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

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Is there a colloquial phrase to describe a sports heckler?

What might you call someone who verbally harasses a player from the stands? Hey Lincecum. I've seen better curves on a square! Who is that guy?
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2answers
53 views

“Flash (one's attention/eyes)” for “focus/direct (one's attention/eyes)”, and “flash one's eyes at” for “stare with lust or passion at”

As far as your English variety goes, is it acceptable in every which register of speech and writing, and rather common usage, to say "flash" for "focus/direct (one's attention/eyes)", but also for ...
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1answer
45 views

“Bother and do” for “bother doing/to do” in colloquial speech and writing

As far as your English variety goes, does it sound acceptable to say "bother and do" instead of "bother doing/to do" in colloquial speech and not so formal writing? E.g. Please spend a moment of ...
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4answers
89 views

Nouns as verbs, Brits and Yanks: ID cards

I find it interesting that not only do British and American English speakers both use the noun 'ID card' as a verb in the context of (trying to be in a position of) purchasing age-restricted items, ...
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1answer
95 views

Various meanings of “mind and do” which can mean “be cautious/careful to do”, “take notice/give heed and do”, and “behave obediently and do”

How would you native speakers define the meaning of "mind and do" in the following examples: I will mind and do as I am told, Master Yoda... Mind and do your work properly... As long as you mind ...
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1answer
79 views

“To be starved” for “to be hungry, starving” in colloquial AE [closed]

Is "to be starved" a typical AE expression for "to be starving"? I'm starved! What's for breakfast? source I'm starved. What's for dinner? source I'm starved. When do we eat? source
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3answers
201 views

“Would you mind and do something” in nonstandard colloquial AE

Just curious, does "Would you mind and do something" instead of "Would you mind doing something" sound acceptable in spoken AE, or is it an attempt to imitate or render colloquial speech in not so ...
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6answers
2k views

Using “so” and “very” for ungradable adjectives

We generally use modifiers such as "so" and "very" for gradable/normal adjectives (water can be quite/so/very HOT, but not quite/so/very BOILING (an ungradable/extreme adjective). Yet would you say ...
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1answer
124 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 ...
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4answers
2k views

Which is correct: “I’m done” or “I have finished”?

Which of these alternatives is grammatically correct? I’m done. or I have finished Like I’m done sounds very American, but is it grammatically correct?
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2answers
94 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?
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3answers
5k views

Be/keep/stay in touch

Are all these forms correct? Let's be in touch Let's keep in touch Let's stay in touch Thanks
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2answers
96 views

Saying for not doing something because it is futile [duplicate]

Is there such a saying? Futile may be either because it will fail or because it is unnecessary / already taken care of. I considered: too many chefs spoil the broth and It's like carrying coals to ...
2
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2answers
9k 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 ...
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1answer
71 views

Noun of What a Straight Shooter Gives

A straight shooter gives information in an honest way. One could say, "He (the straight shooter) gives me the ...".
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1answer
86 views

Infinitive use in “whether or not he be” compared with its use in “if he be”

Here is the phrase in question: . . . but whether he be, or whether he be not. . . . Is the usage of the infinitive in that phrase above the same sort of thing as occurs in this quotation: ...
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1answer
146 views

Is it possible to say “ASAP” instead of “as soon as possible” when we speak? [closed]

Or is it just an abbreviation that should be written just on paper? I heard Al Pacino say "asap" on the phone when he was talking with his friend. What about pm? Could we say p m instead of prime ...
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2answers
83 views

What does “as good a film as the Coen brothers…have ever made” mean? [duplicate]

What does "as good a film as the Coen brothers...have ever made" mean? Does it mean that the film is their best? what is the underlying structure?
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3answers
282 views

Which word(s) can be used to express causal relation in modern English? [closed]

I will skip it over, because nobody will have doubt on this. Since nobody will have doubt on this, I will skip it over. I will skip it over, for nobody will have doubt on this. An ...
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2answers
330 views

Is the phrase “I feel you” too colloquial?

Does the phrase "I feel you" sound too slangy and somewhat horrible to a British person? Is it ok to use it as a synonym of "I understand what you feel/say" in an informal, casual conversation?
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1answer
204 views

Is “to split up” or “to break up” colloquial?

Are "to split up" and "to break up" colloquial if I want to say that somebody ended a relationship? If they are colloquial, could you give me non-colloquial synonyms except "to end" a relationship?
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0answers
49 views

“Down for” something vs. “Up for” something? [duplicate]

Is there any difference between someone saying they're "down for" something as opposed to being "up for" something? For example: I'm totally up for ice cream tonight! vs. I'm totally down ...
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1answer
119 views

What's the origin of “dinkum”?

Dinkum as a noun means work, especially hard work. As an adjective, like fair dinkum, it means honest or genuine. Other than saying it's chiefly Australian and New Zealand, the OED simply says ...
2
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2answers
117 views

What does “to revive the 2-for-1 model” mean?

What does "find a clever way to revive the 2-for-1 model pitched by the Clintons so long ago" mean in the following quote from The Washington Post of today? The author, Michelle Cottle, wrote that ...
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1answer
963 views

What does it mean “I am not around”? [closed]

When I asked my friend, "would you like to come to the party tomorrow?" he answered, "thanks, but I am not around" does it mean he is not in the NYC or just not around the hood??
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1answer
206 views

Ending a sentence with “and thanks”

I have a colleague who ends many emails with "and thanks". To me it sounds awkward and random, but I wonder if anyone has seen this usage before? Examples (note particularly the third one!): "That ...
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3answers
455 views

Is there a non-colloquial equivalent term for “cool”?

As I get older (into my 30s) the less I feel like using youthful slang, and I take extra pride in using professional English. But I can't think of a word that is universally equivalent to the ...
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1answer
261 views

“hot topic” as phrase in thesis

I'm currently writing the introduction of my Ph.D. thesis, which is about theoretical computer science. I stumbled upon the phrase To put it in a nutshell, X is a hot topic where X refers to ...
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5answers
468 views

Is there a female or gender-neutral equivalent to the colloquial “man”?

I don't know how to define the usage of man I'm talking about*, so I'll do it with examples: Hey, man, what's up? C'mon, man, don't make me do this. Is there a female or gender-neutral ...
3
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5answers
299 views

What is the term for a common expression that is inaccurate or misleading?

What is the term for a common expression or colloquialism that is inaccurate or misleading, such as the use of "mental math" to mean "mental calculation" or "mental arithmetic"?
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3answers
1k views

Is it correct to use the phrase “Think on it”

Is it correct to use the phrase "Think on it"? You can use sleep on it for thinking about something overnight and you can say "I'm thinking on my bed" to mean that I am sitting on my bed and ...
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1answer
466 views

OK, here's a weird one: “I appreciate ya”

Say you do something simple and nice for someone. A normal reply would be " I appreciate that, thank you." (phrased in either order) But for the past year or two, down here in the southern US, I've ...
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1answer
130 views

Is 'somelike' a word?

Never mind the laconic title. It's incontrovertibly a word. What I'd like to know is whether the little bugger has ever been recorded by lexicographers. I've ruffled a dozen dictionaries to no avail, ...
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4answers
228 views

“I don't have internet” vs. “I don't have the internet”?

When there is no WI-Fi or internet connection, people usually say I don't have internet. However, I heard someone saying I don't have the internet. which sounds funny to me. I would ...
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1answer
213 views

What is the difference between “brush aside” and “brush off”?

He brushed her ideas / accusations aside He brushed her ideas / accusations off She brushed him off / aside after breaking up What's the difference between brush off and brush aside? I looked the ...
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6answers
533 views

some other ways to express the fact that I have been learning something for a certain period of time but still haven't mastered the ABCs of it?

I wonder if there are some other ways to express the fact that I have been learning something for a certain period of time but still haven't mastered the ABCs of it? The following is what I am not ...
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2answers
132 views

Is the colloquial Australian term 'festy' actually a word?

Usage: "I would not like to eat that pie as it looks all festy since you dropped it on the ground." Is the colloquial Australian term 'festy' actually a word? Also, is it used elsewhere in the world? ...
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3answers
110 views

When did speakers/writers of AE begin to replace the noun “quotations” with the verb “quotes”?

Not being particularly adept at using Google's Ngram viewer, I put the two words (quotes and quotations) into the viewer and it displayed a result, with the two lines staying pretty close together ...
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7answers
2k 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 ...
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1answer
3k 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".
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1answer
324 views

“There were only 4” versus “There was only 4”?

I used the sentence "there was only 4 channels on tele" (reminiscing about the good old days before digital TV!), but I wasn't sure if I was right, so tried were instead of was. It still doesn't ...
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0answers
464 views

Where can I find a list of colloquial abbreviations for cities? [closed]

I'm seeking a list of commonly used abbreviations for US cities (and also European cities, but let's start with the US). When I say abbreviations, that could be anything from 2 letters or more that ...
2
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2answers
297 views

Is “hang” really short for “hang out”? [closed]

I saw this entry in Urban Dictionary (I know, not the best place for formal English, but it does do a pretty good job at collecting slang). 1.hang short for "hang out" "I'm just gonna ...
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1answer
274 views

Correct spelling of “can too” in response to “you can't” [closed]

If someone says "you can't do that" there's a colloquial response of "can too". Is it "can too" or "can to"?
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2answers
582 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 ...
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2answers
279 views

Can I use “lardy-dardy” to describe a man's gay lisp and gesture?

Can I use "lardy-dardy" to describe a man's gay lisp and gesture? If this is not OK, I have three more questions. How else can I ever use lardy-dardy? Which word should I be using instead? Is ...
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0answers
44 views

When to use “programming's” vs. “programming is” [duplicate]

My sentence can be said as: Programming is fun. and it can also be said as: Programming's fun. Both seem to be correct. When should I use one instead of the other?
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1answer
2k views

How does the expression “Not half bad” hold its meaning? [closed]

I'm interested in the phrase 'not half bad', which, like 'cheap at half the price' actually means the opposite of what the user is generally trying to say. The term 'not half!' is commonly used to ...
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2answers
119 views

“What time?” instead of “What day?”

I was talking with a friend about an event that was going to happen in the future. He asked me "What time?" referring, as I discovered after a while, to the day this event was going to happen. I ...
8
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1answer
1k views

What is the etymology of “todger”?

What is the etymology of "todger"? My Concise OED is rather vague: ORIGIN 1950s: of unknown origin (also tadger) "Tadger" is just listed as a "Variant spelling of TODGER" Other references ...