Different meaning of common words

>> Some of the words have their American meaning in other languages too, but not as their primary meaning. Here's what they mean elsewhere (primarily) and what they mean in American English (primarily).

last refreshed 12/01/2018 12:21:08 AM

(enough of this, get me back)

Expression
Meaning in the US
Meaning elsewhere
a propos
~ is appropriate for the occasion
while we're at ~
accented
spoken with a foreign accent
stressed, emphasized
accented
has a diacritical on it (character)
stressed, emphasized
ad lib, adlib
to improvise (speech, action on scene); it's a verb ("she pretty much adlibbed the whole address")
doesn't exist, it's "ad libitum" - "at will"
agenda
the set of goals of an ideological group, i.e. a (overt or covert) plan
Things to be discussed on a meeting; translated straight from Latin, things to be done.
ante
(in poker) the initial contribution that each player makes to the pot
before (something) as in "Hanibal ante portas", or "ante meridiem". Prefix in words like antedate, antediluvian.
athlete
sportsman (sportsperson?), pro or not, athletics or other
who engages in athletics, or is built as one who does
athletics
a contest between athletes (qv above)
track and field, plus gymnastics
balance
difference between credits and debits, the remainder which prevents state of balance. "You have a balance there" means you're out of balance because your debit doesn't equal credit.
equilibrium
billion
1e9, i.e. thousand millions
1e12, i.e. million millions
boudoir
some piece of furniture in a bedroom (this comes from a single reference, no clear meaning)
lady's dressing room
cadence
(military) A chant that is sung by military personnel while parading or marching nb. There's actually only one, with text varying from unit to unit. Other meanings of the word, including the primary, are pretty much lost.
a melodic configuration or series of chords marking the end of a phrase, section, or piece of music
caution
attention, being beware of
what you pay for the bottle (and get a refund for)
cement
the concrete (before it goes stiff), so cement is made of cement, gravel and water, quite recursively.
powder which makes the gravel stick in the concrete
chef
main cook, chief cook
chief, boss
classified
classified as secret, top secret or worse
divided into classes, or put into a class as part of a larger division scheme
collateral
property mortgaged or otherwise used as a guarantee for a loan
on the same side
commission
middleman's fee (sr: provizija); state of being in good working order and ready for operation; to order something (to be produced); the act of committing something; the imaginary thing that officers resign but petty officers don't have.
committee, special group delegated to consider some matter
compass
device used for drawing circles
an indicator pointing to the north
concrete
building material (cement, gravel, water)
opposite from abstract
condominium
(an apartment in) a house in shared ownership
division of power between simultaneous rulers
consideration
(legal) value of the subject of a contract
The process of giving careful thought to something
convertible
cabriolet
hard currency, which can be converted into any other currency without a problem
detail
detailed cleaning of a vehicle (a verb)
not a verb
developer
programmer; investor in buildings
Someone who contracts for and supervises the construction of a building; a chemical solution for developing film
development
making more buildings; producing software
Act of improving by expanding or enlarging or refining; a process in which something passes by degrees to a more advanced or mature stage; chemical process to make the latent image visible.
elevator
lift
machine to move loose load (such as corn) to a higher place
eventually
in the end (of story, of event chain)
opposite of "certain to happen", possibly
feud
a long dispute, often between families and spanning generations
land over which a feudal master reigns, his domain
function
a public event or a party, set up by any organized entity
a case of set mapping in mathematics
government
the whole apparatus of state power, with ministers, agencies etc.
the ministers, including the prime minister.
graphical
containing sex or violence ("due to graphical nature of this feature presentation, parental guidance is advised")
using drawings and images but without the full assortment of paint
gross
disgust(ing)
wholesale, in large amounts ("en gross"), dozen dozens
hall
corridor, a narrow room connecting other rooms or leading out
a huge room (as in "music hall", "city hall", "Alberto hall")
hemi
internal combustion engine with a hemispherical burn chamber; a truck equipped with such an engine
prefix for half, as in hemisphere
ottoman
the little stool to lift your legs, a taburet
a flat sofa
paragraph
lines of text delimited by a line break, some indentation at the beginning, and some spacing after the line break.
an article in the text of a law, usually numbered
pathetic
deserving or inciting pity ("Čajkovski [Tchaikovsky] wrote one miserable symphony, really pathetic") .
having a capacity to move one to either compassionate or contemptuous pity
premises
piece of land, or a building, which belongs to someone, who then has the right to tell anyone to "leave the premises".
the statements used as parts of a sylogism
preservative
conserving agent
condom
primary
internal process of selecting a party candidate, consisting of campaign and elections
main, first, the most important
provision
stipulated condition; process of thinking about what you will do in the event of something happening
middleman's fee (v. commission)
spa
any establishment where you can have a more or less luxurious bath
any balneotherapy resort
theatre
house where they run films
house where drama and comedy are played by live actors
trillion
million millions, 1012
million billions, or million million millions, 1018
tsar, czar
Russian emperor
any emperor