New answers tagged

4

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. If you tell your teacher that a dog ate your homework, it is quite possible that he or she will not buy your explanation. buy verb (BELIEVE) [ T ] informal to believe that something is true: She'll never buy that ...


1

The dictionary definitions I found were correct, but didn't give the full flavour of the term. In your example, as in general, "co-opt" means, getting your opponents and enemies onto your side so you can benefit from their power. This is in contrast to fighting against them or getting rid of them. To "co-opt your way to the top" means to ...


3

They are slang based on a metaphor. The meaning is “imply with such force that the implied conclusion should be immediately apparent.” The metaphor is between implied meaning and explicit speech. A subtle implication becomes a “whisper,” and an obvious implication becomes a “shout.”


1

The difference lies in the connotation. Increasing the chance is always referring to the probability increasing, while improving the chances is referring to a probability change that benefits one specific party. For example: My horse is more likely to fall down on the track because of the rainwater. Referring to yourself: There is an increased change that ...


1

Whatsis – a thing or object whose name one does not know or cannot recall. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/whatsis


3

I agree that "ostentatious" is a rather odd word to use in this definition. What I think the dictionary writer is saying is that "to bustle" means to be busy and active in a way that makes it clear to other people that you are being busy. It often suggests that you are rather noisily busy: The person "bustling around the kitchen&...


1

"To do list" might be common terminology in workplaces, but it is an informal term. It is a list of tasks that need to be done. More formal terms for a 'to do list' include a work list, schedule, or itinerary. An 'agenda' is not the same as a 'to do list'. It is defined as "a program of things to be done or considered". For example, it ...


1

Not yet realized/finished in ordinary speech. Thus, as Lambie says, there are this many days of inventory 'yet to come'; there are this many days sales 'yet to be written down' (or perhaps, this many more days where there will be a sale); etc. However this website is focused on accounting, so these terms are perverted into very specific uses. Thus, "...


1

Yes, the literal meaning is that the way they walked was the way that snobs walk. It is perhaps difficult to understand because it does not make much sense when interpreted literally. It assumes two generalizations. First, those who enjoy an unusual degree of leisure typically feel contempt toward the rest of humanity, and, second, such contempt is typically ...


1

The verb churn is used here in its intransitive form, meaning it has no object. The workers are not being churned, or churning anything else; they simply are churning. The intended definition is along the lines of "to produce, proceed with, or experience violent motion or agitation" (Merriam-Webster), or "to move or shake in agitation, as a ...


0

Using Which one? to refer to people is perfectly fine. You can also use Who?


1

You can say you have trouble with someone or something if that person or thing is causing you problems: I'm having trouble with my car (it won't start, the brakes are bad, etc) I'm having trouble with my son (he gets drunk a lot, he steals from me, he is lazy) You say that you are in trouble with someone in authority over you if you have done something ...


-1

(A) The first definition for "in trouble" from the Farlex Dictionary of Idioms is Subject to punishment for a particular offense or wrongdoing. Example: I am in trouble with my boss because I ate his hamburger when he wasn't looking! (B) The definition for "the trouble with (someone or something)" is The most irritating or troublesome ...


-1

"I have trouble with my boss" is unusual but "I have trouble with my children" is common. You generally say you have trouble with something or someone that's supposed to obey you (but doesn't - that's the aforementioned trouble). You're supposed to obey your boss, so you won't say this so commonly. You could say this to mean you find your ...


1

The idiom keep guard over [something/someone] means to keep watch so that no harm comes to it, unauthorised people can't go in, or a person can't escape. It doesn't literally mean that the guard is standing above the place. Keep guard in front of does have a literal meaning.


1

It is an adjective. It modifies the noun “ouster.” It means what you suggested in the question - it is happening soon. Headlines often use a sort of abbreviated form of English that doesn’t match normal sentence structure. That is why there is no verb. Native speakers understand “near” in this case to mean “(is) near.”


5

"Painted Satan" is an unusual collocation (Google Ngram returns zero references), but "painted Jezebel" is a well-known (if somewhat archaic) phrase. Quoting the Wiktionary definition of painted Jezebel: (obsolete, derogatory) A Jezebel; an evil, scheming, shameless or immoral woman, especially one who uses physical attractiveness to ...


0

I think it's supposed to mean "devils in disguise". (Painted, as in wearing a layer of paint for camouflage, metaphorically.)


0

Yes, it does sound self-degrading.


0

a cathy here: A former student at a Catholic high school. It could be a nickname for people who went to a Catholic high school. That is typical in Am. English. High schools or the type of high school are given nicknames. For example: A preppy. Someone who went to a prep school (college preparatory). It means he is a former student at a [name] Catholic high ...


0

For the specific example you chose, "Cathy" means the same thing as "catholic" Penn Brooks is a former catholic with 12 years of parochial experience under his belt. Some Americans believe that people who all have the same first name also have the same personality. Phrases like, "she such a Kathy," are used as an insult. The ...


2

No, it doesn't mean due to be tamed. It is an example of using the infinitive (to be) with the past participle of a verb (tamed). This is a construction that is often used when the object of the verb (animal species) is more important than the subject (whoever did the taming) or the subject is unknown. Examples are: It was the first star to be seen. Theirs ...


0

They found that the ATV had fallen over onto its side.


0

I would agree with you that transparent is not the clearest word to use here, if you'll pardon the pun. But there is a similarity to hidden, which might have been a better choice: things that are transparent and things that are hidden are both impossible to see. So when authors say the resource management system is transparent to the users they mean the ...


0

When you travel on the sea, you move through the water and leave the land behind you. Another example. When one competitor in a race passes another and the gap between them increases, the leader leaves behind the slower competitor.


0

Neither. "Commercial interest" refers to the ownership of businesses within that country. It doesn't refer to a specific advantage, but in the ownership of a stake in something; you've put money down, you've got skin in the game, and you're actively working in that area to make money. For instance, if your business owns a portion of a Chinese ...


-1

Both your answer are little off the mark; commercial; adjective; intended to make money, or relating to a business intended to make money: interest; noun; (ADVANTAGE) commercial interest definition; An advantage (real or speculative) relating to a business which is intended to make money: If the question was "Please describe your company's long-term ...


3

I would probably use one of these to dig or maintain a ditch. In Britain, we might call such a machine more formally, a mechanical excavator or mechanical digger, or less formally, just a 'digger'. The first well known British digger was made in the 1950s by a company called JCB, and many British people still call any digger a 'JCB'. I believe Americans ...


18

"Obey" is not only stronger, it carries a greater connotation of being subordinate. If there is a rule that was agreed upon by a group of equals, it would be more natural to talk about observing the rule. If a king has issued a decree, then you would obey it. Note that this distinction is not hard and fast; neither word would be wrong in either ...


1

The two words have the same meaning in this context. "Observe" is slightly more formal in register. It's also a little more general, in that we can observe rules, conventions or advice, but "obey" really only applies to definite commands (including rules). (This is a UK perspective; usage may differ elsewhere in the world.)


5

To reword Jack's answer, "observe" and "obey" have different connotations: a feeling or idea that is suggested by a particular word although it need not be a part of the word's meaning, or something suggested by an object or situation For example: Get home by 6PM for dinner. Obey me. I suggest that you observe the 6PM dinner time.


24

I agree with the teacher. "Obey" is stronger, and may imply legal sanctions backing up the requirement. "Observe" is less official. So, while "obey" means "observe", they aren't exact synonyms, and the latter is more likely to be used in the context you are discussing.


2

It means to consider your weaknesses, maybe one by one, instead of ignoring them. There are many senses of take in dictionaries; this one may be fairly close to the sense here: Collins Dictionary take 24. You use take when you are discussing or explaining a particular question, in order to introduce an example or to say how the question is being considered. ...


0

You couldn't just omit could, but you could change could like to liked. The difference is in the basic meaning of could - potentiality. They didn't understand why he liked it so much means they didn't understand the reasons for the fact that he liked it. They didn't understan d why he could like it so much means that they didn't understand the ...


1

After a clarification in comments, I see that other answers fit the intent of the question. Just for completeness, note that “He’s off with Joe” (as in the original question) can also mean that he and Joe have gone somewhere together.


7

As a native speaker, one aspect I'd often understood of phrases like "a bit off" was by analogy to something like milk or cheese (or indeed other perishable items like meat) that has turned sour or otherwise started to acquire an unpleasant flavour or odour, which could also be described as "a bit off". Conversely, when it has curdled ...


3

a) Literally, the sentence in a) means that Dexter is trying to preserve or maintain some circumstance or state of being. But that is pretty generic, and I don't think it is possible to determine from the quoted passage exactly what Elizabeth means. We would need to know more about Dexter, Elizabeth, possibly Arthur and other characters, and the story so far....


11

off adjective 33. slightly abnormal 34. not up to standard; not so good or satisfactory as usual; inferior or subnormal It's between these two definitions. If I say, "He's been off with me," or, "He's been very off with me," it means that things are not the same between us, that he hasn't been treating me like he normally does, that ...


7

off, adjective 7. Inappropriate; untoward I felt that his comments were a bit off. As used in your example, the meaning is not quite as above, but similar. It sounds like the person is being unfriendly, distant, and awkward, rather than inappropriate.


1

I think the cited usage is contracted from He's been very offhand with me lately... offhand - Ungraciously or offensively nonchalant or cool in manner. I'd say the contracted version is slightly "slangy". Also it's probably best avoided by non-native speakers (in favour of offhand) because in certain contexts the intended meaning might not be ...


5

To be described as 'criss cross' a pattern only needs to consist of lines that cross each other, at any angle.


1

It is rather a mixed metaphor, but in fact most of the meanings have nothing to do with taste directly. Salty means flavorful, full-bodied, perhaps emotionally deep—or possibly down-to-earth, salt-of-the-land (as a salty sailor). Sweeping means wide-ranging or broad, not "overwhelming" (probably). Sweet means pleasant, agreeable, charming, perhaps ...


-1

Does a constructed family tree include the person and their offspring? They are family. Children of divorced parents exist, their genealogy is not affected by legal practice. In my humble opinion this question is directed more toward the genealogical aspect of relations rather than financial and legal separation of individuals. Most people in the US are ...


1

put up, verb 10. (transitive) To build a structure.


1

The ambiguity seems to me to be deliberate. The author quotes (via reported speech) videophiles as saying "the public was presented with a momentous choice that would affect their quality of life for an entire generation". The obvious interpretation is that since the choice was given to "the public", i.e. people, the "generation"...


1

"Generation" has many uses in different contexts. A generation is not a pre-determined period of time, but rather a time period with a marked beginning and end. One context of generation is the time between parents and children. For example, a child, their parent, and their grandparent could be spoken of as "three generations" of that ...


0

The full OED defines generation as... The average time it takes for children to grow up, become adults, and have children of their own, generally considered to be about thirty years, and used as a rough measure of historical time. But here's Merriam-Webster's definition for Generation Y... the generation of people born in the period roughly from 1980 to ...


3

English is pretty open to the creation of new compound words, especially when using recognised suffixes or prefixes. The suffix 'struck' literally means that you have been struck by (in the sense of having a sudden feeling) whatever it is suffixing. For example, "dumbstruck" means that you have been 'struck dumb', or suddenly unable to speak; and &...


1

A sequence is sequential. Each step in the sequence is sequent. However, "sequent" is very rare in usage (except in "subsequent"). I would not recommend trying to use it in conversation. They are basically equivalent for all intents and purposes, besides the fact that no one uses "sequent". (my spell check is not even ...


0

In English, there are a number of "words" which only occur in a specific, "idiomatic" usage as part of a longer phrase. The actual original meaning of the "word" is totally lost, and the word itself is never used. "Short-shrift" is such a phrase. "Shrift" is not a word. (In any meaningful sense of "not a ...


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