28 votes

Is there any difference between the idioms "pull the rug from under" and "leave in the lurch"?

You correctly define them both - and I am a little surprised that you have not spotted the slightly different circumstances in which each might be used. Though the examples you give do seem to suggest ...
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  • 63.5k
22 votes

What does the idiomatic phrase "err on the side of" mean?

"Err on the side of" is used in situations where we probably won't be able to do something exactly, and want to know if it's better to have more, or less. For examples, "cut some wood 8 ...
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18 votes

Is there any difference between the idioms "pull the rug from under" and "leave in the lurch"?

You can apologize (sincerely) for leaving somebody in the lurch. As a mentor "Sorry I left you in the lurch at the meeting. My train got stuck for an hour in a mobile phone no-spot because of a ...
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  • 630
18 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between "hallmark" and "trappings"?

One key difference between the two words in the meaning you've posed is expected number in usage: hallmark is usually singular trappings is usually plural The hallmark (OED, "hallmark, n." ...
18 votes

Is there any difference between "congenial" and "genial"?

A genial person is pleasant and friendly in their behaviour. Because of this, you will probably find them congenial [to you]. As you see from the definition you found, congenial always has the sense ...
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17 votes

What is the difference between "hallmark" and "trappings"?

The origins of the terms points to a significant connotational difference. Hallmark: "early 18th century (as a noun): from Goldsmiths' Hall in London, where articles were tested and stamped with ...
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  • 341
11 votes

What is the difference between "hallmark" and "trappings"?

You could think of it this way: hallmarks are the aspects that make someone fit a classic, respected stereotype; trappings are superficial aspects that we notice in a detached, skeptical way. We are ...
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10 votes

What does the idiomatic phrase "err on the side of" mean?

All entries are really saying the same thing, though I agree they're not well articulated. I think there's only really one definition. When tasked with a job whose performance lies on a spectrum with ...
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  • 201
7 votes

Is there any difference between "congenial" and "genial"?

Is there any difference between "congenial" and "genial"? Yes. The sources below cover the subtle difference(s) between the two words: From The Oxford Dictionary of American Usage ...
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  • 8,898
5 votes

Is there any difference between the idioms "pull the rug from under" and "leave in the lurch"?

'Pull' in this usage is the common punctive (hence 'suddenly or unexpectedly') usage. The rug needs yanking to remove it from underneath a person. It's also a dynamic verb, and causative (bringing ...
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4 votes

Is there any difference between "congenial" and "genial"?

Harry Shaw, Dictionary of Problem Words and Phrases (1975) offers this brief discussion of how the two terms differ: congenial, genial. Congenial means "compatible," "allied in spirit, ...
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  • 151k
4 votes

What does the idiomatic phrase "err on the side of" mean?

To err is to make a mistake. Let us therefore follow the sequence of relevant subsequent definitions: Cambridge err: to make a mistake mistake: an action, decision, or judgment that produces an ...
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  • 22.2k
3 votes

What does the idiomatic phrase "err on the side of" mean?

If you look at all the examples you have cited above, they all have one thing in common - and that should make the meaning clear. It shows that there is a risk of making an error of judgement and by &...
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3 votes

What does the idiomatic phrase "err on the side of" mean?

I have been stuck in a mental slump, attempting to figure out which definition (in the listed dictionary entries) is the one and true underlying definition of said phrase. I cannot help being ...
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  • 28.1k
2 votes

What does the idiomatic phrase "err on the side of" mean?

The three entries have essentially the same meaning. 'Err' means to stray, to wander (like a sheep, for example). It carries the idea of a mistake as a secondary meaning based on the aforementioned ...
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2 votes

What does the idiomatic phrase "err on the side of" mean?

Great question, xbladefate25. I don't think the above answers quite nail it. The phrase most closely fits a situation in which you have a choice to make between two options, either one of which may be ...
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  • 1,266
2 votes
Accepted

Are "adaptiveness" and "adaptability" interchangeable?

There are no strong differences between the two in literal meaning, but adaptability is used far more commonly than adaptiveness. I have done a few searches (one in Corpus of Contemporary American ...
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2 votes

What is the difference between "hallmark" and "trappings"?

I would say that a hallmark is how you distinguish the real thing from something fake: the hallmark of a gentleman is his courtesy to others. Trappings are superficial and can be misleading: gentlemen ...
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1 vote

Is there any difference between the idioms "pull the rug from under" and "leave in the lurch"?

"Is there any difference?" Yes. To "pull the rug out from under" someone is when the withdrawal of support is actively destructive. Leaving someone in the lurch is not.
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  • 885
1 vote
Accepted

What is the definition of the phrase "unto itself"?

The answer is in the preposition "unto" (now somewhat old-fashioned but retained in such phrases as you quote) OED unto Indicating spatial or local relationship. 1.a. Expressing or denoting ...
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  • 28.1k
1 vote

Envision vs Envisage

From OED, we have the earlier “envisage” as Etymology: < French envisage-r, < en- (see en- prefix1) + visage visage n., face. transitive. To look in the face of; figurative to face (danger, ...
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