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
2answers
38 views

Name for the cognitive bias of seeming to not need something when you have it, but needing it when you don't?

An example of what I'm talking about is buying a snow blower because the past few winters have been very snowy, only to find that the next several winters after buying have hardly any snow, i.e. "it ...
2
votes
9answers
1k views

Is there a word for people who always act too friendly in order to curry favor with their acquaintances?

Is there a single noun or adjective for a person who is always flattering friends and acquaintances, not only to be liked and accepted but, at other times, to curry favor with them as well ? I'm not ...
1
vote
2answers
66 views

Is there a way to praise the action rather than the intelligence or strength?

Considering: http://parenting.stackexchange.com/a/11556/2221 Kids who are constantly told, "You are so beautiful" can actually become overly worried when their looks change and become overly ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Derivation of the phrase “what the dickens”?

What is the derivation of "what the dickens"? It features in the Merry Wives of Windsor "I cannot tell what the dickens his name is." So the meaning doesn't seem to have changed ie synonymous with ...
1
vote
0answers
180 views

English does not have a future tense--what do you think? [closed]

Some say English does not have a future tense. In fact, wikipedia describes it as follows. English grammar provides a number of ways to indicate the future nature of an occurrence. Some argue that ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

Context of “when?”

One example comes from this song in "the Music Man." Gary, Indiana, Gary, Indiana Gary, Indiana, let me say it once again Gary, Indiana, Gary, Indiana Gary, Indiana, that's the town that ...
2
votes
3answers
180 views

What is the “pie” in “Cutie Pie”?

Cutie is a slang term used to refer to someone who is cute. Where did the word, pie, in the expression "Cutie Pie" come from? And what is the history behind this expression? I can't seem to find any ...
-2
votes
3answers
209 views

Can I treat “of course” and “of course not” like “yes” and “no”?

Which of these two expressions is correct? 1) Of course not, I am here. 2) Of course not, I am not here. For example: Yes, he is a boy The word "yes" emphatically introduces a ...
0
votes
3answers
136 views

Professional ways of saying “to know something”

Usually, in our CV or resume, we will say that "I know this, I know that, blah blah". I think the verb "to know" is not formal enough in such situation. Is there a better way to say you know ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Is the term “setting someone straight” offensive to queer people?

I replaced "Thanks for setting me straight" with "Thanks for correcting me" when editing an email to a recipient who is queer. Is the term "setting [someone] straight" inappropriate if the ...
1
vote
2answers
72 views

Do native speakers ever use the expression “problems crop up”?

I would like to ask you if the expression "problems crop up" is ever used by native speakers or if it's some kind of an archaism. Whilst being quite a nice expression, I have never heard it before.
0
votes
1answer
34 views

meaning of an expression in a sentence [closed]

what is the meaning of so patent a manner in the following sentence Seeing him like this, dressed just for her in so patent a manner, she could not hold back the fiery blush that rose to her face.
5
votes
8answers
1k views

What words do you use to describe an unmatched couple? [closed]

What words do we use to describe an unmatched couple, for instance, the female is much more attractive than the male, or the other way around? If we found that a girl is out of the league of her ...
1
vote
2answers
51 views

Usage of 'carved in stone'

I have always seen the expression 'carved in stone' used in the negative in sentences like: 'It is not carved in stone that..., Could this expression be used in the positive or, alternatively what ...
1
vote
3answers
98 views

phrase request-'Luckily, it could have been worse'

It's like you just don't have money, but suddenly you realised you did put a note somewhere deep in your bag and you grab that out and just feel the mixture of being lucky and relief and pessimistic ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

the job is not up to one's qualifications and standard, in fact it is below his standard

what "word" can I use to tell someone that the job is not up to his qualifications and standard. The job in fact is below his standard.
0
votes
2answers
137 views

When something sounds too good to be true, it is or isn't?

I'm having a hard time understanding why the phrase is when something sounds too good to be true, it is and not when something sounds too good to be true, it isn't Because "when something ...
2
votes
3answers
98 views

What is a term or expression for a very imaginative person?

Someone who has a lot of ideas and different (efficient/productive) approaches in dealing with various situations. Someone who always comes up with some/another different, unexpected way for ...
4
votes
1answer
53 views

After beginning a sentence with “The question is,” should the question itself use inverted or straight syntax?

After beginning a sentence with "The question is," should the question itself use inverted or straight syntax? The question is, when is it worth doing, and when is it not? The question is ...
15
votes
13answers
2k views

One word to call people that attach their feelings to a concept

Is there a way to express in one word when people attach their personal feelings to a concept or an idea and then become very vehement at defending it because they consider it personal criticism. As ...
1
vote
1answer
68 views

What is the most pejorative phrase we can come up with for soccer foul fakers? [closed]

You know the ones: association football player flailing on the ground in world-class screaming agony; yet the TV replay shows he was not even touched – and it's an Oscar performance bid. 60 seconds ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

What is a term for an invalid comment which is claimed to be the cause to something? [closed]

A comment that isn't related and ultimately doesn't make sense. E.g., someone doesn't clear the garden and another person calls him by "dude, are you a woman/dog/cat...etc. (you could put any word ...
2
votes
11answers
553 views

Word meaning “to tell the truth to someone”? [closed]

Example: I wanted to [...] him—to let everything out. What's a common word to use in this cases? I'm looking for something similar to spit as in to spit something out. Like, when you say ...
0
votes
4answers
126 views

Is there a word or expression to call someone who easily gives credit, especially to insignificant efforts? [closed]

A common example would be a professor who is too mild in his marking of a poor assignments. Another example could be someone who doesn't add or say much with his words, but still receives a lot of ...
0
votes
2answers
108 views

Is there a word or expression for the “no it isn't.” “yes, it is.” to and fro, mutually?

The point in a conversation where it all gets rather child-ish from both sides: A: That ball is pink. B: No, it isn't. Are you blind? It's obviously purple! A: No, it isn't! B: Yes, it is! A: No, it ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Meaning of an expression

What exactly does this expression mean ? "its not you or her." I heard this sentence from a native English speaker and I don't want to explain more! I hope this sentence itself would be sufficient ...
9
votes
2answers
433 views

Are there any common phrases in the English language that use metric units of measurement?

We've got things like 'inch closer' or 'miss by miles' but nothing common that uses the metric system as far as I know.
0
votes
8answers
124 views

Is there a word or expression for someone who takes an over-optimistic view of things?

Someone who takes an over-optimistic view of himself, his own country and all other things that have meaning/value to him. And who doesn't see or admit the smaller, yet not insignificant, things. E.g. ...
4
votes
5answers
741 views

What word would be used for someone who shoots video

I used to work as a guy who used video camera to shoot events. As a non-native English speaker I have struggled to find a word to describe it. So far I have used video recorder but that is feels like ...
4
votes
2answers
174 views

Why (so) sure? vs How (so) sure?

I just answered a question on ELL.SE that made me (and the OP) wonder about something... Consider the following four question responses to these two statements: 1- "I know I'll marry young." ...
9
votes
8answers
2k views

Is there an expression for someone who often takes things too literally?

E.g., if you use an idiom (in a context) like: "To throw the baby away with the bathwater." and your conversation partner says: "Huh, seems I don't have a baby/bathwater!" Also, when you explain the ...
6
votes
8answers
861 views

Word or expression for an opinionated and easily offended person

Is there a word or expression for someone who uses a lot of opinions to judge himself and/or things around him (such as other people) (e.g. to "defend" himself from receiving judgement), however who ...
0
votes
3answers
72 views

What is a word that describes the start or opening of a conversation?

What is a word that describes the start or opening of a conversation either with a friend, a stranger, in a formal situation like a business meeting or in a court? I am looking for something with a ...
0
votes
4answers
676 views

Polite swearing words? [closed]

I hate to swear, i.e to say "fuck you" or whatsoever of those words. However sometimes I get angry and I wish there are words that could be a polite replacement for those swearing. I wish there's a ...
2
votes
7answers
282 views

Words to address young (male) people with?

I am thinking about words, maybe used by older generations to approach a young man. And using some common word that also has some meaning along the lines of "young, handsome, lively, energetic or ...
0
votes
1answer
92 views

What is a word for someone who always feels (inclined to feel) pity for others?

Doesn't have to be "always", could also just be someone who shows a lot of pity for people around him. Could also be that some people may not always show it, but do feel very inclined most of the time ...
1
vote
7answers
170 views

What is a term for someone who has a rather frown face?

With tensed muscles and looking "difficult" (as I don't know how to describe this any better...) Not done most excessively (a face frown as much as possible), but kind of like someone who (pretended ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

A person who can read lines of “hand”? [closed]

A person who can read lines of "hand" ? Is there a word of such a person. As far as I am concerned there is that I am missing?
-2
votes
1answer
46 views

What to use : “that” or “who”? [duplicate]

Consider this sentence : "I was going down the hill and on my step down I saw a guy who appeared to be disguised". "I was going down the hill and on my step down I saw a guy that appeared to be ...
1
vote
3answers
85 views

What's a word or expression for an answer that elicits its own question(s)?

I'm trying to think of a way of referring to the sort of half-ass answers you might find in response to the question: "why do we sleep at night?" Typical answers such as "we need to sleep so that our ...
1
vote
8answers
361 views

What do you call the noise(s) that block you from hearing?

I am looking for a particular word to describe absurd noises which block your hearing. Not so long ago, I was talking to a friend of mine in a public place and we were unable to hear each other well, ...
1
vote
4answers
107 views

What to call someone who is able to hold a conversation?

So, think about being involved and present in the dialogue, but also someone who puts forward ideas and tries to look for ways to keep the conversation smooth and going, just like a flowing ...
3
votes
1answer
77 views

A term that describes people who easily connect formally, but not emotionally?

Is there a term that describes two individuals who easily connect to each other on a formal level, so, related to intellect, facts and formalities, but who hardly connect on an emotional and personal ...
13
votes
13answers
3k views

What word or phrase means “a loss of what was on your mind”?

Sometimes, in the middle of a conversation, a "loss of mind" can affect the speaker. What is the word for that situation and that person ? Are there more specific terms or phrases than: the loss ...
7
votes
5answers
941 views

Is there a word for someone who is usually in the minority?

My original question was "Is there a legitimate word for 'a balancer'?" but I think it's a little hard to understand... Let's just say there is a person, and most of the time, he is in the minority. ...
-1
votes
2answers
72 views

Is there words that mean “meet the criteria”?

I'm making a comic strip and looking for a funny word in the theme of hair, maybe something that means "make it meet the criteria". Thanks in advance It is hard for me to explain, as my first ...
1
vote
0answers
33 views

Be talking something? [closed]

First of all, I'm not native. I've heard this expression in some movies, I believe, and I'm wondering whether it's correct (or maybe I just thought I heard this and I'm mistaken). Can you say "be ...
1
vote
0answers
64 views

prevent (doing something before it happens) and doing something after it happend [closed]

When you prevent something, you take action for an event not to happen - before it happens. What is a familiar word you would use to indicate action to take after the event happened? Like ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What proof is there in pudding?

Yesterday I heard an English baker on a cooking show say that "the proof is in the pudding." I've heard the expression before but I can't imagine how pudding would prove anything. How did the idiom ...
7
votes
17answers
816 views

What do you call someone who is so inappropriate that they are appropriate?

So we have a guy in my office. He can say almost anything. Race jokes, gender jokes, he is just really inappropriate about everything but funny. He is not a racist or sexist and gets along with ...