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)

1
vote
2answers
40 views

Can I use “Engage List” instead of “Engagement List”? [closed]

In a sales context, can I use "Engage List" for a list of prospects instead of "Engagement List", which sounds more like a wedding list? This is to be used in a web service to define a list of ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

How many fish heads?

I am wondering about the origin of the common non sequitur "How many fish heads?". Is it an oblique reference to Douglas Adams'"Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" where when the dolphins leave they say ...
1
vote
1answer
152 views

Single word for “make someone cry” [closed]

Is there a single word for "make someone cry"? I checked a translation dictionary, but it just referred me to the word "cry."
0
votes
0answers
195 views

“In the Last Decades” = “Over Recent Decades”?

Example: This trend has been affected by significant changes in the last decades / over recent decades. I've always believed that "in the last decades" should be followed by "of" and a period of ...
0
votes
2answers
67 views

Informal of “Fixing problem is in progress” [closed]

We have comical picture which we show when video signal is lost. The text below should be sort of that: "No signal. Fixing is in progress". But in more informal way. One alternative is: "No signal. We ...
1
vote
3answers
62 views

Not hourly but …?

The local radio station says they will give an "hour-by-hour" or "hourly" weather forecast, but then gives what the expected temperatures and weather will be at 8am, 12pm, 4pm and 8pm rather than a ...
-1
votes
1answer
56 views

What is the specific meaning of “Smoking crater?”

I'm suddenly seeing and hearing the phrase "smoking crater." It's always used in a derogatory fashion, but what's the specific meaning?
2
votes
2answers
67 views

question about the word 'repeat'

If any word is written thrice, how many times is it repeated? Twice or thrice? For example: shantih shantih shantih (from The Waste Land, T.S. Eliot)
0
votes
3answers
123 views

What's a similar word to 'precocious' with a positive connotation?

Precocious, per its definition, describes a child in a positive light. But in practice, many tend to use it in a negative way, and I feel the negative connotation outweighs the positive. So even when ...
0
votes
1answer
75 views

Can you make the difference between 'Here you go' and 'There you go' explicit?

I think most native speakers have an implicit understanding of the difference between 'Here you go' and 'There you go', although the difference in use between these expressions is small. I'm not a ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

How to say “the same below” in academic papers?

Simply put, if I use a notation and do not want to repeat noting that again and again in the rest of the paper, what should I write? The meaning I want to express is that this notation carries the ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

Any particular meaning to the expression 'stuck still'?

Stuck still, I would like to know what the exact meaning of this expression is. I think it's something like 'frozen in place' by a certain shocking or surprising occurrence or situation.
0
votes
0answers
47 views

What's a word similar to the adj. form of “elect” but for a position that was held previously?

I'm working on my CV and I'm trying to describe an elected position I held with a title. "Treasurer Elect" does not fit since I was appointed to the position in the past. "Elected Treasurer" also ...
1
vote
2answers
66 views

Word to describe the sound of an utterance that has an undertone of being disgruntled

I am looking for a verb to explain a tone that implies that the speaker is disgruntled, similar to what an employer would sound like while firing an employee for a stupid mistake that has caused a lot ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

What is the meaning of the phrase “prospect for a residential tenant seeking office/retail accommodation plus storage”? [closed]

Based on the following description of a "shop + dwelling" (commercial milkbar with attached residential section) published in a rental advertisement would you say that it implies that the property is: ...
1
vote
2answers
64 views

meaning of “Plague it!”

I found this expression ("Plague it!") in a correspondence between two people. One of them starts her reply to the other one with this. The other person had expressed his despair to her. I've found ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

Succeed in survival?

If you can start a campfire, you will 50% succeed in survival. Can someone say if the sentence above is gramatically correct or not?
2
votes
3answers
237 views

What is the figurative meaning of “cold pizza”?

I've always thought that "cold pizza" was an expression used mainly to refer to a boring, uninteresting person or an unexciting event whose images call to mind that of an unappetising cold pizza. ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Why are there two “to”s in “from … to … to …”?

To denote that something applies to a wide range of items you can use the phrase "from ... to ... to ...", e.g. Animals can live anywhere, from forests to deserts to deepest pits of the oceans. ...
1
vote
2answers
79 views

Ways to ask “save the date” [closed]

Does it sound better if I say: ... hope you have marked your calendars instead of : ... hope you have blocked the date for a certain event in the future for which they have already been ...
1
vote
3answers
40 views

Word for start (like catalyst) of something forming

Maybe my mind is playing tricks on me. I thought there was a word for the "imperfections" where water bubbles form in a glass. Or the instigation of the nucleus forming for a crystal formation. ...
0
votes
1answer
100 views

What does “I am parked out back” mean in this paragraph?

I don't get the meaning of the example expression "I am parked out back." in bold below. Does this mean "I'm in my car and somebody parked just behind me?" In linguistics, predicate transfer[1] is ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

how to say that the ring has a stone [closed]

I want to tell in the story something like "Every ring had either red or blue stone in it". But I don't like that facility. Is there a way to say it better? The full set of sentences looks like ...
0
votes
2answers
77 views

How to go to the station or how to get to the station

When you don't know where the nearest station is and ask a passer-by for directions, which of the following questions is appropriate and why? Could you tell me how to go to the nearest station? ...
0
votes
3answers
85 views

Expressions for someone who likes doing things alone and doesn't like help

What expressions are there for someone who likes to be alone and independent? "Lone runner" is what comes to my mind, but I don't think I've really heard it, to be honest. Could anyone help?
1
vote
2answers
68 views

How to say that a research topic is applicable for different purposes?

I want to say that my research topic is applicable for different purposes, or I can do a lot of things with my research work, or I have worked on a research topic which has a lot of application. How ...
3
votes
1answer
63 views

How closely is the Queen's English linked to British royalty?

According to Wikipedia, the Queen's English refers not just to pronunciation, but also "matters such as grammar, vocabulary and style". The term has also been referenced numerous times on ELU. Of the ...
3
votes
2answers
126 views

Term or Phrase for “Listening without Understanding”

Is there a word or a phrase that describes someone listening to somebody else speak to him without understanding what is being said while acting like he's getting it?
2
votes
1answer
60 views

What is the first known use of the proverb “out of sight is out of mind”?

It is said that Shakespeare and Hopkins used ‘out of sight is out of mind’. But when was this phrase first used?
4
votes
1answer
114 views

Why is “now and then” used to mean the opposite of its logical meaning?

Why and when did the expression "now and then" come to mean sometimes or occasionally? Logically it means just the opposite! "Now" and "then" means "presently" and "in the past", the future will soon ...
2
votes
3answers
89 views

Word or phrase for the ability to put yourself in the visual perspective of another?

We're all flying drones here in the office right now. When a drone is facing us, we have to press left to go right, so we got into a discussion about how we have to imagine ourselves in the "pilot's ...
1
vote
2answers
357 views

What is a non-awkward way of referencing your child[ren] to a 3rd party of the opposite gender as yourself?

Here's the situation: You and your spouse are talking with a third person who is of the opposite gender as yourself. e.g., my wife and I are talking with a woman named - let's call her Joan. If I'm ...
9
votes
4answers
498 views

Word for “Vicarious Shame”? (Spanish: “vergüenza ajena”)

In Spanish, vergüenza ajena describes the embarrassment you feel on someone's behalf. Say, a person stands up and sings horribly, or a man makes a fool of himself trying to pick up a woman. It's an ...
0
votes
2answers
98 views

What does “tell you love your honey” mean?

It says "You have no tomorrow promised. So, tell you love your honey." Shouldn't be "...tell your love to your honey"? https://twitter.com/eikaiwa_tw/status/685382110304010240
2
votes
1answer
42 views

The meaning of 'feel out of' and 'kick out of'

The below is an example of these expressions. The parts of the brain called the limbic system, which includes the regions of the brain that give you a rewarding feeling out of taking a risk, a kind ...
14
votes
7answers
779 views

Fear of incrimination by inaction

During the Chinese cultural revolution, students assaulted their teachers. During the French liberation, Nazi collaborators were shaved in the streets. The perpetrators are often described as being in ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

Is there a word for “specify/determine something in terms of something else”?

I am attempting to translate a greek document and there is a concept that doesn't seem to translate to a given english word; one that I know at least. It more or less says: " Fiscus -a legal term- ...
3
votes
2answers
110 views

'Move to a new place' - different way of saying it

I want to find a way of saying something like... [...] I am willing to fund my move to [insert country's name here] myself to make up for [...] ... in a natural way. I am pretty positive a ...
0
votes
0answers
59 views

appropriate phrase for expressing close distances toward a person

Imagine this scenario: You are having a conversation with someone about a tropical fruit which you have seen the picture of it(on the internet or something) and you do know the name of it, but you ...
1
vote
1answer
104 views

Origins of “the weak are meat, and the strong do eat”

In the movie Cloud Atlas, Tom Hanks' earliest character ('Henry Goose') and Hugo Weaving's latest character ('Georgie') use the phrase The weak are meat, and the strong do eat Now, I don't think ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

on its way to you usage [closed]

I trying to express that something has been sent but not yet delivered. Does the following sentence express this correctly for American English? Your package has not arrived, is on its way to you. ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

How to finish a letter in a conciliatory manner [closed]

I have drafted a letter to someone who works in the same team as me, discussing some issues regarding teamworking and I want to finish the letter by saying that I hope they receive the letter in a ...
0
votes
3answers
143 views

Phrase for when someone leaves a group/place in an unusually quick manner

For some reason I remember the phrase "that sounded runny" used when someone leaves a group/place in an unusually quick manner. But apparently that is incorrect. Can anyone help me with the correct ...
1
vote
1answer
125 views

What definition of Earth is used in the expression “walk the Earth”?

Please see this question for difference in definitions and capitalisation of earth/Earth In the expression "walk the earth", e.g. "when dinosaurs walked the earth". Should earth be capitalised? I ...
3
votes
1answer
57 views

Is “anybody's guess” origin anybody's guess?

I was looking for the origin of the common expression "anybody's guess" but I couldn't find any much evidence. Checking with Ngram it appears the expression become suddenly popular during the 30's ...
0
votes
2answers
99 views

Any idiom/phrase/expression to describe this attitude?

There is this person I know who always gets excited at the slightest of the things. They give a person too much credit than they deserve for simplest of the things they do. Not that I think there is ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

Meaning in context of “to fold something together”

“Add the option -f to fold upper and lower case together, so that case distinctions are not made during sorting; for example, a and A compare equal.” Excerpt From: Brian W. Kernighan. “The ...
4
votes
2answers
413 views

“I shoulda 'STOOD' IN BED?”

I've heard folks use "stood" as a kind of past-participle of the verb "stay" - as in: "I shoulda stood in bed". I had always thought it was some kind of uneducated regionalism... But, it's New Years, ...
7
votes
3answers
890 views

Meaning of the expression “Eat sh**”

What does the expression "eat shit" represent in the following sentences? Eat shit, I'm not going to do your dirty work. Is this similar to "I dislike doing your dirty work"? Or does it mean "Go ...
1
vote
2answers
95 views

The meanings of the expressions “big air quotes” and “might as well”

I wrote to my friend: "Are you available sometime between the 27th of January and the 3rd of February? I plan to stay in Tokyo for a week to take part in a musical event and then unwind a little." ...