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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Hot, spicy and seasoned

I am really confused about the "hot", "spicy", and "seasoned" usage when we talk about food. "The food is too hot" - It sounds like the food is too warm, ...
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1 answer
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What does 'save any winter wardrobe' mean here?

In this paragraph talking about black tights, it says: Black tights are best worn in the transitional months like fall and early spring, and of course, they save any winter wardrobe. What does 'save ...
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I am going to the dentist at 5.30. (phrase meaning)

I am going to the dentist at 5.30. I made the appointment two weeks ago. Does it mean that he has the appointment at 5.30 or he is going out from his work or home at 5.30? I suppose he is going out ...
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1 answer
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I don’t finish until next week. (about "until next week") [closed]

I don’t finish until next week. Does it mean he will be free next Monday? So, if today is August, 8, he will be free from August, 15. Right? Can "next week" mean in any day during next week ...
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What does “hit the same beats as it did” mean?

Mick Jagger is sitting on a sofa wearing a pale grey fleece and talking about Charlie Watts. The drummer first played with the Rolling Stones in early 1963, after they had tried six months with a ...
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2 answers
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What's the difference between "come back" and "come on back"

In a video game I'm playing I've heard the phrase "come on back to the base" What is the difference between "come back" vs "come on back" "come on" 3. verb To ...
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Pronouns referring and antecedents structure confusing

Someone moved paper from a space meant for the storage of shared materials and intended to store them in a room they are solely using. I’m not sure how to fix the combination of the content for the ...
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She lived until she was over a hundred

She lived until she was over a hundred. I have the mentioned sentence in my grammar book and I'm trying to understand its meaning. If I understand correctly: She lived until she was a hundred. <--...
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Can "for themselves" mean "for their own benefit" in this context?

South-western Finland had begun its economic integration with central Sweden in the Viking era, which was a contributory factor in the spread of Christian customs and beliefs to Finland, since for ...
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a big decision to take / big decision to make

It’s a big decision to take. It’s a big decision to make. Is there a difference in the meaning between the mentioned sentences or do they have absolutely the same meaning? The first one I have in my ...
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What is the meaning of "as acute as" in this term?

Is the meaning of the following term different when "as acute as" is deleted? I suffered a dislocation as acute as when I arrived in this country. ( I have seen "as acute", but I ...
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"I have been in a six-year-long relationship." I want to know whether the usage of "have been in" correct here, if the relationship ended recently?

Doesn't the above quoted sentence imply that the person is describing that he/she belongs to the category of people who have been in a relationship atleast once in their lifetime?(irrespective of ...
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1 answer
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Is the phrase "it shows" incomplete?

The headline from NY Times is: Liz Cheney Is Prepared to Lose Power, and It Shows What does it shows? I read through it and it seemed to me the "it shows" phrase means the fact Liz Cheney ...
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0 answers
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Asking about things done during the day [closed]

Let me know what are the standard answers to the following questions (I want to feel the difference): What have you been up to today? What were you up to today? What are you up to today? What have ...
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the meaning of "go as so far to"?

Though he did come to see Garp as family, he did not approve of his violent behavior towards Luffy. At one point he warned him to stop abusing Luffy going as so far to call him an "old piece of ...
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1 answer
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what does the proverb "A woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke" mean?

I am studying English proverbs. One of them is: "A woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke". I cannot understand the meaning of that. I searched internet but I could not find ...
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Correct phrase for "domesticated" opposition party

In Bangladesh, we use the word "গৃহপালিত" for an opposition party that was installed by a ruling regime through a rigged election. The main duty of this party is to give the vibe that the ...
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Meaning of `To move through these moments`

To move through these moments I have heard this line on CNN USA. And the person was talking about a difficult time in a family and what needs to be done to move through these moments. I couldn't find ...
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1 answer
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What is the meaning of the term "whatawow"? [closed]

I read this phrase "This person is whattawwow", what does it actually means?
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1 answer
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Is "Gamble more for less" a common expression?

Example, Odds are you're going to die screaming while injecting yourself Well, I've "gambled more for less"
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3 answers
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What does "in legislation" mean in this sentence? [closed]

The following sentence is from a speech by Prince Charles. (minute:second: 11:40-11:48)Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p36MnxSUhJM Her majesty's government will establish the UK ...
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1 answer
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Does as of mean "right now" or "starting now?"

As of the time of writing, he was jobless. Does this sentence mean that he was jobless at the time of writing — meaning he could have lost the job prior to the time of writing — or does it mean that ...
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What does "whom you are." mean in this sentence? "Remember who you are and whom you are."

The following sentence is from a letter written to a mother who has cancer in order to give her hope, courage and strength. "Remember who you are and whom you are." Link I can understand &...
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1 answer
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What's the difference between "the cherry on the cake" and "the icing on the cake"? [closed]

Is there a situation where one would be better than the other? Or are the two phrases used interchangeably?
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2 votes
1 answer
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Trouble understanding 'in absolute terms'

While reading same book Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Ruined America, I find new term called 'in absolute terms'. This sentence I find: Though economic conditions of the Seventies ...
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What does the phrase "сhuck it down" from a song mean?

"сhuck it down" (you father mother) or someone else. This is from a song called "Bad Boys".
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1 answer
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"It seems to me somebody will be coming after you"

Could you help me understand the following dialog? (The maid and the attendant is talking about a crazy patient who eats flies) Maid: (Ironically) Wouldn't hurt a fly, would he? Attendant: Hurt a fly? ...
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2 votes
5 answers
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What's the meaning of 'secure the door'? [closed]

I am always bit confused with the word, secure. To me, it means making something safe and stable. But I feel sometimes Americans use the word in the sense I never use the security in my country such ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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What is the correct word to the song that kept telling me its okay or that keep telling is correct

Like something I've been listening for a year and want to express that the song was the one that keep me going and what should be the correct word for me to post with kept telling or keep telling what ...
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2 votes
2 answers
47 views

Is it offensive and personal to say 'It seems your memory does not serve you right'? [closed]

Context: I was debating about a meeting detail with my colleague and I said 'It seems your memory does not serve you right. The details should be...and... rather than ...' My colleague freaked out and ...
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1 answer
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Meaning of "from his not being able to conceal from himself the ridiculous appearance that such a steed gave him, good horseman as he was"

that at a time when everybody was a connoisseur in horseflesh, the appearance of the aforesaid pony at Meung[.....]produced an unfavorable feeling, which extended to his rider. And this feeling had ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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in contention - how to use this phrase?

In contention means - having a chance to win (something, such as a title or position) Could you elaborate on the nature of the chance to win? If ten people are taking part in a contest, are all of ...
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'a proportion of' vs 'in proportion to' vs 'a proportion to' vs 'proportional to'

What is the difference between saying "a proportion of something", "in proportion to something", "a proportion to something", and "proportional to something"? ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Possible missed verb in the sentence

I wonder if the word "credibility" highlighted in bold below should follow a verb like "lent" or "gave". My understanding of the sentence as it is is that researchers ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Would dream of ( in a positive clause)

But you are very welcome for my having given you my time, not that you would ever dream of taking the trouble to say "thank you" after I have gone the trouble of helping you and correcting ...
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1 answer
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You could fit a city bus in the length of the awkward pause

Does it mean that the pause was very long? “Elsie, listen. We get it. You take as much time as you need. You have plenty of vacation days, sick days, personal time saved up,” he says, trying to be ...
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0 answers
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"One bee sting and game over" meaning in context

I came across the following: A: I'm actually scared to ride horses. B: You are? A: Yeah. B: Why? A: One bee sting and game over. Right? B: No, it's not that bad. A: You have to know what you're doing,...
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0 votes
1 answer
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What is the meaning of "so that" in this context?

This is a part of a book by Thomas Sowell called "Black Rednecks And White Liberals" In Illinois during this same era, legal restrictions on access to public accommodations for blacks were ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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"tagged on for short bursts " in sentence

The "tagged on for short bursts" in the sentence here: Anyway, groups of friends actually joined us for three-weeks stints and others just linked up with us. Some, whom we hadn't met before ...
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1 answer
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Novels Have Parts x Chapters x Subchapters? Sections?

I searched for this one and didn't quite got what I needed. I've found that Books have chapters, and then there are mentions of sections, but none seem to be mentioning this in novels, more like ...
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2 answers
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What does "kick it into" mean in this context?

The following context comes from an episode of "Cowboy Bebop". It's a very popular 90's animation that takes place in the future. The following exchange is between an older mechanic and his ...
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1 answer
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what he was saying / what he was talking about

There is the following sentence in my grammar book: John was talking, but nobody was listening to what he was saying. Can I transform it into the next sentence and hold the same meaning? John was ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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What kinds of smartness does Tom Sawyer in "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" have? "street smart" or "smart aleck"? [closed]

I guess most American or British people have read "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer". Tom Sawyer in "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" is smart but not book-smart. Once, his aunt punished ...
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2 answers
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Meaning of the phrase "don't judge a book by its cover?" [closed]

I am struggling to understand this phrase. It sounds like it's saying that you shouldn't judge someone by the way they look or are the first time you meet them. But in real life, once you get to know ...
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1 answer
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What is the meaning of the "That's In-off"? [closed]

In the series "Secret Army 1977~79", season 2, episode 5, at 13:00, Albert gives Monique a bottle of perfume. After smelling the perfume, Monique moves it to Albert's face and then quickly ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
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What does "wield knife" mean?

What does "wield knife" mean? That must be some idiom, but dictionaries are silent on this. I mean, they obviously resigned, but there must be more to it
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3 votes
1 answer
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What would be an appropriate phrase to describe how much of a movie already elapsed?

I was watching a movie on my computer and I had to go the bathroom and then my phone rang so I picked it up and talk to a caller. I was unaware I didn't pause the movie on the computer and it turned ...
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1 vote
2 answers
29 views

hold up and jump

Does the phrase "hold up and jump" refer to buttons here, or are the verbs "hold up" and "jump" used to denote two actions without implying any buttons? You can avoid ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Question about "When it comes to all things"

I recently came across the expression "When it comes to all things" and I'm a little confused as to its correct meaning. I did some research and found several examples of using this ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Vagaries of perception meaning

What is the definition of "Vagaries of perception"? The way I interpret it: twisted reality vision / wrong reality check. Am I correct? I know it appeared in the Matrix movie there's no ...
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