Questions tagged [phrase-meaning]

Use this tag for questions about the meaning and/or usage of a particular phrase, which a dictionary cannot answer.

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2answers
23 views

What does “cast light on the shadow” mean?

At a seminar I recently attended, one of the speakers (apparently an American with a native English American accent) frequently used the expression, "to cast light on the shadow". I am sorry ...
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1answer
31 views

subject of “be within striking distance”

Is the subject of "be within striking distance" necessarily an attacker if the phrase is understood literally? Are the following sentences all natural? a. The goat is within striking ...
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1answer
127 views

Shanghai,4 April 1961,B6-2-392,pp.20 ff

What does "pp.20 ff." stand for? "Page 20?????" 12 Deng Xiaoping speech on 11 Dec.1961,Hunan,141-2-138,p.43. 13 Speech on 25 March 1959,Gansu,19-18-494,p.48. 14 Shanghai,4 April ...
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2answers
30 views

What does the phrase “contender bracket” mean here?

Please help me figure out the meaning of the phrase "contender bracket" in the following sentence from the description of the app "Rowdy City Wrestling": You can Work your way up ...
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1answer
33 views

flying on Mars is possible—next up is the solar system

How do I understand the phrase "next up is the solar system"? Literally, it appears to mean "the next step is flying in the solar system." But Mars is exactly part of the system. ...
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1answer
21 views

simply mute on questions of this sort, and hundreds like them

Does "and hundreds like them" refer to "and hundreds of questions like these questions of this sort"? Is there anything else that we can infer about him on the basis of his ...
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2answers
2k views

a dodgy con artist

I understand "a dodgy con artist" as "a tricky artist who imitates the work of famous artists and sells the imitated as true for money." Am I on the right track? Before becoming ...
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1answer
41 views

No Country for Japanese Seafood

The phrase "No Country for Japanese Seafood" is on a sign apparently written by South Koreans. Is it natural in English? Does it mean "no country will accept Japanese seafood"? ...
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1answer
12 views

by protecting their inventions from competition by generics

I understand "by generics" as "in the way of medical drugs." Am I on the right track? Drugmakers and others who oppose the measure say that waivers sabotage companies’ enormous ...
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1answer
22 views

Can I use the phrase “at its best” to refer to a party?

Can I use these idioms to convey for example: We left the party at its best (at the party's peak; while the party was reaching its peak; while the party was going really well)
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1answer
29 views

What is the difference between “closing the shop” and “closing up the shop”?

I read a story and found a sentence : they were closing up the shop. As a learner of English if I have to write , I would simply write: they were closing the shop. I would like to know what is the ...
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1answer
31 views

Nimbly hammer out John Deacon’s bassline in “Under Pressure” and hold down to sustain Freddie Mercury’s soaring vocals in “We Are the Champions”

Please help me figure out the meaning of the following sentence in the description of the app "Queen: Rock Tour": Nimbly hammer out John Deacon’s bassline in "Under Pressure" and ...
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3answers
55 views

Why isn't the phrase “He couldn't see the forest for the trees” not an incorrect use of English?

Why isn't the phrase "He couldn't see the forest for the trees" not an incorrect use of English? I am getting stuck here but why is the phrase not "Can't see the forest from the trees&...
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46 views

What does “in code” mean?

Do you know the meaning of "in code" from this text?
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1answer
36 views

What does this phrase mean: “Only Unreasonable Restraint of Trade Forbidden”?

Does "Only Unreasonable Restraint of Trade Forbidden" refer to "Only Unreasonable Restraint of Trade Is Forbidden"? Would you like to rewrite the phrase in more words so that I can ...
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1answer
19 views

“she was already foresworn” - meaning in a snippet from a book

In a story by A. Blackwood, I struggle with the meaning of the word "foresworn": It was love, perhaps, that carried and interpreted thus the instantaneous wireless message—the love that lay ...
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1answer
13 views

'worth the name' meaning? in following context

Several woman hardly had a married life worth the name, yet(at least among the higher castes) when their husbands died they were expected to commit sati.
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2answers
14 views

what is the meaning of 'if remote' in the following context?

However, S.B. Chaudhuri observes, the revolt was “the first combined attempt of many classes of people to challenge a foreign power. This is a real, if remote, approach to the freedom movement of ...
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2answers
26 views

What does “… make the best friends.” mean?

I was practicing TOEFL speaking test and one of the practice tasks was: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Co-workers make the best friends. My questions: Does this sentence ...
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1answer
20 views

He is there. / There he is

Could you please explain me the difference between: He is there. There he is. As I understand it, both phrases are used: Ngram
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1answer
16 views

What is the meaning of “The S.S. Purgatory”?

In Once Upon a Time, season 5, episode 11, "Hook says, 'Look. The S.S. Purgatory', as Charon emerges from the pond's heavy mist aboard his boat, ready to take the prisoners down to the Underworld....
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1answer
38 views

“You can hit several at a time by lining up enemies on a single arc with Piercing strikes.”

I came across the following sentence in a game app's description: You can hit several at a time by lining up enemies on a single arc with Piercing strikes. I am confused about the meaning of the ...
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1answer
45 views

Meaning of “in one's structures” [closed]

This is an excerpt from the French documentary Sociology is a Martial Art (La sociologie est un sport de combat): The woman: Do you think that you're macho? Bourdieu: No. Well, to some extent, ...
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2answers
317 views

What does “troubled the counsels of the Wise and the Great” mean?

But in the days of Bilbo, and of Frodo his heir, they suddenly became, by no wish of their own, both important and renowned, and troubled the counsels of the Wise and the Great. I usually see '...
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2answers
32 views

What's the meaning of “They can be more perfect than is convenient.”

They can be more perfect than is convenient. I search several dictionaries but can't find any explanation of the phrase of more perfect than is convenient How should I understand this phrase?
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1answer
77 views

How to understand “Roses are red” in this context?

I stumbled across this answer on The Workplace, where the OP has done freelancing work but had their remuneration withheld. The answer opened with Roses are red, Violets are blue, Pay me. Some quick ...
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0answers
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Does this smiley face emoji change the meaning of the answer? [closed]

What does this answer mean: "Yes. That is correct! 😎" Does the 😎 smiley face in sunglasses change the meaning of the answer? And what does "by basically all people" mean?
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1answer
35 views

What does “new technology–based solutions” mean?

New technology–based solutions Does it mean Solutions that are based on new technology or New solutions that are based on technology? I think it can read as both.
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1answer
32 views

when Swapshop came along

I guess "when Swapshop came along" mean "when Swapshop (a shop when second-hand goods are swapped) became fashionable." Am I on the right track? (A Brit posted the following on an ...
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2answers
22 views

when you read a sentence that starts off “For since in the wisdom”, what is the writer stating. For and since is not usally used together like this [closed]

As I read I have come across the sentence above and am not sure what the writer is referring to or what he is stating.
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1answer
32 views

What does “gained little traction” mean?

Reading this article, there is a phrase, The fight to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour was launched nearly a decade ago, and some on the left are now saying the proposal is already outdated ...
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1answer
19 views

What does the phrase “these developments” reference?

Does "these developments" refer back to "The moderation we see among nonfundamentalists"? In the previous sentence before the following quoted, there is the phrase "democratic ...
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2answers
59 views

What is the meaning of “on the cusp of being under 30”?

I came across this dialogue between two members on here: A: Are you under 30? [...] B: I'm just on the cusp of being under 30 so [...] This got me confused because it's unclear if the person is ...
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1answer
18 views

Is there any difference between the idiom “that's about the size of it” and “that's about the extent of it”?

Could you tell me if there is any difference between the idiom that's about the size of it and that's about the extent of it? For example: Person A: What Kate's birthday party? Person B: She dropped ...
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0answers
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An unvaccinated worker set off an outbreak

Do "An unvaccinated worker set off an outbreak" and "An unvaccinated worker triggered an outbreak" share the same meaning? Are they interchangeable? "Trigger" means &...
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1answer
496 views

Listen, … vs Look,

What is the difference between: Look, you shouldn't ... Listen, ... Is it true that the first one is more about your opinion, but the second one - about some news/information?
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1answer
28 views

“under any name” meaning in the sentence

Under any name, King mesmerizes the reader. I didn't find the phrase in my dictionary. What does it mean in the sentence?
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1answer
20 views

To set right or aright? [closed]

Is it to set something right or to set something aright? What is the difference between the two, if any?
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21 views

“swing some weight” meaning

... One of the guards was eating C rations from a can and reading a comic book. Garraty watched the guard eating and reading and thought for the ten thousandth time: It's all real. And now, at last, ...
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1answer
17 views

To be intent on , to intend

Are both sentences grammatical? If they are, which one sounds better to your (native) ear? Option B) sounds off to me but I can't quite put my finger on it..... A) Organizers have been intent on ...
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2answers
58 views

Meaning of “A sucker for a cult”

‘Don’t you think blessing does any good?’ Elizabeth looked up sharply, as one does at a small child who asks its first coherent question. ‘No. No, I don’t, actually.’ ‘It looks nice though. Don’t you ...
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1answer
52 views

Who is 'they' in following passage?

European travellers mention the commodious and well-built houses in which the wealthy merchants of Agra and Delhi lived. But the ordinary sorts lived in houses above their shops. The French traveller, ...
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2answers
27 views

What is the meaning of underlined clause in following context? [closed]

Is this mean, when one ruler give grant to someone then new ruler also makes new grants following his ancestors traditions And also here, ruler means Mughal emperor, local ruler, zamindar Am I correct?...
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2answers
8 views

a few with antibodies that reacted to PF4, and those reacted relatively weakly

"Those reacted relatively weakly" to what? To PF4 as well? It seems to have a possibility that "reacted relatively weakly" is simply referring to a weak immune response. I am not ...
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1answer
25 views

“I felt calm and more composed than I had in a long time” interpretation

"I felt calm and more composed than I had in a long time" What does this sentence mean, especially in terms of "in a long time"? The meaing of "in a long time" and what ...
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1answer
44 views

Meaning of “Shouldn’t you be living in a proper house?”

She turned her bleached face to him and gave a small nod. Elizabeth rammed the key into the lock and twisted it back and forth. Dexter looked at the shop-fronts opposite. One of them had a dull red ...
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38 views

What does it mean “to become a has-been”?

From Haruki Murakami's Dance Dance Dance: "You live by yourself for a stretch of time and you get to staring at different objects. Sometimes you talk to yourself. You take meals in crowded joints....
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1answer
32 views

“It will be Ann’s birthday on Saturday.” & “It is Ann’s birthday on Saturday.”

Are these sentences correct? Have they got the same meaning and similar usage? It will be Ann’s birthday on Saturday. It is Ann’s birthday on Saturday.
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40 views

Who cut the coat - an idiom, a metaphor?

Frequently I have to ask myself in the street for the name of the man I bowed to just now, and then, before I can answer, the wind of the first corner blows him from my memory. I have a theory, ...
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1answer
53 views

Meaning of “Athena could eat properly – But Athena went on spooning up her soup”

Vicki had never seen anything like Dexter at table. She was disgusted, and ashamed for him. He gripped the spoon so that the whole handle vanished in his paw; he bent over the bowl and slurped so ...

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