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

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Foot/head of stairs

I just want to confirm that I am right about these expressions. The "foot of the stairs" is the bottom of the staircase, and the "head of the stairs" is the top, correct? Are these expressions ...
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3answers
67 views

Be with the FBI [closed]

Why do they (e.g. characters in american movies) say "he's with the FBI" or "she's with O.I.A" instead of for instance "he's from the FBI" or simply "he works for the FBI"? Is the expression "be with ...
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1answer
110 views

Meaning of 'head screwed tightly to one's shoulders' [closed]

I came across a comment on The Economist article about hardships people working on lower wages or living off disability payments face. In one of the comments, one commentator narrates a story of a ...
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2answers
114 views

Adjectives to describe a big human achievement vs. a quick achievement

Premise: It took 13 years and 3 billion dollars to sequence the first human genome by scientists. What would be an adjective to describe this feat? However, now a new software can do the ...
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7answers
580 views

The statues were unheralded for almost a century - a better idiom/phrase

British experts found two rare bronze statues crafted by Michelangelo. What idiom or phrase can describe either the state or the period for which the invaluable piece of art remained hidden from ...
4
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2answers
118 views

Is the idiom “cotton to” still heard in parts and, if so, where?

To "cotton to" is an idiom born of the cotton industry, meaning to get to know or understand something. In the textile industry, when a fiber cottons, it does a good job of blending in with other ...
7
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1answer
241 views

Why does a Cheshire cat grin, and how long has it been doing so?

Most people are familiar with the expression "grin like a Cheshire cat" from Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland (1865), which goes so far as to provide a glimpse of the grin without the cat. But the ...
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1answer
55 views

some days the pigeon, some days the statue [closed]

There is a common expression in english - "some days the pigeon, and some days the statue". The meaning is self explanatory- Certain days go really well, while other days are pathetic. Can you guys ...
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1answer
82 views

Express Emphasis without using Italics or Underline

Are there any methods to express emphasis without using italics or underline? I find that there are many cases where formatting does not allow italics, even if emphasis would add to the text greatly. ...
2
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1answer
53 views

“Branching Factor” in military and industrial organizations?

In math, branching factor measures the (average) number of descendants in a tree; e.g., the branching factor of a binary tree is 2. How is the same number called when applied to the military (usually ...
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1answer
56 views

Is “from … over … to …” correct?

I came across a title with a "from A over B to C" structure, namely "Facts and events from the USA over the UK to Australia" Now, I personally think this is incorrect (potentially a carbon copy ...
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9answers
2k views

Has “aught” survived in common usage?

In a movie that I watched recently, I heard- for aught I know, for aught I care. I work with a lot of native speakers, and they all told me it's not in formal or informal usage anymore. ...
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9answers
4k views

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 ...
2
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5answers
130 views

Whats the word for an missed event? [closed]

I am looking for a fitting end to this sentence: With so many members around I refrained from speaking up and now my wish/plan to have a private conversation with the leader remains ...
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2answers
76 views

How can “in touch with” be used figuratively?

I am sure that we can say “get in touch with someone”, to mean figuratively that we are in good contact. Can I go further to use it more figuratively, e.g., to say that “my brother is not in touch ...
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0answers
63 views

What does “give sufficient notice” means? [closed]

Could anyone please explain to me what the expression "give sufficient notice" means ? and in which situation this expression is used ? I cannot find it on any dictionary except ...
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1answer
50 views

How to express “prefer in order”

Let say, I am a little boy and my mother had several fruits (orange, apple, banana,...) and she asked me which one which I like, but she was not sure if she could give me that fruit ( I don't know why ...
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1answer
161 views

Who was “Toody Hotpot”?

My late mother (born in the 1920s in London, where she lived all her life) was fond of saying of anyone who wasn't helping in any particular job or activity that they were "Just standing around, like ...
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2answers
40 views

An appropriate adjective [closed]

I am writing a report and it should tell all the stakeholders that "the target for all product categories, including Over Payments to customers has either been met or exceeded (by a very small ...
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2answers
53 views

alternatives to “bucket list of kate”

I want to say: "kate's bucket list" but we need to have "kate" at the end of the sentence (that is the requirement). So I thought of "bucket list of kate" but it sounded a bit.... I don't know... bad ...
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0answers
43 views

“She do not look like” [duplicate]

I have heard this phrase in "True Detective". What's the background? (It was used by police detective, 2nd episode, the dialog in a car.) update: Because of the discussion, I found that scene and ...
3
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1answer
206 views

“As for me” in the beginning of the sentence

Could I use "As for me" in the beginning of the sentence? For example, when somebody asks the whole group of people what was done, and one in that group answers what he did: "As for me, I did that ...
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2answers
56 views

When have you officially 'started' something?

To say, I started playing Violin when I was 12 years years old: Does this imply that you have played Violin regularly since you were 12 years old? Can you 'have still started playing Violin when you ...
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2answers
103 views

A direct, ironic response to “How are you?” indicating that the person is in a bad mood [closed]

Imagine person A asks person B, how B is doing. B is doing bad and he or she is upset with the question (after all, nobody wants to admit that he or she is screwing his or her life up). What kind of ...
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3answers
824 views

“Short for” vs. “Stands for”

US stands for "the United States". US is short for "the United States". What are the subtle differences between them?
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32 views

What's the meaning of “there is not a good reference for”?

This is the context : "For most projectors however, including SONY projectors that have been used for a few months, or more and the bulb has aged, there is not a good reference for use in calibrating ...
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1answer
171 views

expressions using body parts

'Hands' of a clock, 'Arms' of a chair, 'Nose' of a plane, 'Mouth' of a river. In these expressions human body parts are used.What are such expressions called?
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4answers
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Is there a word that describes disliking a food or drink after vomiting it?

I'm finding it particularly hard to google this, but want to know if there's a word or expression used that describes the scenario when a person stops liking a food or drink after they have vomited ...
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4answers
77 views

A good term for something that sustains itself via a positive feedback loop?

So just for context, I would like to pose the hypothesis that the US dollar is the strongest currency because it is the global reserve currency and is the global reserve currency because it is the ...
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1answer
106 views

What is the meaning of “He's got his quiver full”?

It was part of a dialogue I read some time ago: A. "His wife is pregnant again." B. "Really? He's got his quiver full, hasn't he?" A. "He has, and I tell you, he should know better." ...
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0answers
57 views

I'm looking for an antonym for eye opener [closed]

E.g: The movie is a real eye opener. The movie is a real ___________ .
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3answers
164 views

What's a good adjective or phrase to describe your feeling when confronted with absurdity? [closed]

Say, you're supposed to be very angry at something but the situation is SO ABSURD that it becomes funny and you end up laughing at it instead. It cannot be having mixed or ambivalent feelings about ...
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6answers
89 views

Is there a phrase for - “making hard work of easy stuff”

I am looking for a phrase or a flowery way to say that he made hard work of what should have been a cakewalk. To give more context - sometimes the commentator says that the team should have finished ...
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3answers
67 views

What does it mean to be in an advanced stage [closed]

I sent an email to a professor expressing my wish to be his student. He replied me that the selection is now "in a very advanced stage". He saw my application but hasn't got updated yet. What does ...
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3answers
70 views

Does it sound right in English? [closed]

After being put at a crossroad (I would say: when someone puts another in a situation that he/she has to decide what to do)
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3answers
63 views

Riches-to-Rags Emotion? Is there a word for when people get accustomed to a higher quality and then have to go back to less? [closed]

Searching for a (preferably) single word or expression that describes when a person used to "better" things (in life) has to live with less. For example: if someone gets used to fine dining/wine or ...
0
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1answer
73 views

The “expressions without prepositions” [closed]

We do not normally use prepositions in some common expressions. Let’s discuss your plans. She married a rich business man. The baby resembles its father Is there a rule ...
2
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1answer
66 views

outside vs out of the box [duplicate]

As a non native english speaker i wonder which one is the correct form to use ? to think outside the box ? to think out of the box ? is there any difference in meaning ?
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1answer
37 views

requirements about or requirements for [closed]

i try to build a phrase in the context of Master application : We said : let me know if there are further requirements for my application . or let me know if there are further ...
5
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1answer
130 views

Martini, Extra Dirty

This expression is from the show "True Detective" (Session 1 Episode 6) A guy buys a woman a drink when they have just met, then she asks waiter to "martini, extra dirty". This is the first time I've ...
2
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1answer
92 views

Where do all the fox references come from? [closed]

A person can be crazy like a fox, and attractive lady is foxy or even a fox, an old book might have foxing, to outsmart someone is to outfox them, if you are confused you are foxed, and there are ...
2
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1answer
75 views

Meaning of “kick him off his feet”

Can anyone help me find the meaning of the sentence "kick him off his feet"? This is the context of it... Send him to school. Force him to crawl. Teach him how to cheat. Kick him off his ...
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2answers
60 views

Does this “look out for” and “look in for” make sense?

He looks out for all the possible support he can gain from the villagers, and at the same time looks in for inner courage that will prepares him for the worst result. (He wants to be elected by ...
9
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4answers
733 views

Does being described as a “Whirling Dervish” have a positive or negative connotation? [closed]

In an email I received from an extended family member, she remarked that she had "heard through the grapevine" that I was quite the "home-making whirling dervish." This person and I have a (distant ...
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5answers
221 views

Word(s) for a person who degrades other people's work/efforts anonymously

Word(s) for a person who degrades other people's work/efforts anonymously. meta: I really want to know since this sickness is wide-spread across Internet. To me, this is a filthy mix of ...
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3answers
115 views

meaning of the phrase 'fix the broken glass' [closed]

Can the phrase fix the broken glass mean to fix the situation?
3
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3answers
81 views

An expression that is the opposite of Mortons's fork

Morton's fork is a situation where all outcomes are unpleasant. Is there an expression or term that describes a similar situation, but instead all outcomes are pleasurable/beneficial except only one ...
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2answers
60 views

Rules for hyphen use correctly [duplicate]

What is right? 1) "well know" or "well-know" 2) "non central" or "non-central" There some general rule?
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1answer
114 views

Difference between I see and I understand [closed]

What's the difference between "I see" and "I understand" ?
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4answers
101 views

What is a word or expression for a person who feels free? [closed]

As in they feel unrestrained, like they could do anything?