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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 is the meaning of "I am digging this groove"

In the movie "Irish Wish", there is a line "I am digging this groove" Good morning, everyone. [all] Good morning. [Heather] I’m digging this groove. Uh, darling? Oh. Allow me. ...
user1026669's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
38 views

What does "barren bowl" mean?

Here is quote in book The Rights of Nature "In the Netherlands, it is now illegal to keep a goldfish alone in a barren bowl. Countries such as Costa Rica have pledged to phase out zoos, circuses, ...
leminh81's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is the meaning of the 'ride out the clock'?

What is the meaning of the 'ride out the clock'? Sol: Some things there’s no good way to do. How do I tell the woman I’ve loved for forty years that I can’t be with her if I want to be happy? ...
user1026669's user avatar
-1 votes
0 answers
35 views

What's the difference between "display emotion" and "show emotion"

I found some sample sentences The closest he came to displaying emotion was when one of his comrades was killed. Only his wife showed emotion, colour slowly bleeding up her face as she held back ...
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1 answer
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Should the phrase 'beat that time' be replaced by 'surpassed the record'?

In an article on sporting achievements, the author has compared the performance of two sprinters, Jesse Owens and Usain Bolt [Ref : Burlington English (UK) lesson] :- In 1936, Owens set an ...
James Mathai's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
60 views

"Last year, they didn't take to the stage until 11.30"

(From A Terrible Kindness by Jo Browning Wroe, Part II Cambridge Choir, chapter 25) Martin Mussey and him = William are Cambridge choristers The highlight of the first bleak day back in Cambridge ...
philphil's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
21 views

Emotionally and professionally unavailable

Is there a phrase to describe a person who is emotionally unavailable to commit?
John D's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
43 views

What would "what is your grade?" mean in Australian English?

Yesterday, I was at this Westfield shopping Centre in New South Wales. Some random man came up to me and talked to me about the usual "children donations" thing. He wanted to ask what I do, ...
Megas's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
49 views

What is the meaning of "It was just getting to the good bit."?

What is the meaning of "It was just getting to the good bit."? Does the "the good bit" mean a large amount so that the phrase means "it is starting to rain a lot"? Is ...
user1026669's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
1k views

What does “Be it my loss” mean?

I found this cryptic line in Frost's poem called Now close the windows My English teacher says that it originally comes from the phrase "Let it be my loss" but I wonder if there is any other ...
user189378's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
26 views

be at ease and rest assured when the subject is not "you"

Browsing some dictionaries, I found that most examples using "rest assured" begin with "you" as the subject and it seems to guarantee that what follows it is true, for example, ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
11 views

As matters stand - meaning

What does the phrase 'as matters stand' mean in the following sentences? As the matter stands, the team needs to practice for two more weeks before the tournament. "The answer is the president (...
Zaman Nipu's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
42 views

as having over / for having over – are both correct? Do the sentences mean the same?

The AI detector flagged the article as having over 50% AI-generated content. The AI detector flagged the article for having over 50% AI-generated content. Are both these sentences grammatically ...
Pleep Ploop's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
54 views

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
-2 votes
0 answers
39 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
0 votes
1 answer
19 views

What does "hope was all" represent in "Hope was all we could offer from our vantage point in Ketchum Hall"?

What does "hope was all" represent? Hope was all we could offer from our vantage point in Ketchum Hall, the impulse to rush out and catch him being checked by the realization of futility.
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4 votes
3 answers
841 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
31 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
47 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
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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 ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
60 views

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
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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
30 views

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
4k views

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
  • 4,903
2 votes
2 answers
487 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
405 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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0 votes
1 answer
27 views

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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0 votes
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
31 views

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
  • 3,841
0 votes
2 answers
33 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
  • 47
0 votes
2 answers
55 views

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 ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
44 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
58 views

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
  • 361
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
  • 1,361
0 votes
0 answers
45 views

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
57 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
  • 1,241
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
  • 147
0 votes
1 answer
109 views

"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
222 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
  • 199
1 vote
0 answers
20 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
  • 8,724
0 votes
1 answer
149 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
  • 1,073
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
  • 4,903
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
  • 4,903
3 votes
3 answers
64 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
  • 7,401
3 votes
2 answers
165 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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