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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hold up and jump

Does the phrase "hold up and jump" refer to buttons here, or are the verbs "hold up" and "jump" used to denote two actions without implying any buttons? You can avoid ...
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What are some less fancy alternatives for "a fortiori"?

What are some less fancy alternatives for "a fortiori"? That's way too snobbish-sounding.
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Question about "When it comes to all things"

I recently came across the expression "When it comes to all things" and I'm a little confused as to its correct meaning. I did some research and found several examples of using this ...
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Vagaries of perception meaning

What is the definition of "Vagaries of perception"? The way I interpret it: twisted reality vision / wrong reality check. Am I correct? I know it appeared in the Matrix movie there's no ...
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medical superintendent, principal of the hospital, head of the hospital

Is there any difference between medical superintendent, principal of the hospital, and head of the hospital? Are they interchangeable?
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What does "It's long past time [that]" mean?

It's long past time he could have been educated out of this crap. What does this sentence mean? Is it a common phrase? I guess it may mean: "The time has long passed since he could have been ...
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What's the meaning of `press in` in this context? [closed]

He was looking up at the starry sky, and Albus Dumbledore was crouched over him. The dark shadows of a crowd of people pressed in around them, pushing nearer; Harry felt the ground beneath his head ...
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What does it mean by "general terms"?

In the discussions that preceded the 1935 Act, Muslims had demanded a statutory provision for the inclusion of Muslim representatives in the ministries and had been reassured in general terms by Hindu ...
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What is the difference between "He's not good at English" and "He's no good at English"?

According to my study "no good" means "not any good" or "not good at all". So "He's no good at English" means "He's not any good at English" or "...
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Interpretation of "the affairs of [these] subjects had to be administered too"

I am translating a book, and there are some confusing sentences: This was becoming essential for the cohesion of the realm, not least since its linguistic and cultural plurality had been extended ...
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Less Jupiter than Icarus

What does "Less Jupiter than Icarus" mean in the following sentence? Less Jupiter than Icarus, Emmanuel Macron came crashing down this week. The sentence is taken from the latest The ...
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How can I use in a sentence the phrase 'ordinary folk'?

Im trying to fill the blank of this sentence: Those were the heady days when stockbrokers commanded salaries beyond [...]of ordinary folk. It seems like i have to fill it with a phrase of three words, ...
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What does the phrase "buff up" mean here?

What does the phrase "buff up" mean in the following sentence from the description of the game "Subway Surfers"? In the game, every power-up is on an independent timer. If you go ...
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If some sentence has truth, could it be called sarcasm

Never lie to someone who trusts you; never trust someone who lies to you Could this be called a sarcastic remark? Especially if I send this quote to someone who lies a lot? If I send this to someone ...
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What does the phrase "tag up arenas" mean here?

I am finding it difficult to figure out the meaning of the phrase "tag up arenas" in the following sentence from the description of the game "Subway Surfers": Grind, skate, and tag ...
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What's the meaning of "Turning back to the class at large" in this context?

Neville nodded nervously, but Moody made no further inquiries. Turning back to the class at large, he reached into the jar for the next spider and placed it upon the desktop, where it remained ...
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What does it mean by 'an order of French fries'?

I go McDonald and order some food: Casher: May I take your order? Customer: Yes. I’d like a cheeseburger, an order of French fries, and a large soda. The cheeseburger and soda is not 'an order of' ...
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What does "pale intelligence" mean here?

Could you please tell me what "intelligence" mean in the following sentence? As Giovanni followed her with his eyes, he beheld the emaciated figure and pale intelligence of Dr. Rappaccini, ...
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What does "not everyone is born with their tails facing the moon" mean?

Context: Someone compared a Hollywood singer with a Portuguese singer on YouTube (The Voice Portugal). They said that this international singer still sang her original song better than the contestant. ...
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2 answers
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What does "the way something happens" means

I looked out for the meaning and found something like this "if you mention the way something happens, you are mentioning the fact it happens" on collins dictionary, so going by this if ...
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"I am a citizen of Britain" vs. "I am a subject of the British crown" vs. "I am a British national"

Which phrase is the most common for a person who was born in Britain of the parents who were also born in Britain to identify his nationality? "I am a citizen of Britain"? "I am a ...
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Meaning of "Most of modern Finland still lay beneath the sea, which means that the first settlers must have arrived from the south and the south-east"

I am translating a book into my own language, and I have encountered the sentence like this: Most of modern Finland still lay beneath the sea, which means that the first settlers must have arrived ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What is the meaning of the phrase "plain style" in this context?

The following context comes from the book "Black Rednecks And White Liberals" by Thomas Sowell: By contrast, religious services in colonial Massachusetts developed what has been called the “...
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What does “fell at recess” mean

I tried searching several sources and none of them provide meaningful sense to me. The story is the following: I watched Stranger Things and one of the kids was bullied. Later that day the mate who ...
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1 answer
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If someone thanks me for sending him home, can I say "Don't worry, it's along the way"?

If someone thanks me for sending him home, can I say "Don't worry, it's along the way"? Is along the way used correctly here?
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Can we say "leftover pizza" to refer to some pizza that is bigger than crumbs but much smaller than a slice?

When one says "put the leftover pizza in the fridge", I imagine that the leftover pizza might mean one or a few slices of pizza that are decent enough for a person to eat as a meal or a ...
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what does "by order" here means?

Could you explain what "by order" means in the following passage? CURSE THREE AFTER CURSE THREE THE VICTIM DIES Given under my hand and written in my Blood BY ORDER THE AVENGER. L. P. ...
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find phrase in these sentences and which type of phrase are these

What is your name? Who cares? How much? I am Navin. Who knows? I am fine. What is up? That is so kind of you. I am sorry. Could you pass me the salt,please? That is so true.
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What do you call someone who introduces an important principle?

Let's say there is a person, for example a man named Abraham who introduced a principle which led to a significant development of something. Am i able to say that: The advocate of this principle is ...
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What is the class looks a olive pit mean?

The sentence: Those boys think our class looks like a olive pit. I couldn’t find what is olive pit mean on the internet.
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2 answers
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What is the meaning of "in favour of" in this context?

I am confused the meaning of the sentence "He abdicated the throne in favour of his son." Does it mean "for his son" or "with the help of his son" or something else?
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subjunctive mood. have a person+ infinitive verb

I was studying and I found this phrase. You may have had a person ask you, "Don't you agree?" before. So I got thinking about these things. I would like to know why we don't use the 3rd ...
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Trouble interpreting this little text?

The headine is: "Trump Campaign Chief to Headline Jan. 6 Hearing on Election Lies" I get headline is being used as verb, But I can't interpret this, is it like saying: "Trump Campaign ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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what does "très riping" mean?

The following is an entry of a public school boy's diary. I don't understand what the last phrase "Très riping" means. Drove to Canterbury in 3 breaks. Visisted Cathedral, very interesting. ...
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What does "halfway across the room" mean?

In the dictionary Across: from one side to the other side of something Side: [countable, usually singular] either of the two halves of a surface, an object or an area that is divided by an imaginary ...
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How long was or is it since you started your career? [closed]

The question says "how long was or is it since you started your career? Was Is And we say a scary or scared look
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12 votes
3 answers
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What's the meaning of 'I'm so calling you that'?

The below is the part of conversation in the TV series, Modern Family: Denise: He had a boom box and a piece of cardboard in his locker. And what was your dance name? Haley's dad: O-Zone, Yeah Denise:...
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3 votes
6 answers
2k views

Can't figure out the phrase "designer birdhouses" in this headline

A headline in the New York Times is: "The Designer Birdhouses of Brooklyn" What is a "designer birdhouse"? Is it a birdhouse made by a designer? I've never come across a phrase ...
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10 votes
3 answers
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What's a "yellow line running down somebody's back"...?

The only line between good and evil is the yellow one running down your back. What line does it speak of? I'm also not sure what meaning does "run down" have in this context. The source of ...
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Is "Here is a thought" used as an opinion request question?

I think it's used: just to introduce an idea/thought —here is a thought, life is worthy; To request an opinion of an idea/thought —here is a thought, what if we go to the cinema?. It's not a complex ...
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-2 votes
2 answers
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What does 'a crazy idea' mean?

Does it mean an eccentric idea or even a very interesting idea? I referred to a number of dictionaries, but I guess I couldn't find a definition that fits this context. Anne Thorndike, a primary care ...
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"come off hot down home" means [duplicate]

"Did he say anything to you?" Garraty asked. "He asked me if it was commencing to come off hot down home," Baker said shyly. "Yeah, he . . . the Major talked to me." &...
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Meaning of "warm threshold"

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of ...
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To which part of the text is "most aggressively" is referring to?

In this text: "Suffolk County on Long Island uses the state’s law, which takes weapons away from people who pose a danger to themselves or others, most aggressively." is "most ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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What is the difference between "take in hand" and "take by the hand"?

Is there a difference between "take in hand" and "take by the hand"? I tried to google the meanings but it's still a little vague.
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What does "like a moose needs a hat rack" mean?

It's a quote from the movie "Requiem for a Dream" Such a son, a goner. If your mother needs you like a moose needs a hat rack. What does he mean when he says "like a moose needs a hat ...
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1 answer
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What does giving someone a lollipop mean?

A quote by Alan Perlis says, When someone says "I want a programming language in which I need only say what I wish done," give him a lollipop. Such a programming language doesn't exist and ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Buy whatever/anything/everything: similar meaning? [closed]

Do these three sentences have the same meaning? He can buy whatever he wants. He can buy anything he wants. He can buy everything he wants.
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0 votes
1 answer
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You have been found guilty. Take the prisoner down

You have been found guilty. Take the prisoner down. I think here at least three people appear: a police officer, a criminal, an order taker Does the sentence 'Take the prisoner down' mean 'Lay him on ...
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1 answer
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What does "ground by hand" mean? [closed]

It's a spyglass, a.k.a a primitive handheld telescope. This six-inch-long gadget looks like a prop for steampunk cosplay: tortoiseshell sides, brass fittings, lenses ground by hand. Gray, C. (2015) ...
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