Hot answers tagged

70

This may not be exactly what you are looking for, but might work in the context. inflammable Many people see the "in" as a negative prefix, and believe anything marked inflammable is flame retardant. However, both flammable and inflammable have the same meaning: ...both mean "capable of being easily ignited and of burning quickly." This makes no sense ...


64

Does it have to be a single word? Derek Bentley was convicted of the murder of a policeman in 1952 and hanged the following year. He and an accomplice, Christopher Craig, were burgling a warehouse and Craig was armed with a pistol. When the police cornered Bentley and Craig, Craig drew the gun. A policeman told Craig to give him the gun and Bentley ...


49

As you understand, Lucifer means the same thing as Satan, considered in Christianity to be the leader of evil spirits. The word flesh sometimes has a sexual connotation, but not in this case. Here, it's part of an expression in the flesh, which the Cambridge English Dictionary defines as meaning "physically in ​front of you," with the example sentence "I’ve ...


47

I would say "at your convenience". This gives the impression that the person should complete the work but within the time period he is comfortable and fits into his schedule. E.g., Please complete the project at your convenience, but keep in mind the deadline.


34

The question is a little unclear about the request. Some readers have interpreted it as "finish at any time you like", some as "finish any time you like, as long as it is before the deadline" and some as "start as late as you can, while still finishing before the deadline." I have read it as the latter meaning. This is not an unusual approach in projects - e....


30

Here are some examples: When replacing a water pump, one must be sure to get the timing right in order to avoid damaging the engine. In this case 'the timing' could be misconstrued as the time of day, as opposed to the timing of the engine. This omission really can wreck an engine. These snakes are not poisonous. This is tangential to your purpose, ...


21

One word with good potential here is oversight which can mean both supervision and omission. Thus it is important to ensure oversight of the process can mean keep an eye on it or ignore it. Another simple example: "ensure all alarms and warning lights are set off at the end of the shift". Wikipedia has a list of such autoantonyms which could prove ...


19

Doesn't translate in spelling - but does verbally: "raise" vs "raze". "Raise a barn" - means to errect/construct it "Raze a barn" - means to burn it to the ground


14

Since I've already botched this one myself, there is the prescribe/proscribe pair that can have serious unintended consequences. prescribe 2 : to designate or order the use of as a remedy prescribed a painkiller a prescribed burn to restore natural forest conditions proscribe 2 : to condemn or forbid as harmful or unlawful : prohibit both ...


12

I would go with "as time permits". It's not an idiom, as far as I've been able to discover, but I've heard it quite frequently. Finish the project as time permits, but before the deadline.


11

I'd just say No hurry or No Rush after describing what to do. Sometimes, please take your time.


11

There are many contranyms which meet your requirements. Here is a list of 75 possible candidates, including: Cleave: to join or to separate Dike: a wall or a ditch Left: remaining or departed EDIT: adding Gust van de Wal's comment from below: Cleave: "Yeah so there's a crack in one of the bombshells. Make sure you cleave it, otherwise it might explode"...


10

It means he's as evil as The Devil in human form.


9

Suppose you have two students, Bill and Susan, who are running from a pack of hungry beasts. "Make yourself fast!" Bill shouts, calling on Susan to move more quickly. Instead, she ties herself down to a nearby tree. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/fast Firmly fixed or fastened. "No, no," Bill shouts, "I mean go fast!" http://www.dictionary.com/...


9

Hyperthermia and Hypothermia in quick speech (especially in non-Rhotic dialects) can sound very similar. Similar with hypo and hyper for diabetics. The hypo- prefix in medicine means "deficient" whereas the hyper- prefix means "excessive". They therefore usually refer to conditions that are the exact opposite of each other, where the correct treatment for ...


8

Click, click. The rapid shrill sound constantly came and went, trilling in my ears. From Oxford: trill A quavering or vibratory sound, especially a rapid alternation of sung or played notes. ‘the caged bird launched into a piercing trill’ Also from Oxford: ‘But on the sunlit walls, suddenly trilling like car alarms, small brightly coloured ...


8

Possible answers include jarring - Incongruous in a striking or shocking way; clashing. ODO or grating - Sounding harsh and unpleasant. ODO


8

Yes, it means that there are 1000 words each for "water" and "louse", for a total of roughly 2000 words. Consider it this way: There are roughly 1000 different words for “water,” as well as [1000 words] for “louse”. The original version is simply a shortcut. By the way, in math, this would be the distributive property: 1000 words (water + louse) = ...


7

Borrowing from my Scrum experience, I'd like to throw in Last Responsible Moment; basically, leave it until the point before it would become a problem. Just one definition: http://www.innolution.com/resources/glossary/last-responsible-moment-lrm


7

Whenever I've heard the word, it's been in a non-academic context and means either 'category' or 'criteria' - which roughly matches the following definition. M-W: a name or heading under which something is classified an explanation or a set of instructions at the beginning of a book, a test, etc. e.g. "Under this new rubric, all 30-...


7

I'm really not sure whether the OP is asking for words that truly have more than one CORRECT meaning(like "sanction"), or for examples or words that are commonly MIS-used or misunderstood, but here goes: Radiologist reads an Xray and dictates into his report: "This finding obviates the need for a CT scan." The guy saying this, THINKS that obviates means "...


6

There's no need to complicate it with an unnecessary catchphrase: Just say what the requirements are. "Take as much time as you like" would be a good way to put it - which is the way you put it in the question, and would be fully understood (and also understood that you still need to actually finish it on time). If you need to emphasize how unimportant ...


6

By definition, having a deadline implies that you need to finish by a certain date/time and are free to use ALL of the time between now and the deadline but anyways I would use phrases such as: Please have this project done by mm/dd/yyyy or This project should be finished no later than mm/dd/yyyy or This project cannot go beyond mm/dd/yyyy or (...


6

My boss asks me to trick his manager into thinking that we are very busy to avoid getting more work. He would ask me to 'delay' the delivery of the work and provide it to him and his manager 'as late as possible' but by the deadline. I think he is right. 'As late as possible' in this context is perfectly acceptable as the exact opposite as 'as early as ...


6

It's an assertion that the truth is being told, from what little I've managed to glean just now researching your question. As the first part of a rhyme asserting the truth here (see 246) "See that wet, see that dry. Whack my back if I tell a lie.” and here "See that wet see that dry cross my heart and hope to die!"


6

To make way with oneself is an archaic phrasing meaning "to commit suicide". From The Folk and Their Word-lore: An Essay on Popular Etymologies (1904) by A S Palmer: Somewhat similarly our American cousins sometimes say that a thief "makes way" with his booty, and that a suicide has "made way" with himself.... Today we'd say that a thief gets away ...


6

You can't tell from the context in the story. I would knock out a pipe against the bars of an open fire (if I smoked a pipe and lived in a C19 novel)


6

Fire! In a firing squad, this command gets someone shot. In any other circumstance, it warns that there is a danger of things being aflame. If someone shouts it at a firing range, then it could potentially be misinterpreted in fatal ways. An active shooting squad could open fire, taking a life that could have been pardoned at the last minute; Trainers on ...


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