This tag is for questions about choosing different or alternative words or phrases.

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28
votes
15answers
2k views

Secular alternative to “preaching to the choir”?

Is there a secular alternative to the phrase "preaching to the choir"?
18
votes
14answers
8k views

How to say “She/He is my girlfriend/boyfriend” without the possessive “my” [closed]

Is there a way to indicate that somebody is your girlfriend without using the possessive term my? I think saying She/He is my partner/other half is OK for married people, but it doesn't feel right for ...
14
votes
7answers
5k views

Can you also say “Take you care” or “Take you care, too”?

As a greeting in parting you often say "Take care" (at least in the US, I am not so sure about the UK). Can you also say "Take you care" or answer with "Take you care, too"?
13
votes
5answers
4k views

What is an alternative to “Bless you” after sneezing? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are alternative responses for when someone sneezes? I know the history/reason why people say bless you to you after you sneeze. My question is, is there an ...
12
votes
10answers
2k views

Alternative expression for “bang for your buck”

I have been hearing the expression "bang for you buck" many times a day and I find myself distracted when I or others use it. In an effort to be an attentive listener, what is a good alternative ...
8
votes
7answers
26k views

What is an alternative for “thank you”?

So... I am seeking a new job and several recruiters are helping me. Instead of saying 'Thank you', should I say 'I appreciate'? Which one is more polite? Could someone please tell me how to express ...
8
votes
3answers
542 views

Is 'compatriate' really an English word?

I recently saw the word 'compatriate' used in a newspaper article. Upon looking it up, suspecting a typo (or even an eggcorn: it is easy to see how compatriot would be mixed-up with expatriate etc.), ...
7
votes
11answers
573 views

Noun (or alternative) of thought-provoking?

I'm planning to start a blog. And before every post, I'm planning to add how thought-provoking I think that post is. So I was thinking about something that I can call thought-provoking-ness level. ...
7
votes
2answers
12k views

“Alternately” or “alternatively”

What is the difference between alternately and alternatively? I've seen both words being used, but which one is grammatically correct? He could do X. Or alternately, he could do Y. He could do ...
6
votes
7answers
1k views

Said In Context: A more appropriate alternative to [sic]?

For a long time, I understood [sic] to mean said in context, but I was told that that said in context is really a backronym. Fair enough. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sic#Improper_abbreviation ...
6
votes
5answers
157 views

What's an alternative idiom to “rob Peter to pay Paul?”

I'm looking for an alternative to the phrase, but I can't seem to figure any out. What's an alternative to "rob Peter to pay Paul?"
6
votes
6answers
429 views

Alternative to “lossily compressed”

Is there a better way to say "lossily compressed"? The adverb lossily can not be found in Merriam-Webster, but the adjective lossy can. It also feels a bit unnatural.
6
votes
6answers
1k views

end-to-end alternatives

I just received an email that included the phrase soup-to-nuts meaning "end-to-end." Are there any other alternatives to this? eg cradle-to-grave? I want to include some in the reply email.
5
votes
6answers
436 views

Alternative to the phrase “not to mention”?

Despite knowing how the phrase "not to mention ..." is often used, it still grates on me to use it because I am in the act of "mentioning" even as I use it. I found it helpful to read the origins of ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Beg to differ - Why is there a need to beg for differ

Wouldn't 'Wish to differ' be better than 'Beg to differ'? A friend of mine asked me why I like to 'beg to differ', instead of 'wish to differ' or 'want to differ'. Any insight on the history of 'Beg ...
4
votes
6answers
2k views

Alternatives to “skating on thin ice”

The idiom skating on thin ice to express that a person is performing an action that has a great risk is commonplace. What are some good alternatives, both common and uncommon or possibly regional?
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Alternatives to “layman”

Is layman a gender specific term or can it be used like college 'freshman'? Is it still appropriate to use, or has it been superseded by some other term? Specific to IT, it seems more appropriate to ...
4
votes
4answers
356 views

Up my street and down the lane [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Do I travel “up” or “down” to London from north of the city? Except where there is obvious difference in elevation e.g. on a sloping road, how do ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Use of “when about” as colloquial alternative to “approximately when”

If I wanted to ask someone approximately when they would be doing something, for example arriving, I could use Approximately when do you think you could do that? Would the following be a correct ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there a short word or slang for “matchmaker”?

I'm trying to find an appropriate name for kind of a dating website. The purpose of the website is to match between people, hence the description - matchmaker. However this word isn't catchy enough. ...
4
votes
2answers
113 views

What is a good alternative to “the film is set in”?

I'm writing a paper about a movie. I would like to start like this: Monsters is a 2010 independent science-fiction film directed by Gareth Edwards and set in the Mexico-U.S. border region. It ...
4
votes
4answers
93 views

Alternatives for “layperson”

We are developing a website and we have different personas (to connect with certain user types). We think layperson is probably not the best and i was wondering if the community here might be able to ...
3
votes
7answers
1k views

Alternatives to “hypocrite”

I'm trying to accurately describe a person who acts in one way and does another but knowingly and openly accepts that his actions also include him in the same group he criticizes. This differs from a ...
3
votes
6answers
2k views

Alternative to “double entendre”?

Does anyone know another word or way to say double entendre — in the non-bawdy sense of the word — as this phrase was only invented in the latter 1600's and so not around when Shakespeare wrote his ...
3
votes
4answers
10k views

Is there a better way to say: “My question is, is…” (e.g. “The question is, is it the right time”)

It feels a little weird for me (or should I say to me?) to say: So my question is, is having two 'Is' correct? And also this seems to me incorrect grammatically: So my question is, is ...
3
votes
3answers
325 views

Which one is the proper alternative ? niche / field / area / domain

I'm developing a software that asks user to specify a niche / field / area / domain of the document he is uploading. It can be business proposal, technical documentation, official stuff, ...
3
votes
3answers
253 views

Is there a specific name for a portmanteau of two alternative spellings?

This question came about in a discussion between myself and another user of the Gaming.SE chat after I linked in this chiptune track called An Eskimeau Experience Here is the gist of the discussion: ...
3
votes
1answer
178 views

Avoid using 'at' twice while addressing subset programs/centers

I was wondering if there is a better way of saying the following sentence: I received the ABC scholarship at the PQR center at the University of Education. I have seen this in many places, but I ...
3
votes
3answers
599 views

Between '(s)he' & 'he/she' — which is recommended/ preferable?

When talking about or referring to someone who could either be a male or a female, I usually write it as (s)he but I have also seen usage like he/she, which also seems correct to me. I use (s)he ...
3
votes
2answers
187 views

Another word/phrase for precipitation?

Is there some word that I could use in place of precipitation when I don't know if it's raining, snowing, or hailing outside? Saying "there is probably precipitation right now" (in place of something ...
2
votes
10answers
3k views

What are some old-world alternatives or precursors to 'WTF' (expressions of frustration or surprise)? [closed]

Such as 'what on Earth' or 'what in the world', etc. I'm trying to come up with a list of witty alternatives. Note: I'm not looking for alternatives to the letters W, T, and F. I'm looking for ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Should we avoid using words that have alternate offensive meaning [closed]

There are many English words that could be used to refer to something innocent that also has a common slang meaning, such as pussy, ass, bitch, etc. For convenience' sake, should we avoid using ...
2
votes
2answers
193 views

What is the meaning of “greasing the pan”?

In a tutorial, the instructor says: We've greased the pan, now it's time to pour in the batter. The tutorial is technical (IT), and has nothing to do with cooking, so what is the meaning of the ...
2
votes
4answers
3k views

Alternative to “as-well-as” for an academic paper

Is there some better alternative to phrase as well as for an academic writing? It sounds to me too informal. The whole sentence is: Improvements of both parts are possible as well as joining ...
2
votes
4answers
474 views

Alternatives to the noun 'dump' (as in “a data dump”)

What are alternatives to the noun 'dump' (as in "a data dump")? The word dump here refers to the data that gets dumped, in other words, to the mass of what is being dumped. Another not-so-common ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the proper alternative for 'credentialize'?

Usage: The emergence of a second competitor in the market will help credentialize the product and the vision.
2
votes
5answers
303 views

How can you distinguish between different meanings of the verb “to know” in English?

I work in an industrial setting. Today I had a conversation with my coworkers in which we discussed that another group knew that our group has requirements that they were not going to meet based on ...
2
votes
2answers
589 views

Are there alternative words for 'subcomponent'? [closed]

I have a situation as follows: In a score, there are 2 main components - Section A and Section B. In each components, there are subcomponent. (Example: Section A have 2 subcomponents - ...
2
votes
2answers
90 views

Can I use the term “ageographical” to refer to multinational corporations?

I came across the following sentence and checked it in the Corpus of Contemporary American English: Ideologues, be they left or right politically, are fundamentally ageographical. I know that ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Correspond to vs. Correspond with

Is there any significant difference between Correspond to and Correspond with? I only mean in the sense of "matching", here, rather than "communication". I've looked at a few sources, but I can't ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Alternatives to 'respectively'

Is there any other word I can use instead of respectively? This word provides me a way to describe a list of items conveniently in a single sentence and hence save space. I've used this many times ...
2
votes
4answers
91 views

“Accepted” not correct for legal document [closed]

Could someone suggest a good word to use in the sentence given below? It is for use in a legal operational protocol manual and should fit within context. I'm currently using "accepted", due to a lack ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Respectful alternative to “Madam”

Madam is the word to call a woman with respect. Of course it has another meaning. Is there another word used to call a woman with respect?
1
vote
3answers
546 views

Is there an alternative expression for 'opening band' or 'opening act'? [closed]

The question says it all. Together with a colleague we were looking for this. We both had the feeling that there's another way to say it.
1
vote
5answers
387 views

Word for in-house jargon

If a word or phrase is used and has evolved its own meaning peculiar to a specific group, is this described as jargon or is there a closer semantic match?
1
vote
2answers
78 views

Alternative to “accessible”

In the context of a technical manual, engineers use the word "accessible" to indicate that a piece of hardware should have "easy access" for repair, maintenance, and other modifications. What would ...
1
vote
2answers
250 views

“Easy-to-make-typos” alternative?

Is there a good, compact word or phrase that would explain one's ability to make typos? I mean, I'm trying to write something like this: Now you can use this feature without either non-predictable ...
1
vote
4answers
524 views

Verbs for “and” and “or”?

Are there (better) verbs for "and"ing or "or"ing a bunch of clauses together? Edit: Can't believe I didn't think of this earlier... would "conjoin" and "disjoin" work?
1
vote
1answer
172 views

What term has suddenly replaced the term “physically challenged” from 1996?

Why has the term "physically challenged" been used less and less since 1996-97 (ngram), while the term "mentally challenged" continues to have a positive trend? What term has gradually replaced the ...
1
vote
3answers
822 views

Is it OK to use “after a moment,” “not long after,” and “before long” interchangeably?

I write stories, and I often find myself writing "after a moment," in too many parts. On their table was a smoked salmon, grilled meat, a plate of sushi, mussels, some salad, a basket with ...