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

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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
34 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?
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35 views

Which is more common for everyday use? [migrated]

An old man is sitting on the bench. Or There is an old man sitting on the bench.
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2answers
104 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
56 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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1answer
46 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
156 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
49 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
558 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
279 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
76 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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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% ...
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3answers
129 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
91 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
150 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
242 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
28 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
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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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1answer
29 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
132 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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4answers
174 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
98 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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4answers
151 views

Colloquially, does the term “redhead” apply specifically to a person with naturally red hair? [closed]

My husband and I were discussing this yesterday, and I was hoping y'all would give us an "official" answer. :) We both believe that for a person to be accurately described as a "redhead", they must ...
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52 views

What does “fiddle with that” mean [closed]

What does "fiddle with that" mean. Can anyone please explain with an example. Thank you.
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2answers
427 views

Can “must not” be used alternately to “can't” in AE to say that sth is logically impossible?

Does American English allow the use of "must not" instead of "can't" to say that something is believed to be logically impossible? Please consider the following examples: It must not be true! How ...
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2answers
159 views

Word meaning “to startle someone by surreptitiously poking them in the sides, from behind”

I inadvertently caused a great deal of amusement among a group of friends by incorrectly using the word "goose" to describe the action of sneaking up behind a person and poking, tickling, or touching ...
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2answers
74 views

What does “But lay off his looks, okay, Donald?” mean?

In this issue of "The O'Reilly Factor" Bill O'Reilly says at the end: "But lay off his looks, okay, Donald?" My question What does this phrase mean?
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512 views

Responding with “OK” & “Welcome” to “Thank you” [duplicate]

Please, let me make it clear that my question is not asking how native speakers usually respond to "Thank you". Before posting this question I did some research and I also read this discussion: How do ...
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2answers
129 views

Use of “I called myself” + gerund/participle

Is anyone familiar with this construction and its origin? Is it standard or non-standard? "I called myself taking a nap but ended up sleeping half the day." "I called myself cooking dinner, ...
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3answers
568 views

Is the sentence “I want to take a rest” wrong?

I heard that we should use "I want to rest" instead of "I want to take a rest." I also heard that "I want to take a rest" is not a sentence a native speaker would use. Is that correct? Should we ...
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3answers
151 views

Colloquial meaning of a hashtag

Despite its primarily functional origins, the hash tag has broken out of its social media context and is a kind of colloquialism, usually intended as a joke, but utilized in just about any form of ...
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2answers
129 views

Is it correct to say “I have no intention to run after you, no more!”?

Provided that "It's totally useless to run after someone who does not make the slightest effort to listen to you", e.g. when you are always there, trying to stop someone from making a mess, but he/she ...
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2answers
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What does “lift their skirts … and grab the eyeglasses right off someone's face” mean?

From Gavin De Becker, The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals that Protect Us from Violence (1998): "That's true," she said. "Every day I have to predict what the kids will do, and I succeed for ...
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1answer
293 views

What is the origin of the phrase “has some teeth to it”?

I know the phrase "has some teeth to it" refers to something that cuts and/or takes hold of something. It's used a lot in arguments / discussion of topics where serious / good counterpoints are used, ...
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4answers
310 views

The slogan, “i'm lovin' it” is grammatically wrong [duplicate]

My grammar book pointed out that when you use some verbs in the continuous tenses, it need to be something active, such as running, or eating. Verbs that do not imply an action, but instead refer to a ...
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1answer
246 views

Does the verb 'to tank' meaning to lose deliberately, or fail to finish, only apply to lawn tennis?

The Australian tennis star, Nick Kyrgios, is proposed in the Australian press to have tanked in his second set at Wimbledon, yesterday. According to the OED sense 6 of tank when used as a verb ...
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Polite, non-profane equivalent to ‘kick a**’

So, you have a web site to which you've posted a review stating "How to Kick Ass". This gets censored, which I can understand. What's a very colloquial, not necessarily modern slang, easily ...
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1answer
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About “talking X”

I have come across normal usage like "let us talk about science" or "he is talking funny". In the first case, what we are going to talk about is science. In the second case, he is not talking about ...
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2answers
302 views

What does “opposite” mean?

In a mathematical sense, the opposite of "X" is "not X" and this works in all cases. But in language text books, or in common usage, there is a lot of ambiguity in "opposite". Eg. Father ~ Mother Son ...
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4answers
291 views

Feminine version of colloquial use 'hi man'

When a man greets another man, he often says 'hi man', 'thanks man', etc. I am wondering whether these expressions have feminine use. I never heard a woman greeting another woman with 'hi woman'. Any ...
2
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2answers
159 views

What does “but […], though” mean? [closed]

I asked my American friends about the meaning of this word, but none of them could answer definitely. Some of them said that you can say though if you're not sure about something. Some of them said ...
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5answers
246 views

What would an 11-year-old say that means “appropriate”?

I need a similar word that may be used by a 6th grade girl; e.g.,“That kind of behavior is only appropriate for little girls of six or seven.” It is not to tell her (may be used by), it is for her ...
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2answers
115 views

Is the expression 'What's one say?' corrent?

I've just heard an unfamiliar phrase from a video: What's the driver say? At first, I thought I just couldn't follow what the actor said but I confirmed that what I had heard was right from the ...
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1answer
128 views

Colloquial American term for “miliaria”

Often during summers in the tropics, especially under intense heat conditions, we get a skin condition medically referred to as "miliaria." It comprises of reddish rashes with several tiny boil-like ...
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1answer
333 views

Colloquial English word for: a “Remote control”

What is the most popular word used for calling: "Remote control" in British families? How do the people call it? How the children call it? Thanks!
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2answers
81 views

Is “over-babble” a common word usable in day-to-day conversation?

There was the following passage in New York Times (May 14) article under the title, “Wow, Jeb Bush is awful.”: "The bottom line is that so far he seems to be a terrible candidate. He couldn’t ...
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What does “the young go getters” mean?

I came across this colloquial phrase: "the young go getters". What does that actually mean? Does it refer to a young child/adolescent who is supposed to be a creative thinker?
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1answer
198 views

Is there a word for women who use prostitutes?

Men who use prostitutes are colloquially called johns. Is there a specific word for women who use prostitutes?
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1answer
67 views

Colloquial term for “irritable bladder”

In German, there's a term "Reizblase" which describes the bladder of someone who has to hit the bathroom every ten minutes. The dictionaries suggested "irritable bladder" as a translation which - ...
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2answers
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“Sounds like a plan (, Stan!)”

"Sounds like a plan (, Stan!)" (idiom, used to agree to a suggestion that you think is good: OxfordLearnersDictionariesOnline) It seems to be of relatively recent origin, if there's really a ...