Tagged Questions

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

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3
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2answers
129 views

Definition of “Kissing Cousins”--Are the Dictionaries Wrong/Incomplete?

With relatives in the US south, I always thought that the definition of "kissing cousin" was a second cousin (or more distant) whom you could kiss and subsequently marry (FWIW I never did either!). ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Why do we say 'last Monday morning' but not 'last morning'? [duplicate]

There was a very similar question asked about 'last night' and 'yesterday night' here but I didn't really think the question was answered that definitively. Also, I thought about how we use other ...
1
vote
2answers
41 views

What does “Don't farm it out” mean

Came across the following quote. What does Don't farm it out means in this context? "When the need arises – and it does – you must be able to shoot your own dog. Don’t farm it out – that doesn’t make ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

What does “to rock a club” mean? [closed]

It's a line from Taio Cruz's song Dynamite: Cause we gon' rock this club We gon' go all night We gon' light it up Like it's dynamite
1
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1answer
35 views

The Virtue of Woman [closed]

Please explain this Frederick Von Schiller poem: "Man of virtue has need;-into life with boldness he plunges, Entering with fortune more sure into the hazardous strife; But to woman one virtue ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

“We invite you…” versus We are inviting you

I am told to use "We are inviting you..." instead of "We invite you...". The reviewer mentions that this first option is progressive and more appropriate. In which cases do you use either one, for ...
1
vote
2answers
39 views

Stand-alone Use of 'There' in English

I was reading The Invisible Man by H.G.Wells. He uses There! without connection to other words (or maybe there is connection, but I don't see it). She glanced at his white-swathed head and blue ...
7
votes
4answers
351 views

Meaning and origin of “put a wrinkle on one's horn”

While investigating a recent EL&U question (What does "throw a wrinkle" mean?), I came across the unusual expression “put a wrinkle on [or in] one’s horn [or horns].” I have three ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

Origin of the expression “skin of a rhinoceros”?

The Apple CEO, Tim Cook, has recently published an open letter where he says: ... It’s also given me the skin of a rhinoceros. I am wondering where this expression "skin of a rhinoceros" is ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

“What if the cost of machines that think is people who don't?” — George Dyson

What does the statement "What if the cost of machines that think is people who don't?" -- George Dyson mean. Came across the quote over here https://twitter.com/JohnDCook/status/527627283256078336.
-3
votes
1answer
32 views

Is it considered plaigerism to use a well known quote [closed]

Would it be considered plagiarism to use quotes such as "You are what you eat" by Jean Savarin or "Elementary my dear Watson." in Sherlock Holmes without the corresponding names?
1
vote
2answers
66 views

What's the meaning of “if anything else”?

I don't seem to understand the exact meaning of "if anything else" in the beginning portion of the sentence below. I think I could use your help to understand what it actually means. If anything ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Is there a better way to tell “s/he”? [duplicate]

For example: Ask a grammatist, she or he will possibly know how to solve this question! Is it possible to replace the she or he part with a single word - probably something not gender dependent ...
0
votes
2answers
48 views

The correct way to write “and/or” together in a sentence

What is the correct to write and/or? I have seen it written "and or" as two separate words and I think it looks odd.
5
votes
1answer
101 views

What is the origin of the expression “the big picture”?

The expression the big picture, meaning "the entire perspective on a situation or issue", is very common today. Where does this phrase come from? Was there a literal big picture that it once ...
3
votes
6answers
88 views

Perseverance of the whole in spite of the loss of individual elements

Is there a word, phrase or expression that can be used to describe the following kind of situation: The arrangement of well placed pieces on a chess board; one guarding the other, which in turn is ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

What is the meaning of the expression “I prefer the enchilada”?

Context: I met a well-traveled and -educated man. Upon him leaving I asked, "Chris, right?" He responded, laughing, "Christopher. I prefer the enchilada."
2
votes
1answer
37 views

What does the phrase “old Charlottes” refer to?

I'm reading the novel Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian at the moment. It has the following passage in it: '… it seemed to me there was an unnatural proportion of Lord Mayor's men among ...
0
votes
5answers
64 views

To what extent do 'earn income' and 'generate income' differ? [closed]

I've had a short search on this but may have overlooked an easily-accessible source that differentiates the two. They don't seem synonymous, but I can't yet point to a definition of the two. To me, ...
0
votes
2answers
47 views

what does “I think it was par for the course” mean [closed]

In an interview ElonMusk says the following about steve jobs(http://www.freshdialogues.com/2013/02/25/elon-musk-on-steve-jobs-innovation-critics-transcript/). I think it was par for the course ...
0
votes
3answers
93 views

Similar to “burning a hole in my pocket” but for www shopping cart?

I like this: "Got three dollars burning a hole in my pocket". Are there other expressions or phrases with similar meaning? Actually, I want to know what the creative English speakers will write ...
-2
votes
2answers
76 views

Why is it “Divide by 0” instead of “Divide 0”? [closed]

When I read "by" it feels to me that the target to be divided is the number that comes before the 0, not the 0 itself. For example, "1 divided by 0", 1 is the target of the division, and 0 is what 1 ...
2
votes
5answers
120 views

What is a word or expression to describe a person as entertainment to pass the time?

If someone is being used or employed as entertainment to help someone else pass their time at work, but only in this capacity, what word or expression can be used to describe this? This other ...
22
votes
11answers
3k views

Expression for losing something that you never really had

A friend keeps whining about "losing n reputation points" on Stack Exchange. My instinctive interpretation is that some of the votes he had earned were reversed due to vote fraud. What he really ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

What's the name for a part of speech which is not quite rhetorical, but not expected to be answered directly, either?

What's the name for a part of speech which is not quite rhetorical, but not expected to be answered directly, either? I know the word exists, it refers to greetings such as "How are you" and similar. ...
0
votes
2answers
48 views

More general version of “finger on the pulse”

From my understanding when someone is "keeping a finger on the pulse of x" that person is keeping a close watch on and has a detailed understanding of the subject or situation. What would be an ...
2
votes
6answers
91 views

Term for “unnecessary diversity”?

I am looking for a word or phrase to capture the notion that too much diversity can backfire. Here's the context. In some technical fields (such as programming), there may be hundreds of possible ways ...
-1
votes
1answer
38 views

How do I translate this italian locution? [closed]

Often in Italian we use this locution: venire meno Now I wanted to translate it and I didn't come with an 'immediate' translation. Somebody knows the English equivalent?
0
votes
3answers
54 views

Is there a word or a phrase which compares with the best tools available? [closed]

Sorry for a confusing title. I am looking for a word to describe the following situation: "our algorithm showed an accuracy worse than [other best algorithm developed by competitors]". I do not want ...
0
votes
2answers
52 views

“withdraw the question” in less formal way

I'm trying to find more common way to say that I would like to withdraw/cancel/recall off (?) my question I sent few days ago. Can you suggest something? Thank you Hubert
1
vote
2answers
76 views

What does “I'm *just* glad” mean?

The emphasis of adding "just" in the phrase "I'm just glad" is lost on me. What makes it different from just "I'm glad"?
0
votes
2answers
40 views

Having an IV or being on a drip

I had an IV last night because my blood pressure dropped too low. I was given an IV (Fluids) last night... I was put on a drip last night... I got a drip last night... I was on a drip last night ... ...
1
vote
2answers
56 views

The “it-seems-better-than-it-actually-is-because-it-comes-from-a-famous-place” effect?

It is far easier to provide an example for what I am trying to describe than to try and articulate it: Example: Scholar A: "Wow. That new study from University X is getting a lot of attention." ...
2
votes
2answers
88 views

Psychological term or phrase for experiencing the world via the senses

I am looking for a psychological term or phrase for experiencing the world via the senses. (I am particularly interested in visual, auditory and thermal stimuli.) I am not looking for the word ...
0
votes
2answers
62 views

Is “not worth to do” an acceptable alternative to “not worth doing”?

Basically what the title says, nothing more to add. I've encountered the former form on the Internet more than once, hence the question. Thanks!
0
votes
3answers
54 views

“Tightly connected to” or “Highly connected to”

What if I want to say topic 1 is tightly connected to topic 2? It's like to say quantum theory is "tightly connected" to applications like nuclear bombs etc.
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Word for someone seeming deep and intelligent, but not really being that

What is the word for someone trying to seem/be deep and intelligent, but really they are shallow, and not at all being insightful. Pedant is about rules, so that is disqualified, the closest I could ...
1
vote
0answers
57 views

What's the meaning of “out of the blue”? [closed]

What's the meaning of "out of the blue" and what's the story of it? Some examples: Sorry for emailing out of the blue Forgive this email out of the blue
0
votes
2answers
68 views

what does “in quiet sophistication” mean here?

"it strikes me as the last word in quiet sophistication." I have two questions here. First, I do not understand the meaning of "quiet sophistication." I know that sophistication is a trait ...
0
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1answer
42 views

which verb is the most correct in the following sentence?

When children want to feel important and loved confident by their parents, do they want to be accepted/ approved/ acknowledged/ recognized by their parents?
0
votes
1answer
31 views

Meaning of “seeing as”, “the business”, “in quiet sophistication”?

They had cooks and drivers, and guards who occupied a gatehouse, armed with machetes. Seeing as I had regularly petitioned my parents for an electric fence, the business with the guards strikes me ...
1
vote
2answers
48 views

“As was his habit” what does it mean?

"As was his habit, he planned to spend the month of August in Normandy, visiting friends and working on his house." I often see this kind of structure:As was his habit. But I do not understand what ...
1
vote
2answers
41 views

“crying to George Jones albums” what does “to” mean here?

"Like me, Hugh was single, which came as no great surprise, considering that he spent his leisure time rolling out dough and crying to George Jones albums." This is an excerpt from a book I have been ...
0
votes
2answers
89 views

Which grade/class are you?

In our country, Turkey, when someone wants to know if you're a freshman, or sophomore, or w/e (knowing if you're in high school, or in university) he/she usually says: (making a literal translation ...
1
vote
2answers
98 views

What does it mean “to work out of our Atlanta headquarters”…?

English is not my first language, so I'm in a bit of trouble with the idiomatic meaning of this phrase: "All Web Developers must work out of our Atlanta Headquarters" .Does it mean that the developers ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

What does the phrase “fence building” mean?

What does the English phrase "fence building" mean? Ex. usage: "You're gonna have to do some fence building.", which, from the context I heard it in (relationships between friends), seems to have the ...
0
votes
0answers
48 views

Different sounds of “s” at the end of a word

Here is a sentence: This is a pen. Why do we pronounce 's' at the end of this and 'z' sound with is? By sound this sentence could be pronounce such as "dis iz a pen". Could anyone tell me the ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

“Comfort me in accomplishing my task”

In a formal letter, can one say comfort me in accomplishing my task as in Your presence will significantly enhance this scientific event and comfort me in accomplishing my task. ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Use of the expression “have to” in a sentence

Tasting Mediterranean cuisine is a “have to” plan in Oia Is that expresion correctly used in this sentence, or is it wrong?
0
votes
3answers
55 views

Saying about good and bad [duplicate]

Is there a saying or a quote, when something good happen thanks to something bad ? Like you meet someone because you've lost someone else ?