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

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2
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4answers
160 views

Word for foreigner or person of another race mistaking you for someone?

When I am traveling Europe I often get mistaken for someone (maybe famous). I believe it has to do with the foreigner maybe not knowing the person's looks that well but I think it is more of not ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

Origin of “half a mind” and “a piece of my mind”

Both of these expressions/phrases have similar uses: I have half a mind to confront that person. I'm going to give them a piece of my mind. Were these separate but similar expressions translated ...
0
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4answers
107 views

Is it correct to say “Getting out of schedule” or “Going out of schedule”

Let me put some context: We have a day of tech sessions, so what I'm trying to say to a partner is that he better prepare well his time (about 60 minutes per session) so he won't run out of time ...
-1
votes
2answers
49 views

be fresh / not be tired

Is it correct to tell a person who worked hard after a long day, ' be fresh' or ' no tired' or something like that? In general, do English people use these expressions or others in the mentioned ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

How to express combinations using “any […] by […]”

I'm writing a text in which I need to repeat combinations of k out of n - for example, "any 2 out of 6" - but I think something the likes of "any 6 by 2" would be more appropriate since the subject is ...
0
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3answers
65 views

How to understand “We have not been smoking”?

Given a sentence: We have not been smoking What is the exact meaning the speaker wants to express? One interpretation: We smoked an hour ago, but we stopped smoking after ten minutes, then ...
8
votes
6answers
664 views

What is the word for a secret concerning one’s own life?

The following passage is found in The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton: ... there is a great deal of difference between keeping one’s own secret, and keeping a secret for another soul; so much so that ...
4
votes
4answers
137 views

Term or phrase (bygone era) where doodles were part and parcel to writing

I read something a while back talking about this. It was a term or phrase I had to lookup; and it was available via Google-Bing, but not “predominant” - not a universal thing. Not exactly back in ...
11
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13answers
5k views

An English expression for 'femme fatale'

Femme fatale, meaning "an attractive and dangerous woman", is a French expression which has become part of the English language roughly since the beginning of the 20th century. Is there another ...
-1
votes
2answers
41 views

'Marked by' vs 'having' in dictionary definitions

I've read definitions that differ from each other only by the words marked by and having. E.g. 'Marked by a calm demeanor' and 'having a calm demeanor'. I see this often enough that I suspect ...
3
votes
1answer
76 views

“one years old”

I just heard someone say: "my baby just turned one years old" Which sounds super weird to me - so I googled a little and found similar sentences: How Old Are Dogs When They Turn 1 Years Old ...
0
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2answers
49 views

Define “He's like”

Is he's like different from he said? Does "like" mean the same thing as saying that someone said something or is there more implied maybe like a subtle difference in attitude?
3
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4answers
346 views

What's a noun for the group of people who you're very close to, such as family, friends, relatives, and significant others?

If I wanted to describe all of the people close to someone such as their close friends, family, relatives, and spouse/significant other, how would I do so with one noun? The simplest 'noun' that ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Extending a hug

Is the expression, I am extending a hug to you, only used when expressing sympathy or can it be used as an expression of love too?
0
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4answers
78 views

Better alternative for “even after”?

I have the following sentence in a legal document: The terms shall remain in force even after the Warranty obligation, as specified in article 1, ends. Is there a better way of expressing "even ...
1
vote
8answers
186 views

What is a heterosexual term for “cruising”?

Cruising, the act of going out and about looking for a sexual partner, is generally only used in a gay context in the US. What is a term with the same basic meaning but without the homosexual ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

What does “check” mean in “check your privilege”?

The phrase "check your privilege" is currently enjoying some popularity on the Internet. It seems that "check" could have several meanings: holding back so as to avoid applying unwanted force: "The ...
7
votes
7answers
836 views

Looking for a word that describes thinking something is more common than it is?

I'm wondering if there's a good term for assuming knowledge, or other things, is more common due to my own experience. Essentially it's like being out of touch with reality, but a little more ...
4
votes
8answers
170 views

Adjective to best describe sense of helplessness

I am writing a small piece on the current financial and economic crisis, and I am looking for adjectives or short expressions that describe the sense of helplessness that seems to hang over many ...
2
votes
3answers
152 views

Is it ok to say “fill in the blank spaces”? [closed]

There is a dispute between two guys in our village. One guy says "fill in the blank spaces" is not right and instead "fill in the blanks" should be used. Now I know "fill in the blanks" is right but ...
4
votes
13answers
406 views

Other expressions to say “don't get involved with” something or somebody'

I am looking for expressions or idioms to describe a context where you advise someone not to do something (a favor, give help or advice, lend money, etc.) because by doing so he would probably risk ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

To come undone, what does it mean? [duplicate]

I'm hoping someone will tell me what it means, "I come undone" I'm puzzled by the expression...
1
vote
7answers
111 views

Better way to say “at first sight”?

I have draft where I want to say something like," At first sight, the problem seems intractable, but a careful analysis shows ..." I feel "at first sight" seems a bit un-academic. Is there a better ...
-3
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1answer
45 views
4
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2answers
89 views

Wordplay - “Owl” being used to say “I will”?

Is there a name for a type of wordplay such as "owl" being used to say "I will"? I did realize this was a pun, but hoped there were perhaps more specific categories of puns. I'm looking for some kind ...
1
vote
9answers
93 views

Term/Phrase for telling something including necessary context

Let's say I want to tell someone a story, but in order that he'll be able to deeply understand it, I need to tell (or better - start with quite a lot of) certain additional facts, incidents, ...
0
votes
3answers
109 views

Is there a principle for the word order of idioms e.g. Town & Gown rather than Gown & Town? [closed]

The second version sounds awkward but I don't know why? So is there any rule for these idioms e.g. reverse alphabetical order e.g. Walkie Talkie? Is there a name for these? Just found another ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

How to say we provide a synopsis here for details refer to other work in formal academic writing

We provide here a synopsis of the measurement process, for an in-depth description, please refer to XYZ. I'm not a native speaker. How do I write that as the first sentence of a chapter in an ...
1
vote
7answers
177 views

How can I best describe “making a new discovery”?

The context I am referring to is when someone, for instance, comes into contact with something, a subject ( mathematics, archeology or computer science, just to name a few), a religion or a sport, ...
1
vote
2answers
134 views

What does the phrase “point-blank” mean in “she refused point-blank to join in”? [closed]

So she refused point-blank to join in. What does the expression point-blank mean in this context? Could you give me some more examples of situations where this phrase could be used?
1
vote
2answers
43 views

The first forty years of life give us the text, the next thirty supply the commentary

What does the this sentence : The first forty years of life give us the text, the next thirty supply the commentary ??? I cant see the link between the text and commentary
7
votes
6answers
537 views

Is there a word for one who enjoys to eat for the sake of eating (a food hedonist)?

Does such a word exist? I don't mean to excess (IE, a glutton), but rather one who eats because he enjoys eating. Essentially, I'm looking for a word that's synonymous with "a food hedonist", or "a ...
2
votes
2answers
51 views

Meaning of “we're rather flat” in context

From Yellow Slugs by H.C. Bailey: He went to the room where Eddie lay. The doctor was there, and turned from the bedside to confer with him. “Not too bad. We’ve put in a long sleep. Quite quiet ...
2
votes
2answers
178 views

What is the origin of “I calls ’em like I sees ’em”?

This expression seems to be pretty widespread, for example being in Wiktionary and Futurama. Does anyone know what the origin is? Also, what kind of dialect might I calls or I sees be?
-2
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1answer
56 views

Is this expression correct? [closed]

Is it right in English to say: It is nice a day. instead of It is a nice day. Is any sentence of this form correct?
0
votes
5answers
47 views

What is the correct expression of “melancholic/blue man”? [closed]

Just to mean someone is in melancholic/blue state. Not sure about how to express it properly in English
49
votes
12answers
5k views

A way of describing the lesbian parent that is not pregnant?

A friend of mine is in a long term relationship with her female partner. After deciding they wanted a family, my friend's girlfriend got pregnant. Normally when talking about a couple expecting a ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

meaning and use of “gotta” [closed]

I often heard people say the word "gotta". I have read in this web site that gotta is a contraction of "I have got to" and that that phrase means "must", is my understanding correct? Regarding the ...
39
votes
2answers
2k views

What word denotes a belief that apparently inanimate objects actually express a malicious, autonomous will?

I came across this word a few years ago, but can't find it now. I do not mean deodand, animism, pathetic fallacy, scapegoating, anthropomorphism, or personification (Word for attaching blame to ...
0
votes
1answer
21 views

“are added” -or- “are being added”?

Basically, what I want to say is: "new pictures are constantly added", but I need to omit "constantly", so how would be grammatically correct to say this phrase meaning constantly: "new pictures are ...
1
vote
1answer
148 views

Why are there several “expressions” in the English language related to the third month of the year?

You can find some examples of the phenomenon in question below: Ides of March March hare, mad as a March hare March madness Winds of March, March winds (I recall that the MAD staff even produced a ...
2
votes
1answer
27 views

state the reach of something against something as doing something

I encountered this sentence while translating a lawsuit and now I'm quite confused about what it intends to say: Court stated the reach of the per se rule against tie-ins under 1 of the Sherman Act ...
0
votes
2answers
51 views

meaning of the “meant by”? [closed]

I often see questions started with "what is meant by...". What is "meant by"? Any trying to Google it returns nothing helpful. Thanks in advance.
1
vote
0answers
24 views

Meaning of “take your mind off” [duplicate]

I came across this phrase on the website: http://www.bspcn.com/about/ Over all, this site is sure to be appreciated by anyone that needs to take his or her mind off of more pressing matters. I ...
0
votes
2answers
28 views

Other expressions for 'be down on someone'

I'm looking for other expressions or saying to describe when someone is ill-disposed towards someone else, but mainly on a prejudice rather than for objective reasons.
2
votes
3answers
81 views

Better way of saying “those who are curious”?

I am writing a note in which I want to ask (curious) readers to refer another paper. The phrase curious minded comes to mind, but it seems somewhat awkward. Is there a better way to convey similar ...
2
votes
1answer
31 views

Origin of the term “grounded”

What is the origin of the term "grounded", as in "it keeps me grounded"? Does it simply come from the ground itself, which is to say keeping one's feet on the ground, or does it refer to "ground" in ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

Should I use price, cost, or rate when referring to rent?

Example: I don't know which apartment to choose. The price/rate/cost in this city is just insane. What the most appropriate option?
1
vote
1answer
202 views

What are some colloquial English expressions for comparing hot/cold weather to something else? [closed]

I'm looking for colloquial expressions that compare hot, cold, and wet weather to something else. For example, “It’s hotter than two goats in a pepper patch”, “Colder than a witch’s tit”, etc. Often ...
4
votes
6answers
114 views

Is there an expression for when you have something but cannot use it

Is there an expression for when you have something but cannot use it or it is meaningless to use it. For example "one has the right to strike but cannot use it".