New answers tagged

0 votes

Did word "beavis" mean anything before Beavis&Butthead series were aired?

I discovered "beavis" used as a pejorative in the book "Floaters" by Joseph Wambaugh. On page 146 in the first edition of the 1996 hardback, which is the beginning of Chapter 9, it ...
0 votes

Meaning of the phrase “not this little black duck”?

As an Australian I can say I’ve never heard the expression. However, it does seem to be valid and is explained in World Wide Words on: https://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-duc1.htm In brief, ...
1 vote
Accepted

What's the actual grammar and semantics of "Where We Go One We Go All"?

There is a Middle English use of one meaning "alone, only" which functions as an adverb and can be used as in "where we go one". This sense is marked as "obsolete" in the ...
  • 5,567
-1 votes

What's the actual grammar and semantics of "Where We Go One We Go All"?

I think that they are applying their rejection of rules in general to a flaunting of grammatical norms. I'm guessing that it's probably the result of an instinctive attempt to appear rebellious ...
0 votes

What did this person mean by this confusing remark?

I think the commentator did not explain himself fully or fully well. The takeaway is there are two choices. According to commentator one is better. He made clear the better choice in an obtuse way. &...
  • 612
0 votes

What is the meaning of "can I help this"?

As the recovering Dick Swiveller eats his first breakfast, 'The Marchioness' varies between laughing with joy and weeping with emotion; she looks at the visitors as if to say, "I can't help being ...
  • 18.8k
0 votes

Is this a sarcastic answer to "good to see you"?

One Sunday my preacher said " good to see you" to which I replied, " it's good to be seen". She didn't understand the reply apparently, as I heard her asking another about it, why ...
0 votes

How did *vegetate* take this meaning despite its etymology?

From Aristotlean Philosophy, happened during the 16th century with Francis Bacon & the people that surrounded him. As Commenter Anton Shepelev has accidentally found the formulaic logic that Bacon ...
2 votes

What did this person mean by this confusing remark?

I think the entire statement means this: It might be imagined, with an old TV using a CRT, which could have a capacitor charged to 30,000 volts, that pouring water on the set might present a hazard ...
1 vote

What does "pat" in "pat a cake" mean?

The origin is that people without household ovens used long ago to take their cakes to the local baker to be cooked, along with the cakes of other people. The cakes were marked (patted) by the baker ...
  • 25.1k
0 votes

"Hardly" vs. "barely"

Barely auf deutsch bedeutet: gerade noch, gerade mal. Hardly dagegen bedeutet: kaum/ kaum noch. So würde ich die beiden Wörter übersetzen. As one poster said......there's a different "feel" ...
  • 1
-1 votes

What does "pat" in "pat a cake" mean?

OED: patty-cake, n. Forms: see patty n.1 and cake n. and adj2.; also 1900s– paddy-cake (U.S. regional (New Jersey)). Etymons: patty n., cake n. and adj.; pat-a-cake n. Etymology: Partly < patty n....
  • 29.9k
1 vote

what's the meaning of this quoted sentence?

Modernity (i) demanded the shattering of expectations, conventions, categories, boundaries and limits as well as (ii) [demanding] empirical experimentation (following the example of science) and (iii) ...
  • 29.9k
2 votes

What is the meaning of "outlet" in this sentence?

"outlet" is short for "news outlet" Most people get tired of using the same long words and phrases each day. When people write English, they usually delete words from a common ...
5 votes

What is the meaning of "outlet" in this sentence?

Outlet: an organization that broadcasts programmes or publishes news. (Cambridge Dictionary) Media outlet and News outlet appear to be expressions whose usage started around the 1960s/1970s ...
  • 60.9k
0 votes

How did *vegetate* take this meaning despite its etymology?

The meaning of vegatate as to lead a passive existence is not in spite, but rather due to its etymology. You only need observe that the liveliness of a plant is relative: it is more lively than a ...
0 votes

How to correct this sentence in more clear way?

Last part first "and we follow up their method" Do you want to say this in the present tense or in the past tense? And "author" is singular, therefore "their" needs to ...
  • 612
1 vote

Outward vs Outbound + Return vs Inbound in a trip in American English as well as British English

I'm answering for the U.S. If you have an airline ticket, the two legs are called the outward/outbound trip and the return trip. We don't use inbound for this. From the perspective of a family member ...
2 votes
Accepted

What is the meaning of this legal statement?

Opinions on legal issues are notorious for legalese and apparent obfuscation and abstruseness. I imagine that even experts in the law may at times find some statements, such as the one in your ...
  • 18.9k
0 votes

Are there any differences between "oval" and "ellipse"?

Taking the question at face value — where I see reference to mathematics — and emphasizing that this community is interested in the various meanings of words in all varieties of English, I humbly ...
  • 10.9k
1 vote

Are there any differences between "oval" and "ellipse"?

In geometry a ellipse has two foci, a major axis and a minor axis which are perpendicular to each other and the foci are located on the major axis. It is possible to draw an ellipse using two pins (or ...
  • 16.5k
2 votes

What does "having a mid off" mean?

The suffix "-off" is often used to generate a term that means a contest or competition, with the stem describing the quality or activity that the participants are being compared on. For ...
  • 17.6k
-1 votes

What is it called when X of Xs is used with superlative meaning?

Just to complement @ermamen's answer, I found a clear explanation of why Hebrew has recourse to such a structure. In his blog, Thomas Farrar quotes Coulter H. George, Professor of Classics at the ...
  • 18.9k
0 votes

What's the difference between "bring about" and "implement"?

bring about : His greed for power brought about the war. : the reason for the war resulted from his greed. implement : The government has decided to implement a new law starting next year. : make a ...
  • 1
0 votes

Percipient vs Prescient

Prescient means being able to see, or at least anticipate, the future. It comes from Latin words meaning foreknowledge.
2 votes

Percipient vs Prescient

Both words can be used both as nouns and as adjectives. The only overlapping senses would likely occur in their uses as nouns, which are less common than their adjectival uses. As an adjective, ...
  • 129k
0 votes

Origin and evolution of the term 'amen corner'

OED has the entry that shows origins in the first half of the 19th century: amen corner n. originally and chiefly U.S. (a) part of a church or meeting house (usually consisting of seats close to the ...
  • 29.9k
0 votes

Origin and evolution of the term 'amen corner'

In Walter George Bells ‘The Great Plague’ 2001 edition, first printed in 1924,’Amen Corner’ was a reference to the location of the home of William Johnson, The apothecary and chemist to The College of ...
0 votes

What is it called when X of Xs is used with superlative meaning?

The words at the top are less specific and marked as layperson and generalist. The words towards the bottom are more specific and marked as super-specialist and super super-specialist. In specialist, ...
  • 612
0 votes

How can I interpret “talk somebody out of” in “He talked the mutawwa out of beheading or lashing me”?

It seemed to me that the usage of out of ,,, is very different from the out of in the sense of from, without, apart that I got used to. In fact it is the same as "from" in its nuance of &...
  • 29.9k
0 votes

What is the meaning of "They are more often a lump than a sum"?

A difference between adding and mixing, that's why "kneaded" is used. If you were to deposit three separate payments into a bank account, adding those three payments would give you a sum ...
-1 votes

How can I interpret “talk somebody out of” in “He talked the mutawwa out of beheading or lashing me”?

"Talk" is the method of communication "out of" refers to the settled intention of the party talked to. They are persuaded out of their intention
  • 11
1 vote

flung himself off meaning

I find the use of the reflexive pronoun himself important. It doesn't say flung off (which is a transitive verb by the way, you can fling your clothes off), but flung himself off. Collins says about ...
  • 18.9k
1 vote

flung himself off meaning

Hard to be sure without context but I would interpret this as "jumped off" - as from a rooftop or a train. Perhaps, "[he] flung himself off [of the ledge]."
0 votes

Meaning of "within" in this sentence:"The form must be filled out within 10 days before the flight"

While it's potentially ambiguous, as Weather Vane said, to me it certainly seems more likely to mean "Fill out the entry form no earlier than 10 days before the flight"; I think it's fairly ...
  • 74.8k
4 votes

Meaning of "within" in this sentence:"The form must be filled out within 10 days before the flight"

Within sets a limit of range. It means occurring inside (a particular period of time) (OxfordL) The particularity of your sentence is that this period of time ends before a certain point in the ...
  • 18.9k
2 votes

Emanate from a place, not a source

Yes, Merriam-Webster lists the example sentence Good smells emanated from the kitchen. Also, one of their recently scraped examples included, The glow from this particular milky sea spanned 38,000 ...
1 vote

"Dementia" today vs 100 years ago -- did it mean the same thing?

Dementia was a mental illness 100 years ago also but it was a broader concept that time, so it doesn't mean the same thing today and it is better understood today as a disorder or syndrome. Dementia ...
  • 55.8k
2 votes

How to make it clear that there is no pun when using "irrational fear" in the subject of mathematics

I think the word you're looking for is "phobia". Irrational fear is essentially the definition of phobia (as someone who has several specific phobias, see also APA Dictionary of Psychology).
1 vote

How to make it clear that there is no pun when using "irrational fear" in the subject of mathematics

I think if you said "No pun intended" it would come out funny on its own. This is not your goal. For that reason you should use another word. Illogical or unreasonable as suggested above ...
  • 4,683
6 votes

What is it called when X of Xs is used with superlative meaning?

The superlative constructions like the king of kings goes back to Old English and it is a borrowing from Biblical Latin (rex regum, saecula saeculorum). It can be ultimately traced back to Hebrew. The ...
  • 55.8k
0 votes

Government performance (in) .. Is it the right preposition?

Broadly, you need either just 'government efforts' or 'the government's efforts' if you're discussing a single government. If you're comparing more than one government, you might need 'the (various) ...
1 vote

What is the meaning of "unpopular opinion"?

An unpopular opinion in popular culture is a viewpoint or statement that most people are likely to disagree with and which is likely to prove controversial. It's not just a matter of being unpopular ...
  • 5,567
-1 votes

Usage of "same" vs. "selfsame"

we use "self and same" as in "I saw that self and same thing yesterday" ---- this is simply a way or means of emphasising a fact.
1 vote

What is the difference between fluff, fur, and fleece?

The OED gives fleece as the wooly covering of sheep or similar animals. Fur is given as the short, fine, soft hair of certain animals. This is a distinction of texture and to some degree, of use ...
0 votes

What does the expression "as bad as it is" mean?

It's wrong. It's common parlance now, and has been for 20 or 30 years; but it's still wrong. These days we say As bad as it is, it could be a whole lot worse when we SHOULD say Bad as it is, it could ...
0 votes

'Oldest' for age vs. length of time

The person who has been my friend over a longer time period than any other is referred to as my longest tenured friend.
2 votes
Accepted

"The crowd chooses Barabbas" meaning?

I'm going to make the assumption that the statement you read is one of general principle, i.e. meaning "The crowd will always choose Barabbas". It's obviously metaphorical, since the literal ...
  • 22.1k
4 votes

What is the difference between antonyms and negations?

There are a number of different relationships between x and y that can be expressed by saying that x is an antonym of y. All of them are covered by the standard dictionary definition of antonym as a ...
  • 6,979

Top 50 recent answers are included