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 the word "legal" mean in this context?

This is a context from a movie called "The Deer Hunter" Person 1 What, are you thinking of going deer hunting tonight? No, not tonight. I'm getting married tonight, and you fu#$%ng guys are ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What is the difference between "the one thing" and "only thing"?

Do "the one thing" and "only thing" mean the same? Consider the following: Basketball is the one thing that X is can do and Y cannot. Basketball is the only thing that X is can do ...
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Are you really?

Is "Are you really?" often used sarcastically/condescendingly in contexts like this to mean something along the lines of "do you believe that yourself"? Example: A: I thought ...
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Place at one's head

I am currently reading Ramayana (a retelling by Krishna Dharma das, from here). There's a passage there that I found confusing: The distraught queen [Kaushalya] said to Bharata, “You may now enjoy ...
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what does "hitting the hour mark" mean?

what does "hitting the hour mark" mean in this conversation? a: How late is he? b: Hitting the hour mark. Hope there's nothing wrong.
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meaning of 'do a lot of doors'

This is from a news podcast. THOMAS HALL: I do a lot of doors, and I do a lot of yard signs to get our message out. But right now we're kind of in a holding pattern to see where we should be putting ...
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2 answers
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What does a “rolling period” mean here?

What does a “rolling period” mean here? Ukrainian citizens entering the country with a biometric passport may stay in Hungary without a visa for a maximum period of 90 days (within any 180-day rolling ...
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Is "What say you?" the same as "what do you say"?

I was watching a detective drama and an officer says to his boss, "what say you, boss?" Is this the same as "What do you say, boss?" I know moving the verb forward is the old way ...
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"she held it close to other nominees who did not directly answer the question"

This is from a news podcast. MARTINEZ: Now, she was also asked about her views on constitutional cases that protect abortion rights. The court is currently considering a challenge to Roe v. Wade that'...
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What does "no words far away" mean?

Today I heard the song of "Over and over" sung by Nana Mouskouri. By the way, I don't understand one phrase in the lyrics. That is "Here in your arms, no words far away". What does ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
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What are "beer does"?

The chorus (one of the variations) of the song Down Under performed by Men at Work goes as follows I come from a land down under Where beer does flow and men chunder Can't you hear, can't you hear ...
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1 answer
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Is "Vitamin E outside your door" a euphemism of some sort?

I apologize if this is the wrong place to post this, but I'm really confused about this one line. I've been watching Cheers to improve my English because a colleague of mine recommended it to me and ...
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4 answers
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Meaning of "tip off" in "we could tip the ecology off in a way that would be really unfortunate"

This if from a National Geographic article. “Say we cure these rodents of Lassa virus and that's good, that's great for humanity. Except what if that virus was controlling their population size or ...
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1 answer
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"If none of this is clicking for you yet, it is not clicking for me, either."

This is from the transcript of a podcast. ALLYN: ...Mark Zuckerberg's version of the metaverse, everyone is legless and just a floating torso. And I don't know. I kind of like my legs. I'm a pretty ...
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What does "from 1% all the way up to 100%" mean?

I have question regarding the meaning of "from 1% all the way up to 100%". This sentence might not be formal or grammatically correct, but i heard people using it quite often. Does it mean ...
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Phrase meaning of: "A man who maintains."

Of course I can check a dictionary for the meaning of "maintain" but I don't think the phase "a man who maintains" makes sense as a whole. The full context: ... a man who knows ...
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What does "biting one's nails" mean?

It is puzzling. When I search online for "what is nail biting" all I get are pages explaining how to stop, not what it is. Is it simply the act of biting the nails, or does it necessarily ...
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1 answer
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What does someone's "travelled air" mean? [closed]

The full paragraph is from James Joyce, so it's about 100 years old, here it is: Eight years before he had seen his friend off at the North Wall and wished him godspeed. Gallaher had got on. You ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Have you an idea? Do you have an idea?

I've seen an expression, "Have you an idea?" Is it always possible to say "have you ~?" instead of "do you have~?" "Have you a pen?" "Do you have a pen?&...
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position of "with the benefit of hindsight"

What's the difference between the following sentences? Do the different positions of the boldfaced phrase make any difference in meaning? He admitted that, with the benefit of hindsight, the original ...
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What does "passing smokes stage" mean?

The goddess Dhūmavatī is described as Vivarnā, Chañchalā and Rustā with her rough behaviour and unclean robes. Her appearance is like a widow sitting on a chariot carried by a crow. This goddess ...
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What is the meaning of an "asset column" in this context?

This is the context. The person the people below speak of is a journalist who was convicted for Libel. Salander: He’s honest. He’s who he presents himself to be. In his business, that’s an asset. ...
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8 votes
6 answers
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What does "I need a 10 in silver" mean?

I've been watching Cheers to improve my English, and there's one phrase I don't quite understand. In season 1, episode 6, Coach tells Diane "I need a 10 in silver, honey" while passing her a ...
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2 answers
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Meaning of the phrase "accurate to within"

I don't know the meaning of the phrase "accurate to within" in a sentence like "It is accurate to within 0.07mm". I need some assistance.
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1 answer
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As of today, there were plans

What does "As of today" mean with a past-tense verb, as follows? As of today, there were plans to deliver an additional 12 RD-181 engines in 2022-2024 and talks were also held with the ...
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How to understand "as compatible" in the sentence

But the play's complex view of Black self-esteem and human solidarity as compatible is no more "contradictory" than Du Bois' famous, well-considered ideal of ethnic self-awareness coexisting ...
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7 votes
3 answers
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Meaning of 'Last but not the least' in Google dictionary

I searched the phrase Last but not the least in Google. Google dictionary shows the meaning last in order of mention or occurrence but not of importance Shouldn't it be: last in order of mention or ...
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the stakes go beyond something

This is from a Washington Post article. “You have to be a sophisticated news consumer in order to find credible information,” said Alexander Gabuev, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Moscow Center, a ...
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1 answer
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"Prolonged the maintenance frequency" is it correctly phrased?

Let's say the recommended maintenance schedule is once a month or 12 times per year. If the person decided to do xxx, they do not have to maintain it monthly. They can do it less frequently. How can I ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
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Nobody cared him(into active voice) [closed]

Change "Nobody cared him" into active voice
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2 answers
43 views

what is the meaning of the phrase "broken in"?

I have read this phrase There were all these mutant skeletons in there, of Muggles who'd broken in and grown extra heads and stuff (From Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. page 1) and can not ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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What does the slang expression “a doozy of an 𝓧” mean?

I’ve understood the meaning of the word doozy from the Is a "doozy" a good or bad thing? question. But what does this here sentence mean? It’s going to be a doozy of a black eye. Is this a ...
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have a hard time of things

The difficulty of all colored “firsts” is well documented or at the very least easily imaginable, and need not be elaborated except to say that Pompey had an exceedingly hard time of things. This is ...
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0 answers
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Is "I'm afraid to the death of.." used to emphasize when I'm in fear of something?

It's taken from the other site. The context is, there's a provided question and someone will be asked to answer it and the answer will open to be corrected. The question: Lots of people are scared of ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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What does "I put it on myself" mean in this context?

The following context is from the movie "The Wolf Of Wallstreet" by Martin Scorsese JORDAN My job, you know, it's tough. I mean I'm not complaining, it's just the stress. All these people ...
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What's the difference between "share issue" vs "public offering"

These two definitions are from Cambridge Dictionary: share issue an occasion when a company makes new shares available for sale, or the number of shares offered: Public offering an occasion when a ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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What does "expect little out of discussion" means?

It was a part of a news: The talks went for hours, and while they brought some hope for an end to the war, Ukraine's president and residents in Kyiv made it clear they expected little out of the ...
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What is the meaning of "which are without any traces in the ancient classical heritage"?

The eighteenth century has gifted English literature two entirely new forms which are without any traces in the ancient classical heritage. Why is the bolded statement (my bolding) included: what ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Have a bond with someone

An American native speaker wrote me: When I play the PlayStation games, I feel like I have a bond with the player in the game. Bond: a close connection joining two or more people. I wonder ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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"Mom was never one to keep money in her house." vs "She did not used to keep money in her house."

"Mom was never one to keep money in her house." "She did not used to keep money in her house." These sentences seem to have the same meaning. Is that right?
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What does "put your word beyond reproach" mean?

Yes. You were made to be the witness, for your political naivete put your word beyond reproach;no one would believe you'd devise suck a story What's the bold part mean? I know that beyond reproach ...
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1 answer
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"over one's head"

Reading this article, there is a line, Holoborodko was often portrayed as being in over his head, but willing to fight corruption What would bold part mean?
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Meaning of "by way of" in "youth does not have to work against you **by way of** experience."

This is a link to the full video, and below is an excerpt from what the actor says: Your youth does not have to work against you by way of experience. Your youth can be a virtue by way of what you ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Meaning of "break out" in "I break out the little plastic women and everybody has a pretty good time." (from Friends)

Below is a line from Friends, the TV show, and Pheobe tells off Chandler that his playing foosball is "violent". (since the game involves some men "joined at the waist by a steel bar&...
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0 votes
1 answer
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"back to normal"

The situation this morning is better, and nearly back to normal. That sentence is from my grammar book. How to understand it correctly? "Back" is a verb here or an adverb? If it is an ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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What does "2.5× what you're on" mean in this context?

Given this context: "Would love to offer you the job. At least 2.5× what you're on." What does "what you're on" mean in this sentence? The person's current wage?
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3 answers
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What does this mean?: "So monstrous was I then ready to pronounce it that the child should be under an interdict."

I'm reading The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, and I've found it difficult to understand the meaning of the sentence pasted below. I suppose it can be roughly paraphrased to "I was monstrous, ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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What's the meaning of "Ginny-come-lately" and how is it related with the idiom "Johnny-come-lately"?

I heard the song "Ginny Come Lately" the first time about 25 years ago when I just started to learn English. For a long time, I was confused by the grammar of this phrase: "Ginny" ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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What does “She’s a ten and I am a 5” mean? [duplicate]

If you have seen the movie She’s Out of My League, in one scene they give everyone marks: “She’s a ten, and I’m a five. How can we be together?” What do these numbers mean?
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-2 votes
1 answer
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meaning of "a disregard for the truth and a lack of application" [closed]

What's the meaning of "a disregard for the truth and a lack of application" in the following paragraph? From The Economist's The Tories’ problems go deeper than just one man: The past few ...
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