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98 votes

Why do native speakers say 'Come on in' rather than 'Come in'?

"Come in" is permission, offered to someone who has asked for it (by knocking, for example). Unsolicited, it sounds imperative, or presumptuous; though of course this can be moderated by tone of voice ...
CCTO's user avatar
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66 votes
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What does "my name was down for Eton" mean?

Eton is a prestigious British public school for boys. As an aside - in the British education system, a public school is a privately run school that people pay (large) fees to attend - normally a ...
Werrf's user avatar
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58 votes

What does the word "just" mean in this context?

I think the word "just" here means something like "simply". The shirt is saying something like, "This is a simple situation and you must follow this simple instruction: do not ...
Tanner Swett's user avatar
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45 votes
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What does "Nailed it" mean?

I believe that you are referring to the idiomatic meanings. nailed it to complete a task successfully or get something right Example. A: Oh, you didn't burn the cake this time. B: Yep, ...
Em.'s user avatar
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45 votes
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What is a non-vulgar synonym for this swear word meaning "an enormous amount"?

Yes, I think buttload is an acceptable, informal substitute, at least in AmE. However, some might still find the usage of butt somewhat offensive since some people consider butt to be a mild curse ...
Em.'s user avatar
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41 votes

Why do native speakers say 'Come on in' rather than 'Come in'?

"Come on in" has the same meaning as "come in" but is a more folksy way of extending the invitation. It suggests a kind of rural, down-home hospitality that is redolent of (American) TV shows of the '...
Robusto's user avatar
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33 votes

How common is it to use the word 'bitch' for a female dog?

In the UK, you can still use the term bitch without embarrassment, providing that the context is clear: Our bitch, Sally, has just had pups. However, you might want to think twice before referring ...
Mick's user avatar
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25 votes

What does "my name was down for Eton" mean?

To add on to Werrf's answer: "I was down for Eton" is a very British and a very posh way to say that the speaker was supposed to attend school at Eton when he was old enough. It immediately ...
Andrew's user avatar
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24 votes
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Asking about future life or job

The idiom, even a cliché, is What do you want to be when you grow up? …unless they're about to actually leave school to find work, in which case the word 'career' pops up a lot, whether or not they'...
DoneWithThis.'s user avatar
22 votes

What is a non-vulgar synonym for this swear word meaning "an enormous amount"?

I like Max's answer, but having lived in NZ for a while (as a non-native English speaker), the first thing that came to mind was heaps. Noun (informal) - a great deal; an enormous amount ⇒ I've ...
MH.'s user avatar
  • 509
22 votes

Someone said to me, "We basically literally did." What were they trying to express to me?

The pairing of "basically literally" is very colloquial/informal and skews young. I hear it moderately frequently, mostly when people are recounting stories about personal interactions. It means "I ...
Katy's user avatar
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22 votes

What does the word "just" mean in this context?

"Just don't" is often used as a response to the question (or some variation of) "Why not?": Dad: Don't touch that Kid: Why not? Dad: Just don't. In your example, they're shutting ...
George's user avatar
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19 votes

What does "you better" mean in this context of conversation?

"You better," or "you had better," is an idiom meaning, "You ought to," or, "You should." You better take out the trash, it's overflowing! She better be a ...
DrMoishe Pippik's user avatar
19 votes
Accepted

What does "you better" mean in this context of conversation?

I don’t know that I’ve ever really thought about this idiom. It’s very common, and yet it’s really quite a strange one! Plain meaning: “ought to” When I say that “you better” do something, I mean that ...
Tim Pederick's user avatar
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18 votes

Why do native speakers say 'Come on in' rather than 'Come in'?

It is never easy to answer why a particular colloquial phrase is used. It just is. In this case I speculate that "come in" on its own might be thought to be slightly less encouraging than "come on in"....
JeremyC's user avatar
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17 votes

What is a non-vulgar synonym for this swear word meaning "an enormous amount"?

The polite version of shitload is 'shedload' or 'shedloads'. Whether 'buttload' is acceptable or not probably depends where you are - it wouldn't be acceptable in front of children in the UK, or in ...
Bamboo's user avatar
  • 349
16 votes

What does the word "just" mean in this context?

Just, in this context, is more of an indication that there may be repercussions if you do not heed the previous warning. It is almost like saying “Don’t disturb me. Or, else!” It is almost, but not ...
Dean F.'s user avatar
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15 votes

Use of "constellation" to mean "situation"

It doesn't quite mean situation. It's a less common use of the word constellation that applies figuratively to events or qualities. Here's a dictionary entry that shows this: a group or configuration ...
Alpha Draconis's user avatar
14 votes

What does "you better" mean in this context of conversation?

I think it's a shortened form of "You had better do ...." in reference to whatever was under consideration or discussion just prior to that utterance. (Possibly even "You would be ...
DWin's user avatar
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13 votes
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Most common adjectives to describe the intensity of drunkenness

In British English the ones I am most familiar with are the following: buzzed - (AmE) the person can feel the alcohol, but is still fairly capable of behaving normally and appearing sober. Could also ...
Mari-Lou A's user avatar
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13 votes

How common is it to use the word 'bitch' for a female dog?

In the U.S., it is only used in veterinary and dog-breeding circles. Outside of that, it is almost exclusively used as a pejorative.
Kevin's user avatar
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12 votes

What does "Nailed it" mean?

This is a good question, because this figure of speech occurs quite often among English language speakers. A "nail" in this context is a sharp, pointed metal object that you use to connect boards ...
code beginner's user avatar
12 votes

How common is it to use the word 'bitch' for a female dog?

British veterinarians and veterinary associations routinely use "bitch" to refer to female dogs and "dog" for males, particularly in the context of reproductive health. Example: BVA strongly ...
perfectionist's user avatar
11 votes

Is it alright to say good afternoon Sirs and Madams in a panel interview?

At an interview, you should not be too effusive with your greeting, or too verbose (unless invited by a leading question intended to draw you out). The interview panel makes the moves, so I suggest ...
Weather Vane's user avatar
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11 votes
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Are "All right, so ....." and "So, yeah, ....." interchangeable when we start to talk about a subject?

These are discourse markers, and have no meaning of their own. In that sense, they are interchangeable. But, having said that, some people can interpret some discourse markers with quite strong social ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
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10 votes
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Is "how you do you" grammatical?

Yes and no: it is meaningful, but you have to interpret it in a very specific way. The context is about the difference between -something you know (for example, a password) -something you have (for ...
stangdon's user avatar
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10 votes

What does the word "just" mean in this context?

It means "only" or "simply". However, the context is important. Here is a typical case where an imperative sentence is used with "just": Dad: Jimmy, mow the lawn. Jimmy: ...
Quitting Due To Antisemitism's user avatar
9 votes

What does "Nailed it" mean?

This is the most common meaning: NAIL IT (verb) to do something perfectly or successfully Example Sentences: Good luck on your performance today, Jimmy. I hope you nail it! Yes! ...
shin's user avatar
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9 votes

What is a non-vulgar synonym for this swear word meaning "an enormous amount"?

Humans have been producing social meaning from language nearly as long as we've been producing excremental material from nutrition. We might not need many mental steps to move from buttload to ...
Jim Reynolds's user avatar
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