53 votes
Accepted

Triple negation: What does "This ain't no place for no hero" mean?

Most of the time, especially in "vernacular" speech, multiple negations are not intended to be interpreted sequentially, but rather as an intensified single negative. The phrase "This ain't no place ...
Hellion's user avatar
  • 18.8k
34 votes
Accepted

When the Gentle Giant song "Black Cat" refers to a cat as "she", does that mean the cat is female?

In English, there is no grammatical gender that is different from biological gender. However, there is a tradition in what you call 'folk language' of referring to unknown cats as female and unknown ...
Kate Bunting's user avatar
  • 54.8k
31 votes

When the Gentle Giant song "Black Cat" refers to a cat as "she", does that mean the cat is female?

This cat is 100% a female. There are no arbitrarily gendered nouns in English. The personal pronouns "he/she/him/her..." are only used when referring to nouns that are gendered by definition,...
gotube's user avatar
  • 49.7k
19 votes
Accepted

Is ‘Wake me up inside’ grammatical?

"Wake me up inside!" Is "wake me up inside" grammatical? Yes, it's perfectly grammatical. There's absolutely nothing ungrammatical about saying, "Wake me up inside," or ...
Benjamin Harman's user avatar
18 votes
Accepted

Distinction between “bend” and “bow”

Bend is a much more common word than Bow. There are several related words written "bow" There is is /bau/ rhyming with cow (noun, verb) which is a lowering your body to show humility, for example ...
James K's user avatar
  • 219k
17 votes

When the Gentle Giant song "Black Cat" refers to a cat as "she", does that mean the cat is female?

Animals are routinely referred to as "it" if their sex is unknown or the author chooses not to mention it. If this writer has chosen to use "her", it's an explicit indication that ...
CCTO's user avatar
  • 178
14 votes
Accepted

What does the use and meaning of You's in song 'No more "I love you's"'?

The statement in the song is analogous to "no more hellos" where the word "hello", used in greeting, has become the name for such a greeting. It has become nominalized. We say our hellos and our ...
TimR's user avatar
  • 124k
12 votes
Accepted

Meaning of "Protect the valley something, something, something, something alive!"

In addition to the uses you found we also use the word "something" to describe a thing that we can't remember or don't know. For example, "I can't exactly remember what Alice said. She said something ...
Juhasz's user avatar
  • 9,794
11 votes

Distinction between “bend” and “bow”

Not bow! Bow! You are being caught by a homograph. The Bridge does not bow (rhymes with "cow"); it bows (rhymes with "lows"). It bends under tension, like an archer's bow. A bend could be a sharp ...
Michael Lorton's user avatar
10 votes

What's the grammar of "rescued" in "may the Heaven rescued land"?

May a flea-bitten dog be your best friend. A dog bitten by fleas. the Heav'n-rescued land The land rescued by Heaven. rescued is the past-participle there.
TimR's user avatar
  • 124k
10 votes
Accepted

What is the meaning of "Things the way they were"?

Your confusion appears to come from the idea that you're seeing "All that time [I was] never truly seeing things the way they were" as two sentences, when in fact it is one sentence. (The &...
BobRodes's user avatar
  • 15k
9 votes

How to overcome comprehending the words we don't know while listening

Being honest, I as a native speaker (seriously) rarely understand more than 50% of the lyrics the first time I listen to a song. What's more, I don't understand more than 80% of the lyrics of even my ...
MichaelChirico's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

I've found vs I found

Both of them are correct, they just mean slightly different things. I've found, which is the present perfect, means "as of this moment, I found someone (in the past)"; the present perfect is used to ...
stangdon's user avatar
  • 40.8k
9 votes

What does "fix the flat on your car" mean?

the flat simply means a flat tire. When you get a flat tire (or just a flat) on your car, there's no air in it and you can't drive (maybe you could but it would be difficult for the car to move and ...
Michael Rybkin's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

How to overcome comprehending the words we don't know while listening

By the way I listen to rap musics because I believe they come handy while improving listening comprehension There's a strong tradition in rap music (and other popular music as well) of intentionally ...
LawrenceC's user avatar
  • 36.8k
8 votes
Accepted

Is "take care'n of" correct?

After listening to the song I can confirm that this is an accurate transcription of the lyrics. I can also confirm this is not proper English (not even in any vernacular form, slang, or any dialect I'...
TypeIA's user avatar
  • 12.3k
7 votes

What does it mean "a fork stuck in the road"?

"Stick your fork in it and see if it's done." To stick a fork into something can have a negative meaning, along the lines of 'I don't like it, it's terrible, it's not good', or, per definition 2 of ...
Alan Carmack's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Some questions about hustle and hurry from a song

Repetition of sense for emphasis or ornament is quite common in popular genres, and at one time was admired even in very formal registers: consider cease and desist and full and complete in legal use, ...
StoneyB on hiatus's user avatar
6 votes

What does "A small town girl with big city dreams" mean?

It means two things: She's from a small town. Think of barns, fields, goats, and a handful of people wearing over-alls who seem to be proud of their drawls. The most exciting thing that happens in a ...
Shavais's user avatar
  • 374
6 votes
Accepted

to "freeze on" somebody

I believe "she freezed" here is a nonstandard way to say "she froze", as in to become frigid (abnormally averse to sexual intercourse — used especially of women, per Merriam-Webster). "On him" is just ...
Tashus's user avatar
  • 7,294
6 votes
Accepted

What's the meaning of "gavotte" in Carly Simon's song "You're so vain"?

The "gavotte" is a French dance. You walked into the party / Like you were walking on a yacht / Your hat strategically dipped below one eye / Your scarf, it was apricot / You had one eye on the ...
SarahT's user avatar
  • 2,452
6 votes

What's the meaning of "Mek" from the Gentleman "Red town" song?

Mec or mek is a Jamaican patois pronunciation of "make" or "made". Gentleman is a German reggae singer, and reggae is a musical form that originiated in the Caribbean, ...
James K's user avatar
  • 219k
5 votes
Accepted

What does "there ain't no one for to give you no pain" mean?

"There ain't no one" means "There is no one." The double negative is colloquial and is used incorrectly. As in "I ain't got no money" which means "I have no money" instead of the logical "I don't have ...
sammy gerbil's user avatar
5 votes

What does it mean "a fork stuck in the road"?

You understand the idiom correctly.  Surely you can see the potential for a joke.  Comedian Johnny Carson made this joke repeatedly in the 1970s and 1980s; see, for example, this video.  (Warning: it ...
Scott - Слава Україні's user avatar
5 votes

What does it mean "a fork stuck in the road"?

It's important to remember that an awful lot of modern music was written while people were under the influence of various substances that could well be illegal in various jurisdictions. It can't ...
Separatrix's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Rock-a-bye baby

Rock-a-bye has no particular meaning, though it's obviously patterned on lullaby, with rock replacing lull. Light songs and verses often incorporate nonce-expressions (expressions made up for the ...
StoneyB on hiatus's user avatar
5 votes

Another brick in the wall part 2 - teacher or teachers?

Lyric sheets online say both, so until I can get home and check my original CD (assuming I can find it) I couldn't say for certain. Listening to now, the first line is sounds to me like: "Teachers ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 88.3k
5 votes

Why does a song say "put me six foot down"?

While measuring a length using a ruler or other device with markings, the markings that occur at each 1-foot interval can be talked about using the term "foot" rather than feet. A yardstick, for ...
LawrenceC's user avatar
  • 36.8k
5 votes
Accepted

Tense use in the Rolling Stones song "As tears go by"

Simple present is correct. This is an example of "commentary", the speaker is describing something as it happens, which is a use for the simple present. It is rather rare, as we don't normally ...
James K's user avatar
  • 219k
5 votes
Accepted

Listening: Though today I have to live OR leave

If you do a web search for 'lyrics sayonara means goodbye' you'll find a lot of sites giving the lyrics. They all (the 5 or so I checked) have live and not leave. However, these sites are quite often ...
simon at rcl's user avatar

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