Questions tagged [phrase-meaning]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
117 votes
11 answers
159k views

What does the line "So long and thanks for all the fish!" mean?

I got a mail with the subject "So long and thanks for all the fish!" from my Manager. What does it mean?
user avatar
53 votes
9 answers
64k views

What's the meaning of "break your legs"?

One of my friend told me to break my legs before entering the examination hall...I was confused with her words! How am I supposed to sit for the exam if i broke my legs? Or maybe is it kind of idioms/...
user avatar
  • 691
49 votes
6 answers
25k views

Meaning of "Sue me"

I came across a dialog between two people struggling on a cutting the line situation. Here is the dialogue: A: Hey man, the end of the line is over there. B: Yeah... A: No seriously, I was here ...
user avatar
45 votes
8 answers
266k views

Is it rude to say "I'd appreciate if you could reply as soon as possible"?

Recently I have emailed my teacher and asked for my transcript. I've thought that I asked for it politely, but my teacher emailed me back that he was currently busy and "your tone was quite rude" I ...
user avatar
  • 1,285
44 votes
5 answers
19k views

What does the expression 'seven for seven thirty ' mean?

I get invites which tell me I am expected at 7 for 7.30. What time should I arrive?
user avatar
44 votes
3 answers
21k views

What does it mean? "I can't people today"

There is a shirt with a sentence written on it. The sentence is : I can't people today What does it mean? I've seen this link and I know that "people" can be a verb but in this special case, I ...
user avatar
44 votes
1 answer
5k views

Why did he reject my thank you?

I know "No, thank you" means rejection. Me: Hey, Bob. You want some drink? Bob: No, thank you. But I was involved with this kind of conversation Me: Thanks, Mr Jordan for teaching me. Mr....
user avatar
  • 543
38 votes
9 answers
7k views

Your English is better than my <<language>>

I am a native Czech speaker and English is my secondary language. I communicate with foreigners including both English and non-English natives. Sometimes, before we meet in person, I let them know I ...
user avatar
37 votes
5 answers
4k views

What does "have a pop-up feel" mean?

Support for the Rohingya cause across the region has a pop-up feel. Source: Nouzie I looked up pop-up in Merriam Webster: 1: pop fly 2: a component or device that pops up 3: a pop-up ...
user avatar
  • 379
33 votes
5 answers
8k views

What does it mean by "my days-of-the-week underwear only go to Thursday" in this context?

Emily: Lorelai? I'm going shopping this afternoon. I thought I'd pick up a few things for Rory. Lor: I already took care of all that, mom. I got her two skirts and a bunch of tops. Emily: ...
user avatar
  • 3,363
30 votes
3 answers
7k views

I don't get this joke "Massive Attack On Pentagon Page 14 News", can anybody explain me its meaning?

I was reading an article about the first issue published by the satiric magazine 'The Onion' after the 9/11 attacks. One of the headlines of that issue was Massive Attack On Pentagon Page 14 News ...
user avatar
29 votes
9 answers
17k views

What does "at 19.45 hours" mean?

I was reading a book and this sentence seemed a little odd to me: At approximately 19.45 hours the two men rose, stretched and yawned. They picked up their gear and stood at the door, ... What ...
user avatar
  • 789
29 votes
6 answers
8k views

What's the meaning of "be broker than the Ten Commandments"?

The meaning of "the Ten Commandments" is clear (see Wikipedia for example). Also, Oxford Dictionaries show "broke" means "Having completely run out of money". But I don't understand the meaning of ...
user avatar
  • 5,118
29 votes
6 answers
10k views

Why it is called 'Black Friday'?

In the Western countries like USA and Canada, there is a shopping fest(festival) called Black Friday, I wonder why the word 'black' is added to it? I think the 'word' black denotes some negativity ...
user avatar
  • 561
28 votes
2 answers
12k views

Meaning of the "On guard!" exclamation

I recently watched the very epic ending of the Shrek 2, and when the cat draws his rapier, he shouts "On guard!" to the castle guardians. I perfectly understand the meaning from the context, but was ...
user avatar
27 votes
10 answers
55k views

Is 'no more' used to mean 'dead' in English?

Do the English or the Americans use no more to mean 'dead'? For example, do they say "He is no more" to mean "He is dead"?
user avatar
26 votes
7 answers
7k views

Should "cooking" and "cleaning" be taken literally in "...two men at once. One cooking. One cleaning."

Just read a tweet, My fantasy is having two men at once. One cooking. One cleaning. Is it a word play in which 'cleaning' refers to a sexual intercourse or, actually, 'cleaning' is there intended ...
user avatar
26 votes
13 answers
28k views

Would saying "who is this" in normal tone be rude in an occasion not on the phone?

I am not a native English speaker; I am not sure how to interpret such an event. For example, suppose I approach my friend to say hello; suppose he is together with someone I don't know; suppose this ...
user avatar
  • 2,522
25 votes
4 answers
14k views

The meaning of "half woman, half girl"

"It was the same mirror I'd gazed into as a child, then as a girl, then as a youth, half woman, half girl." Educated by Tara Westover What does "half woman" mean? (For example: A ...
user avatar
  • 5,118
25 votes
3 answers
16k views

"Correct me if I'm wrong"

I had always had the impression that when people say, "correct me if I'm wrong", their underlying meaning is not to ask for correction but to stress that, "I'm 100% sure of what I'm saying", ...
user avatar
  • 2,122
25 votes
2 answers
4k views

What does "Bless you" mean in this context?

“What's that?” said Ron, pointing at a large dish of some sort of shellfish stew that stood beside a large steak-and-kidney pudding. “Bouillabaisse,” said Hermione. “Bless you,” said Ron. ...
user avatar
  • 12.5k
24 votes
5 answers
9k views

I do not really understand the proposal: "Don't hate Monday. Make Monday hate you"

Please explain. I like to learn English. I do not really understand the proposal: "Don't hate Monday. Make Monday hate you". Help me to understand this sentence. I am very interested in this phrase. ...
user avatar
24 votes
2 answers
5k views

"it was backwards in heels"

In his Democratic National Convention speech on 27 July, Barack Obama said: Let me tell you, eight years ago, you may remember Hillary and I were rivals for the Democratic nomination. We battled ...
user avatar
  • 471
23 votes
4 answers
12k views

Why does the phrase "drop dead gorgeous" mean "very gorgeous"?

I came across the phrase Drop Dead Gorgeous which means very gorgeous or good-looking. Why does the above phrase have this meaning? How do the given words relate to the meaning?
user avatar
  • 525
23 votes
4 answers
4k views

What is the meaning of "dog-food" here?

I was watching a programming course ("Kotlin for Java Developers" on Coursera). The instructor of the training course said: "We focused on the use cases we knew about from our ...
user avatar
23 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is the meaning of the so-called "pregnant chad"?

They’re not passing it on, they’re not voting for anyone, they’re wasting their PR like so much pregnant chad!!! I encounter the above from here. I have looked up the dictionary but find it ...
user avatar
  • 2,813
22 votes
5 answers
6k views

Why blame the Australians?

I noticed the following comments under a hot meta post: Downvoting questions from new users I agree this is horribly bad form. I blame the Australians. – Andrew But @Andrew, as you yourself ...
user avatar
  • 1,209
20 votes
3 answers
6k views

What does "to be painted shut" mean?

We tried, but the window couldn't be opened. It was painted shut. I am wondering what the bolded part could mean.
user avatar
  • 5,797
20 votes
3 answers
207k views

How to use the "that being said"

I sometimes see the phrase "that being said" and I wish to know a little more about it. Especially, when and how can we use this phrase? Is there a difference if we shorten it to "that said"? In what ...
user avatar
  • 24.4k
19 votes
7 answers
23k views

What does "rogue killers" mean?

US President Donald Trump has recently described the murder of a journalist in Saudi embassy in Turkey as being committed by "rogue killers". I first came across rogue in the context of rogue planets, ...
user avatar
  • 3,814
19 votes
4 answers
27k views

Meaning of "Give a man a fire and he's warm for the day. But set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life."

What is the meaning of this quote by Terry Pratchett? Give a man a fire and he's warm for the day. But set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life. I think I understand the first ...
user avatar
  • 1,281
19 votes
3 answers
185k views

Which time is 9 | 8c?

Today I wanted to see (on TV) an american show. Every website I saw says that the show starts Monday 9 | 8c. I think that 8c means 8 pm (or am, but highly unlikely), but what about the 9? It's not ...
user avatar
18 votes
3 answers
12k views

Can I say "Oh boy" to a girl?

I've known that "Oh boy" is similar to "Oh my goodness", but can I use it when speaking to a girl? Also, what are the popular alternatives?
user avatar
18 votes
3 answers
178k views

What does 'just so you know' mean?

“just so you know” (Urban Dictionary) What does this mean? And what grammatical role does “so” have?
user avatar
  • 24.1k
17 votes
6 answers
8k views

What does "Gringo Price" mean?

What does "Gringo Price" mean in the following context? "A lot of places will “Gringo Price” you. Remember those scammy repair places in the US? They exist in Portugal too." Source: How to Buy ...
user avatar
17 votes
3 answers
10k views

What does the expression "Happy is as happy does" mean?

I just read an article in The Economist's China section (2019/02/16) with the subtitle "Happy is as happy is told to". Feeling confused, I googled about this expression, only to find a quite similar ...
user avatar
16 votes
4 answers
4k views

What does the phrase "in plan" mean in this Wikipedia page? (is this a typo?)

In architecture, a quadrangle (or colloquially, a quad) is a space or a courtyard, usually rectangular (square or oblong) in plan, the sides of which are entirely or mainly occupied by parts of a ...
user avatar
16 votes
4 answers
8k views

What is the meaning of "Put a bullet in something"?

I have seen this sentence in a chat between people and I guess when they said "put a bullet" they have used it idiomatically. I am not sure about the meaning though. A : The process is over timing B:...
user avatar
  • 2,337
16 votes
2 answers
3k views

How to understand "cupping backsides is taken as seriously as cooking books"?

An excerpt from The Economist: As such provisions have grown in popularity, two things have happened. First, the list of misdeeds covered has lengthened. What initially applied solely to criminal ...
user avatar
16 votes
4 answers
40k views

Is any difference between "speak English" and "speak in English"?

Is any difference between "speak English" and "speak in English"?
user avatar
  • 2,943
16 votes
3 answers
17k views

Strange words people say when leaving

I've been at parties or other gatherings, and, when it was time to leave, native speakers would come up with odd ways of saying "It's time to go." One way would be: Let's make like a bakery truck ...
user avatar
  • 108k
15 votes
3 answers
60k views

What does "As in" mean here?

“Didn’t you hear me? A bride, Cinder. As in, a princess.” “As in, not going to happen. He’s only, what? Nineteen?” Source I looked it up, and it seems to mean "for example" or "such as"; but ...
user avatar
  • 3,437
15 votes
4 answers
1k views

What does the phrase "building hopping chop" mean here?

Here is a sentence from an endless runner game: Building hopping chops is a good strategy to avoid unexpected dangers. The player is advised to leap to the side when she sees any danger or goes ...
user avatar
  • 1,883
15 votes
2 answers
1k views

what does "stuck for an angle" mean?

Source: Englishtown Lesson Stuck for an angle for a story, Lukas took himself out onto the streets and let himself be inspired by the people and things around him. What does "stuck for an angle" ...
user avatar
  • 1,173
15 votes
2 answers
2k views

Meaning of ""I won't let a flat tire get me down," Tom said, without despair""

I've been reading Tom Swifties on a website, and could not understand one of them: "I won't let a flat tire get me down," Tom said, without despair. Where is the pun in that?
user avatar
  • 36.2k
15 votes
1 answer
5k views

'Die hard' phrase meaning

What does "die hard" phrase mean? Is it hard to kill? I have always been curious about its meaning. This movie title has been translated as 'Deadly Trap' in Czechia.
user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
5k views

Why is a "coat of arms" called so? [closed]

When I first encountered the coat of arms term, I failed to understand it correctly, trying literal meanings: coat - an outer garment with sleeves, worn outdoors and typically extending below the ...
user avatar
14 votes
7 answers
6k views

The meaning of "right" in "right by my desk"

Let's say you were asked where is the book that you borrowed from someone. Then you say: ''It is right by my desk'' What does the right mean in the answer? Does it mean that it is on the desk or ...
user avatar
  • 2,587
14 votes
3 answers
5k views

What does "I am all stomach" mean?

What does I am all stomach mean? A: ‘’It’s my turn for a gift. I would like to take you to lunch. To my favorite spot.’’ B: ‘’I am all stomach, professor!’’ Lonely Man Full of Love
user avatar
  • 189
14 votes
5 answers
6k views

What does this sentence in Harry Potter mean?

“Well, Voldemort’s going to try other ways of coming back, isn’t he? I mean, he hasn’t gone, has he?” “No, Harry, he has not. He is still out there somewhere, perhaps looking for another body to ...
user avatar
  • 3,363

1
2 3 4 5
92