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Questions tagged [phrase-meaning]

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

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139 views

was to have spoken-meaning

What is the meaning of this phrase? Mr. Jones was to have spoken at the meeting, but we had to cancel it because of his illness. Does this mean: He was scheduled to speak at the meeting? Someone ...
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2answers
159 views

The meaning of “to the end of days” in this sentence

Other projects...: Riprore, which focuses on the heart of gangland Los Angeles, where a gruesome discovery sparks a frenetic homicide investigation, but underneath the surface lurks a darkness that ...
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71 views

What does “no more Dutch” mean? “No more words”?

"Red Dead: Redemption" No more Dutch, and no more you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zvPMrrps6o 12:15 / 11:40:13
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1answer
35 views

What is the meaning of 'as likely to be female as male' in the following sentence?

Today, the average video game player will be thirty something, as likely to be female as male, will play on multiple devices and can come from anywhere in the world. My understanding of this is ...
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1answer
36 views

“swallowed the bowl”

Or like the woman who was watching a lush imbibing dry martinis at a Third Avenue bar in New York City. The drunk downed the contents of each cocktail glass at one gulp, daintily nibbled and swallowed ...
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1answer
33 views

My two younger sisters

Hello everyone: Let’s say I have two younger sisters named Mary and Stacy, aged 28 and 25 respectively. In a conversation with a friend of mine, I want to talk about Mary, who is younger than me ...
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1answer
22 views

What does 'going out of this collar' mean?

'For Christ sake's James! You're making bloody hard going out of this collar!' [Transcript from Episode 1 - SOURCE around 65 or so lines down from the top.] This is from The Crown on Netflix, I was ...
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2answers
38 views

What does “wet weather in my soul” mean?

A psychologist tells of how his 5-year-old daughter taught him something that made him change: "The notion of a Positive Psychology movement began at a moment in time a few months after I had been ...
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What's “apoplectic popping noises”?

She was entirely round, now, like a vast life buoy with piggy eyes, and her hands and feet stuck out weirdly as she drifted up into the air, making apoplectic popping noises. What's "apoplectic ...
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1answer
60 views

What does “five chins” mean in this sentence?

Dudley had spent most of the summer in the kitchen, his piggy little eyes fixed on the screen and his five chins wobbling as he ate continually. As I understand, "five chins" is hyperbole implying ...
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3answers
676 views

What does “ripped back” mean in this context?

(Harry opening his present from Hermione...) His heart gave a huge bound as he ripped back the paper and saw a sleek black leather case, with silver words stamped across it, reading Broomstick ...
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1answer
23 views

What does “publish obscurely” mean?

Some of these have not been published before; others, such as “Living like Weasels” and “The Deer at Providencia,” were published obscurely. At any rate, this is not a collection of occasional pieces, ...
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1answer
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What are “the Cascades and Olympics” in Washington?

From the crystal-clear trout streams of the Cascades and Olympics to the deep-water sport-fishing waters of Washington's Pacific Coast, the Evergreen State offers up an array of angling opportunities ...
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2answers
140 views

“A view on” vs “a view of”

What is the difference, if any, between the meaning of "a view on" and "a view of"? Example: a new view of environmentalism vs. A new view on Environmentalism Both can be found with more or ...
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2answers
287 views

Is “call sth/sb to sb” a normal collocation?

“You must have shown me real loyalty down in the Chamber. Nothing but that could have called Fawkes to you.” I haven't found the use of "call sth/sb to sb" in dictionaries. I think it means "... ...
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1answer
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What's the difference between “over this year”, “during this year” and “in this year”?

What's the difference between "over this year", "during this year" and "in this year"? For example, Over this year, he's been able to provide a lot of correct answers in class. During ...
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1answer
111 views

“As then, so now”

In last year's film "Victoria and Abdul," we see Queen Victoria's Indian manservant describing to her the delights of his homeland's mangoes, "the Queen of Fruits." Intrigued, the world's most ...
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0answers
57 views

I don't understand the meaning of the sentence in bold clearly?

The reunion had lasted a week. As they packed for home, his father, in a far too offhand way, had suggested they visit Chig’s grandmother. “We might as well drop in on her and my brother’s.” So, ...
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1answer
39 views

What does “To business” mean in this context?

"To business, Harry," said Riddle, still smiling broadly. "Twice -- in your past, in my future -- we have met. And twice I failed to kill you. How did you survive? Tell me everything. The longer you ...
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1answer
82 views

' many a man' meaning

I came across this sentence : "many a man has shot himself on finding himself in such a position" . I am not getting what is apt meaning of the phrase 'many a man' if a singular term - 'himself' ...
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2answers
144 views

Connotations of “in any capacity”

What would you hear in this sentence? Thank you for your contribution, in any capacity. a) Thank you for your contribution, no matter the size ("for both big and small donations"). b) Thank you ...
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1answer
26 views

What does “in the tone of someone explaining that one and one made two” mean?

"My dear young man, the Minister of Magic wouldn't have taken Hagrid if he hadn't been one hundred per cent sure that he was guilty," said Lockhart, in the tone of someone explaining that one and one ...
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1answer
60 views

throughout / during / over / in the course of

Some dictionaries say "the course of" can be used with "over," "in," "during," and "throughout." I'm wondering if there's any difference among these options. For example, if event A happened ...
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1answer
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Meaning of “be of” in the given context

Thursday’s tragedy should serve as a grim warning to the powers that be of potentially darker times ahead if the surcharged rhetoric is left unchecked. What does be of mean here?
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3answers
963 views

What does “not for ages yet” mean in this context?

A: "When's your holiday?" B: "Oh, not for ages yet." I've seen this example in the dictionary on my phone -- under the definition of the word 'yet'. But I don't quite understand the phrase "not ...
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4answers
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What does “he'd seen enough of the trophy room to last him a lifetime” mean?

Nevertheless, Harry was determined to find out more about Riddle, so, next day at break, he headed for the trophy room to examine Riddle's special award, accompanied by an interested Hermione and a ...
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2answers
404 views

Help to understand “You'll be teased something dreadful,”?

"You'll be teased something dreadful," said Myrtle happily. I think the sentence means You'll be teased dreadfully. However, I don't quite understand the grammar of the sentence. I've seen "tease sb ...
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1answer
42 views

What does “give all those Mudbloods a kick from me” mean in this context?

Ron's—or rather, Crabbe's—face was contorted with fury. "What's up with you, Crabbe?" snapped Malfoy. "Stomach ache," Ron grunted. "Well, go up to the hospital wing and give all those ...
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2answers
753 views

What does “and she them” mean?

Moaning Myrtle was crying noisily in her cubicle, but they were ignoring her, and she them. I guess it just means she was ignoring them too. But I have never seen this kind of structure before. Is ...
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2answers
28 views

meaning of a parenthetical expression : all the more

What does "all the more" mean in the following? I cannot find its definition in the dictionary. How does one go out on top and, all the more, do it with grace? Here, the context is about a person ...
0
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1answer
49 views

What does “Live 'uns!” mean?

"Welcome, Patrick," said Nick stiffly. "Live 'uns!" said Sir Patrick, spotting Harry, Ron and Hermione and giving a huge, fake jump of astonishment, so that his head fell off again (the crowd ...
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3answers
55 views

What does “subtle wisdom” mean?

I've always understood subtle to mean the opposite of obvious, as in subtle difference, until I came across this line from The Duchess of Malfi Oh, sir, the opinion of wisdom is a foul tetter that ...
3
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1answer
43 views

Date back vs date back to

I don’t know why they use this expression. It’s a text about “We Are the World” from an English textbook. They recorded a song called “We Are the World 25 for Haiti” to aid people who were ...
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2answers
31 views

What does “a quick conception of all” mean?

He coldly but gently loosened her fingers from about his arm and thrust the hand away from him. "Tell me what it means!" she cried despairingly. "It means," he answered lightly, "that the child ...
3
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2answers
247 views

Understanding the meaning of “are you hustling me?”

In the X-files, FBI agent Mulder approaches a group of downtrodden people living on the street. He loudly asks if anybody knows a recently murdered person. People ignore him, except one man. The man ...
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1answer
35 views

“collected in the papers“ VS ”collected the papers"

(A quiz had been taken ...) Half an hour later, Lockhart collected in the papers and rifled through them in front of the class. "Tut, tut -- hardly any of you remembered that my favourite ...
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3answers
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What does “for the corbeille had been of rare quality” mean?

Some weeks later there was a curious scene enacted at L'Abri. In the centre of the smoothly swept back yard was a great bonfire. Armand Aubigny sat in the wide hallway that commanded a view of the ...
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2answers
44 views

“Currency” correct phrase: Currencies of rich countries are stronger/higher

Which is the correct way of saying that rich countries have higher/currency than developing nations? It goes something like this: Usually, Currencies of wealthy countries are stronger than less ...
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2answers
3k views

What does “You could've fried an egg on your face” mean?

... ... Harry yanked his robes straight and headed for a seat at the very back of the class, where he busied himself with piling all seven of Lockhart's books in front of him, so that he could ...
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3answers
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Is “that makes sense” a neutral reply?

I wonder if it is neutral (in a sense close to that no positive or negative things implied) when an American utters "that makes sense" after hearing an explanation. I would like to know if it is used ...
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2answers
80 views

What does “temper with” mean? [closed]

I found some examples online. Single White Female “You shared your good news,” she said, “I thought I might share my bad—tempered with some good news, though.” Some parents are monsters, not ...
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1answer
89 views

Can “I am here to me” mean “I am here”? [closed]

What is the meaning of I am here to me Does it mean "I am here" Why is the second sentence correct but the first one is not?
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1answer
52 views

What does “that was his last blow at fate” mean?

He thought Almighty God had dealt cruelly and unjustly with him; and felt, somehow, that he was paying Him back in kind when he stabbed thus into his wife's soul. Moreover he no longer loved her, ...
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1answer
21 views

What's the difference between 'subdued' and 'moderate'?

I cannot tell the difference between 'subdued' and 'moderate'. I saw 2 sentences: Experiment A produces subdued response. Eperiment A produces moderate response. Are there any difference? Could ...
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3answers
82 views

“in class”, “in the lesson”, “during the class” or “during the lesson”?

I usually speak very loudly in class. I usually speak very loudly in the lesson. I usually speak very loudly during the class. I usually speak very loudly during the lesson. I don't ...
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1answer
54 views

Meaning of “were not taking any chances with something”

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/24/nyregion/cnn-time-warner-bomb-nyc.html But people across the country were not taking any chances with suspicious packages after six pipe bombs were sent to ...
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1answer
47 views

“contribute to” and “lead to”

I'd like to know whether "contribute to" and "lead to" are synonymous expressions in the following: a. Hard work alone does not necessarily contribute to / lead to success. Does any contradiction ...
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2answers
51 views

What is the meaning of “disquieting suggestion”?

This is from the story named: Desirée’s Baby by Kate Chopin When the baby was about three months old, Desiree awoke one day to the conviction that there was something in the air menacing her peace. ...
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1answer
35 views

How to understand “stood framed in the doorway”?

For a split second, Uncle Vernon stood framed in the doorway; ... The phrase sounds, to me, a vivid account. I could imagine that Uncle Vernon standing there in the doorway be just like a big ...
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3answers
2k views

Which meaning of the word 'flay' has been applied in “flay him to within an inch of his life”?

... He(Uncle Vernon) shooed the shocked Masons back into the dining room, promised Harry he would flay him to within an inch of his life when the Masons had left, and handed him a mop. ... I think "...