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

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Another way of saying “escaping/running away from home”?

I know you can say breaking out from prison. How about ways of saying escaping/running away from home? Example: Speaker A: “What?” I said to Tom on the phone. “What do you mean Mary ran away?” ...
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0answers
24 views

“On the one after,” vs “on the one that followed.”

Which one is more common, more idiomatic? Example: My brother's exams would end next week, so we decided to take the trip on the one after. My brother's exams would end next week, so we ...
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1answer
25 views

Paternity vs. Paternal vs. Parental Leave [closed]

Which one is the most commonly used to describe a leave taken by a father in the United States?
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1answer
41 views

Actual origin of the name Finagle's law

Finagle's law states that Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong at the worst possible moment. It is commonly attributed to SF editor John Campbell. Did he actually coin the phrase, or did he ...
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4answers
112 views

What can we call “ an employee who is under-productive but the quality of his work is enviable”

A pleasant expression for an employee who has remained under-productive despite several feedback. (QUANTITATIVELY WORST) There are workers who are unable to churn up BIG numbers but the ...
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9answers
728 views

English equivalent of saying “Don’t get in between the nail and the flesh”?

The saying “Don’t get in between the nail and the flesh” from my own language is typically addressed to someone who likes to provide unsolicited help by barging in on a heated conversation between two ...
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5answers
2k views

Less derogatory term for dump

I’m making a (multiple-)photo editing web-app, and there is a certain feature which allows users to sort of “hibernate” their accounts and log out, allowing them to pick up exactly where they left off ...
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1answer
77 views

Grammaticality of “If to speak about” [duplicate]

I was wondering if it is correct to use the expression if to speak about. For example, suppose we wanted talk about one subject and then change it to another one: These are very dangerous ...
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1answer
66 views

Making sense of a sentence in a politcal economy article

Reading this critical geopolitical economic article, I found myself troubled understanding this sentence: "Markets have priced in nothing bad from here to as far as the eye can see." Here's the ...
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2answers
228 views

Why do people say 'buck' for a dollar?

I grew up in South Africa. When someone said something costs 'two bucks' it meant two rand (like saying two dollars, but South African currency). It made perfect sense, as the 1 Rand coin had an ...
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2answers
74 views

Is there a difference between a spigot and a faucet (usage in AmE) [duplicate]

What is a domestic tap called commonly in the US ? -a spigot? a device that controls the flow of liquid from a large container (MW) Dictionary meaning aside, I had this understanding that a ...
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1answer
92 views

Looking for a word or phrase to describe 2 things that are moving toward each other, but never meet?

I was thinking about physics today and there was an idea where if 1 object splits into 2. And If each object is moving away from each other at the speed of light. And if just a moment after they ...
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1answer
40 views

“We proceed to a further generalization…” removing stuffy language from a technical paper [closed]

I am a math major, but sometimes I read the stuffy language in these papers and I really crack up. The worst part is, when I start writing I do exactly the same thing. Certain phrases used over and ...
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2answers
72 views

Is “manually talented” a thing, linguistically-speaking?

Came across "[these people are] manually talented" in an English language test.The context was a group of people who were good at karate or ballgames, but also origami, pottery, sculpting, etc. To ...
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3answers
79 views

Call In/For a New Job

Suppose I looked for a job on the Internet, found a few offers interesting and decided to call the phone numbers they had posted. Am I calling in or calling for the new jobs? (Or should I simply say ...
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5answers
1k views

“Finnish Swedes” or “Swedish Finns”?

In Finland, there live 5.6 % Swedes (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/fi.html). They have lived there for many generations, being standard Finnish citizens, just ...
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1answer
68 views

Type of spurious reasoning which ignores other effects of a counterfactual

Consider a male athlete who is a reasonably skilled 100 metres sprinter, with a best time around 10.3 seconds. Probably not enough to make a career in track and field, but faster than the women's 100 ...
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1answer
57 views

“It was always a question for me…”

Is it correct to use the phrase "It was always a question for me..." ? For example, "It was always a question for me that no one liked the cake." or "It was always a question for me why no one liked ...
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3answers
55 views

What does ' Loyalty gave way to desire and Garrett' mean? [closed]

I am wondering what this expression means. It is from the movie 'Flipped' and here is the rest of the sentence. 'Loyalty gave way to desire and Garrett, the turncoat told Sherry what I was up to.' In ...
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1answer
70 views

What does “flavor” mean in the field of Information Technology? [closed]

I often notice the word flavor being used on the Web. I'm from Russia, and this word is generally translated into Russian as the equivalent of 'impression', 'taste' etc. However, these translations ...
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1answer
187 views

Charles Bukowski's “best dick” [closed]

I am reading Charles Bukowski's Pulp and as non-native English speaker I am finding decoding certain expressions challenging. For example the main character, Nicky Belane, often refers to himself ...
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1answer
62 views

simultaneous dialogue [closed]

[[The question has been edited in an attempt to address the reason it was originally put on hold.]] Suppose that several individuals are speaking. There are two conversations occurring at once in the ...
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4answers
96 views

Phrases that express “to look around nervously”

I'm trying to describe a situation where someone is on high alert, scanning his surroundings looking for potential threat. It seems to me that "Look around" lacks the sense of tension I want. "Scan" ...
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1answer
118 views

clutching one's chest / at one's chest

Why is it that I'm getting overwhelmingly more results for "clutching at his chest" than for "clutching his chest"? Can you suggest any good reason? Here is an example: Walking again in the long ...
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1answer
41 views

'Delays expected until November'; what ought they to say instead?

Where there are major roadworks on British roads you often see signs which say something like Delays expected until November. Everyone knows what it means i.e. that between now and November, if you ...
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2answers
83 views

synonym for “worth finding”

Can the sentence "It's worth finding a part-time job during the holidays" be replaced by "It's good to find a part-time job during the holidays." Do they mean the same ?
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14answers
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Single word for “pleasant to look at” [closed]

Consider: It is pleasant to look at. So pleasant that you do not want to let it wander out of your sight. What would be a word for pleasant to look at? Something that's pleasant to my ...
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1answer
47 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
71 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
105 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 ...
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1answer
98 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 ...
3
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1answer
311 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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2answers
109 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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12answers
3k views

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

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 ...
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2answers
89 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 ...
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2answers
98 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 ...
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10answers
7k views

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

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. ...
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2answers
113 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
65 views

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

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?
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2answers
214 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
39 views

Meaning of 'insider hiring' [closed]

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
411 views

Meaning of “I'm a large” [closed]

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
178 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 ...
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3answers
250 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 ...
2
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1answer
99 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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2answers
131 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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1answer
70 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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1answer
171 views

What does “ought to have been a wheelbarrow” mean?

My grandmother (who was of Irish descent) was born in the New England area of NSW, Australia. She used an idiom that she "ought to have been a wheelbarrow". I think it meant something about a lack of ...
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4answers
117 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.