, in any case? the art of making, for ...
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1answer
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What is the “material holding” in a company'?

I am working on a text and it confuses my mind. I do understand the meaning and yet can not be sure about it. It says: The arbitrator holds shares, either directly or indirectly, which by reason ...
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1answer
338 views

What is a PR triumph?

In an answer of an interesting question, Is mathematical history written by the victors?, professor Paul Garrett wrote: Again, "winning" is certainly not a reliable sign of absolute virtue. Could ...
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2answers
546 views

Does the phrase 'human race' allude to the idea of a relay?

Describing the history of humanity as a 'race' might seem odd to a listener who hadn't heard it before. Is the image behind this phrase alluding to the idea that human beings reproduce and pass on ...
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2answers
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What does “it doesn’t make much of a case for itself” mean?

I have found a phrase here: ... it doesn't make much of a case for itself in ... Obviously, it is some negative remark. Probably, it is a combination of two expressions, but I can't divide them ...
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1answer
11k views

What's the meaning of “roll out” here? [closed]

The following is an advice given to someone who is looking for ways to make a couple thousand bucks in a short period: With no deets on your situation it's really hard to help you. But I will say ...
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2answers
384 views

what is the meaning of 'if form holds'?

If form holds, the 250,000 women each year who undergo the same genetic testing Jolie had will be joined by the thousands more; but the mutation that was detected in her, in what's known as BRCA1 gene,...
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1answer
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“I have done every bad thing in the good book” - What does it actually mean?

This question might be very specific to a situation in "Revolution" but I cannot understand this sentence. From my understanding, he was saying that he has done everything that the book (he believed) ...
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1answer
1k views

“As if” & “As would be the case if”; Also, “As though”

On a Q&A site in Japan, I read an expression that as if comes from as (would be the case) if. Are both about the same thing? Is this claim historically true? If so, what does "as though" come ...
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1answer
9k views

What does “put on a show” mean? [closed]

This is verse one of the song Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5 (sorry it looks so spread out I tried to single line it, but didn't work): Just shoot for the stars If it feels right Then aim for ...
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1answer
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“when all is said and done”, finger should be “level” [closed]

Person A tried to catch a falling patio door and ended up losing a fingertip, a nail, and a broken finger joint as the door slammed his fingers against the dock plate. He went to the ER afterwards and ...
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5answers
56k views

Why do we “chalk it up” to something (or someone)?

What is the etymology and meaning of the phrase "chalk it up"? For instance: "I will chalk it up to a colloquialism" (source). "Just chalk it up as an odd case and move on" (source). "I would chalk ...
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10answers
18k views

Why does “big cheese” mean someone important?

This is one of those common phrases that I have never really questioned until now. According to the free dictionary, "Big cheese" means an "important person". But what on earth does "cheese" have ...
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2answers
72k views

The meaning of mingle [closed]

If a girl tells you that she is single and ready to mingle, does mingle here mean that she is ready to “hook up”? ¹ 1. That is, to have casual sexual intercourse.
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Do you say “please yourself” in a non-sexual context?

In an English grammar textbook, I found this example sentence: Dinner's at 8 o'clock, but there's nothing planned for the afternoon, so you can all please yourself until then. I googled please ...
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Difference between “drop on by” and “drop by”

I first learned of “drop on by” in this news article, 2012, by Spectrum News, Texas. “Armstrong hits pool for Longhorn Aquatics event. Longhorn Aquatics was hosting its New Year's Classic, and ...
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Is there a difference between the phrases “I am fine with it” and “it is fine with me”?

In my experience there has been a diachronic split between these phrases: It is fine with me. I am fine with it. The latter has overtaken the former in usage although they continue to ...