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

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What does “flustrated” mean, and is it a word?

What does the flustrated mean? Is it even a word? I am using Lingea Lexicon and it doesn’t know this word, but the Internet is full of it. I find myself hating people for using it both in English ...
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1answer
704 views

What is the correct way to write the interjection “ha ha?”

I had a hard time finding the English origin of this interjection and how it technically should be written. I am often ridiculed in written conversations, especially those that are informal, because I ...
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1answer
352 views

What do “truxtop” and “thumb tax” mean? [closed]

What do truxtop and thumb tax mean? I found them mentioned in this quotation from English Words History and Structure, 2nd edition (p. 113): The replacement of the sequence [ks] by x is a ...
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1answer
130 views

What does “playus nigh” mean in Cockney?

Quotation from A history of the cries of London ancient (p23). Refer to What does “him as writ plays” mean?
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2answers
233 views

What does “him as writ plays” (etc.) mean in old newspaper clipping?

Quotation from A history of the cries of London ancient (p23). ... famous theatre afterwards to be so widely known. The sunshiny time of our literature and life, making a red-letter period in ...
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1answer
8k views

“so long as” vs. “as long as”

I just googled the difference between as long as and so long as. The difference has alredy been discussed here. There are, it seems, two contexts for these expressions: lengths and physical ...
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4answers
190 views

An alternative to “serious business”

I am writing an article about a fancy cocktail bar and I am looking for an alternative to the phrase "drinking here is a serious business". Normally I am pretty good at this but, I just have the same ...
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10answers
2k views

Derogatory term for electronic device

In German, the term "Kiste", literally meaning "box", is often used as a colloquial derogatory term for electronic and mechanical devices. It is comparable to "jalopy", which, however, seems to be ...
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1answer
368 views

Is it ok to end a sentence with a preposition? [duplicate]

I have a sentence: It can be derived from either A or B. But I’m not sure how to ask the following question: Which one of them can it be derived from? Is that ok, or would it be better if ...
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1answer
407 views

What should I say to people when I am passing them by?

I am talking about situations when you want to greet someone, without stopping to talk to them. In Russian, people usually say "добрый день" which means "hello." This is a greeting, not a valediction. ...
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4answers
320 views

Using any punctuation, how many meanings does this sign have? [closed]

I was walking in the Norfolk countryside today, when I spotted this sign. Notice that it is devoid of punctuation. It is obviously a warning sign to motorists. However, it made me giggle. Using any ...
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1answer
100 views

Acceptability and use of “to got” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Don’t got” — how common is it in American usage? Recently, I've started to hear more and more often people use "got" as a present simple form (obviously originating ...
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1answer
137 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 ...
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4answers
625 views

What are some colloquial English phrases for 'a child acquiring its parents' characteristics or features'?

I am not sure if the title is clear enough to you, so let me briefly explain what I'm looking for. We sometimes see children who look very much like their father or mother, or even behave typically ...
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2answers
2k views

What are the origins for the phrases “Knock it off” and “Cut it out”?

When taken literally, the colloquial phrases "Knock it off" and "Cut it out" do not seem to mean "Stop what you're doing." How did these two phrases get their current meanings?
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8answers
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Non-offensive equivalent to KISS [closed]

Is there a non-offensive way to tell someone: is better to (k)eep (i)t (s)imple, (s)... Update Let's say someone came with his part of the homework done, then it turns out to be a rather ...
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1answer
1k views

Does “awe” have a colloquial meaning (similar to “awesome”)?

The meaning of awe is given in dictionaries as "an emotion variously combining dread, veneration, and wonder that is inspired by authority or by the sacred or sublime" (this definition is from ...
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3answers
774 views

Is “ain’t” slang, or is it colloquial instead?

Does using the word ain’t in a song make it slang, whereas using it in a speech make it colloquial?
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1answer
409 views

Etymology of “What could (possibly) go wrong?”

What is the (likely) origin of the popular usage of the phase "What could go wrong?" or "What could possibly go wrong?" as a theatrical plot device or ironic commentary? Does this usage pre-date or ...
3
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2answers
123 views

Use of 'That“ rather than ”the"

The weather reports on the BBC frequently use the word "That" when I was expecting either no article or possibly "the". For example 'There will be more of that cold weather.' when no cold weather has ...
5
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4answers
693 views

Bless your heart

Is "bless your heart" something only used by old women in the South (all I've ever heard)? Or is it ever appropriate for a man to use it without seeming unmanly? Does the term always have ...
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1answer
895 views

“Might” vs. “Maybe” [closed]

Is it a correct form to say while talking? "I might go" => i.e., maybe I will go "he might be available" => i.e., maybe he will be available.
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2answers
445 views

“Time's up” or “time up” for games

I have seen games using both forms time's up and time up to say that the time is up. Which is correct?
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0answers
34 views

The problem is is that [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “The thing is, is that…” Does anyone know when or why people started saying things like The problem is is that... or The thing is is that... It's as if they ...
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5answers
472 views

Is there a word to describe the unintelligent/streety way some people talk? [closed]

This type of communication frequently leaves the 'g' off the end of words. "Talking" becomes "talkin'". Also, it combines certain small phrases into one. "What's that?" becomes "Wuzzat?" The best ...
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4answers
2k views

Is “blah blah blah” the most common spelling?

What is the most common or correct spelling of "blah blah blah"? blah blah blah blah blah bla bla bla bla bla My question stems from when I first wrote it as "bla bla bla" in an English text, ...
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4answers
621 views

Less colloquial version of “(X), never mind (Y)”?

From Chapter 7, it was found that PV installers do not interact frequently with geographic data within their assessment, never mind 3D geographic data. "Never mind" seems like a bit of a ...
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3answers
9k views

How to use “you are so lame!” or “you are so retard!” with friends? [closed]

I heard lots of these words from my colleagues. Definitions in Dictionary do not help me much. What I really want to know is what these words actually mean when using with friends and what situation ...
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3answers
538 views

Usage of third person form for first person

Recently, I discovered the following sentence in a Terry Pratchett book (which was not a typing error, since it appeared several times): I sees what he's doing. Presumably, the wrong usage of ...
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13answers
3k views

What do you call a USB flash disk?

I assume usually you don’t say USB flash disk, right? By the way, in Chinese we call it something more like U Disk.
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0answers
104 views

Resources for Australian street talk? [closed]

I know of a great series of books called "Street Talk" which tries to cover colloquial American English. Is there any such resources for Australian English? Especially with emphasis on Listening and ...
2
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1answer
3k views

Why are detectives/investigators referred to as “gumshoe”s? [closed]

Why are detectives/inspectors colloquially referred to as Gumshoes? Is it anything other that they would travel a lot in investigations and, presumably, wore hard-wearing shoes?
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6answers
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Etymology of “to be like” meaning “to say”

It seems that "to be like" is an informal phrase for "to say". E.g. She was so angry, she was like "I'm breaking up with you", and I was like "I'm sorry", and she was like "Go away". Is this a ...
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2answers
312 views

Failed Experiment? [closed]

Is it proper to use the phrase "failed experiment" at all? And if so, should it refer exclusively to experiments that had some ineluctable flaw in the process of their implementation or can it also ...
3
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1answer
728 views

Is “and then some” an offensive expression?

I started an internal email discussion with the title "Editorial: link issues, some spelling issues and then some". However, upon rereading my own mail, it occurred to me that this might express ...
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1answer
299 views

Would you use the term cucumber-time and why?

During International Law studies I talked to English natives about politics, using a literal translation of the Dutch "komkommertijd", cucumber time, meaning to refer to the news-silent period of high ...
3
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1answer
1k views

What does “I'll kill that cat” in the play Dinner for One mean?

In the play Dinner for One, James the butler says, "I'll kill that cat," at time 14:05. What does this mean? Is he referring to the tiger rug which keeps tripping him, or is it a saying or ...
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3answers
956 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: ...
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3answers
9k views

Meaning and usage of “to no end”

What does the phrase mean in "He annoys me to no end"? Literally, does it mean that he annoys me forever? Or does it mean that he annoys me to no result?
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2answers
102 views

Is “after” in this context solely a local colloquialism?

There are a number of turns of phrase that I have to avoid as an English person speaking to an American audience. Would it be possible for someone to clarify whether this colloquialism is ...
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4answers
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Can I use “you guys” when it includes gals? [Northeast USA] [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is “guy” gender-neutral? I'm in the Northeast USA. I'm about to email 3 people, 2 are women It is ok to say "I thought you guys would find this ...
3
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3answers
493 views

“Will” and “Going To”. What are the real differences of the colloquial usage of them?

I'm from Brasil and here we study the differences of using "Will" and "Going to" to talk about the future. But it is usually very confusing because we have a different kind of conjugation that uses no ...
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1answer
3k views

Grammar: “I know right” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What does “I know, right?” mean? Is the expression "I know right" grammatically correct? I hear it a lot and I think I understand what it means, but it just sounds wrong ...
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3answers
6k views

Is it “stern talking too”, or “stern talking to”?

In the following sentence: I'll have to give myself a stern talking to. is it "stern talking to", or "stern talking too"?
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5answers
3k views

Is it acceptable to begin a declarative sentence with “Am”?

I want to know firstly if it's grammatically correct to start a declarative sentence with "Am". For example: Am excited about the game today. Secondly, if it is grammatically incorrect, then I ...
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3answers
323 views

Is using “all” instead of “all used up” a regional thing?

My inlaws from Central Pennsylvania will say, "The milk is all" instead of "The milk is all gone". Another very common example, "Can you bring me some cookies?" "Sorry, the cookies are all". Anyone ...
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2answers
8k views

“I don't think so” vs. “I think not”

I've recently been told that "I don't think so" is, in the U.S.A., a southernism, whereas "I think not" is considered more acceptable everywhere else. Is this true? Example: Q: Is your wrist ...
3
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2answers
522 views

Is there a connection between shy (adj.) and shy (v.) meaning throw?

Most British people probably best recognise the colloquial meaning of shy from the traditional fairground throwing game called the coconut shy but it is also occasionally used in everyday English. ...
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5answers
305 views

Grammatical explanation of “what the blank”

In emphatic questions, it's common to see or hear an interjection such as the heck — or something more vulgar — between the interrogative and the verb. What was that? becomes What the heck ...
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2answers
817 views

Use of can't/cannot to indicate the opposite

I cannot find any references online that would help me know what this topic in English grammar is called, but I'm trying to guide a non-American friend to understand why some would use the word ...