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

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Is “bad loser” a valid expression?

Is the expression "(someone is a) bad loser" valid? If it is valid, is it equal to "sore loser", or does it have a different meaning and/or use?
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Why am I always compelled to begin a response with “Well, ”?

Because of a certain 140 character limit I've learned where I can trim characters on responses but even after all this time I still reply with "Well, so and so . . ." and I go back and have to delete ...
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Vulgar way of saying “he killed himself”

I'm trying to translate my acquaintance's cartoon to cite it in an article written in English. For the subject of the article it is important that the translation will be direct, thus very vulgar ...
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Why do we call cinema The Seventh Art?

Why do we call cinema The Seventh Art? Why not sixth or fifth?
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Difference between phrase, idiom and expression [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the difference between an expression and a phrase? Difference between “phrase” and “idiom” What is the difference between a phrase, an ...
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Cold turkey as expression

I've discovered a expression : to go cold turkey, meaning something like feeling bad because you have taken drugs and you need to take more. I wonder if another verb rather than go can be used ...
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What does ‘It’s one thing to dance like Fred Astaire, but Ginger Rogers did it backwards’ mean as a metaphor to John Roberts' ruling?

There was the following sentence in June 29 issue of Time magazine titled “Roberts Rules: What the health care decision means for the country” dealing with Chief Justice of Supreme Court, John ...
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Is “knife-in-one’s-teeth (woman)” frequently used English? Can we use it for a man as well?

I saw the word “knife-in-her-teeth daughter” in Maureen Dawd’s article, titled “Darth Vader Vents” in New York Times (August 27). The article deals with former Vice president Dick Cheney’s new memoir, ...
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Origin of the of the phrase “feeling blue”

Where did the expression "feeling blue" come from?
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What do you call a day that never comes?

Searching on Google Books I discovered that 'a day that never comes' has 2.060 results. As an example usage, among a lot of others, in 'Healing Words' by Susan Brozek it is written: If we wait ...
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why do we say scorching hot while scorching already means very hot?

Scorching means extremely hot. So why do we say scorching hot? Isn't it redundant to bring hot after scorching?
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Where does “emphasis mine” go in a quotation?

I have often seen the term emphasis mine used whenever an author wishes to denote that emphasis in a given quotation originates from said author rather than from the original source. What is the ...
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Where does the phrase “get crackin'” come from?

"There's a lot of work to be done, so we'd better get crackin'" I've often used this expression, but I have no idea what we might have been cracking, originally? Any insight?
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American Equivalent of “Bog Standard”

I'm searching for an American English phrase that is the most readily equivalent to the British expression bog standard (which means, as I understand, plain, ordinary or unremarkable). I'm tempted to ...
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Words to describe a semi-literate person

I once had a manager whose level of literacy was lacking to the extent that he would nearly always return my technical reports with sections rewritten such that they became either ungrammatical, or ...
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Idiom to mean “one must avoid going into dangerous situations”

In my native language, there's an idiom that someone warn you not to go into a dangerous situation when you're sure you'll get into trouble but you still feel like doing it. For instance, making jokes ...
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What is the origin of “Couldn't hit a cow's arse with a banjo”?

This picturesque expression, meaning 'not a very good shot with a rifle' or (of a footballer) unable to score any goals, has cropped up a few times recently in my reading. Does anyone know where it ...
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What is the origin of the phrase “beyond the pale”?

What's the origin of the phrase 'beyond the pale'?
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Phrase to say that something which happened twice already is likely to happen again

In French, there is the expression "jamais deux sans trois" (literally: "never twice without a third [time]"). We use it to express that something which has already happened twice is likely to happen ...
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Expressions in Tim Minchin's “Storm”

Can you help me with these expressions from Tim Minchin's Storm? There will be some obscenities—sorry for those; I am just interested in their meaning. "I confess a pigeonhole starts to form" [1:10] ...
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Is the “really” in “I don't really know” necessary?

I know that one can have a greater or lesser amount of surety (i.e. "I'm not really sure"), but don't you either know or not know something? Are there degrees of knowledge? I hear this phrase often ...
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English equivalent of the Italian “Mannaggia!”, “Che peccato!”

What is the English expression or exclamation to refer to something that has gone wrong or a missed opportunity, or something that we could have done better than we actually did? I'm specifically ...
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“To date” versus “until now”

Is there a difference between these two expressions? Are they perfect synonyms?
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Origin/reason for the “hit by a bus” phrase

Often at my job when someone is becoming a single source of knowledge or otherwise has a skill that no one else on the team or the department has, a common expression is: If John was hit by a bus, ...
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How to speak mathematics [closed]

I've been asked to give lectures on electromagnetism in English, but I encounter many problems trying to express mathematical formulas since they are written and I do not know how to read them. Are ...
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“I'm home” or “I'm at home”

The second form looks more correct to me, but the first expression is present in several titles of movies and songs. Which form is preferable?
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Origin of the expression 'hard by'?

There's an expression "hard by", which I understand to mean "nearby", "close by". I don't know if it could be called an idiom, but it baffled me when I first encountered it in the translation of ...
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Origin of “for the birds” (Trivial; worthless; only of interest to gullible people.)

I really have looked, but the best I can come up with is this To say that something is "for the birds" is to call it horse manure. Dating from the days of horse-drawn traffic, the expression is ...
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Expressions for a mystery?

I'm trying to help out a friend with something. Is there any expression for when something has been done, but nobody knows whom by? In Dutch there is an expression which translates into "the gnomes ...
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How did “tongue-in-cheek” get its current meaning?

A statement is said to be tongue-in-cheek if it is not to be taken seriously. How did this meaning come into vogue? Where did it originate from?
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Original Meaning and Derivation of “Ever and Anon”

A question posted today asks about the Use of “ever” in non-negated sentence, and one answer happens to mention the phrase "ever and anon." That phrase, with the meaning "occasionally or repeatedly," ...
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What are the metaphorical ways to say that someone has died? [closed]

What are the metaphorical ways to say that someone has died? For example "He has gone to the far country where he will be happy for ages". P.S. There is this question, but it focuses on mentioning ...
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“A Smith & Wesson beats a straight flush” [closed]

I just came across (pdf) this expression: A Smith & Wesson beats a straight flush What does it mean? Is it the idea of winning via unlawful means when losing? Is it a common expression?
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Looking for idiom/expression to describe an instance where one makes something seem better than it really is

Maybe the example would help to describe the expression I am looking for: Say - a sub-par school or organization makes a promotional video, whereby they make the school look way better than it ...
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What does “suck a salt grain off a beach” mean?

In association with my question of the usage of “blood-dimmed (flood /tragedy) in Maureen Dowd’s article in New York Times- ...
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Is there a shorter alternative for “Enjoy your meal”?

The French have "Bon appetit". In Belgium and the Netherlands we have "Smakelijk". Is there a short way to wish someone a good meal in English?
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Equivalent of sarcastic song “non ti preoccupare, l'importante è partecipare” among Italian football supporters

Is there an equivalent in English or American sports culture of the sarcastic song that originated among Italian football supporters, that they sing to the losing opposition team? It's like this: ...
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What metaphor do countries that don't play baseball use for intercourse?

Related question: In sex talk, how many bases are there and what do they all mean? There are lots of English-speaking (or English-learning) countries where baseball simply isn't played much if at ...
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Origin of the expression “being cagey about something”

What is the origin of the expression "being cagey about something"? Does it have anything to do with "being in a cage", not letting someone out of a cage? I googled for it but didn't get much: ...
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What do British and American post boxes say when they don't want any advertising?

Advertising leaflets shoved en masse into mail boxes are one of the banes of modern society. In Germany, putting a note saying "Bitte keine Werbung" ("No advertising please") on your box protects ...
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Does “see you this weekend” in email express “will write another email this weekend”?

Perhaps people will think that I'll physically visit them?
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Proverb or expression for someone taking on too much

What is an appropriate proverb or expression that means one has: Taken on too many tasks Set out to do something that one isn't qualified to do and hence probably will fail Set out to do something ...
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Origin of the expression “Dead to rights”?

I was watching a TV show and this term was used. I am familiar with the definition, but I was wondering the origin of the phrase. It does not make sense to me if taken literally. Reference
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Is there a phrase to say that someone's hidden intentions are revealed in his/her talk or movements?

Is there an English expression to say "Le jupon dépasse" to express the fact that someone's hidden intentions are revealed in his/her talk or movements?
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Is word “crap” considered a vulgarism?

Most common damn-words in English are of course the f-word and the s-word, which are - for my best knowledge - considered vulgarisms. The word "crap" may be used as a damn-word, however I'd bet, that ...
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The implication of “turn the mattress”

The following sentences are from Agatha Christie: She had at one time been their housemaid. Such a nice girl, Mrs. Hargraves always said–thoroughly to be relied upon to turn the mattresses every ...
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What’s the meaning of “if that” at the end of a sentence?

I find it often after a number. What does it mean and what is that? It’d be nice if you could help me. (from Google search) Some books that are more than 100 years old still won't sell for more ...
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The expression “hands down.”

How did the expression "hands down" come to mean "without a doubt?"
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“Out of pocket”?

I'm increasingly hearing the phrase "out of pocket" used in America as a colloquialism to mean "away from the office", "unavailable", or "incommunicado". I apologize for not replying sooner; I ...
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More common expression for “move your bowels”

Move your bowels may be too polite and sounds strained, and merely saying shit sounds offensive. What do native English speakers say then when you need to move your bowels, especially when a parent ...