5
votes
3answers
80 views

What do we 'turn round and say'?

Often you will hear people say something like 'He turned round and called me a liar', or 'what if she turns round and refuses to pay'. This 'turn round' (I am informed it is much less used in ...
2
votes
1answer
211 views

does 'A' in 'Easy A' (movie) mean “ei”?

English is not my first language. I have just watched the movie Easy A. I understood its content a little bit but I don't understand what the title means. I often hear many Native English speakers ...
3
votes
1answer
771 views

What does “wishy-washy” mean?

Question: What does it mean when something is "wishy-washy"? Is it informal? Is it American English, British English or both?
0
votes
1answer
107 views

What does the phrase “They would clash with my drapes” mean?

I have come across this phrase in the sitcom, Hot in Cleveland wherein a gay man is asked if he had kids to which he responds with this phrase :"They would clash with my drapes." I tried looking it up ...
0
votes
2answers
905 views

“Latch onto [something/someone]” for “obtain, get (hold of) [something/someone]” in AE

I just rediscovered the colloquial expression "latch on to [something]" online and would like to know the story to its meaning of "obtain, get", which is presented by CD as AE and CE. ...
0
votes
1answer
180 views

What does “to take/catch someone off stride” mean in AE?

I guess it might originate from ball game terminology, and mean pretty much the same as "catch/take someone off balance". But, sad to say, I just can't seem to find an authoritative source online that ...
3
votes
4answers
363 views

“Shag” for “chase and bring back, fetch” in AE

Does "shag" have any currency in modern day AE to mean "chase and bring back, fetch (an escaped animal/prisoner)"? Is its use limited to the pursuit of runaways, or can it be extended to a broader ...
-1
votes
4answers
236 views

What does “throw down (an order, an idea)” as in “The offer was thrown down to join the Sith” mean?

What's the actual meaning to "throw down something" as in "His offer was thrown down"? Is it the same as saying "His offer was rejected", or is it like saying that the offer was made for ...
2
votes
1answer
155 views

What does “I had every last one of them” mean?

I heard this quote from a Channel 4 sitcom the IT crowd I'm gonna go, I may not come back but I want to say this. That accounts team, I had every last one of them. It is said by Douglas ...
0
votes
2answers
132 views

alternatives for 'finding your feet'

I need alternatives for the expression finding your feet or getting used to something / doing something Can anyone help?
3
votes
2answers
15k views

Die hard or die heart?

I just saw someone write that they were a "die heart" fan. I always thought the term was supposed to be "die hard" but I decided to google it just in case I was wrong. Google was unable to give me a ...
16
votes
7answers
3k views

Why are you a plonker?

The idiom, plonk (something/someone) down means to slap something down; to plop something down to sit or lie down on something in a careless or noisy way to leave someone somewhere to do ...
5
votes
1answer
5k views

What does “good job” mean? [closed]

What is the meaning of "good job" in English? I have heard some people use that instead of "do not be tired".
1
vote
2answers
798 views

Evolution of “push somebody's buttons” and “know what buttons to push”

Colloquially speaking, "to push somebody's buttons" means to irritate or annoy the person. And, "know what buttons to push" means to know what to do to get people to act the way you want. I can't ...
-2
votes
1answer
150 views

Is “all of your everything” common English?

Is the phrase “all of your everything” proper English? It seems to mean “all of your belongings”, but what special connotations does this phrase have? It can be found here but the search engine of ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How do you say to “connect nails with heads”?

I was chatting with a non native speaker and they said "we will connect nails with heads" or something along that line, and asked if that was the right way to say it in English. I knew what he meant: ...
3
votes
1answer
11k views

Proper use of the phrase “of all time”

I have a client who insists on using the following sentence in his web site: Lance Armstrong is the most successful American bike racer of all times. I think that "of all times" should be "of ...
45
votes
11answers
4k views

Idiom: People caring about minor stuff while something terrible is happening

Imagine a situation in which the whole place is on fire, a bomb is about to explode, everyone is running for their lives and someone is checking his looks on the mirror... pretty inappropriate for the ...
4
votes
12answers
7k views

Is there an idiom for people who boast too much?

I am looking for idioms or informal/slang/colloquial expression for some people that make you think that they are able of building a skyscraper, constructing a spaceship, playing the piano better than ...
0
votes
1answer
421 views

Why do we say “… by [date/time]”?

What's the origin of the use of by to indicate at/on or before or no(t) later than? Examples: Best if used by 8/24/2011. I'll be there by 6:30.
8
votes
2answers
578 views

Where did this usage of “something” originate: “I need a nap something terrible”?

I need a nap something awful! I know what this means, but I could never understand it: it's not easier to say, it's not more efficient, and it doesn't make sense! When was it started (and why)?
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Where did the phrase “shut up” as an expression of disbelief or amazement originate?

I recently heard shut up used according to this definition in Urban dictionary. shut·up (shuht-up) --interjection 1. An expression of disbelief. 2. Amazement; astonishment. I've only ...
5
votes
3answers
10k views

“Going to go” vs “going to”?

My significant other tells me that I'm not "going to go" to the shops, I'm "going to" the shops, and beats me mercilessly when I say that. Is this not correct? I might not be going to the shops until ...
1
vote
8answers
5k views

Could you name some numbers that have a special meaning in English, like 666? [closed]

The question "What does the term “86'd” relate to?" made me wonder what similar cases we have in English. I'd like to know some other numbers that have a commonly understood meaning beyond their use ...
1
vote
2answers
504 views

What does “trigger-happy on broken windows” mean?

What does this expression mean: to be "trigger-happy on broken windows"
3
votes
2answers
274 views

Is “you've coming from” a colloquialism?

In the Take That song, Never Forget, the lyrics run "Never forget where you've coming from". Was that a mistake, or is it a colloquialism (or something else) to say "you've" instead of "you're" in ...
13
votes
3answers
18k views

Which is the correct idiom: “First thing's first” or “First things first”?

I've gotten into a debate over which usage of an apostrophe in the phrase "first thing(')s first" is correct. My thinking is that one would take the first thing and give it priority, hence the first ...
16
votes
6answers
21k views

Is “my bad” a correct English phrase?

I have seen many people use the phrase "my bad" in Internet forums. What does it exactly imply and is it a proper English phrase?