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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (5)

4
votes
8answers
159 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
137 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
399 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
110 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
votes
1answer
44 views
4
votes
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
91 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
108 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
38 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
174 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
120 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
40 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
533 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
50 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
162 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
votes
1answer
55 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
65 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
147 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
25 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
27 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
78 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
29 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
48 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
187 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
113 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".
0
votes
4answers
262 views

If an adult gets kidnapped, would it still be considered “kid”napping? [duplicate]

What's the other terms if adults get kidnap?
-1
votes
3answers
49 views

How to express this statement better - ill toward

We have this paragraph here: The forum is here for collectors of all persuasions, so unless you're in a thread specifically geared towards comparison/discussion, keep your ill toward comments ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

work 'at' the weekends or work 'during' the weekends? [closed]

I wrote "Many college students work at the weekends." My colleague changed 'at' to 'during' = Many college students work during the weekends. Do you feel there is a difference, however subtle?
0
votes
1answer
49 views

“So though” vs “so even though”

Do they mean the same? Or they mean slightly different things? Example: They both had passion for music, so, (even) though their tastes differed, they never ran out of topic to talk about.
0
votes
3answers
100 views

People who use “no” in every sentence [closed]

I want to know whether using unnecessary "No"s and negations paints individuals with a negative/insulting attitude. Examples from my dear workplace. Example 1: 1: "Hey Eric, today is so warm." 2: ...
1
vote
2answers
53 views

How to introduce two arguments

How to introduce two arguments in a scientific paper? I used: There are two arguments. On the one hand ARGUMENT1. On the other hand ARGUMENT2. Now I was told I should not use this construct unless ...
1
vote
4answers
71 views

Phrase to tell, that you have written a fast note

I am choosing a title for my essay, which is about a man, who wrote a fast idea on a napkin and lost in a pocket of his jacket. Then he dies in a car accident and ten years later his son finds an old ...
0
votes
2answers
93 views

To or For? What's the rule? [closed]

As an ESL learner I always mess up using prepositions. It’s been especially difficult to understand when to use to or for. Are there any rules about this usage?
1
vote
2answers
71 views

What does 'to be maxed out' mean?

I want to understand what Chandler means when he says he's maxed out after thinking he's embarrassed by his bunny costume.
2
votes
1answer
145 views

The person who marries for money usually earns every penny of it

The person who marries for money usually earns every penny of it. ...anonymous quote. What does this phrase mean? It seems to suggest that if you marry for money, you will earn all of the money ...
1
vote
4answers
68 views

How do I pluralize the coffee drink “shot in the dark”?

For those that do not know, there is a coffee drink that it sometimes called a shot in the dark. It consists of an espresso shot poured in a regular cup of Joe. Suppose that I would like to order two ...
0
votes
2answers
78 views

What does absent fraud mean? [duplicate]

I came across the phrase absent fraud in this article. I searched for its meaning on Google but didn't find anything. What does absent fraud mean? I can’t help but empathize with an employee ...
3
votes
6answers
151 views

Word for lack of comprehension of something easy to comprehend

So, I was watching this Vsauce youtube video, which discusses Déjà vu, Presque vu, and Jamais vu. Now, all three concepts are something I'm aware of and have experienced, but it made me think of ...
1
vote
2answers
107 views

What's it called when one is so familiar with a language that phrases just “sound” right or wrong?

Native speakers, especially those who have read a lot of writing or literature for a given language, acquire the ability to "know" whether something is grammatically correct (or not) just from their ...
3
votes
5answers
141 views

What words or idioms are there for “beneficial constructive distraction that would establish or facilitate balance”?

What words are there for beneficial constructive distraction from a task that would improve the results or establish or facilitate balance among various tasks (all being a "distraction" in that ...
1
vote
1answer
548 views

How to understand 'flatter to deceive'?

How should you understand the expression: "flatter to deceive"? The Oxford Dictionaries defines flatter to deceive as: Appear promising but ultimately disappoint. Which is all nice and ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

Is there a word to describe someone who is always defeated at my hand?

If A always defeats B, A is B's nemesis. If B always loses to his rival A, B is A's ____?
1
vote
1answer
32 views

Is there another way of saying “opener” as in the one who does the opening prayer in a devotion?

Another term for saying "Opener" in a Christian devotion.