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