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

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What is the etymology of the expression “so far, so good”?

What is the etymology of the expression "so far, so good"? Why is the meaning of "so far" in that phrase different from the meaning it has in "it's so far"?
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3answers
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Eve-teasing… are such words used only in the country of origin

I was reading a newspaper published in Indonesia and while quoting sexual harassment , the term 'eve-teasing" was repeatedly used. E.g. The Bontang police arrested two residents for eve-teasing, ...
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5answers
4k views

What's a good expression for “too much information”?

If someone provides too many details on something, basically making it more difficult to extract the actual information asked for, what is a good expression to describe this? Is superfluous adequate ...
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3answers
4k views

“Feel it in my bones”

Does "Feel it in my bones" sound natural? I have never seen or heard any native speakers use something like that, except in a subtitle of a movie I watched long ago. What are other phrases, or common ...
4
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2answers
10k views

What's the meaning of the expression “Grab a hold”?

What does it mean to "grab a hold"? There is a song by Cyndi Lauper that says If you wanna grab a hold, let it go...
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2answers
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– at scale – definition?

Whats does the expression at scale mean? Does it mean "on a larger scale" or it means "at a level appropriate to the what's available"? I came up with these two definitions by looking the ...
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9answers
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Person who pretends to not understand unless one speaks in exactly the words they expect [duplicate]

I just realized there are some people around my workplace who always try to correct me when using a certain word, saying that that's not how I should speak, and I should use other words (the ones ...
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17answers
10k views

Opposite of 'Midas touch'?

I'm wondering what word or phrase could be used for the counter examples of 'Midas touch' effect. The Midas touch, or the gift of profiting from whatever one undertakes, is named for a legendary ...
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9answers
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Why do we “get cold feet”?

A sudden loss of nerve when embarked on a venture is called cold feet. Does anyone know why that should be? An etymology is suggested at englishdaily626. If your 'feet' are 'cold', you can't walk ...
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8answers
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Are there any expressions that describe going from a bad to a worse situation?

Are there idioms or expressions in English that describe going from one bad situation to one that's even worse? I heard "between a rock and hard place" but this describes a dilemma not really a ...
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2answers
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Term for words like “Hanky-Panky” [duplicate]

Is there a name for these kind of doubled words? For example: hanky-panky flim-flam hoity-toity boo-hoo zig-zag Note that some rhyme and others do not.
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8answers
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Why do we 'cut' a deal?

I hired a private detective to see if I could cut a deal In the above sentence, why do we cut a deal? Should I replace it with make a deal? Is it a popular idiom in the native English world?
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5answers
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Is “a ways to go” grammatically correct?

In English we often say, for example, "he still has a ways to go before he's done." Is this grammatically correct?
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5answers
61k views

How do I say, “I am willing to relocate”, in my CV?

I'd like some help with my CV. I want to add one sentence below my name, telling the company that I am free to relocate to any city. I am not a native speaker and I am not sure about this. Can ...
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11answers
13k views

What on Earth does “cheap at half the price” mean?

I hear this all the time, "cheap at half the price", to indicate that something is cheap (mostly in an ironic sense, but often used literally), but it makes no sense to me. Of course, if something ...
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11answers
3k views

Non-religious equivalent expression for “Pray for [Country X]” after a disaster

When a big disaster occurs in a country, you can often see messages saying: Pray for [Country X] Are people really writing this to incite people to ask their God for anything? For instance ...
10
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1answer
644 views

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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6answers
16k views

Why does to “take a powder” mean to run away or to leave?

From Flappers to Rappers: American youth slang by Dr. Thomas Dalzell cites "take a powder" as a 1930s expression meaning to run away or to leave. Does anyone have any ideas why taking a powder would ...
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3answers
7k views

How to use the expression “lo and behold”

How should this expression be used, and what is its origin?
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8answers
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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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2answers
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“drop the penny”

I was wondering what "drop the penny", "help get the penny to drop", or things similar mean? All I can understand is that it must be a metaphor. For example: simply trying to repeat things in ...
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8answers
30k views

What's the verdict on “sooner than later”?

I have heard a lot of people say at work that we should do something "sooner than later." This grates against my native ear, but it seems fairly commonplace. I have always understood the expression to ...
7
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8answers
55k views

Why is “a 100% increase” the same amount as “a two-fold increase”?

and is such interpretation the norm? When something went from 4 units to 8 units, most authoritative sources seem to agree with the use of "a two-fold increase", even though what was actually ...
7
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3answers
441 views

How to determine if a “[something] fighter” fights for or against [something]?

In freedom fighter the fighter supports freedom. In fire fighter the fighter fights fire. How do you determine when it is the first or the second case? What is the meaning of spam fighter? ...
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10answers
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A far away place

Is there an English idiomatic expression to indicate a place which is very far away from the speaker's location? Something like in the middle of nowhere but not necessarily implying that the ...
6
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2answers
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What is the meaning of “you bet!”?

I often hear the term "you bet!". What does it mean?
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1answer
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“bibs and bobs” - what does it mean and where does it come from?

Just exactly what is a bibs and a bobs? And where the heck did that expression come from, anyway?
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4answers
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a better expression for 'percentage divided by 100'

The function f(a,x) returns the value in the array a specified by x, where x is a percentage of the length of the array, divided by 100. (i.e. x can be any number between 0 and 1, corresponding ...
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5answers
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What do you call someone who lives for himself?

What do you call someone who lives for himself? If someone lives his life solely to achieve his own life goals and not want to associate his life with others', what would you call him? I know some of ...
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4answers
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Are there any practices to use onomatopoeia in English for describing the degree of joyfulness / funniness by laughter and sorrow by crying?

Japanese use a plenty of onomatopoeia in expressing the degree and level of joyfulness / funniness when laughing and sorrow when crying, and they always come in refrains of onomatopoeia. For examples: ...
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3answers
964 views

Is “looking to” acceptable English in this use?

Recently there is dramatic increase in the use of looking to verb as in: Jeff is looking to start something big. Is this acceptable grammar? Why is it recently popular? What could best be ...
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3answers
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What does the phrase “it does not become you” mean?

I have heard it used in a negative sense. For example, "rudeness does not become you" etc. Is this phrase used in a positive context as well? (like "generosity becomes you")?
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3answers
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What does it mean to “start from scratch”?

This question speaks to the "start from the beginning" meaning, but in yesterday's USA Today, there was a headline about Obama and Romney starting from scratch because they were even in a poll. Have ...
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6answers
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What is the English expression for this facial expression? [closed]

Any expression for this?
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10answers
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Is there an expression for creating something from start to finish (e.g. grain to bread)

Maybe this is not really the right place to ask this, I hope I will not be penalized for asking this. I am a webdeveloper, and I do most of the stuff myself, from the basic idea, till the final ...
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9answers
170 views

Is there a word for this act?

Let me give you an example where I want this "mystery" word to fit. There are two person "A" and person "B". A had installed an air conditioner in his house long ago and has called in the customer ...
2
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1answer
74 views

Lost In Punctuation

Usually, when a piece of text is translated from one language to some other language, and (due to slightly different idioms, phrases, words, etc.) the end meaning is changed, then it is attributed to ...
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7answers
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Is calling someone “old school”- offensive/derogatory? [closed]

My colleague, a relatively young school teacher, prefers not to use e-mails. He is digitally absent. During a recent teacher's meeting, while I appreciated his efforts towards content ...
2
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2answers
235 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 ...
2
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2answers
170 views

Term or expression which best describes a problem that goes away when an expert attempts to diagnose it?

There is a phenomenon which I've seen happen across many circumstances. Generally, it goes something like this: The complainant has a recurring observable problem. The complainant contacts an ...
2
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1answer
1k views

Is absence of the person needed in “On someone's behalf”?

In the middle of a conversation he had with my father, [Mr. X] asked him: “What does your son want to do in future?”. “He wants to do religious studies,” my father replied. He talked on my behalf ...
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1answer
7k views

“Head over heels” and “head over feet”

Does the expression head over heels mean the same as head over feet? To be madly in love with someone?
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1answer
67 views

“What might have appalled us when we'd started our trip just a few days ago no longer impressed us much”

I came across this sentence from a book about a journalist: What might have appalled us when we'd started our trip just a few days ago no longer impressed us much. It is confusing for two ...
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1answer
141 views

What is the origin and meaning of “Save some for Jehoshaphat”?

Back in the late 1950's, during Sunday dinner (here in Tennessee), my mom would often exclaim "save some for Jehoshaphat". What is the origin and meaning of that phrase?
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1answer
174 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 ...
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1answer
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saying thanks to someone answering your email ASAP who is important for you [closed]

Which of these sentences sounds more american? and which sounds more polite against who is important for you like a professor or boss? first: Thanks for your prompt response second: Thanks ...
1
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1answer
242 views

What does “has been loathe to fully distance itself from” mean?

The following sentence I read from Huff Post: "Why Egypt Matters: The Implications Of The Protests" gets me quite confused. I've made the key problem boldface. Hope someone can explain to me the ...
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2answers
2k views

“Don't know what the name is” vs. “Don't know what it's called”

What is the difference between saying: A: Which meal do you want, Sir? B: Number 4. I don't know what the name is. A: Which meal do you want, Sir? B: Number 4. I don't know what it's ...
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7answers
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Idiomatic expression for a difficult choice

This has cropped up several times in the past couple of months, and I've been struggling to find a fitting word to describe this phenomenon. I'll describe it: You have two choices(no, it's not ...
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6answers
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What is the expression that means : Try to stop crying

Sometimes, when I get emotional. I get in a situation when only talking can lead in a burst of tears, so I try to prevent it and I feel like crying is on hold inside my throat. Is there an expression ...