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 meaning of “you bet!”?

I often hear the term "you bet!". What does it mean?
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8answers
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What are the metaphorical ways to say that someone has died? [closed]

What are the metaphorical ways to say that someone has died? For example "He has gone to the far country where he will be happy for ages". P.S. There is this question, but it focuses on mentioning ...
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2answers
2k views

Meaning of “steady-as-she-goes financial package”

I was reading this article and I'm not sure about the meaning of this sentence: Despite rise in inflation and borrowing, chancellor to court medium earners in 'steady-as-she-goes' financial ...
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1answer
3k views

How to use “have resonance with”?

If I want to say "have the same feeling with ..." or "agree with ...", can I use "have resonance with ..."? For example, I knew a friend who doesn't own a cellphone and I found an article saying how ...
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4answers
296 views

Is “bestowing anonymity” the right term or expression?

Is bestowing anonymity the right way to say "keeping someones identity secret?" Basically the author is writing about someone, a fallen dictator and his nasty goings on, without using the name of the ...
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2answers
9k views

How did “tongue-in-cheek” get its current meaning?

A statement is said to be tongue-in-cheek if it is not to be taken seriously. How did this meaning come into vogue? Where did it originate from?
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7answers
1k views

What expression do you have in English as a counterpart to Japanese saying “Earthquake, Thunderbolt, Fire and Father"?

As you know, we Japanese experienced tremendous disasters of Magnitude 9 earthquake accompanied by tsunami exceeding 10 meter high in northeastern regions recently. Living in the country always under ...
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6answers
67k views

“All of a sudden” vs. “all of the sudden” [closed]

According to Google (63 million results), it should be all of the sudden, though, 22 million results say otherwise, which one is correct?
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3answers
1k views

What's a “labour of love”?

I found that phrase applied a lot to women but then also to men (so that's probably not [only] related to being "in labour"). At first I thought it had to do with motherly/parenthood chores. But now ...
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5answers
1k views

What do I do when I hear 'Say cheese!'?

Photographers seems to love to say this. Is this still considered funny?
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3answers
422 views

“In graduate programs” versus “at graduate level”

I am writing a new CV. I want to choose a title for a section which specifies the courses I've taken at the graduate level. Since I've attended more than one graduate programs, which one of these is ...
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2answers
915 views

What are the meanings of the sentences where “Not that” is followed by an object-missing expression?

According to my observation, there are at least two types of using "Not that....". And my question is: what does "not that" mean in its second type of usage? In the first usage, "not that" is ...
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7answers
38k views

What is the meaning of the expression “We can table this”?

This came up in an email discussion - we are arguing about the merits and demerits of a certain approach, and I mentioned what I thought was a drawback to a scheme. To that, my colleague replied : ...
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3answers
16k views

“much of the time” vs “most of the time”

Are these two phrases different in meaning? When do you use "much" or "most"? I was reading a book named "The world of words" where I saw this sentence Substitution in context will help you much ...
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7answers
7k views

Meaning of the phrase “the wrong side of history”

I've just realized I don't understand what this phrase means. What does "Gaddafi is on the wrong side of history" mean? Does it mean he's about to die, or something else? Here's the relevant ...
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5answers
48k 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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5answers
11k views

Why do we “paint the town red”?

Why is the phrase "paint the town red" used to mean go on a colossal drinking spree? Does anyone know where it came from? Green's Slang Dictionary tentatively suggests a famous toot by the Marquis of ...
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9answers
39k views

Is it 'Close to the chest' or 'Close to the vest'?

Apologies if this is a duplicate, I am just curious. Are they both valid? Which originated first?
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4answers
11k views

What does “punch line” mean?

I read this sentence and I don't understand what "punch line" means here: Most people recognize this Amazon: Jeff Bezos's hyperproficient Borders-killer; one of the few dot-com initial ...
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4answers
1k views

Meaning of the expression “2.1 kids”

What does it mean to say, "Everyone in this city has 2.1 kids"? Is this an idiom?
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2answers
2k views

Why “off to hell in a handcart”?

I can understand the meaning of the phrase off to hell..., but I was wondering why, of all the possible vehicles that may have been chosen, it came to be in a handcart?
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5answers
3k views

Is the “really” in “I don't really know” necessary?

I know that one can have a greater or lesser amount of surety (i.e. "I'm not really sure"), but don't you either know or not know something? Are there degrees of knowledge? I hear this phrase often ...
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3answers
2k views

Unclear use of the word “our”

When we say "Our team worked hard", then is it expected to refer the speaker + his own team OR the speaker + listener + their team together? Because in both these cases OUR is common word to be used! ...
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7answers
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“Excuse Me”… Is it polite or just a terse way to ask others to step aside?

I often hear people saying "excuse me" when I open a door and someone else is entering/leaving from the other side. In spite of the fact that I may be the first person to have opened the door and ...
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5answers
3k views

“You are not going to be able to … ” versus “you can't …” [closed]

Are there any differences between these two expressions?
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2answers
8k views

Where does “pull it off” come from?

"to pull it off" was at one time used meaning "to win." And in sentences such as, I don't think you can pull it off. , it often implies the idea of "success." But how did this expression ...
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4answers
7k views

Where does “beat around the bush” come from?

Where does the expression "beat around the bush" come from?
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6answers
15k views

What terms and expressions can be used in English to show one's love to his/her girlfriend/boyfriend? [closed]

I know in every language there are a lot of ways and cute names to address your girlfriend or your boyfriend to show you love her/him. The names can be creative for any couple. As Andy mentions these ...
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1answer
394 views

What does ‘Gut the Roster’ mean?

I find the phrase ‘gut the (one’s) roster’ very often in the sport section of news papers as used in the following examples. What does it mean? Is it used only in sport related context? 1.He ‘gutted ...
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3answers
501 views

Why not concatenate two frequently used words into a new one?

I will probably get a lot of flak about this, but why not combine the often used together words "with the" into "withe" which is pronounced similarly, and it much shorter and easier to write? I am ...
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2answers
226 views

How do we say “domestic apples” in normal English

If you are serving apple pie and you want to write the menu so that the customer understands that the apples in the pie are from THE VERY CITY that the restaurant is in, how can I rewrite this phrase: ...
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6answers
71k views

What is the meaning of the phrase “The morning constitutional”?

What exactly is the meaning of the phrase “The morning constitutional”? Is it an early morning walk or the first visit to the bathroom during the day? What is the origin of this phrase? What is the ...
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2answers
8k 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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4answers
626 views

Expression for “medium difficult”?

In my game, I have three levels of difficulty, each represented by an icon. Of course, each level is also indicated by a word; the icons are there just to spice things up, and as a visual pun. Easy ...
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2answers
3k views

“In God We Trust” vs. “We Trust in God”

A colleague of mine asked me what is the importance of word order in phrase "In God We Trust" And I could not answer. Is it a shame? Update: Would it be correct English to write: In God - we ...
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3answers
29k views

Is there a difference between the phrases “I am fine with it” and “it is fine with me”?

In my experience there has been a diachronic split between these phrases: It is fine with me. I am fine with it. The latter has overtaken the former in usage although they continue to ...
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3answers
590 views

What does “trigger-happy on broken windows” mean?

What does this expression mean: to be "trigger-happy on broken windows"
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6answers
2k views

Why do we use the definite article in the expression “quite the [noun]”?

Like: "quite the singer", "quite the writer", etc. while he/she is just a singer/writer and is not the only singer/writer, etc in that context.
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3answers
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Is word “crap” considered a vulgarism?

Most common damn-words in English are of course the f-word and the s-word, which are - for my best knowledge - considered vulgarisms. The word "crap" may be used as a damn-word, however I'd bet, that ...
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1answer
758 views

I'll say at farewell or at last?

Which of the following would be more comprehensible to say in English: At last I'll tell? At farewell I'll say? The Last word? as the title in song А напоследок я скажу (words by Bella ...
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4answers
2k views

Is the phrase “fire and brimstone” used by Americans or it is only in Bible?

As far as I know "fire and brimstone" is an idiomatic expression of signs of God's wrath in the Hebrew Bible. Is the phrase commonly used by Americans or it is only used in Bible?
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2answers
965 views

“Hot Diggity …”

Ok, perhaps the last one was too easy :) Here's one that a friend of mine uses, and I'd love to know if it's something he coined, or is it a more common expression than I think: Hot ...
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3answers
6k views

“Oh, for Pete's sake!”

Just curious as to where this expression came from and when it came into being. It's one that is commonly used (among other variations, e.g. "Oh for crying out loud!"), but where does it come from ...
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5answers
6k views

Meanings of 'killing moon' and 'killing time' in song by Echo and The Bunnymen

I was wondering what the meanings of the expressions killing moon and killing time on the song Killing moon by Echo and The Bunnymen are. Under blue moon I saw you So soon you'll take me Up in ...
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4answers
2k views

To put on the thinking cap

I found this expression: to put on the thinking cap, What does it mean and how to use?
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4answers
9k views

“Yeah Right” expression

Where does "Yeah right" come from? Can it be used in a formal writing? If not, what is a good alternative?
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3answers
23k views

why do we say scorching hot while scorching already means very hot?

Scorching means extremely hot. So why do we say scorching hot? Isn't it redundant to bring hot after scorching?
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2answers
1k views

Touch the blue paper

I have recently heard that phrase (touch the blue paper) from a native English speaker¹. Is it an erroneous alteration of the expression light the blue touchpaper or is it a correct² phrase in its own ...
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2answers
948 views

“To increase competitiveness in” or “to increase competitiveness on”?

Which phrase is the correct one? to increase competitiveness in the EU labor market to increase competitiveness on the EU labor market
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2answers
976 views

to give options to “if you do not mind <much?>”

Can I tell "if you do not mind ?much?"? Or how can I leave me with some freedom in taking and changing a decision?