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

3
votes
It was the tradition in England to "roll" the sod in a lawn at regular intervals. "Rolling" consisted of pushing a weighted roller (a drum filled with water, with a handle to facilitate pushing) over …
answered May 3 '16 by Hot Licks
2
votes
To "cut to the heart of the matter" is an idiom that means "get straight to the point". But "cut to the heart" can also mean to strongly engage someone's emotions, as a song might do. Which meaning applies would depend on context. …
answered Aug 15 '16 by Hot Licks
2
votes
"And a cast of thousands" has become a set phrase/idiom. Originally a phrase used mainly in movie advertising it has (as many advertising phrases do) taken a life of its own, and it is often used in …
answered Dec 11 '14 by Hot Licks
0
votes
The rings has no specific meaning, other than to refer to a roughly circular shape. Thus one must interpret the meaning based on context. In the above context which makes more sense: Boxing … , to be "led down the garden path" to the wrong conclusion). Rather, based on your experience and understanding of the context, you must select what you feel is probably the correct meaning. …
answered May 11 '16 by Hot Licks
1
vote
To every man and woman in the world Everyone -- all of humanity for all but writing this book for me "All but" is an idiom, meaning achieving (literally or figuratively) most of the …
answered Jun 2 '16 by Hot Licks
0
votes
When a new business, especially of the "e-business" variety (eg, Twitter), is formed, it is sometimes the case that founders do not know exactly how it will make money. (I still don't understand how …
answered Nov 9 '15 by Hot Licks
5
votes
The expression is a variation of "get one's hackles up", referring to the raised appearance of the hair on the back of a dog when angered. get one's hackles up: to become tense with anger; bri …
answered Jun 12 '16 by Hot Licks
2
votes
I'm not familiar with the term, and I can find no obvious definition online. But one can find a few uses of the term, and enough cases where "Ninny-Pinny" is used as a user ID to suggest that it's fam …
answered Oct 22 '16 by Hot Licks
2
votes
Qualitative means pertaining to or concerned with quality or qualities. So a "qualitative change" must be changing one or more "qualities" of the system being discussed. So, what is a "quality" as …
answered Nov 30 '15 by Hot Licks
2
votes
Hard to have any certainty without more context, but based on the few words provided it seems that public transportation is being discussed, and a "transfer" is a sort of ticket between different "leg …
answered Jan 30 '18 by Hot Licks
8
votes
The reference is to running the gauntlet, originally a form of punishment where the individual was made to run between two rows of soldiers who would punch and beat him as he ran, but now more often t …
answered Sep 28 '15 by Hot Licks
21
votes
wash basin for bathing before dressing. It would have been natural to stash the "chamber pot" in this room, and hence the word acquired the meaning of being a place where one would urinate and …
answered Dec 19 '15 by Hot Licks
2
votes
A (hand-made) aircraft engine of that era would have had all of the valve rods and cams and such on the outside, plus even the carburetor may have been a style with a flapping plate or some such. The …
answered Mar 5 '16 by Hot Licks
3
votes
The term "nonkit personal computer" appears to imply a computer that was, for its time, "complete" as it came "out of the box". Though it may have lacked what we might now consider "essential" pieces …
answered Jan 31 '17 by Hot Licks
2
votes
It corresponds to the intransitive verb definition #2 here: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/owe 2 : to be attributable The closest definition in the Longman's list is probably #4.
answered Jan 1 '15 by Hot Licks

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