Expressions are words or phrases used to convey an idea, or else a particular term used conventionally to express something.

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9
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2answers
781 views

Term for words like “Hanky-Panky”

Is there a name for these kind of doubled words? For example: hanky-panky flim-flam hoity-toity boo-ho zig-zag Note that some rhyme and others do not.
-3
votes
0answers
59 views

Can the word “Sails” in any meaningful way equate to the number Six? [on hold]

Either historically, or even up through leetspeak, can it be understood by a group of English speaking people to stand-in for the number 6, and if so, how? It's understood that – for example purposes ...
1
vote
2answers
27 views

Near-universally vs nearly universally

Concerning style, usage, and correctness: what is the difference in meaning (and therefore usage & correctness) between these two phrases? A quick search reveals both are in use. Also, what ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

What does the word 'brow' mean in descriptive prose or poetry?

The dictionary says that it can refer to the eye brows or the forehead. But when writers talk about a person's 'furrowed brow', or 'wrinkled brow', what exactly are they referring to? Clearly, ...
1
vote
2answers
80 views

Did I hear rightly – “Shiite Houthis are stated in to return the President to office.”

The answer would be very likely "No." I’ve been listening to AP Radio news, and heard the news of May 15 reporting the outcome of cease-fire negotiation between Saudi-led forces and Shiite Houthis as ...
2
votes
6answers
638 views

Can you sort by random?

This is the quote from Linux sort utility manual: -R, --random-sort sort by random hash of keys Isn't this a form of oxymoron? How can you sort by random, if usually random lists are ...
5
votes
10answers
1k views

I need one word that describes something as both (1) necessary/essential and (2) not sufficient/non-comprehensive/lacking

I need one word that could roughly describe or imply something as both (1) necessary/essential/fundamental/foundational and (2) not sufficient/non-comprehensive/lacking/in need/primitive The word ...
0
votes
3answers
32 views

Phrases with “To work”

Can I say this? I am not sure about the two phrases with "to work" "my aspiration is to live and study in a pluralistic environment and, then, to work towards a career in working with the main global ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

“You belong to me” or “You belong with me” [on hold]

What's the difference between the titular expressions? if any, at all. Oxford and Cambridge dictionaries could not help!!
0
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0answers
33 views

Origins of “from the outside” (to mean from the beginning)

I came across a sentence that went something like this: I wish I'd known about this from the outside - I would have done a better job. I've heard "from the outside" used like this before a ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

What does it mean to “wash [your] dirty linen in public”? [on hold]

Such as in this example: "There’s too much shouting and screaming on the news channels these days. The only thing that people do is to wash their dirty linen in public." What does this ...
0
votes
0answers
50 views

Is “And this X?” a common English expression?

In Spanish we say, "And this X?" as a short form for "And who is X?" Example: When I entered the room with Billy, Tom looked up and said, "And this high school brat?" Is this also a common ...
0
votes
2answers
45 views

“Tell apart” with “Could” [on hold]

I'm familiar with phrase "Tell somebody apart" used with "could" in negative, i.e. : They were so different that I couldn't tell them apart. My questions are: Can "Tell apart" be used with ...
0
votes
3answers
76 views

Is there an expression to describe “thin”?

Is there an expression in English for a thin old woman which corresponds to "Dry as a root" in French?
-2
votes
1answer
37 views

Which one is appropriate? [closed]

I think it would be good for us. I thought it would be good for us. I think it will be good for us. Please clarify it.
4
votes
2answers
40 views

What are the different resources to announce a digression?

I'm writing a paper, and I want to add a digression to enrich the line of argumentation. I can't find good figures or resources to announce that I will introduce a digression. I came across eggresion ...
7
votes
1answer
129 views

Is there a phrase, word or saying when one 'has the thought or feeling of causing hurt of mischief" despite never dreaming of acting on it?

For example I was assisting my sister in photographing a wedding. We were taking pictures as the bride was getting ready and I noticed a ketchup bottle on the kitchen table and the following popped in ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a word or phrase for a nursing mother not biologically related to the baby she breastfeeds?

Nowadays he have human milk banks. In the olden days, however, it was not unusual to see a woman nurse the child of another mother who couldn't produce her own milk. Is there a word or phrase for a ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

“Sir or Madam” vs “Madam or Sir” in formal letter

In a formal letter addressed to one or more unknown recipients, "Dear Sir or Madam" is the customary salutation. As a German native speaker, who is used to "Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren", writing ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Is “Chicago sunroof” a real expression?

The expression is from "Better Call Saul". It was defined in the season finale: defecating into a car through an open sunroof as a prank So far, the only resource I've found that corroborates ...
7
votes
10answers
1k views

Is there a word or an idiom for barging in a room with anger?

Opening a door frustrated and rushing in like you are about to scold someone inside... Barging in a room with anger. Is there a word or idiom for that, other than storm in?
1
vote
1answer
39 views

“Going above and beyond to assist” is this correct?

I'm writing a thank you note to a colleague who came in from vacation to assist me. Is this correct grammar: "Thank you for going above and beyond to assist in resolving the matter!"
1
vote
1answer
35 views

How to say that the navigation is approximate?

I have an app that is an index for businesses, so the user can search for a business and navigate to that business. I have two types of coordinates to the business: Accurate coordinates, which ...
0
votes
2answers
80 views

Origin of “blew his brains out” [closed]

I was thinking to myself, when suddenly a thought occurred to me: When was the first usage of "blew his brains out"? Example as used in sentence: He put the shotgun in his mouth with one shell in ...
3
votes
4answers
247 views

Is there a word for someone who is not aware of how pretty or handsome he/she is? [closed]

Is there a word or an idiom that describes someone who is beautiful but unaware of it?
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Usage of “scared,” “fear of,” “afraid of/to,” and “concerned to” [closed]

Could anybody please explain me when can I use 'afraid', 'fear of', 'scared', 'concern', 'worried' to express a situation that i can't handle or out of my reach? Explain also please which one of the ...
5
votes
5answers
118 views

Is there a specific term for when you get offended by a criticism which wasn't meant for you?

For example, person A says something not directed towards anyone in particular, but it was a criticism nonetheless, and it was intentionally meant to indirectly tell off some people. Person B takes ...
4
votes
4answers
741 views

Is there a word for lying on the bed peacefully, all your muscles relaxed?

Is there a word or an idiom for lying on the bed peacefully and happy? Throwing yourself down on bed arms wide open, all your muscles relaxed and staring at the ceiling with a happy smile like ...
4
votes
1answer
133 views

How to describe your feelings when someone else is treated unfairly?

For example, your female colleague experienced discrimination at work. You 'feel for her', and you're mad at the injustice in the system too. It's more than that you feel sorry for her-- on top of ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Everyone should have a trapdoor

What does this phrase mean ? A getaway? A safe place? Saw in a sig video I know she said something about homeless people (joke) but wondering if a deeper meaning too?
3
votes
2answers
85 views

What is a word for “people who converse”? [closed]

What is a word for "people who converse"? I'm trying to write a pretty long essay for my English class, but I can't figure out what this word is.
2
votes
2answers
29 views

Short phrase to convey “but consider the source”

Is there a short phrase (one to three words), Latin or otherwise, that conveys "but consider the source"? For example, "I heard that pigs fly on television (your phrase here)." I'm thinking perhaps ...
2
votes
3answers
58 views

What is the hand gesture called when you knock down your opponent in a fight?

Is there a word or an idiom for the hand gesture, done after finishing a task successfully or after knocking down the opponent in a fight? The one like wiping off the dust from your hands, which ...
4
votes
9answers
402 views

A word/phrase for “being extremely happy and jumping gladly”

Suppose if someone is extremely happy like a child and starts jumping gladly, what words/phrase best describe this situation, such that the following sentence can be completed. He/she was ...
2
votes
4answers
76 views

Is there an expression for the feeling of wishing you had met someone earlier?

Is there a single word or perhaps short phrase to express the feeling one gets when they meet someone amazing, say the love of their life, and wishes that they had met sooner? A cognate would be ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

How is the phrase “if not for…” used at the end of a sentence? [duplicate]

His works were brilliant in their understandability -- if not their wordiness. How would you structure a sentence if you wanted to say, that the understandability was brilliant but if you don't ...
1
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0answers
35 views

How is the phrase “if not for…” used at the end of a sentence? [closed]

Example: His works were brilliant in their understandability -- if not their wordiness.
0
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1answer
61 views

idiom for proceeding slowly and with difficulty

Is there an idiom I could use if I wanted to say that someone is doing something with a lot difficulty and slowly? I cannot think of anything. Thanks Edit from comment: For example: You have learnt ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Is the clause “where are you from” grammatically correct? [duplicate]

One of the most fundamental sentence from the English “phrasebook” that almost every beginner will learn is this sentence, using which one can ask another one’s nationality or country/region of ...
0
votes
2answers
78 views

Phrase for arranging a meeting - 'anytime you can' [closed]

I want to arrange an interview, pointing out that I am available at any time convenient to him. I don't know the correct form for saying this. And although he has not asked for my contact information ...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

“I better not ask,” vs “I had better not ask.” [duplicate]

Example: Speaker A: Thanks for the fish, I'll feed it to my crocodile. Speaker B: Your crocodile? I (had) better not ask. I better not ask sounds better to me (2,480 results on Google ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

“It's like with” as replacement of “I'm in the same situation as…”

Is this a valid replacement? Example: Speaker A: I'm planning to quit. Speaker B: Why? Speaker A: It's like with Mrs. Anderson. I'm tired of not making any progress. (Speaker A is ...
3
votes
8answers
746 views

What do you call it when you refuse to give up on a particular task

In Dutch we've got the expression 'Vastbijten in'. It means you really get into a problem or some work. And you won't give up till it's resolved. I've been looking all over the web, but I've not been ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Is 'crewing' only about seamen?

Is 'crewing' mainly about seamen or can it also be used as a general synonym of staffing, hiring, recruiting, employing, etc? I want to use it in a sentence like 'the art of crewing' or 'crewing art' ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

“What are our numbers?”

How can I correctly ask a question like "What are our numbers?" meaning what are the number of people in the audience in comparison with number of people in some other audience.
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Exact meaning of good for you [duplicate]

I told my friend, today I went for shopping. He replied me “Good for You”. Is it rude or normal?
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Avoiding Ignorance

Is the phrase "avoid ignorance" idiomatic? In my mind something is wrong about the combination of the verb "avoid" and the noun "ignorance".
2
votes
2answers
58 views

Word/Phrase for “process of falling of tiny particles off a bread/biscuit piece”

Please consider the situation: A bread piece has some tiny particles which we see keep on removing off bread, or lying loosely on a surface after we remove it from that surface (These tiny particles ...
0
votes
2answers
27 views

Use of “on the grounds” in the context of a government decision

The following sentence comes from a foreign publication. It sounds wrong to me, but I am not a native English speaker. Is it grammatically and idiomatically correct? The government banned ...
0
votes
2answers
63 views

Am I syntactically wrong in these sentences? [closed]

I have recently written a few sentences for discussion of rhetorical ways in writing. The outcome turned out to be so unexpected that I was blamed for how wrong I syntactically was. So I cordially ...