110

It’s both a compliment about your skill with English and a self-deprecating joke about our own lack of skill (likely zero) with yours, in hopes this will put you at ease. The subtext here is that we will forgive any slowness, errors or difficulties you have and are happy to clarify anything we say if needed. We care more about the content of what you’re ...


60

"Nail" here is a colloquial/slang term meaning to complete or perform something very successfully or near perfectly. It (probably) derives from the expression "to hit the nail on the head"


57

The phrase "on the grounds that" indicates the reason that the judge gave, which the writer may or may not think is correct. Or, and this is important, the writer may not know. The word "because" indicates whatever the writer thinks is the real reason. Garner's idea is that, when you say "the judge ruled X on the grounds that Y",...


52

Literally it means "I would refuse to go inside, even if you paid me a million bucks ($1000000) to go inside." It is hyperbole. It is understood as meaning "I really didn't want to go inside". Mum: Eat up your vegetables Child: They taste horrid. I wouldn't eat them for a million bucks. It is nothing to do with the price of the ...


47

What you have here is the colloquial use of go meaning say. Example: She looks at me like I'm a monster and she goes, "You're not wearing that to the mall, are you?" and I go "Why the hell not?" So your sentence could be rephrased as: And I just look out and say to myself, "I can't be bothered." Citation: go v tr Informal ...


42

Mainly because the wall isn't on the chair. People naturally refer back to the previous object for reference. If you said it this way there's no context that puts you on the chair. If you were to change that to “I hung a picture on the wall standing on the chair”, then even though there is still ambiguity - why is there a wall standing on a chair? - the ...


41

"Fell" is an adjective and not related to the verbs "fell" or "fall" It means "strong and cruel". It is rare in this sense, except in the expression "one fell swoop". Tolkien uses it to describe some of his monsters: The fell beasts were winged creatures with beak and claws, similar to birds but much larger ...


41

The word upset is used here with the meaning (in sports) a surprising victory by a person or team that was expected to lose So in this case, it was expected that Michigan would win, but instead the opposing team won, which was an upset victory. It's not necessarily that anyone was disappointed by this victory, but rather that it was surprising.


35

Used in this kind of context, "new year" idiomatically means a short time into the next calendar year. It isn't a specific date and it doesn't have to be January, but it tends to only be used this way for short postponements that move something from late in one year to early in the next. For example, if something was scheduled for December 2021 and ...


32

The attorney is not speaking very clearly, but he is saying "a Kafka-esque nightmare." The "ka" syllable is almost lost, but you can hear it if you know to listen for it. Kafkaesque, adjective Marked by a senseless, disorienting, often menacing complexity. Marked by surreal distortion and often a sense of impending danger. In the manner ...


31

"Old Nick" is a synonym for "the devil". In this case, it has little to do with the rest of the article. The first line uses the idiom "the devil is in the details", which means: in general, to see the problems with a suggestion, you need to look closely at the specifics. So the line "old Nick is not just lurking in the ...


31

Like mdewey commented, "Polk" and "Pierce" are proper nouns referring to, respectively, James K. Polk and Franklin Pierce. Polk was the Democratic Party nominee in the 1844 Presidential election, which he won. Pierce was the Democratic Party nominee in the 1852 Presidential election. Separately, "poke" and "pierce" are ...


29

No. It may be that the person who wrote that didn't count the exact height, or the one stack in the image doesn't tell the whole truth. If you look at the stack next to the stack in the picture, it's only 6 boxes high. Someone may have moved a box from one stack to another to get at the one underneath it. There's also a 2 box high stack on the end. I think ...


29

The year-round population refers to people who live in a place the whole year. This excludes for example tourists, who stay in a place for a few weeks and then go home again. For example, Wikipedia says about Martha's Vineyard The 2010 census reported a year-round population of 16,535 residents, (...) although the summer population can swell to more than ...


28

Your interpretation is the correct one. There was not a line in her countenance... but spoke of an entire contentment... means that every line did speak of it. But in this context means the same as that did not.


28

Since the early 1800s, the literal meaning of “upset” has been to overturn something or knock it over. That’s still what it means to upset an inanimate object. Some translations of the New Testament, for example, say that Jesus “went into the Temple and upset the tables of the money-changers,” that is, pushed them over. From there, it developed several ...


28

"Analogue" is often used in the sense of "not digital". Here the writer is saying that the haptic feedback - the way the phone vibrates when you use the flippers or the ball hits the bumpers - makes it feel like a real pinball machine.


27

To say something is incandescent is to say it is heated to the degree that it emits light. For example, incandescent light bulbs are the ones with a filament that becomes super-heated when electricity flows through it. "Heated" can mean literally hot or angry. So, incandescent is metaphorically saying the person is super-heated to an extreme degree....


26

He's saying that they're close in age. The host has worked out that the guitarist was born in 1970, which must be similar to him. The "actually" is indicating surprise — perhaps he thought the guitarist was much younger or older than him.


25

It is ambiguous, but we would probably assume that the word "his" is referring to the boss, for a number of reasons: Only you can see the fairy - they are a supernatural entity and it is unclear that you can touch them. Fairies are typically conceived as female (although they don't have to be). The stereotypical boss is probably still imagined as ...


21

You can say "run for" when there's a sense of urgency or desperation, such as wanting to escape something, or get somewhere before it's too late. "Let's run for the hills" means "let's escape to the hills." Also, "He ran to the house" implies that he actually got there. "For the house," however, does not ...


21

In casual or informal English we can say we don't 'buy' (accept, agree to) an idea if we mean that we don't believe that it is likely or probable. In the question, the speaker does not accept the idea of 'this person' answering the other person's mobile (cell) phone. If you tell your teacher that a dog ate your homework, it is quite possible that he or she ...


20

The speaker seems to be confused between 'undermine' (which makes no sense in this context) and 'underestimate' (which makes perfect sense). It's been noticed by people making comments under the video.


19

"A thing or ten" is an expression suggesting a lot of something. It's a humorous mutation of the expression "a thing or two". Would you like to have a beer or two? This is an invitation to drink one or maybe a small number of beers. Would you like to have a beer or ten? This is a humorous invitation to drink a lot of beers.


19

Imagine Obama comes up to you and says I missed hitting the car in front (of me) by that much. I almost hit it. Luckily, I didn't. making this gesture in front means located before, by that much explains the extent/degree of something (here, the distance between the two cars).


19

It is both grammatical and sensible, but out of context, it is not unambiguous. It could mean either of the following: I am interested in the concept of nothingness. I am not interested in anything. Note that in the first case, “nothing” here actually is a “something” in the context of “showing curiosity or concern about something,” since it’s being used ...


19

An alternative to gone fishin' again's answer: I stood on the chair to hang a picture on the wall


18

"Move back up" can have an idiomatic meaning, but in the context of your example, it should be taken at face value. "Back" can mean to return to something or somewhere you have previously been. The text says that you should "lower the difficulty level" if you are stuck, and then, having mastered it, "move back up" ...


17

Commentors have noted a financial sense, but I don't think this fits this context. The sense of "making excessive buying and selling of stocks to profit from the commission" may point towards the meaning, but doesn't directly relate Las Vegas. So we look at the general meanings and find move or cause to move about vigorously. (lexico) It is ...


16

Yes, "in front" modifies "the car." It tells you which car he missed. The phrase "by that much" is a cultural thing. One source of popularity is a 1965-1970 TV show called "Get Smart." The main character, Maxwell Smart (doing the hand gesture in the image), would explain to The Chief, that some bad thing had been ...


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