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

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1answer
32 views

“…so beautiful that make(s) your teeth hurt”: is there a heavy sarcasm or extreme envy in the expression (in a context)?

Here goes a passage from a short story read out loud online (0:24): The fountains thick with black swans imported from Siberia, and if it is a fine day and a weekend, there will be wedding parties, ...
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2answers
14 views

“marks Awkwafina’s second scene-stealing role” meaning?

It’s also a launching pad for fresh faces like Constance Wu and Henry Golding, who play the movie’s central lovers Rachel Chu and Nick Young, and marks Awkwafina’s second scene-stealing role this ...
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3answers
29 views

Time span of “I am not into verb-ing” structure

Does "I am not into ...ing" structure imply a present-moment feeling or a usual habitual action? For example, if someone says, "I am not into smoking", would that mean "I am not into smoking at the ...
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1answer
30 views

What 'oh,my sweet pajamas' means here?

I came across this phrase in the cartoon Dexter's Laboratory(S01E11 06:23).But i have found no explanation about this either in a dictionary or on Internet.Is it kind of a nonce which is coined by ...
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2answers
2k views

Help to understand “a 'bullseye' on his chest”

Former CIA director John Brennan -- shown here in September 2016 -- says he knows he has a "bullseye" on his chest over his comments on Donald Trump (AFP Photo/MARK WILSON) I saw the sentence from ...
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2answers
49 views

meaning of “right off” in “melted right off the sky”

What "Right off" means in this sentence? As far as I was concerned, the sun could have melted the blue right off the sky. Then the sky could be as miserable as I was.
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1answer
15 views

What does “get a pass” mean in this context?

A: how come dianne feinstein gets a pass having a chinese spy on her payroll? B: She gets a pass cuz she was ignorant as hell. I saw this exchange from a comment of this article. What does "...
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1answer
36 views

GOES AROUND(road) the backside of a mountain

When someone is telling you this: There is a great twisty road that goes around the back side of the mountain. Does the "goes around" mean: it is encircling the back side of the mountain OR there ...
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1answer
18 views

Help to understand “reports Efe news” in this context

The Pentagon report, published on Friday, said China was developing long-range bombers and "likely" training its pilots for strikes against the US and its allies, reports Efe news. I am not sure ...
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1answer
39 views

The meaning of “with + noun + participle” phrase

With technology advancing rapidly since the advent of the computer, today's video games are preferable to those that were produced two decades ago. What is the meaning of “with + noun + participle” ...
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2answers
37 views

The expression of “Over and beyond”

I have come across this phrase: Functional foods - products which have health-promoting properties over and beyond their nutritional value - have become a significant food industry sector. [ https:...
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0answers
35 views

What does “hype high on java” mean?

For newbies, those who have simply e-mailed or surfed the Web, the “community” of the Net is an odd sort of mysticism. How can anyone think of these pages full of advertisements and spinning icons ...
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2answers
63 views

Every moment it gets or every moment gets

I am watching an NHS video at the moment, and a female reporter said that she was about to cry when she heard the first line of the NHS choir... and she said: "When they sang I immediately, nearly ...
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1answer
40 views

What does “in a complete froth about” mean?

Source: The Executive Guide to Artificial Intelligence: How to identify and implement applications for AI in your organization by Andrew Burgess I talk about these AI Winters in a little detail ...
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0answers
22 views

What does solid black in following paragraph mean? [closed]

What does solid black in following paragraph mean? This dog breed can be seen in a variety of coat colors, including black and tan, tan and white, tricolor of black-tan-white, blue mottled and tan, ...
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2answers
52 views

What does static gray mean?

What does static gray mean, in following paragraph? Over time the crossings allowed the genes for white fur from the Angora to become a stable part of the Persian line, changing the coloring of the ...
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0answers
24 views

meaning of present an interesting viewpoint

I'm wondering if "presented an interesting viewpoint" is properly used in the following: Are females more curious than males? This question might be difficult to answer if we only looked at human ...
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2answers
42 views

in the name of vs on sb's name

a fully paid ticket on the applicant’s name will be required a driving licence in the name of William Sanders I think these two phrasings (on the someone's name and in the name of someone) mean ...
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1answer
23 views

What does “ground-covering gait” mean?

What does ground-covering gait mean, in the following paragraph? The Australian Terrier has an attractive ruff circling the neck with a crest of longer hair that enhances its intelligent and keen ...
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1answer
26 views

Can we drop “just” in the sentences like “I took my umbrella just in case.”?

As far as I know, in the sentences like "I took my umbrella just in case it rains", we can drop "just", so: "I took my umbrella just in case it rains" and: "I took my umbrella in case it rains" ...
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1answer
33 views

What is the meaning of “to engage in employment”?

Does "employment" mean employing an employee as an employer or seeking a job as an employee (or could mean both?)
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1answer
57 views

Why “on television”, but “on the radio?”

Why do we say on television but say on the radio? I saw these two mentioned in Cambridge dictionary entry. We often hear and use it both in private and in public settings and in films, on ...
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1answer
35 views

I would do anything you asked me to

What exactly does it mean? What is the difference between that and the sentence below? I would have done anything you HAD ASKED me to!
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0answers
47 views

Meaning of “all the way from six to thirty”

In F. Scott Fitzgerald's story Afternoon of an Author there is a sentence about the group of pretty girls: But in general they were lovely, dressed in real colors all the way from six to thirty, no ...
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2answers
25 views

What does “over its turn” mean?

What does "over its turn" mean? In Washington, the mere threat of another large turnout from the far right, coupled with a large turnout from the far left — among them, hundreds of black-clad, ...
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1answer
27 views

“I would not know”, “How should I know?” Are they interchangeable?

Could we say that, "I wouldn't know" and "How should I know?" have the same meaning? Can we use them interchangeably?
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1answer
24 views

What does “so choose” mean?

Under the extra-inning rules, each half inning beyond regulation is started with a runner on second base. The runner is either the ninth batter due to bat in the current inning, or a pinch-runner if ...
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1answer
26 views

Amused to, by, with: Which one?

How should I use "amuse" with prepositions in phrases? Is following examples correct? Amused by something: Being entertained by something Amused with something: Being entertained with something This ...
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1answer
35 views

1.You may ask: “What does it mean?” , 2.“What does it mean?” you may ask. Which one is correct?

1.You may ask: "What does it mean?" 2."What does it mean?" you may ask. ● Which one is correct? ● Is the usage of the "s correct? ● What's the difference between them, if any? ● What about ...
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2answers
20 views

Uisng “go so far as to” with location not thing

The phrase "go so far as to" say or do something, is common. But if I want to describe extreme distance such as traveling to a distant country. Can I use something like: I could not imaging I could ...
2
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1answer
36 views

Married and two beautiful girls

I recently saw someone write Married and two beautiful girls when he meant that he was married and had two children (girls). I would have rather have written "Married with two beautiful girls" ...
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2answers
2k views

There is to such thing [closed]

“Talk of inspiration is sheer nonsense; there is to such thing. It is mere a matter of craftsmanship.” — William Morris I don't understand the quote, particularly the part I highlighted. I am ...
2
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1answer
46 views

What is an “ampersand person”?

I found the expression in this video (around 0:56): Youth & Consequences (Ep 1) - The Hanging Chadwick Part 1 (Farrah narrating) That’s Sarah Hurley. She and I almost didn’t make it as friends ...
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1answer
27 views

Understanding this entry for “pushover”

The Online Etymology Dictionary has this for pushover: also push-over, 1900 of jobs or tasks; 1922 of persons (bad boxers and easy women), from push (v.) + over (adv.). I'm not sure I understand ...
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2answers
41 views

What does “reached down into the barrel” and “claim to notoriety” mean?

Please consider the following sentence (from the book Edward Albee: A Casebook): When their early and best choices (a Nobel Prize winner included) for the society’s 231st meeting could not make the ...
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2answers
26 views

What does the “over” joint and what does “look down” mean here?

What does the "over" joint and what does "look down" mean here? The weather in Beijing is less polluted than it was 10 years ago before the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, but the boiling ...
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2answers
44 views

Meaning of “he knew he looked insulted”

"Maybe you should take a few things out of your pocket before you go," said Mr. Carr. Alfred replied, "What things? What are you talking about?" "You have a compact and a lipstick and two ...
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1answer
26 views

What is the past tense of the phrase “catch up with someone”?

Can I use the phrase "caught up" to mean that I met someone after a long time? e.g. I caught up with my friends on my way back to home.
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1answer
75 views

What does “silent rights” and “sound rights” mean?

Scott Fizgerald's short story "Afternoon of an Author" mentions "silent rights" and "sound rights" in regards to copyright. Anyhow he had no more equity in that property — he had sold the silent ...
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1answer
20 views

Leave me crying- meaning

The book is so good it will leave me crying. Is this a grammatically correct way to say "I cried reading/finishing the book"?
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1answer
22 views

What does “run” mean here?

A scene from the movie Warrior: Paddy: Have a heart, Brendan. Brendan: You listen to me. You take your "have a heart" bullshit and you run it down the road. Yeah, run it out with someone that ...
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3answers
35 views

“I am coming up on 1,000 days”

The movie Warrior has a scene where Tommy visits his father Paddy. Paddy: Here you go. Tommy: Coffee? You haven't seen a guy in 14 years and you're not gonna have a drink with him? Come on. ...
3
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1answer
102 views

Meaning of the phrase “little too”?

Does the phrase 'little too' mean same as 'very', or is it mild form of very ? For instance, I am little too comfortable talking to you. Does it mean same as 'I am very comfortable talking to you' ?
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1answer
82 views

What does “there's no way around” mean? [on hold]

Excerpt from Game Of Thrones, season 7, the unexpected, secret meeting of Lannister brothers: Tyrion and Jaime Lannister. Tyrion: Danaerys will win this war, you are (referring to Jaime) a military ...
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3answers
34 views

A word to describe something that we've done so much that it's become a part of who we are

For example, when someone who doesn't normally lie starts lying and soon it's something that comes naturally to them. Like when you lie so much that lying just becomes what you do and you can't ...
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0answers
22 views

Is “attack and defense dynamics” equivalent to “interaction” in this context?

I want to rewrite the following sentence which appears in the this verbal reasoning practice question: The evolution of intelligence among early large mammals of the grasslands was due in great ...
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1answer
31 views

The meaning of “ to bit off a sigh.”

Example sentence: She bit off a sigh. There was no use with arguing with him. Does bit off mean that the person stifled the sigh or that she let it out? The word "bite" makes me think of the ...
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3answers
46 views

phrase request - authentic-looking dishes?

Suppose someone were talking about fake food, i.e. plastic food models on display at some restaurants. Could we refer to fake food as "authentic-looking dishes"? How about "authentic-looking items"?
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1answer
64 views

What does “dark in the pocket” mean

I've read a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald called Afternoon of an Author. There is a phrase I don't understand at all: He passed a sporting goods store and looked in the window unmoved except ...
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5answers
2k views

What's “worn size 'large' gloves” referring to in this context?

Well now I know I've done at least two things Trump hasn't... worn size 'large' gloves and been in a grocery store. This is a tweet comment quoted by this article. As I understand, he is saying that ...