73 posts tagged with meaning.
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How would you identify the meaning of this symbol?

A colleague likes to put riddles and challenges on the chalk board. This particular question is about how to discover the meaning of an "ungoogleable" symbol. I jokingly suggested that Ask Metafilter is the right answer, and now I am challenged to see if that's right. [more inside]
posted by anotherpanacea on Apr 21, 2016 - 18 answers

Artistic dude interested in a more meaningful career. Options?

Art is slow and tedious, with little to show for the effort, IMO. What else could someone with my abilities and leanings go into? [more inside]
posted by pableaux on Oct 11, 2015 - 11 answers

How to Tell Left From Right Without a Vantage Point?

I've encountered a few scenarios in which I've been unsure of someone's meaning when they say 'left' or 'right side.' How do you know which is which when the vantage point is not specified? [more inside]
posted by Avosunspin on Jun 2, 2015 - 12 answers

Cat's Eye

I had a dream recently in which a tiger's eye pendant figured prominently, which makes me curious what is the symbolic meaning of tiger's eye? [more inside]
posted by miss-lapin on May 27, 2015 - 2 answers

I like my life, but I don't like myself

I'm a woman in my thirties, very happily married, in an interesting career. I love my partner, friends, and home. I have been treated for depression fairly successfully. So why do I feel like such a loser? [more inside]
posted by lilpinksockpuppet on May 18, 2015 - 18 answers

Legal translation degree - legal?

I came across a distant learning master's programme that I find interesting, but wonder if it's legit and even if it is, if it's the right one for me? [more inside]
posted by LoonyLovegood on May 14, 2015 - 8 answers

Am I hurting myself in the long run, or being a good friend?

I have posted some questions before about my first relationship and would like to get some advice on whether friendship is even the right thing now. I've had conflicted feelings the entire 5 1/2 years I've known this person, and am wondering what is the right thing to do? He says he needs my support because he finally came out but could we be friends or are we going to keep hurting each other? [more inside]
posted by lunastellasol on May 14, 2015 - 19 answers

What does it mean "majors in the minors"

Is it referring to music cord or in college degree (like major in chemistry, minor in music). overall, it seems to refer the kind of mistake that take the minor thing and inappropriately treat it as a major thing. Thanks in advance for quick help. I am trying to translate it in Chinese, but didn't fully understand it yet.
posted by akomom on Sep 15, 2014 - 16 answers

What's the 'significance' of the word bubonic in bubonic plague?

This is one entry on a vocabulary list that asks for a definition of the word or phrase and the 'significance' of the word or part of the phrase. This is part of a 15-year-old's summer homework, but no explanation is given of what the 'significance' of the word significance is. My take is that 'significance' is kind of an inherent effect or consequence of the word; for bubonic, I'd say the significance is civilization-changing death due to uncontrolled pest and population density. Any other ideas?
posted by Huck500 on Aug 6, 2014 - 14 answers

name that vulgar gesture

Left forearm is horizontal, with left hand touching right elbow, right forearm is vertical and the right hand raised in a fist held above shoulder with the palm facing inward. The motion of inserting the left hand into the right elbow while raising the right fist is important. [more inside]
posted by kickback on Oct 19, 2013 - 19 answers

Spamalot "I'm All Alone": what does "It's a Perfect Way to Hide" Mean?

In Spamalot, King Arthur sings "I'm All Alone". At one point, he says: We must be lonely side by side / It's a perfect way to hide. What do these lyrics mean? [more inside]
posted by smyles7 on Sep 15, 2013 - 5 answers

How can I live a better life?

After years of depression and self-medication I'm trying to live a better life. What should I be doing? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 25, 2013 - 15 answers

More examples of a specific type of metaphorical 'pun' in song lyrics?

I really like metaphors and I really like song lyrics. Every once in a while I run across a particular type of cleverly extended metaphor in a song lyric. I'm trying to develop this idea a bit and looking for more examples of this particular thing. I've included some explanatory examples I've found. [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam on Jun 22, 2013 - 17 answers

Meaning of this Muslim calligraphic motif

I design a newsletter for a group with an interest in religious ecumenism, and have chosen a Muslim calligraphic motif to illustrate an article about a lecture on Islam – but I want to know what it means. [more inside]
posted by zadcat on Apr 1, 2013 - 4 answers


I think I don't understand the meaning, in English, of "touché." [more inside]
posted by Snarl Furillo on Mar 17, 2013 - 32 answers

Men's wedding band made special.. but how?

How can I give my fiance a wedding band that matches what he wants (simple white gold comfort fit band) special in some way? [more inside]
posted by PuppetMcSockerson on Jan 11, 2013 - 35 answers

Intro to Humanism, Winter 2012

If you think human rationality, and efforts to ‘predict and control’ are, together, shaky ground for ethics, what’s left? [more inside]
posted by nelljie on Nov 20, 2012 - 13 answers

a circle in a pointed cloverleaf

Does this symbol mean anything? It's like a circle superimposed on a cloverleaf symbol (⌘), except that the loops are pointed on the ends. [more inside]
posted by Ery on Jul 26, 2012 - 5 answers

How to persuade them?

From "The Call of the Wild".-The sled was broken out. Men were holding their breaths,intensely unconscious of the fact.- Some classmates claim that the fact means that men were holding their breaths, not that the sled was broken. I can't talk them over to my point of view that the fact is that the sled was broken because only my intuition tells me so... How could you persuade them as a native speaker? Or are they correct?
posted by mizukko on Jul 9, 2012 - 20 answers

Lost in Translation

What language/meaning does this expression have: 花 鳥 風 月?
posted by mooselini on Jun 22, 2012 - 7 answers

How to come to terms with long cycle of failure and move on?

After years of escapism, how to anchor life to meaning (or vice versa?) when almost four years of research hasn't amounted to anything? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 10, 2012 - 21 answers

Surrender to grace?

Non-Christian interpretations of the saying/mantra "Surrender to Grace" - are there - if so, where? Can anyone tell me anything else about this phrase. As in depth and from as many angles and philosophies as possible. [more inside]
posted by jitterbug perfume on Mar 6, 2012 - 14 answers

What is this symbol?

What is the significance of a symbol that was everywhere in the '90s? It consisted of a vaguely heart-shaped urn-like thing with an open top and flames coming out of the top. If memory serves, there were usually Xs across the widest point of the heart, and sometimes flames in the background. I remember this from the sleeve art for Celebrity Skin (Courtney Love is wearing a tee shirt with the symbol) and from the old House of Blues logo. What is this symbol called, and what does it mean?
posted by pxe2000 on Dec 21, 2011 - 14 answers

How can I figure out how to make my "ding in the universe"?

How can I figure out how to make my "ding in the universe"? [more inside]
posted by inatizzy on Nov 21, 2011 - 16 answers

I deserve to ask a question because I paid my $5.

What does it mean to "deserve" something? [more inside]
posted by Pastor of Muppets on Jun 16, 2011 - 36 answers

Help me reword "ascend a [horizontal] walkway" so it is correct.

Can you "ascend" a horizontal "walkway"? No? Then how does one describe this action in a single word? [more inside]
posted by phonebia on Apr 20, 2011 - 26 answers

Where did "as all get-out" come from?

IdiomFilter: What is the origin of the phrase "as all get-out"? [more inside]
posted by nzero on Apr 19, 2011 - 5 answers

"satavaziru"... what does it mean!?

A guy in Tallinn pointed at me and said something that sounded like "satavaziru!" (emphasis on the "zi" syllable). What might that mean? [more inside]
posted by mokudekiru on Apr 13, 2011 - 12 answers

I think therefore... fuck.

Is there a name for the sort of radical skepticism that results from accepting Kripke's interpretation of Wittgenstein but rejecting his solution to the rule-following paradox? [more inside]
posted by 256 on Dec 15, 2010 - 11 answers

Help me understand Danny Boyle's "Sunshine"

Help me understand the metaphor behind the "monster" in Danny Boyle's "Sunshine." I found this a stunning film, but the appearance of the "zombie" took my experience off-track and genre-shifted it. I understand that this was a significant element, but why? And what does it signify (for you?) I watched it years ago, and it's still bugging me!
posted by andreinla on Oct 12, 2010 - 23 answers

and so our heroine withdraws to metafilter!

What exactly is Colin Meloy saying when he singing "When wilt thou trouble the waters in the cistern" in the song "A Bower Scene" on the album "The Hazards Of Love"? [more inside]
posted by NoraReed on Sep 29, 2010 - 13 answers

Starting points for sorting out my life please?

My life has been running out of control for almost unimaginably long time. I am 'technically' a university student but I have been so unengaged and worried about my degree course and university the past year that that affiliation or 'student' label does not really apply. So in any other sense I am unemployed. Although I recognize the need for purpose, disciple and structure in day-to-day life, I fail to impose this upon myself. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 26, 2010 - 19 answers

Different associated meanings across different languages

Finding the network of different associated meanings across different languages? [more inside]
posted by kradeki on Jul 30, 2010 - 4 answers

What's the joke?

What's the joke? A Non–Sequitir single panel. Please explain [more inside]
posted by tellurian on Apr 26, 2010 - 12 answers

Sacrifice, speech, writing and art

Sacrifice, speech, writing and art: I am interested in the different ways in which a sacrifice, a sacrament, a spoken word and a written word act as signifiers. The notion for instance that the sacrament, at the point of its acceptance, is understood as becoming the signified. What can you tell me / what has been written about the notions of sacrifice and their relationship to speech, art and the technologies of writing? [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Feb 24, 2010 - 8 answers

Please get out of my dreams!

Help me stop dreaming about my Ex! [more inside]
posted by MayNicholas on Nov 30, 2009 - 29 answers

"Twin" Translation

I am looking for translations for the words "twin" and "sister". I have used babelfish and other sites but really want the pronunciation not just foreign writings I can't decipher. Also, translations in other languages not listed such as different Native American tribal translations. Help?!
posted by madmamasmith on Oct 14, 2009 - 24 answers

A little distance, please, people!

Help me say, nicely, "Please don't touch my child". [more inside]
posted by lottie on Oct 1, 2009 - 54 answers

Stone Piles -- Historical Meaning?

I sometimes see decorative piles of stones in front of --primarily rural-- homes. I like the effect very much. I wonder if there is an historical meaning or symbolism to these stone piles or if it is merely an enhancement.
posted by psc1860 on Jul 25, 2009 - 12 answers

Same sentence, different language, still makes sense?

Are they any sentences that can be said in one language, but also understood in a different language (albeit with a different meaning)? [more inside]
posted by devnull on Jul 7, 2009 - 42 answers

The County Formerly Known As...

Is there a word or term that expresses the following concept more accurately than "rename"? [more inside]
posted by Tube on Jun 17, 2009 - 25 answers

What is this song by the Ethiopian Elvis about?

Ethiopia/Amharic Filter: I created a vacation video of my trip to Ethiopia and used the song, Mekeyershin Salawq by the famous Ethiopian singer Alemayehu Eshete. What is the song about? (Link to song inside) [more inside]
posted by cptspalding on May 25, 2009 - 1 answer

Life Decision IV: A New Direction

Some direction would be nice. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 1, 2009 - 13 answers

I Own Every Bell That Tolls Me

"I own every bell that tolls me" What does this mean to you? [more inside]
posted by heavenstobetsy on Feb 8, 2009 - 34 answers

Looking for contextual understanding of Hebrews 10:23

Seeking advice about a quote from Hebrews 10:23, which states "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful." This is from one of the books of the New Testament (Epistle to the Hebrews). [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam on Nov 29, 2008 - 9 answers

Looking up ancient Greek words

What resources are available to investigate the meaning of a philosophical term in ancient Greek? I'm looking for something far more detailed than just a dictionary or a translation of a passage--I'd like to be aware of the shades of meaning and nuances of use, historical baggage, etc. In case some context is helpful, there are a couple of Greek terms that might be useful as metaphors in a dissertation, but I want to make sure that I know all the ways that the terms might be taken when designing the metaphor. The catch is that I don't speak any Greek, either ancient or modern; however, resources in English, French, Spanish, and German are all options.
posted by philosophygeek on Nov 24, 2008 - 8 answers

The italian version of the name game. Only minus the rhyming.

What does my last name mean in Italian? [more inside]
posted by rileyray3000 on Sep 8, 2008 - 21 answers

Common use of Japanese 'Mu' Prefix

I am looking for interesting uses of the prefix 'mu' (無) in Japanese. I want to find an example of mu's general use that attains to its meaning as -less or an absence of. The example I have currently, 無線 'musen' meaning 'wireless', is a little boring. [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Aug 8, 2008 - 14 answers

What does hemophiliac mean?

What does hemophiliac mean? [more inside]
posted by brevator on Jul 28, 2008 - 18 answers

Calling the happily employed

I have almost finished my degree in computer science, and soon the Real Word awaits. I still have no idea what I'd like to be doing with my life. So, for those who have been able to find meaning and fulfillment in their jobs: how did you do it? [more inside]
posted by koenie on Feb 19, 2008 - 27 answers

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