89

The text has nothing to do with whether she has a spouse or boyfriend. She's referring to back to a past time when she was a youth, which is a noun meaning "a young person between adolescence and maturity." The phrase "half woman, half girl" is a poetic way of saying that as a youth, she was not yet an adult, but not a child either. There were probably ...


74

The usage of the phrase "break a leg" originates from within the theatrical profession. It was considered that to wish an actor "good luck" for a performance was to "jinx" them and have the opposite effect. As a result it was wished they would "break a leg" and thus cause "good luck". This is referenced in the movie the Producers where you can hear it used ...


74

It's supposed to be funny. It implies I can't deal with people today. I personally didn't find it funny because this structure I can't [noun] seems cliche to me. It is supposed to invoke something like this It's akin to I can't even if you are familiar with that expression. I felt like I should probably note that the structure (using nouns ...


71

Actually "sue me" means exactly what your dictionary says. It's kind of "fighting words" that imply the speaker does not apologize for his actions, and the only option the other guy has is to take him to court. Which is silly, of course, because you can't sue someone for cutting into a line (or, as the British say, a queue). So in your example the ...


68

He is saying that you don't owe him thanks, he owes you thanks. He clearly regards you as the sort of student who makes teaching rewarding. He may even imply that he has learned from you, from the sorts of questions you have asked which made him think about things which he took for granted.


65

It means the same as 19:45 or 7:45PM There seems to be several elements in the original text that are confusing. At approximately 19.45 hours... The dot The dot in the time notation is not a decimal point, as in "19 point 45", as in 45 hundredths of an hour. It's an alternative to the colon as the time separator and would be pronounced "nineteen forty ...


60

It's used both ways – it can indeed be an expression of confidence, but it can also be a genuine request for clarification. And even in the former case, you can usually assume that the speaker is in fact reasonably open to being corrected. (Though maybe not in a "heated debate"!")


54

'expected at X for Y' is a format sometimes used in official invitations - it's effectively a window of time where it's considered polite to arrive, without being late. In your example, 7 for 7.30, one would be expected to arrive between 7 and 7:30, with the main event (often a dinner party) taking place at 7:30 sharp. An online example of such an ...


50

Here's how I interpret it: My fantasy is having two men at once. This has a very obvious sexual meaning. One cooking. One cleaning. This makes you reinterpret the earlier sentence with a non-sexual meaning: My fantasy is having [one man cooking for me while another man cleans for me]. This subverts your expectations, which may be funny to you (...


50

I like to learn English. Great! I do not really understand the proposal: "Don't hate Monday. Make Monday hate you". Well, it's not really a 'proposal' or offer. It's a motivational phrase intended to inspire the reader to have a better mood and be more productive. It will be right or I not correctly think? "Do not hate Monday. Hate the person who ...


49

You probably couldn't find it because you tried to spell it in English. It's a loan phrase from the French. As TFD explains: en garde (interj.) Used to warn a fencer to assume the position preparatory to a match. [French : en, on + garde, guard.] Interestingly enough, on guard can also be found in dictionaries, but it means something a little ...


47

A first degree paraphrase of: This person is drop dead gorgeous. is: This person is so gorgeous that I could drop dead. That is, "drop dead" is a description of the reaction of onlookers: they could drop dead due to the shock of seeing such a gorgeous person. There are other similar expressions in English: shockingly, stunningly, and they are all ...


43

Not quite. It is true that "He is no more" can mean "He is dead", but that doesn't mean that "no more" is a way of saying "dead". In "He is dead", the word "dead" modifies "he", and the verb "is" is there simply to connect the subject to the predicate "dead". In "He is no more", the words "no more" modify the verb "is". The base sentence is "He is" -- a ...


41

The American film star Fred Astaire was famous as a graceful and skilled dancer in musicals. His dance partner in many films was Ginger Rogers. Bob Thaves, an American cartoonist, wrote of Fred Astaire in his comic strip Frank and Ernest: Sure he was great, but don't forget Ginger Rogers did everything he did backwards...and in high heels! The reference ...


41

Drop dead works as an intensifier in this phrase. The reference to death isn't literal; it's a hyperbolic expression meant to emphasize how incredibly stunning the speaker finds the person being described. It's thematically akin to phrases like "I am so [adjective] I could die" (common examples: "hungry," "happy") or "I'm bored to death."


41

As it says "She ..." we are talking about one girl, and not a group of girls. So it can't mean that there was a group that divided into pairs and each pair ran together. Instead it means that she took two steps of the stairs in one stride. Normally you tread on each step of the stairs. If you are running you might go over two steps. This is what is meant ...


40

This is a classic example of "morbid humor". "Set fire to X" means "cause X to start burning". So, if you set fire to a man, you are burning him, and he will most likely die in very short order. It's a play on the old saying "give a man a fish and you've fed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you've fed him for the rest of his life."


40

Do you understand the word "chain"? If not, look that up. Suppose you use a chain to, say, tow some heavy object behind your truck. If the object is heavy enough, the chain might break. Where will it break? At the weakest link. The point being this: Suppose you made a chain with 100 links, 99 links of case-hardened steel and one link of tin. Then you try ...


39

This is an ungrammatical idiom that is also (deliberately) confusing meanings. Broker, in this case, is a construction that is intended to mean more broke, which could be said to be meaningless, as broke, in the meaning of insolvent, not having money (implied by the preceding phrase I needed money...), doesn’t have a comparative or superlative. However,...


38

Much of the humour of the English language is based in absurdity - we make statements that are extreme to show how absurd a situation is. "So sue me!" falls into this category, in my opinion at least. It's a defiant challenge to being called out on doing something wrong, and rather than showing remorse for this, the person being held accountable is being ...


37

As was pointed out on that other question you linked, this is a surprisingly tricky sentence! Let's slowly build it up. It will take someone else. What is "it"? Stopping Voldemort again. Implied but never directly said. As for "take", we could say "need" instead, just to be slightly clearer. [Stopping Voldemort again] will [need] someone else. This ...


37

The writer of this article is probably a native speaker (or very good with English) but that doesn't mean the article itself is particularly well-written. For example, there is a paragraph where the word "seemingly" is used at least three times, when once would be more than enough. "A pop-up feel" is not a very elegant turn of phrase. It's not a typical ...


37

"The powers that be" is a set phrase, which means: important people who have authority over others (Cambridge Dictionary) So the correct parsing of the sentence should read "the powers that be" together. The sentence is saying that Thursday’s tragedy should serve as a grim warning of potentially darker times ahead to the people in power if the ...


36

This is a shortening of the phrase: Arrive at 7:00pm for a 7:30pm start. This is often used when registration or seating etc. is required, where guests are invited to arrive at a given time, while communicating that the event or meeting is due to start later than the arrival time. This avoids the confusion of advertising 7.00 and having people arrive at ...


36

"I have a word right on the tip of my tongue" means I can almost recall it but am not able to do so. So, like in your first example. If something that you want to say is on the tip of your tongue, you think you know it and that you will be able to remember it very soon. (Cambridge Dictionary) In your second example, when you intend to say something, but ...


35

It's not a well known joke, nor are you missing any nuance of the English language. Presumably Andrew was alluding to an earlier meta thread of his - How come I never see any Aussies on here?, where he put a humorous slant on a genuine question. This would be known as an in-joke - a private joke that can only be understood by a limited group of people who ...


35

As a native English speaker, if I were to encounter that phrase without any other context, my first reaction would be to think that whatever video being discussed was very emotionally moving and/or intellectually pertinent. Much in the same way, some speeches are said to be powerful (one could say "That was a very powerful message" for instance). Neither ...


34

The first sentence actually means the opposite of what it says. You spilled your coffee again! Usually when it's used this way it's marked with a question mark: You haven't spilled your coffee again[, have you]? but the exclamation point does make sense. The proper punctuation in this sense would actually probably be the "interrobang" but it's not a ...


34

Many people say 'bless you' after someone else sneezes. Ron thinks (or pretends to think) that 'bouillabaisse' sounds like a sneeze. Maybe the joke would work better if Hermione had said 'schnitzel'. (Many languages have a word or phrase like this, many of which are based on wishing health or God's blessing (of health): see Wikipedia.)


34

I think he's humorously referring to milk as "teat juice" (not "tea juice") because it is squeezed from a cow's teats (i.e., udders).


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