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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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What does "so much as" here mean?

https://www.patheos.com/library/christianity/ritual-worship-devotion-symbolism/rites-and-ceremonies says The most important Christian rituals are called sacraments, sacred rites that convey God's ...
Tim's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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What is "real men"?

Here is the quote from "A more beautiful question" by Warren Berger The genesis of many great start-ups is the simple question "Wouldn’t it be cool if?" W. helps you understand ...
leminh81's user avatar
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0 answers
35 views

Please let me know which sentence I should use between ‘You are my everyday.’ and ‘You are my every day.’?

I have been translating song lyrics from Korean to English. However, I am unsure of use which sentence.
뽀뽀_kissmehard's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
819 views

What is the meaning of "they've got life beat."?

It is from the movie "Something's gotta give". The script is http://www.script-o-rama.com/movie_scripts/s/somethings-gotta-give-script-transcript.html The following is the full sentence. I'...
user1026669's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
29 views

The meaning of "I don’t want to look, but let’s see"

A quote from a book Phillips awoke from anesthesia the next morning in a hospital. He recalls, “I did the proverbial ‘I don’t want to look, but let’s see’ ” and checked under his blanket to find “an ...
leminh81's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
44 views

meaning of the phrase "must not be"

I am trying to determine the correct meaning of a phrase: They can (but must not) be green. The person who wrote the phrase insists that it means they can be green, but could be some other color. To ...
jsotola's user avatar
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1 answer
19 views

Can "length of stay" refers to "the length of time somebody visits somewhere"?

I know that length of stay is "the duration of a single episode of hospitalization", but does it also mean the length of time somebody visits somewhere? If it does, do I have to add ...
Ken Adams's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
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is there a difference between "circle up" and "circle around"?

Does "Circle up" suggest forming a circle with everyone facing inward, while "circle around" implies forming a circle with everyone facing outward. I got it from a chatbot. Is that ...
Tom's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
57 views

Difference between "play in defense", "play on defense" and "play defense"

two sentences from oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com: (1) (BrE): She plays in defence. (2) (AmE): She plays on defense. As far as I understood, (1) = (2). the explanation of "to play defense" ...
Loviii's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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What does "Knew that soon you'd want to leave the nest" mean?

I am watching Disney movie, Tangled. I would like to know the meaning of the phrase "Knew that soon you’d want to leave the nest" in Tangled. I understand "that soon" means "...
ながねぎ's user avatar
11 votes
6 answers
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Why add the word "solid" to the verb "freeze"? E.g., "The clothes froze solid on the washing line." Does the meaning change if we remove "solid"?

I'm interested in how the adjective "solid" affects the verb "freeze"? For this purpose, I found some examples. oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com: (1a) The clothes froze solid on the ...
Loviii's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
483 views

What does "a receipt for the money" mean?

collinsdictionary.com: (1) I wrote her a receipt for the money. The preposition "for" confuses me. What does "for" mean here? What does "a receipt for the money" mean?
Loviii's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
402 views

"A pebble of disappointment plummets the length of him" [closed]

(From A Terrible Kindness by Jo Browning Wroe, Part II Cambridge Choir, chapter 14) 'Where are we going?' 'Song room,' says Martin 'Not the chapel?' 'Choristers go there for evening practice and then ...
philphil's user avatar
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Are all these sentences grammatically correct and mean the same thing?

I was a little late to call him. I was a little late in calling him. I was a little late for calling him. Are all three sentences grammatically correct? Do they mean the same thing? The last one, to ...
Pleep Ploop's user avatar
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1 answer
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". . . drawn tight into the folds of their community."

(From A Terrible Kindness by Jo Browning Wroe, Part I, Aberfan, chapter 11) The pavement fill with black-clad figures oozing from doorways. Keep your head down and your heart hard. That's your ...
philphil's user avatar
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-1 votes
2 answers
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What does "pull out" mean in "Democrats pulling out all the stops against RFK Jr."?

The title of https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/4606148-rfk-jr-robert-f-kennedy-jr-nicole-shanahan-libertarian-democrats-joe-biden-donald-trump/ is: Democrats pulling out all the stops against RFK ...
Tim's user avatar
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2 answers
32 views

What's the difference between "burn something down" and "burn down something"

I came across a saying that "I should have burned this place down when I had a chance". Why don't they use "burned down this place"? Are these two clusters the same?
trungbk's user avatar
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2 answers
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Are "French residents" and "the French population" synonymous with "people in France"?

Around 200 million pounds (fake data*) was invested in perfume by French residents/the French population in 2010. I wonder if French residents or the French population can be interpreted as people in ...
Ken Adams's user avatar
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3 answers
41 views

Does "something" in "say something to someone's face" refer to negative or bad things?

If I translate literally "she said that to my face" from English to Vietnamese, then "that" often refers to something bad or negative or something that you hate. For example, your ...
Tom's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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When does the end of the trip happen if we say "they had a trip to a candy factory"?

A trip means a journey to a place and back again, especially a short one for pleasure or a particular purpose When does the beginning and the end of the trip start to happen? Read this "Some ...
Tom's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
91 views

What's an "Englishman's kiss"?

I found that expression in a book I am reading. Language is American English, often slangish: usually I can make some sense of the words I don't know, but this time I am stuck, beside thinking that it ...
mau's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
60 views

"William's heart jumps at the sight of such small bodies . . ."

(From A Terrible Kindness by Jo Browning Wroe, Part I, Aberfan, chapter 4) (In the vestry of the chapel where there are some facilities for the embalmers) In the chapel gloom, William can just make ...
philphil's user avatar
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0 answers
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What does phrase "more than true" mean?

I encountered the following text: Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragon can be beaten. I'm struggling to find the meaning ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
53 views

What does "his arms thrown abroad" mean?

While I was reading A Study In Scarlet, I came across a paraphrase, and I don't understand that description. Here it is: "His hands were clenched and his arms thrown abroad, while his lower limbs ...
samina's user avatar
  • 31
2 votes
1 answer
391 views

Using "in the middle" to describe a number smaller than A and bigger than B

The percentages of animals in the zoo: Elephants: 3%. Lions: 5%. Rabbits: 15%. These are all fake numbers by the way, and I think there is something wrong with this example, but let's focus on the ...
an IELTS learner's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
589 views

Meaning of "helpings of drive"

I found this expression in a book I'm reading, and I'm having trouble understanding it: All the superstars I’ve known have heaping helpings of drive and they’ll continually hound people to further ...
Itamar's user avatar
  • 1,239
2 votes
1 answer
40 views

What does "hairy strings" mean?

From Claire Keegan's novel Small Things Like These Chimneys threw out smoke which fell away and drifted off in hairy, drawn-out strings before dispersing along the quays. I cannot catch the meaning ...
blackfoot's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
24 views

Confused about 'word of'

I came across a sentence today: Our client said this would be our last deal, seeing as word of our plan got out. What does the phrase 'word of' refer to? Is it equal to '..., seeing as the detail/...
kokomi's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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"How much are you offering "? "What is your offer"?

If I am selling a house, Could you pls tell me that who could say these qestions? Seller or buyer or both(as in anyone)
Bilal Zafar's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
156 views

Meaning and usage of the phrase "of it all"

I've heard this phrase in speeches or articles many times, but I couldn't quite grasp the meaning of it. I'll list some examples here: You rarely get to sit down with someone like Andy and talk about ...
oeter's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
19 views

Why vs what for phrase construction?

Consider the two expressions, Why did you do that? What did you do that for? I use the above two expressions interchangeably. Are they both identical in meaning?
Max's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
112 views

What's the meaning of "the one to beat"?

source: "Merriam-Webster's Vocabulary Builder" (Second Edition) P586 nonpareil ... Critics seem to agree that this is the new nonpareil of video-game consoles, the one to beat.
Zhang Jian's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
56 views

"Before putting the agreement to bed, we still had to satisfy them." — What does "to put the agreement to bed" mean: to achieve it or to complete it?

collinsdictionary.com: to put something to bed — to achieve a plan or task or complete it successfully: (1) Before putting the agreement to bed, we still had to satisfy them. Am I right that: ...
Loviii's user avatar
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8 votes
4 answers
4k views

"Little Pussy Malanga, sometimes confused with fellow reputed mobster Big Pussy Bonpensiero, ..." — What does "fellow reputed mobster" mean?

sopranos.fandom.com: (1) Little Pussy Malanga, sometimes confused with fellow reputed mobster Big Pussy Bonpensiero, had just returned from Florida when he was detained by authorities. What does "...
Loviii's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
62 views

What does "all that is" mean in this sentence: --- "Every day they all huddle together, all that is, except for Bernard."

This is a story about a fish called Bernard who lives in the river with his brothers and sisters. The speaker says: "...Every day they all huddle together, all that is, except for Bernard." ...
Yunus's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
143 views

What does "I will let you get back to work" mean in terms of tone?

In the common hall of my office, in America, after some brief small talk, I said to my colleague, OK, I will let you get back to work. She did something really unusual upon hearing it: she did not ...
Max's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
698 views

"To run a picture". Does it mean "publish"?

"Sonia do you think that the UK media have done the right thing not to run these pictures." ITV-this morning (see:1:40-1:48) The expression "to run a picture" caught my attention. ...
Yunus's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
70 views

What is the meaning of “squiggles out” in the poem “What Is Red" by Mary O' Neill?

What is the meaning of “squiggles out” in the poem “What Is Red" by Mary O' Neill? Source Red squiggles out when you cut your hand. Red is a brick and the sound of a band. From the Oxfard ...
user1176409's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
79 views

every light casts a shadow

What is the figurative meaning of the quote ' “No matter how hard you fight the darkness, every light casts a shadow, and the closer you get to the light, the darker that shadow becomes.” ― Plato '? ...
Zaman Nipu's user avatar
-1 votes
3 answers
89 views

What does "high" in "talking in high circles" mean?

he walks and talks in high circles so other people take him for his word. What does high in “talking in high circles” mean? https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/talk+in+circles says talk in circles ...
Tim's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
63 views

How do you understand "job ranking" and/or "jobs ranking"?

There's a publication that my company's translating from Polish into English that describes how Polish people perceive different occupations in terms of social importance, female/male character, etc. ...
Milena Kotelba's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
84 views

"certain type of person" VS "certain type of people"

This is said by a native speaker presenter who is staying a weekend with a family where the son keeps lions as pets. She wants to understand why he does it and say: What is it about a certain type of ...
Yunus's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
89 views

What does it mean "to have your feet on backwards"?

I came across the following saying: The people who use this tool have their feet on backwards. That way they think they are walking forward, but are really walking backward. What is the meaning of &...
Vitalizzare's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
100 views

Why Does "So Long" and "It's Been So Long" Have Such Different Meanings?

I feel like it's because "So Long" has come to be as a vernacular expression with a different semantic from the standard English one, but I'd like to hear more knowledgeable opinions.
Andrea Nerla's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
42 views

Do make distance on/get distance on mean the same thing?

Today I've heard "make distance on" in the context on skateboarding. A guy on YouTube was talking about a process of him skating a long and circular rail. He spoke of how it was very hard to ...
Static Bounce's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
79 views

Does 'Service with exception' look native to English speakers?

I saw this error message on my university's website, which seems weird to me. After googling, I found no other people using this error message in their apps or websites. But some of my schoolmate ...
AprilGrimoire's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
93 views

"I had a bit of a thirst on." --- Does this have the same meaning as "I am thirsty"?

"I had a bit of a thirst on." ITV-Good morning Britain (see:4:22-4:25) Is this simply another way of saying "I'm thirsty."?
Yunus's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
71 views

Can I use the phrase “Something survives us”, and if I can, could it have two meanings?

One day, when the human species will have disappeared, Nature will have shown that she, in fact, survives us. I believe I can use this phrasing to mean both; That nature survives/lives longer than ...
Mertle8's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
207 views

(Somebody's) way off of (any place/situation)

What part of speech is 'way off' and what's its meaning in the following sentences? Check out this list for some easy, repeatable good deeds that could be your way off of the naughty list this year. ...
Zaman Nipu's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
73 views

What does "with a jolt" mean? — (I sprang out of bed with a jolt. The car stopped with a jolt. Henry sat up with a jolt. The door closed with a jolt.)

britannica.com: jolt — a sudden, rough movement: (1) I sprang out of bed with a jolt. (2) The car stopped with a jolt. ldoceonline.com: jolt — a sudden shock: (3) Henry sat up with a jolt. ...
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