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

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Call In/For a New Job

Suppose I looked for a job on the Internet, found a few offers interesting and decided to call the phone numbers they had posted. Am I calling in or calling for the new jobs? (Or should I simply say ...
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6answers
1k views

“Finnish Swedes” or “Swedish Finns”?

In Finland, there live 5.6 % Swedes (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/fi.html). They have lived there for many generations, being standard Finnish citizens, just ...
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1answer
71 views

Type of spurious reasoning which ignores other effects of a counterfactual

Consider a male athlete who is a reasonably skilled 100 metres sprinter, with a best time around 10.3 seconds. Probably not enough to make a career in track and field, but faster than the women's 100 ...
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1answer
66 views

“It was always a question for me…”

Is it correct to use the phrase "It was always a question for me..." ? For example, "It was always a question for me that no one liked the cake." or "It was always a question for me why no one liked ...
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3answers
64 views

What does ' Loyalty gave way to desire and Garrett' mean? [closed]

I am wondering what this expression means. It is from the movie 'Flipped' and here is the rest of the sentence. 'Loyalty gave way to desire and Garrett, the turncoat told Sherry what I was up to.' In ...
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1answer
71 views

What does “flavor” mean in the field of Information Technology? [closed]

I often notice the word flavor being used on the Web. I'm from Russia, and this word is generally translated into Russian as the equivalent of 'impression', 'taste' etc. However, these translations ...
2
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1answer
201 views

Charles Bukowski's “best dick” [closed]

I am reading Charles Bukowski's Pulp and as non-native English speaker I am finding decoding certain expressions challenging. For example the main character, Nicky Belane, often refers to himself ...
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1answer
68 views

simultaneous dialogue [closed]

[[The question has been edited in an attempt to address the reason it was originally put on hold.]] Suppose that several individuals are speaking. There are two conversations occurring at once in the ...
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4answers
113 views

Phrases that express “to look around nervously”

I'm trying to describe a situation where someone is on high alert, scanning his surroundings looking for potential threat. It seems to me that "Look around" lacks the sense of tension I want. "Scan" ...
3
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1answer
145 views

clutching one's chest / at one's chest

Why is it that I'm getting overwhelmingly more results for "clutching at his chest" than for "clutching his chest"? Can you suggest any good reason? Here is an example: Walking again in the long ...
2
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1answer
41 views

'Delays expected until November'; what ought they to say instead?

Where there are major roadworks on British roads you often see signs which say something like Delays expected until November. Everyone knows what it means i.e. that between now and November, if you ...
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2answers
88 views

synonym for “worth finding”

Can the sentence "It's worth finding a part-time job during the holidays" be replaced by "It's good to find a part-time job during the holidays." Do they mean the same ?
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14answers
3k views

Single word for “pleasant to look at” [closed]

Consider: It is pleasant to look at. So pleasant that you do not want to let it wander out of your sight. What would be a word for pleasant to look at? Something that's pleasant to my ...
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1answer
50 views

What is the inverse of an orphan? [duplicate]

An orphan is a child whose parents have died. Is there a single English word to describe a parent who has lost all their children? If not, what is the most clear and concise description for this ...
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3answers
78 views

Phrase to describe “re-reading an email you wrote, because it is just that good”

I want to describe a recurring situation that happens in the modern day when people craft an email that is "perfect" in that person's mind, and they end up re-reading the sent message over and over. ...
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3answers
114 views

What to say if you don't want anything from a store?

I learned English as a second language. As I have never lived in any English speaking country, sometimes I don't know what to say in common daily situations. One good example of this occurred when I ...
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1answer
107 views

Am I the only person to use “punch up” to mean “remind someone”?

I have always used "punch up" in the context of reminding or prodding someone for something such as: "I just punched up Jane that she needs to turn in her vacation schedule" When I used this ...
3
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1answer
495 views

Being “on the ticket”

I'm currently watching House of Cards and I keep hearing the expression "being on the ticket". It's always in relation to a presidential candidate, but I'm not quite sure what it means, particularly ...
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2answers
143 views

A formal way of saying 'rub it in'.

I am trying to find a formal phrase equivalent to the colloquial expression'rub it it.' rub it in (informal) if someone rubs it in, they keep talking about something that makes you feel ...
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12answers
3k views

Ways of saying “You don't have to be a rocket scientist” [closed]

I'm trying to find different ways of saying that "You don't have to be a rocket scientist", but I can't seem to get any good ideas. I got a variation, "You don't have to be a brain surgeon...," but ...
3
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2answers
106 views

“At this stage” in corporate speak

I've noticed "At this stage" preceding delivery of the negative to the reader. What's the reason for this? "At this stage, unfortunately (for you), we won't be proceeding further with your ...
2
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2answers
112 views

Is there an English expression from Latin for “in writing”, “written”, etc?

Is there a Latin expression that is now used in English for "written"? For example, "Here is my request in written form." - to replace "in written form"? Or, "We took written notes.", you get the ...
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10answers
7k views

One word - someone so scared that he can't move [closed]

I am not able to find an appropriate word to fill in for "scared". He was so scared, he couldn't move. He turned to stone. He was too shocked. He almost turned to stone and could not move. ...
2
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2answers
278 views

What is the origin of the phrase “grease the skids”?

What is the origin or derivation of the phrase "greasing the skids?" The phrase connotes preparation, in such a way as to make the subsequent activities easier. Definitions are available various ...
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2answers
68 views

“Nice little place you've got here” - is it derogatory? [closed]

That is, does "little place" imply that the place is small, but pretty nevertheless? When told, would this offend a person owning a large mansion?
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2answers
244 views

Physical object, carried be a person, that represents an encumbrance

I believe a word currently exists that is used as a metaphor to mean something similar to, "a person is (willingly?) carrying a physical object, but there is no benefit to carrying (or transporting) ...
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2answers
41 views

Meaning of 'insider hiring' [closed]

there is an article about hiring. http://www.haaretz.com/misc/iphone-article/.premium-1.637980 one of the headers is 'Insider hiring'. what does it exactly mean? hiring someone you know? does it have ...
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1answer
442 views

Meaning of “I'm a large” [closed]

In one of the Seinfeld episodes (season 6, episode 12) there is a conversation, in which Elaine tells Jerry that she had given a label maker to a dentist and the dentist obviously gave that same label ...
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12answers
2k views

Is there a suitable antonym for 'Achilles heel'?

I'm trying to juxtapose antonyms in a effort to describe something. The first draft of an excerpt reads something like this: I will tell of their triumphs and downfalls... I would like to ...
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2answers
911 views

“From then on” or “since then”?

Do these two expressions mean the same or are they used in different contexts? I wrote "Since then" in an essay for my English teacher but she wrote me "from then on" instead. I wanted to say that two ...
2
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3answers
303 views

Phrases for (someone) making a short visit/appearance

When I need to visit to any place for a very short time, say, for 10-15 minutes A politician coming late and leaving in minutes at a fundraiser. An acquaintance just dropping by to say ...
2
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1answer
109 views

The phrase - “I remain sceptical” vs “I continue to remain sceptical”

During a parent meeting , I heard a teacher say : I remain sceptical (on the progress of the child). and the parent questioning him- Why do you continue to remain sceptical? ...
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2answers
137 views

A word or phrase for an unremarkable event that occurs with uncanny frequency

I am looking for a word or phrase for an unremarkable event that occurs with uncanny frequency. To give a specific example, one might be seeing a random shopper drop their bag every time you enter a ...
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1answer
74 views

How do you say “more moneys”? [closed]

If I give a bank note of 100 and get back three 20 bills and a bunch of coins, I have less money, but more physical units. How could one express it? Assume an informal setting. In other languages, ...
2
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1answer
178 views

What does “ought to have been a wheelbarrow” mean?

My grandmother (who was of Irish descent) was born in the New England area of NSW, Australia. She used an idiom that she "ought to have been a wheelbarrow". I think it meant something about a lack of ...
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4answers
147 views

What is it called when someone does an action they don't fully understand? [closed]

For example, someone speaking and writing the English language, but not actually knowing how to use it properly.
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6answers
1k views

How to describe a strong wind?

Could you say 'The gale was blowing about his jacket' ? I'd like to express the repetitive movement of his jacket going from side to side.
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14answers
10k views

Friendly way of saying “I love you”

In Spanish, Te amo (I love you) has more romantic feeling than saying Te quiero. The last one is used as a friendly way of saying I love you, but without romantic purposes. However, if translated to ...
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1answer
65 views

If I feel that an answer isn't relevant, how do I express that? [duplicate]

If I feel that an answer isn't relevant to the given question, how can I express it more clearly? I am not able to come up with an appropriate word to describe what I wish to describe, a few ...
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1answer
98 views

“father to” vs. “father of”

Would it be grammatically correct to write Mister X is father to a son and a daughter or should one preferably choose the preposition of? Mister X is father of a son and a daughter. ...
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4answers
279 views

Source and meaning of the proverb “Milk says to wine, Welcome friend”

While investigating an unrelated expression, I came across the following proverb in George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum ; or Outlandish Proverbs, Sentences, Etc., second edition (1651): Milk says to ...
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4answers
120 views

Word for a problem that goes away when a larger thing changes?

What is a word or expression for a problem has effectively gone away because of a larger change that makes the problem no longer a problem? I'm thinking "obviated" or "made unnecessary," but it ...
2
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2answers
43 views

How else can “he's really inconsistent” be expressed ? [closed]

How else can "he's really inconsistent" be expressed ? For an article about a sports person.
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1answer
67 views

How to express the quality of being fried? [closed]

I want to express the good quality of being fried of some dumplings, the way their almost redness and crispiness etc... What words or expressions would you use to do that?
2
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4answers
85 views

An idiom for “don't buy the first thing you see”

I'm looking for a colloquialism for: shop around a bit before you make your decision
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5answers
184 views

Misuse of the verb allege?

I recently visited Jordan on a business trip. Read the following in a newspaper: Bleeding profusely, she pleaded with the alleged attacker, Mushataq, to take her to a hospital. My ...
0
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1answer
109 views

Do people in Colorado typically say “attorney” or “lawyer?”

I'm interested to know if people in the Colorado area say attorney or lawyer more frequently.
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2answers
45 views

He whose breath is taken

I have a character who sees something breathtaking, and I want to say that "his breath was taken by..." Most results I get for the expression end with "away", which I don't like. so, Can I say ...
2
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1answer
40 views

“Less than … it looked like …”

Is this expression common? Example: Less than a mansion it looked like a castle: crenelated roof, lancet windows, cylindrical towers with crosses on top. The reason I asked is because I got 0 ...
2
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6answers
91 views

Politician says he will vote in favor of legislation that he hasn't read and will change once elected

Can anyone come up with a few good synonyms/idioms/expressions for a person or politician that will say whatever he/she believes will get him/her the most votes? For example: He/she will vote in ...