Questions tagged [word-meaning]

For questions which a dictionary cannot answer about the meaning of a single word. It is best to include details about where you found the word, and any definitions that you have found that don't make sense, or don't fully answer your question.

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86
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10answers
286k views

What is the difference between “nope” and “no”?

What is the difference caused by using “nope” instead of ”no”? Is it used because “nope” sounds better and not straight like “no”? In some situations, it feels like nope is better to use than no even ...
51
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3answers
11k views

Meaning of 'sesquiannual'?

I saw a new comic on xkcd http://xkcd.com/1602/ and understand that I don't get to go to the linguistics club. I Googled the word 'sesquiannual' and some say that it means it 'happens every one and ...
50
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2answers
5k views

The college in 'Electoral College'

By college, I understand as a school or a university. How to make sense of the College in the term 'Electoral College'?
50
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6answers
28k views

When a girl mentions her girlfriend, does she mean it like lesbian girlfriend?

I have a classmate and sometimes she says something like "I told my girlfriend that she has to blah blah". Does this wording imply a lesbian relationship, or is she referring to a her best friend (a ...
49
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7answers
12k views

Why are nice picture/gif/video about foo called “foo-porn”?

I was browsing Reddit and I discovered many subreddits named after foo-porn, to name just a few: /r/EarthPorn /r/FoodPorn /r/Map_Porn /r/ruralporn /r/shockwaveporn /r/SkyPorn /r/unixporn It seems ...
46
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6answers
21k 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 ...
44
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9answers
11k views

Can I say “fingers” when referring to toes?

In my native language, there is no word for toes. You just use the same word for both toes and fingers. In this context, I would say a human has 20 fingers. Recently I've heard someone saying a ...
42
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2answers
5k views

What is mom-pkin?

My bae asked me about the meaning of mom-pkin in the book she's reading. I'm stunned and google searching produced but acronyms and chemical stuff. The full sentence is as follows. She still had ...
41
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4answers
7k views

Do native speakers still use “ought to”?

Do native speakers still use "ought to" in daily conversation? I haven't seen "ought to" used on any social or news ... websites. I only read about it in English grammar books. Ngram: Trends: ...
40
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12answers
10k views

Agnostic vs Atheist

Every time l look up the meanings of the two words agnostic and atheist in the dictionary l become more confused. For me, both refer to someone who doesn’t believe in God. Is there a simple, ...
36
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5answers
3k 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 ...
35
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4answers
52k views

Is Let us = Let's?

Many times I heard these words interchangeably. I want to know if "Let's" and "Let us" are used for the same meaning. I think (for me): "Let us" is word used for requesting. Like Let us do something ...
33
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5answers
7k views

What does “chrome” mean besides the metal?

I have trouble understanding the following sentence from lwn.net Because the nightly builds are not full browsers, the interface leaves out most of the traditional browser chrome. I know there's a ...
33
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4answers
6k views

What is the difference between feet and very feet?

Here for the past 40,000 years, a deep fissure in the Earth's crust has allowed oily tar and methane to bubble up to the surface from far underground, evidence of the ceaseless activity below our ...
30
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5answers
10k views

What does “Scary-lookin' fing, inee” mean?

... Harry had never met a vampire, but he had seen pictures of them in his Defence Against the Dark Arts classes, and Black, with his waxy white skin, looked just like one. 'Scary-lookin' fing, ...
28
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3answers
4k views

Are some offensive words always masculine?

I have an interesting question which has got me thinking lately. You see, there are some nouns that I have always seen be used as masculine such as the words "fucker" and "motherfucker" (which I am ...
27
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2answers
9k 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 ...
26
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10answers
9k views

What does “meat” mean?

I asked my friend what he was cooking and he replied, "I am cooking meat." I asked "what meat?" He said, "dude, meat. Don't you know meat?" I asked him again in a more clear way, "Yes, but what meat? ...
24
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7answers
6k 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 ...
24
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8answers
86k views

'Out of curiosity' means I'm not curious at all. Isn't it?

I was reading some other forum and came across the debate on 'curious' word. The senior member responds telling all of below mentioned sentences mean the same thing. Just for curiosity´s sake, ........
24
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3answers
5k views

What is the meaning of "stool” in the context of getting a job?

A biography of David Hume says David Hume left the University of Edinburgh around 1733. Hume chose the job as a stool in a merchant's office in Bristol. What is a stool?
23
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4answers
13k 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 ...
23
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12answers
20k views

Stuck writing a sentence because tea is a 'beverage' and water is not!

I am writing an article on tea. I want to say that... Tea is the most consumed _____________ after water. The problem is tea is a beverage but water is not. So, if I come up with this sentence, ...
23
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5answers
7k views

What's the difference between “vanilla” and “plain” when talking about yogurts?

Merriam Webster explains vanilla (when used as an adjective) as: lacking distinction : plain, ordinary, conventional It's not obvious why vanilla has such a meaning, and why plain is listed as its ...
23
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6answers
2k views

Day vs 24h day?

In Russian (my native language) there are two words - "день" and "сутки". First means day, just a day, probably lightest part of it, second - 24 hours from 00:00 to 00:00. There is a strict difference ...
23
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5answers
10k views

Is it good to call someone “Nerd”?

My friends always use "nerd" to describe an intelligent person, but when I searched its meaning online, I found that it's not really a good word. "A foolish or contemptible person who lacks social ...
22
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8answers
10k views

What is the word meaning people who sell something in forceful way on the street or places?

What is the word meaning people who sell something in forceful way on the street or places? For example, a guy put a flower into my pocket and asked to pay for it. I wonder I can say street seller. ...
22
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2answers
2k views

Any chances “spell” means “pronounce”?

Inspired by this question of mine and that @BenKovitz suggested that I should ask a new question, I attempt to do so. Here goes: The Persian Wikipedia (Persian: ویکی‌پدیا، دانشنامهٔ آزاد‎ Vikipedia,...
22
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5answers
11k views

What does 'aye' mean in this context?

So, I'm actually a native American English speaker, but I can't figure out what 'aye' could mean in this song. "At the sad decree...they'll depart for aye", "for alas I'm doomed...for aye". ...
22
votes
1answer
5k views

What's the meaning of “shaves” in “Jesus saves, Bart shaves”?

I was watching an episode of The Simpsons, Bart was playing basketball for Springfield and winning all games. Then Fat Tony bribes him to lose the game. When Bart loses and everybody finds out about ...
22
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4answers
162k views

“Hi there!” — What does this 'there' mean?

There's this particular interjection-like usage of there that I think belongs to the spoken register and maybe doesn't refer to anything; as in: Hi there! You alright there? Why is it ...
21
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4answers
7k views

How do we read “1906” in this text?

The 1906 Federal Food and Drugs Act was one of the first laws enacted to stop the sale of inaccurately labeled drugs. 19 O six ?
21
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2answers
1k views

soft as <down underneath>: why not underneath only?

My earliest childhood memory is of the swaying limbs of Golden Delicious apple trees. Rows of them stood next to a dirt road that separated our orchard from the front yard. The Kentucky ...
21
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3answers
12k views

Does word “someone” refer to both an animal and a human being or only human being?

The word someone is used for human beings but I am having a hard time understanding if it is also used for animals!
19
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5answers
10k views

Why do the British use the word “flipping” for emphasis?

In the English (British) TV drama, Coronation Street, the word "flipping" is often used to stress a situation, so much so that it feels like a swear word to me to some degree: I've got a flipping ...
19
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5answers
7k views

Why does this documentation use “or” instead of “=”?

I'm reading some Perl documentation. I noticed that "=" is not expressed as "equals" but as "or". For example: Perl provides the typical ordinary addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division ...
19
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7answers
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, ...
19
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4answers
22k views

How is “better off” different from just “better”?

By definition of Cambridge Dictionaries Online The word 'better' means comparative of good: of a higher quality or more enjoyable than someone or something else By most dictionaries, better off ...
18
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5answers
5k views

Meaning of 'pound' in “felt a fury that was not his own pound through his body”

Harry had given a cry of pain; his scar had burned again as something flashed across his mind like a bright light on water. He saw a large shadow and felt a fury that was not his own pound through his ...
18
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5answers
2k views

Meaning of the word “bromide” in “an additional charge for special presentations (e.g. bromides)”

From "The thirty-nine steps" by the Institute of Translation and Interpreting ("Questions you need to ask yourself when undertaking a translation"): Does this word "bromides" relate to "charge"? ...
18
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5answers
8k views

What is the meaning of “check out” in a programming context?

I am working with some version control software. One of the things you can do with this software is to "check out a version" of a program's code. This is the exact phrasing: "Check-out a branch (of ...
18
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4answers
2k views

What is the root word of “Refactoring”?

"Code refactoring" is an expression widely used in programming communities and is used to describe the work of changing or rewriting the program code without changing the code results. What is the ...
18
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1answer
5k views

Help me understand the word “Doggo” in this image

I study English, I like it very much. Help to figure out. "Doggo" it is not clear in the context. Please explain how a native English speaker understand this phrase. Maybe we can replace the word "...
18
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3answers
17k views

SB and STH in dictionaries

tell sb to do sth (Cambridge Learner's Dictionary) When I look in dictionaries, I often see the words sb and sth. Are these proper words? What do they mean? Can I use these words in my essays, for ...
17
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5answers
8k views

“said” as an adjective

In our electron pump, when you turn the crank, one side gets a surplus of electrons, or a negative charge, and on the other side the atoms are missing said electrons, resulting in a positive charge. ...
17
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3answers
9k views

The meaning of 'already' in the sentence 'Let's go already!'

Does Let's go already! mean Let's go now? Then, does already in the sentence mean "we should be going now; we're late?" That's what I understood so far. Could you please tell me what Let's go ...
17
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7answers
5k views

What is the difference between self-evident and self-explanatory

I just read the book 'Don't make me think' by Steve Krug. But I had the trouble understanding the difference between self-evident and self-explanatory. Could someone please make it clear for me, or ...
17
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3answers
2k views

Does a code snippet compile? Or does it get compiled?

I was completely surprised that the following snippet compiled and worked in both Visual Studio 2008 and G++ 4.4. The following code does not compile: By coding rigidly to the spec, you can ...
17
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3answers
11k views

What is the difference between “thanks” and “thank you”?

Is it about the person's age or the extent of my knowledge of the person?
17
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2answers
3k views

What does “lickered up” mean?

Here are passages from the novel "Gone with the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell. "Well, you can't blame her. You did shoot Cade in the leg." "Well, I was lickered up or I wouldn't have done it," said ...

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