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
496 views

What does “Screw motivation” mean? [closed]

There is an essay whose title is Screw motivation, what you need is discipline. I can understand its main idea, but can not figure out the exactly meaning of Screw motivation in the title. Could you ...
0
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0answers
24 views

I can surely do it for you [duplicate]

I can surely do it for you.. Is the use of surely correct or shall I replace it with certainly without change in meaning.
0
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1answer
48 views

Is “would you be keen to consider___?” too cheesy to use?

On a formal / professional email, is the following question acceptable, or is it too much politeness it looks unprofessional? The intention is to ask someone, who is not a subordinate, to do ...
0
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1answer
87 views

Is “By one side, …, by the other side” a correct expression?

I've come across the formulation by one side, by other side instead of on the one hand/side and on the other hand/side. I strongly suspect this to be wrong and maybe Brazilian Portuguese originated, ...
0
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3answers
52 views

What is a antonym of 'disaster time' in a formal report?

Is it 'peacetime' or 'ordinary time'? I need to submit a formal report describing a difference of human behavior in disaster time and ordinary time. What is formal antonym of 'disaster time'? ...
29
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5answers
3k views

Origins of “turn over in his grave”?; “turn over in her grave”? etc., etc

The best result of my google-search for the origins of the idiomatic phrase, “turn over in the grave” was this, from wikipedia: One of the earliest uses is found in William Thackeray's 1849 work ...
3
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1answer
704 views

“xxxx it is then!”, what does it really mean?

Every now and then, I hear others say "xxxx it is then", e.g. "10:30am it is then", "$200 it is then", I myself sometimes say this too, as a means to confirm some arrangement I suspect I did not hear ...
0
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3answers
61 views

What does the expression “You're just one more hand me down” in this song mean? [closed]

Someday they'll find your small town world on a big town avenue Gonna make you like the way they talk when they're talking to you Gonna make you break out of the shell cause they tell you to Gonna ...
9
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13answers
988 views

Historical or literary examples of misguided or botched attempts to help that end up causing harm [duplicate]

I'm looking for examples from history, folklore, literature, movies, or pop culture, of situations in which a person or group attempted to do something helpful but, due to their own poor judgment, ...
1
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2answers
64 views

Are there any special words or phrases for people that were emigrating in history?

Are there any special words or phrases for people that were emigrating in history (18th, 19th, 20th centuries)? Or maybe the words which were used in that time and how were people calling the ...
5
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4answers
122 views

Eulogy : Praise , what would be an equivalent to “criticize”

Usually a eulogy makes the dead person sound a lot more impressive than they really were. A couple of less common synonyms for this kind of "praise the dead" speech are panegyric and ...
0
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1answer
49 views

What does “a riff on Shakespeare” mean?

I have a pretty good idea of what this means already. For example, Beckett's riff on Hamlet in Waiting for Godot: What are we doing here, that is the question. But I'd like to be a little more ...
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1answer
37 views

Does 'Digressing others' make sense? [closed]

One of my friends said the other day: 'Digressing others is a part of my job' Does this phrase make sense?
5
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6answers
426 views

Ways of saying “to get into a relationship.”

For love you have to fall in love. How about relationships? I'm not an native English speaker so the only ones I can think of are: to stumble into a relationship and to dive into a relationship ...
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1answer
95 views

The meaning of “ haut to trot”?

What's the meaning of this expression " Modelling : She's haut to trot !"
1
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1answer
61 views

Word or expression for to describe the creation of a question [closed]

I'm trying to find an active way of say something like "I was looking through the backlog and I acquired the following question". Perhaps a less casual way of saying "I was looking through the backlog ...
0
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1answer
47 views

What would be a word or phrase for “ missing parts of books or manuscripts”

I was reading a Sanskrit manuscript and realized that pages 12 to 19 were missing... I would simply call those pages as "missing pages", however, is there a word or phrase for such missing parts? ...
0
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2answers
126 views

What is meant by “we got a live one” in following context?

Here is the clip from "Finding Nemo" where "live one" was used. http://youtu.be/zycSnw5PP0g?t=2m19s
0
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2answers
32 views

what is a word or a phrase to convey -" no more?

What is a word or a phrase to say when we had too much of something weird. Example- An enthusiastic friend takes me to a play and its puzzling and rather unimpressive to me and I want to yell- ...
1
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1answer
97 views

How to say “in the strict … of the term”?

I am not quite sure if the following expression makes sense in English: in the strict meaning of the term Is it right? Should the word meaning be replaced by sense? The meaning of the phrase ...
6
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6answers
229 views

Is there a word for “colors in the order of the rainbow”?

I was just wondering if there is a word for having the colors in the same order as the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple)? (Like when words are in the order of the alphabet we say ...
0
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3answers
165 views

Advertise a House for RENT - how to describe it positively when its completely run-down [closed]

I have a house that I need to rent out but it's old and completely run-down. The house will be demolished in a year or two when the owner is ready to develop the land. What buzz words or phrases can ...
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6answers
93 views

What's a phrase for when: to do A, you first need to B, but to do B you first need to do C, etc? [duplicate]

Say you need to change a light bulb, but to do that you need to get a ladder, but to get the ladder you need to get into the tool shed, but to get into the tool shed you need to find the key, etc. ...
0
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1answer
79 views

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 ...
0
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3answers
68 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 ...
0
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1answer
140 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 ...
4
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2answers
142 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 ...
7
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7answers
585 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
votes
2answers
128 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
268 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 ...
0
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1answer
59 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 ...
0
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1answer
90 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 ...
0
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1answer
95 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 ...
22
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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. ...
33
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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
135 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 ...
0
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2answers
88 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 ...
1
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0answers
84 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 ...
0
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1answer
52 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 ...
8
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1answer
162 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
41 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 ...
1
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2answers
57 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 ...
0
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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
votes
1answer
603 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
59 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 ...
1
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2answers
108 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 ...
8
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3answers
848 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?
0
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1answer
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
180 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?