A colloquialism is a word or phrase used in everyday conversation, but generally avoided in formal speech and writing.

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converting a phrasal verb into a noun?

Is it common to convert a phrasal verb into a noun, especially a phrasal verb having more than 2 words? I found phrases like "do some figuring out" or "have some figuring out to do" in these days. ...
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28 views

compare as similar by adding “-esque”

I've heard this used colloquially much more than I've ever seen it used in writing. Is there any formally accepted way to use within writing? For example, to describe a scene as being ...
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34 views

“opposite” used as a noncount noun?

We can find sentences like the one below from the Merriam-Webster dictionary: "Wet" is the opposite of "dry." But I've heard others say "Wet is opposite of dry." Is the latter correct? Why can't ...
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23 views

“Am I (ever) [adj.] ” vs. “How [adj.] I am”

What's the difference between saying, Boy, am I happy to see you again! Damn, am I ever lucky to have a friend like you! -and- Boy, how happy I am to see you again! Damn, how lucky ...
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1answer
70 views

Is “go exercising” ungrammatical or non-standard?

Friends, I think the phrase "go exercise" is spoken in colloquial English. But I can still find the phrase "go exercising," even in Google books. Like the excerpt below: I like to exercise, but ...
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69 views

What can be an affectionate name for a car? [closed]

People who drive for a living (taxi drivers, delivery workers, etc.) are often fond of their cars and give them affectionate names. These names can stem from the car brand or model (such as a Beetle ...
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6answers
614 views

An employee called me “boss”, but I don't like it. How can I colloquially say that? [closed]

I'm a Coordinator at an English course in a small city in Brazil, and one of the teachers called me "boss" today. However, I don't appreciate being called that, therefore I'd like to tell him not to ...
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2answers
318 views

Is “hail from (somewhere)” necessarily formal English?

Macmillan dictionary says hail from is "formal". link Cambridge dictionary notes hail from as "formal" in British English but doesn't say this for American English. link Oxford Learners ...
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45 views

Colloquial term for a scam business

There are many disreputable businesses that operate on the idea that you pay them for the privilege of trying to sell their product(s). Is there a common term for this kind of scam; one that could be ...
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5answers
881 views

Can you “do” Science? [closed]

My kid told me recently, she "likes to do science" at school. Though happy about her interests developing into the right direction, I was irked by the phrase itself. I don't think, science can be ...
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4answers
82 views

Slang or idiom for someone who wants to gain weight or bulk up

What is a more colourful way of saying someone who wants to gain weight, increase their muscle size by going to the gym? He has been regularly visiting the gym in hopes of ___ Can I say ...
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8answers
924 views

English equivalent for the French expression “péter de santé”

Is there an expression/idiom in English that carries pretty much the same connotation as what is implied by French "péter de santé"? WordReference actually gives for translation, "be bursting with ...
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3answers
125 views

Colorful English equivalent for the French expression “mine de capitaine”

Is there a colorful expression in English which equates to the French [avoir] une mine de capitaine? (Literally, to sport skipper's [glowing, healthy] looks) It is something that we say to someone ...
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1answer
91 views

“people aged from 15 to 24” vs “people ages from 15 to 24”: which is grammatically correct?

Here is a sentence excerpted from an APA psychological research paper, Teen suicide is a growing health concern. It is the third-leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24, surpassed ...
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0answers
34 views

Does “going to last” mean “continuing” or “persistent”? [closed]

In the given sentence, If you think that this contact is not going to last awhile, you got another thought coming. Could going to last be replaced by persisting or continuing? Why not? Another ...
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1answer
71 views

What does word “nerd” mean exactly? [closed]

I always thought nerds were people who are into science and a bit socially awkward. Like characters in xkcd comic. But in all conversations on the internet, I see nerd refers to a person that is ...
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1answer
51 views

Is 'very' with a noun colloquial [duplicate]

I know that we can use very + noun to indicate the precision, particularity. Once I wrote this sentence: I felt like I was with my very family. My teacher said this sound very colloquial, not ...
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71 views

Can anyone translate the language of Mrs Cameron's diary?

There is a spoof column in The Guardian every Saturday called Mrs Cameron's diary. It purports to record the thoughts of the Prime Minister's wife, Samantha. However it is written in a language which ...
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4answers
328 views

“[will] likely” vs. “[will] probably” in AmEng usage

As far as AmEng goes, can likely be an acceptable alternate to probably in the following OUP quiz? The traffic is terrible so I'll probably be late this morning. Climate change is likely to ...
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1answer
78 views

“frightened 'by' spiders” vs. “frightened 'of' spiders” in AmEng

Could you explain the difference between these two sentences: I'm frightened BY spiders. I'm frightened OF spiders. Obviously both are used in American English in the sense "have a fear ...
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2answers
47 views

Usage of “got” as a subsitute of “taking care of”?

I want to represent a situation in which the character is sad because her boyfriend isn't there, then a guy says: "in any case don't worry, I got you". It is meant to be something like "I will take ...
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1answer
71 views

“downtime” vs. “time off” vs. “free time” vs. “spare time” in AmEng vernacular

How do those terms differ from each other? downtime North American A time of reduced activity or inactivity: everyone needs downtime to unwind ODO spare time Noun time available ...
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2answers
78 views

“flat,” “stone,” “dead,” “dirt,” “plumb,” and “right” as indicators of directness, completeness, or general intensity [closed]

What's the difference between those words? Can they be used just about interchangeably as adverbs indicating completeness or totality? Please, compare: Looking back over my years of wildlife ...
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1answer
59 views

“Poor as Job's cat”

In which part(s) of the U.S. can one still hear the colorful simile, (as) poor as Job's cat? poor as Job - Poverty-stricken, indigent, destitute. The allusion is to the extreme poverty which ...
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62 views

How common is it to use the term “overland” to refer to transport by either land or sea only excluding flying?

I know I've personally used the term "overland" in the context of travel to mean travelling by any means other than air travel. In fact I thought I picked up this usage by seeing others use it this ...
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2answers
72 views

Is there a specific word or phrase for the drowsiness one might feel soon after a heavy lunch?

After a lunch, especially a nutritionally dense one, one might drift off into a drowsy state, sort of a "I sure could use a nap" feel, likely due to the breaking down of the foods in the digestive ...
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1answer
52 views

Term to describe such conversational phrases [closed]

Is there a term to describe colloquial, chatty phrases such as: Weird, I know. Who knew there was a place called Pikachu. You may be wondering... I'm doing a written assignment and I have to ...
2
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1answer
62 views

“taxwise,” “tax wise,” or “tax-wise”

What should be the correct spelling for "-wise" combinations in adverbial coinages like "sportswise," "weatherwise," "businesswise, "saleswise," "taxwise," etc.? Should it be "NOUN wise," ...
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6answers
221 views

Men sweat, but women glisten. What's the equivalent for a woman for snoring?

Colloquially, we say that men sweat, but women glisten. Is there an equivalent word for describing when women snore?
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1answer
91 views

How to answer the greeting “What's the story?”

I have a lot of Irish coworkers that often greet me by saying "What's the story?" What's a good way to answer to this greeting? Also, does this ever get used in the UK, US or Australia?
3
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2answers
122 views

“[ball]park” in AmEng vernacular

Are the terms ballpark and park specific to baseball in AmEng, or can they also be used for every which athletic stadium in which ball games like soccer or rugby are played? For example, would a ...
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2answers
96 views

What do you call a spoken disclaimer on a radio/TV commercial?

The other day I was listening to the radio, and a very lengthy disclosure came on after a commercial. I know that in printed legal documents, and even on websites, the colloquialism for legal ...
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64 views

“tab” for “hotel bill” in AmEng

In AmEng vernacular, is the word tab specific to restaurant and bar checks, or can it also be used for hotel bills? E.g. Guest: We'll be checking out early tomorrow morning, so if it isn't too ...
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2answers
170 views

What did Cyrus Beene mean when he said “sausage factory” on Scandal?

It's a flashback scene from episode seven, "The Trail." In it, Cyrus Beene is arguing with the then not yet President, Fitzgerald Grant, about Olivia Pope. Beene had just hired Pope, and Grant, ...
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2answers
65 views

Usage of 'that much more' in a scientific article

Would it be acceptable to use the phrase "that much more" in the context of a scientific article? Basically, I want to convey this: "The results were obtained doing A. We expect that doing B, taking ...
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3answers
599 views

“jam,” “jelly,” and “jello” in AmEng vernacular

What exactly is the fruit preserve called "jam" in the U.S.? Is it what is referred to in France as "confiture"? If so, then what would be the French for, what is called "jelly" in the U.S. ("jam" ...
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5answers
300 views

The rain is “lifting”

How can the rain "lift"? I mean, I can pretty well figure out that the fog or mist or smog, etc. "lifts", i.e. disappears or disperses by or as if by rising, but "the rain lifting" sounds like it's ...
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1answer
87 views

Differences between formal and colloquial English? [closed]

What are the basic differences between formal and colloquial English? Is it right that colloquial English uses more contracted forms, slang expressions, phrasal verbs, subjunctive, and euphemisms? ...
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3answers
2k views

Is it really possible to be “half dead”?

It is not all-too-rare to hear of someone being "half-dead," but is that logical, or possible? If so, how do you determine just how dead, percentage-wise, a person is? If it's possible to be 50% ...
3
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3answers
217 views

What does this phrase mean: “they just can't keep their hands off the cookie jar”?

What does the following sentence mean? They just can’t keep their hands off the cookie jar (or outta the cookie jar) I came across this sentence in a movie. The context is racism and the social ...
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4answers
102 views

Is “fatty” a proper word to use?

The most intuitive word to describe a person rich in fat seems to be fatty. However, I'm not sure whether it's commonly used in a derogatory sense in English. Do I need a more appropriate word ...
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5answers
186 views

What do kids say instead of "videotape”?

In a conversation I just had I used the word "videotape" to mean recording a video on a cell phone. It occurred to me that this is probably not the word youngsters use today, but I couldn't think of a ...
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3answers
256 views

“I have been Jessica” shouldn't it be “My name is Jessica”

We went to an electronics showroom, where we chatted with a sales girl. She explained some technical stuff about the things we were interested in. When she had finished explaining, she said "By ...
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0answers
29 views

What do we got? [duplicate]

What do we got? In vernacular American speech, I have heard this structure several times. A search in COCA yields 36 results for "what do we got" and 107 results for "what do you got". This is what ...
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11answers
1k views

Is there any equivalent for 'amorous affairs' that is very informal?

I'm looking for a way of saying “having amorous affairs”. Ideally it should indicate a married man fooling around with younger women, and the expression should be informal, humorous, in low register ...
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40 views

What is the term used for some kind of punishment

What is colloquial word for kind of punishment for children/teen when he's not allowed to leave home (go to friends etc), but only school-home-school... ?
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4answers
170 views

Meaning of the statement “Are you playing thick or just are? ”

Somebody told me Are you playing thick or just are? in the middle of a conversation. and I didn't know its meaning. I searched for "play thick" in Google, but I didn't find anything. Is “are ...
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205 views

When did “I could care less” (rather than “I couldn't care less”) become popular?

What decade? Any particular reason? This is an etymological/historical question, not a grammar question.
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3answers
109 views

Does “started a start-up company” contain redundancy?

I see the phrase "started a start-up company" more and more these days, and feel that it is redundant, and the speaker is ignorant or using stock phrases without thinking. Any company we start would ...
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2answers
322 views

phrase or idiom meaning 'I don't have enough money nowadays.' [closed]

Is there any phrase or idiom meaning 'I don't have enough money nowadays'? I just want to know sentences which are used in everyday life.