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 ...


32

They have exactly the same meaning but shebang is by far most common (Google search) and is the only spelling listed by major dictionaries (Merriam-Webster (US) and Oxford (UK) online). The Urban Dictionary has its uses, but don't take its spellings over any other formal, edited source.


30

The writer is altering the well-known idiom take something with a grain of salt to get a new meaning. (I believe this is an example of metalepsis). Here’s a relevant entry for take something with a grain of salt: take (something) with a grain of salt To consider or evaluate something, such as a statement, with the understanding that it may not be ...


23

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 am emphatic that my description conveys an accurate feeling of a moment/interaction, but it isn't literally true--I am exaggerating or simplifying for story ...


21

It is the other way around. "Guess what! Adam and Eve got married today." To show your surprise, you can use "No kidding!" Guess what! Adam and Eve got married today. No kidding! See Merriam Webster: —used to show surprise or interest in what has been said "My brother got engaged last month." "No kidding! That's great news!" Edit: Lambie ...


21

It's a singular "she", so it's not about pairs or groups of children running. "Two at a time" refers to the stairs. She is skipping alternating steps, ascending two steps with each stride.


20

I found an answer on brainly.in that describes it as: Usually a bully is arrogant and dominating. The poet wishes that if a bully could become softer and more compatible with others, just as butter on toast. There's no idiom "buttered on toast" and I'm a native American English speaker. However, in the context of poetry there is often significant ...


19

be game To be willing to do something. Sure, I'm game to go to the mall. Vince is game to play basketball—why don't you go to the park with him? (TFD) I assume you can understand equally. I couldn't quickly find a definition for slip into, but I see it as a figurative extension of the following: slip intransitive verb 5 : to get speedily ...


18

That's a good question, and for many questions like this, there may not really be a single, known answer about how it came about, or why people say something one way but something similar a different way (known as "idiomatic speech"). Nevertheless, here's my opinion or educated guess: Unlike other light sources, the sun is, first of all, something that's ...


18

Ink and Toner are two different things. Ink is a liquid substance and is used in some kinds of printers, such as "ink-jet" printers. The ink usually comes in cartridges, and sometimes these cartridges can be refilled with ink. As the ink is liquid, it is projected onto the paper (which is why they are called ink jet printers), and once on the paper it needs ...


17

It means "everything is perfect", perhaps in way that is "too good to be true". I've not heard it before, but there are a number of other similar idioms: "everything is rainbows and butterflies" "everything is rainbows and unicorns" It is quite common for English speakers to make up their own version of this idiom, ...


16

The text you highlighted contains two very common idioms: That [x] of his. Kept quiet. When people say "that [x] of his/yours", it is usually said disparagingly. For example: That dog of yours kept me awake all night with its barking. Instead of saying "your dog", the inference is that the dog isn't even worth naming or referring to properly, hence "...


16

"Mercy me!" is an old-fashioned expression meaning "God have mercy on me!" and would be used in a situation where the speaker feels alarmed or afraid, or even mildly agitated. You could use "God help me!" or, if you dislike religious oaths, some other exclamation such as "Oh my!".


16

"Closely written" has a literal and figurative meaning. It literally means that the letters and words have been written close together so as to pack more onto the page. Figuratively, it just means that a lot of detail is contained in a relatively small amount of writing. A comparable expression is "tightly written", which means brevity ...


15

To understand this consider a shorter sentence Dracula has taken on a life outside the pages of his story. The "story" here is "Dracula", a novel by Bram Stoker. But many people use "Dracula" and know the character "Count Dracula" even if they have never read the novel. The character is used in many other stories, films, some have very little connection ...


14

"Increased X%" or "increased by X%" or "up X%" or "up by X%" all mean the same. To increase an amount by a percentage is to take the original amount, and add to it the given percentage of that amount. Thus 'increased by 100%' means the same as 'doubled'. 100 increased by 120% is equal to 100 + (100 x 1.20) which is 220....


13

"Ditch" means "get rid of" or "throw away" (literally "drop it in a ditch"). It is used casually of things: "Ditch the bags" or of people "He ditched me and went out with his mates". He isn't suggesting you actually throw away your glue, but that you don't use it for this job (presumably glue isn't strong enough)


13

I would not use "peel" or "peelings" that way. You could say. "After you have peeled the potatoes, put the peels in the trash". I have an image of the skin of a fruit or vegetable that have been cut away with knife or special tool. Although plural, and so "countable" we don't normally put a number on the word "...


12

"The Sun is out" is understood by analogy with out in sentences like these: Is Johnny coming out to play today? Hot jazz guitarist Ronnie Jordan's new album is out. (Source) Never did I love anything so much as that spring, when the trees burst into leaf and the primroses came out. (That is, when the primroses bloomed. Source.) The one ...


12

A "conveyor belt" is literally a mechanical system that moves items along one after the other to speed up factory processes such as assembly or packaging, and therefore maximise productivity and profit. Metaphorically, the "conveyor belt" is often used to describe anything where one thing relentlessly follows another, or where a business profits from the ...


11

"Woah, there, horsey!" It's an idiom that means "hold on a second" or "something is happening" or "let's stop what we are doing and pay attention to this!" There is also: "Hold your horses!" which means "slow down!" And "Horse of a different color" which means "a thing to which what we were just speaking of does not apply". This is American ...


10

The word ‘jock’ has several different possible meanings, but used here, it’s a term for a male athlete. It’s often used in a derogatory manner, implying a lack of intelligence — the typical high-school-drama tv show plotline involves some kind of altercation between the ‘nerds’ and the ‘jocks’ — but not always. The ‘-ess’ suffix is generally used to show ...


9

Generally speaking "hometown" tends to refer to the place you were born and raised in rather than where you currently live; however that may depend on where you are geographically at the time you say it! If you were at university in London and you said "my hometown is Liverpool", it would be understood that you normally live in Liverpool but you are ...


9

As a Native English speaker, we usually use the phrase "guess what" to introduce a new piece of information, usually to challenge the person we are speaking with to attempt to tell us what we are about to tell them. Examples include: "You'll never guess what happened today!" or "Guess what I saw today!" The way you are using it is not native and most ...


9

A 'multiplex' is a cinema with multiple screens The wording is very vague here but I think Ebert means "factory-like" with his reference to a conveyor belt. So I'd translate this sentence into His masterpiece "The Decalogue" consists of 10 one-hour films that do not fit easily in the commercial running of a large cinema. Contrast it for example ...


9

The word "toner" does have other uses as well as "powder used in photocopiers and laser printers". For example A liquid used to clean skin, hair, etc by removing oil. An exercise machine or device for a part of the body, e.g. a "tummy toner" A liquid chemical solution for changing the color of black-and-white photographs, e.g. a "sepia toner". However "ink ...


9

I'd say that you misheard the phrase. It makes more sense if he were saying: "You really are a sight to behold, sweetheart" - meaning that she's looking very special today. But I might be mistaken as well. ;) shrug


9

This is just my guess. Suppose that Ann and Betty are sisters and live in the same house. Someone calls that house, and Betty answers the phone. The caller begins speaking to Betty about some matter that ought to be said to Ann instead. Betty tells the caller that he should not say these things to her; he should say them to Ann. "It's Ann you want to ...


8

The phrase take it with a grain of salt is an English idiom meaning, "Be skeptical about it." The "it" is usually a statement heard from someone else, like a factual claim or advice. It can also mean that while the statement is mostly true, it might include some error or it might not be true when applied in every circumstance; you will need to take care and ...


7

As another answer says, "all you like" (or "all you want", or "all you please") means: It doesn't matter how much you do something... So, in a context like: "Shake your head all you like, Elphias! You were at Ariana's funeral, were you not?" that means roughly the same as: "No matter how much you shake your head, Elphias, you can't deny you ...


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