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

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2answers
48 views

European expression that varies by historical international relationships

I recall reading an article a long time ago about an expression that, translated into other languages, would vary the subject of the expression in a way that revealed historical attitudes and ...
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1answer
35 views

What is the inverse of an orphan? [duplicate]

An orphan is a child whose parents have died. Is there a single English word to describe a parent who has lost all their children? If not, what is the most clear and concise description for this ...
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3answers
50 views

Phrase to describe “re-reading an email you wrote, because it is just that good”

I want to describe a recurring situation that happens in the modern day when people craft an email that is "perfect" in that person's mind, and they end up re-reading the sent message over and over. ...
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3answers
71 views

What to say if you don't want anything from a store?

I learned english as a second language. As I have never lived in any english speaking country, sometimes I don't know what to say in common daily situations. One good example of this occurred when I ...
1
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1answer
47 views

Am I the only person to use “punch up” to mean “remind someone”?

I have always used "punch up" in the context of reminding or prodding someone for something such as: "I just punched up Jane that she needs to turn in her vacation schedule" When I used this ...
2
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1answer
46 views

Being “on the ticket”

I'm currently watching House of Cards and I keep hearing the expression "being on the ticket". It's always in relation to a presidential candidate, but I'm not quite sure what it means, particularly ...
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0answers
37 views

what is meaning of odd bunch [on hold]

THE Ood are an odd bunch. Among the more enigmatic of the aliens regularly encountered in “Doctor Who”, a television series about a traveller in time and space, they are mostly silent—though sometimes ...
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0answers
22 views

A question regarding the use of “for” or “with” in an expression

Which of the following two is correct? (a) "jumped for joy" (b) "jumped with joy"
2
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2answers
83 views

A formal way of saying 'rub it in'.

I am trying to find a formal phrase equivalent to the colloquial expression'rub it it.' rub it in (informal) if someone rubs it in, they keep talking about something that makes you feel ...
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13answers
3k views

Ways of saying “You don't have to be a rocket scientist”

I'm trying to find different ways of saying that "You don't have to be a rocket scientist", but I can't seem to get any good ideas. I got a variation, "You don't have to be a brain surgeon...," but ...
3
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2answers
69 views

“At this stage” in corporate speak

I've noticed "At this stage" preceding delivery of the negative to the reader. What's the reason for this? "At this stage, unfortunately (for you), we won't be proceeding further with your ...
2
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2answers
84 views

Is there an English expression from Latin for “in writing”, “written”, etc?

Is there a Latin expression that is now used in English for "written"? For example, "Here is my request in written form." - to replace "in written form"? Or, "We took written notes.", you get the ...
27
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9answers
4k views

One word - someone so scared that he can't move

I am not able to find an appropriate word to fill in for "scared". He was so scared, he couldn't move. He turned to stone. He was too shocked. He almost turned to stone and could not move. ...
2
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2answers
55 views

What is the origin of the phrase “grease the skids”?

What is the origin or derivation of the phrase "greasing the skids?" The phrase connotes preparation, in such a way as to make the subsequent activities easier. Definitions are available various ...
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2answers
62 views

“Nice little place you've got here” - is it derogatory? [on hold]

That is, does "little place" imply that the place is small, but pretty nevertheless? When told, would this offend a person owning a large mansion?
3
votes
2answers
168 views

Physical object, carried be a person, that represents an encumbrance

I believe a word currently exists that is used as a metaphor to mean something similar to, "a person is (willingly?) carrying a physical object, but there is no benefit to carrying (or transporting) ...
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2answers
34 views

Meaning of 'insider hiring' [on hold]

there is an article about hiring. http://www.haaretz.com/misc/iphone-article/.premium-1.637980 one of the headers is 'Insider hiring'. what does it exactly mean? hiring someone you know? does it have ...
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1answer
375 views

Meaning of “I'm a large” [on hold]

In one of the Seinfeld episodes (season 6, episode 12) there is a conversation, in which Elaine tells Jerry that she had given a label maker to a dentist and the dentist obviously gave that same label ...
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12answers
2k views

Is there a suitable antonym for 'Achilles heel'?

I'm trying to juxtapose antonyms in a effort to describe something. The first draft of an excerpt reads something like this: I will tell of their triumphs and downfalls... I would like to ...
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2answers
52 views

“From then on” or “since then”?

Do these two expressions mean the same or are they used in different contexts? I wrote "Since then" in an essay for my English teacher but she wrote me "from then on" instead. I wanted to say that two ...
2
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4answers
191 views

Phrases for (someone) making a short visit/appearance

When I need to visit to any place for a very short time, say, for 10-15 minutes A politician coming late and leaving in minutes at a fundraiser. An acquaintance just dropping by to say ...
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0answers
30 views

A “cold opening” like by Saturday Night Live [closed]

I could not find it on my favorite translator dict.leo.org, so I ask the resident AI, what is a cold opening, as found in many titles of Saturday Night Live episodes on your favorite video clip ...
2
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1answer
72 views

The phrase - “I remain sceptical” vs “I continue to remain sceptical”

During a parent meeting , I heard a teacher say : I remain sceptical (on the progress of the child). and the parent questioning him- Why do you continue to remain sceptical? ...
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0answers
33 views

Do you say “ What I was the most surprised at was …”? [closed]

Superlative is confusing to me. I am the most surprised at ... , I am most surprised at ... I am surprised most at ... I am surprised the most at ... It's the most surprising that ... Which ...
0
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1answer
71 views

How to express difficulty selecting from equally appealing options [closed]

I want to express the idea that multiple options are equally appealing and therefore difficult to choose from. I thought of this sentence: They are too equally attractive to >be picked up. ...
4
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2answers
122 views

A word or phrase for an unremarkable event that occurs with uncanny frequency

I am looking for a word or phrase for an unremarkable event that occurs with uncanny frequency. To give a specific example, one might be seeing a random shopper drop their bag every time you enter a ...
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0answers
49 views

US English equivalent of “I'm sorry but this is actually not my fault” [closed]

I was asked to write a review for a journal. There was not much time to the deadline, and no detailed instructions. So I examined the previous issues and found a review. I used the very same structure ...
0
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1answer
16 views

can I write this? [closed]

I have just started to write in English. Can you maybe help me with this expression: The most difficult thing about writing texts in English for me is how to begin. So I’ve been thinking about ...
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1answer
65 views

How do you say “more moneys”? [closed]

If I give a bank note of 100 and get back three 20 bills and a bunch of coins, I have less money, but more physical units. How could one express it? Assume an informal setting. In other languages, ...
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0answers
82 views

My grandmother used an idiom “ ought have been a wheelbarrow”

My grandmother (who was of Irish descent)was born in the New England area of NSW, Australia. She used an idiom that she "ought have been a wheelbarrow". I think it meant something about a lack of ...
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4answers
89 views

What is it called when someone does an action they don't fully understand? [closed]

For example, someone speaking and writing the English language, but not actually knowing how to use it properly.
4
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6answers
792 views

How to describe a strong wind?

Could you say 'The gale was blowing about his jacket' ? I'd like to express the repetitive movement of his jacket going from side to side.
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14answers
7k views

Friendly way of saying “I love you”

In Spanish, Te amo (I love you) has more romantic feeling than saying Te quiero. The last one is used as a friendly way of saying I love you, but without romantic purposes. However, if translated to ...
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1answer
59 views

If I feel that an answer isn't relevant, how do I express that? [duplicate]

If I feel that an answer isn't relevant to the given question, how can I express it more clearly? I am not able to come up with an appropriate word to describe what I wish to describe, a few ...
0
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1answer
73 views

“father to” vs. “father of”

Would it be grammatically correct to write Mister X is father to a son and a daughter or should one preferably choose the preposition of? Mister X is father of a son and a daughter. ...
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4answers
228 views

Source and meaning of the proverb “Milk says to wine, Welcome friend”

While investigating an unrelated expression, I came across the following proverb in George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum ; or Outlandish Proverbs, Sentences, Etc., second edition (1651): Milk says to ...
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4answers
104 views

Word for a problem that goes away when a larger thing changes?

What is a word or expression for a problem has effectively gone away because of a larger change that makes the problem no longer a problem? I'm thinking "obviated" or "made unnecessary," but it ...
2
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2answers
39 views

How else can “he's really inconsistent” be expressed ? [closed]

How else can "he's really inconsistent" be expressed ? For an article about a sports person.
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1answer
51 views

How to express the quality of being fried? [closed]

I want to express the good quality of being fried of some dumplings, the way their almost redness and crispiness etc... What words or expressions would you use to do that?
2
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4answers
72 views

An idiom for “don't buy the first thing you see”

I'm looking for a colloquialism for: shop around a bit before you make your decision
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5answers
162 views

Misuse of the verb allege?

I recently visited Jordan on a business trip. Read the following in a newspaper: Bleeding profusely, she pleaded with the alleged attacker, Mushataq, to take her to a hospital. My ...
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0answers
65 views

Do people in Colorado typically say “attorney” or “lawyer?”

I'm interested to know if people in the Colorado area say attorney or lawyer more frequently.
2
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2answers
39 views

He whose breath is taken

I have a character who sees something breathtaking, and I want to say that "his breath was taken by..." Most results I get for the expression end with "away", which I don't like. so, Can I say ...
2
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1answer
35 views

“Less than … it looked like …”

Is this expression common? Example: Less than a mansion it looked like a castle: crenelated roof, lancet windows, cylindrical towers with crosses on top. The reason I asked is because I got 0 ...
2
votes
6answers
70 views

Politician says he will vote in favor of legislation that he hasn't read and will change once elected

Can anyone come up with a few good synonyms/idioms/expressions for a person or politician that will say whatever he/she believes will get him/her the most votes? For example: He/she will vote in ...
0
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2answers
66 views

What does it mean to “gum the spoon”?

I recently found out about a new term. It's "gum the spoon". What does it mean? By the various contexts I found, I conjecture that it means to add saliva onto the spoon or to hold the spoon in one's ...
1
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1answer
26 views

Phrase experimentation - Marching a trough

I'm trying to touch up this part, and wondering if the above could work as a metaphor. This is my text right now: “George, it's me, .... I can't connect with my money!” he fired while marching ...
0
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4answers
135 views

What do you call a document that doesn't need a signature?

Is there a term describing a document that doesn't need to be signed in order to be valid? Edit after several answers and comments: An electronic banking system can generate documents for a user to ...
6
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5answers
863 views

What is an expression for a priest not wearing official attire?

Is there an English expression for a priest or monk not wearing his religious attire? (any Christian doctrine, or even more general). Clarification: I'm trying to say that someone looks like an ...
0
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1answer
34 views

Become / get, successfully / effectually, together / common / united [closed]

Currently I'm looking for a product name. The goal of this product is that everyone can get successful with the power of a network (together, united) But I don't know which combination makes sense: ...