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)

3
votes
2answers
10k views

How to use “for some reason” in a sentence?

Some examples (right or wrong, I do not know) He went to the store--for some reason. He went to the store, for some reason. For some reason, she went to the store. A grammatical explanation as to ...
1
vote
3answers
246 views

Meaning of “Make what's-her-name feel special this Mother's Day.”

Especially, the "what's-her-name" part.
5
votes
3answers
9k views

Meaning of “To all whom these presents come, greetings”

You see this a lot on formal government and institutional documents such as declarations and diplomas. What, exactly, is being said?
1
vote
3answers
270 views

“excursion over city” vs “excursion around city”

Is there any difference in phrases usage? Which one is better for title of a story? The story is about tourists.
1
vote
3answers
2k views

What does “10 years sober” mean?

Here is the full sentence: You’re from Orinda, your father’s in commercial real estate and your mother’s 10 years sober.
5
votes
5answers
12k views

A term or phrase meaning “to explain in simple words”?

How do you ask someone to explain something in very simple words, understandable by everyone from general public? In Russia we say something, that can be translated like "explain on fingers". What's ...
11
votes
3answers
48k views

“I'm home” or “I'm at home”

The second form looks more correct to me, but the first expression is present in several titles of movies and songs. Which form is preferable?
5
votes
2answers
311 views

Is “wait up!” considered correct English?

I thought if you wanted someone to wait for you, you would say, "wait for me". However, I've heard/seen a lot of people speak/write "wait up" instead. Is "wait up" correct English?
11
votes
9answers
18k views

Is there a shorter alternative for “Enjoy your meal”?

The French have "Bon appetit". In Belgium and the Netherlands we have "Smakelijk". Is there a short way to wish someone a good meal in English?
2
votes
1answer
35k views

“To have a dinner” vs “to have dinner”: which one is correct?

Does one need to use the article in this case?
18
votes
5answers
15k views

“Bob's your uncle” … no he's not!

What is the origin of the phrase "Bob's your uncle"? Is it used internationally or is this just a term used in the UK? I have often heard an extension of this phrase: "Bob's your uncle and Fanny's ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

Expressions in Tim Minchin's “Storm”

Can you help me with these expressions from Tim Minchin's Storm? There will be some obscenities—sorry for those; I am just interested in their meaning. "I confess a pigeonhole starts to form" [1:10] ...
6
votes
5answers
33k views

What does “going blue” mean?

I'm familiar with the expression to feel blue, but I recently stumbled upon the expression to go blue on two different websites in one week. Vork from The Guild goes a bit blue Source: ...
5
votes
3answers
870 views

Why are not all grains called “grains”?

In most languages, the word used for a single caryopsis seed is a good equivalent of grain — it is not only the translation for this kind of seeds, but also the translation for other meanings of the ...
1
vote
3answers
4k views

How to introduce someone

If I have to introduce someone in a meeting what should I say? I would like to introduce X who has joined us from Y company. I like to introduce X who is joining us from Y company.
5
votes
3answers
627 views

What is an “Open loop”?

In "Getting Things Done", David Allen refers to "Open Loops", meaning things that are incomplete. Q: What past reference to an "Open loop" is he alluding to? Is that phrase "Open Loop" something ...
0
votes
3answers
9k views

Plural of “A good night's sleep”

Is it possible to have a plural of "A good night's sleep"? Would "Some good nights' sleep" be correct? Edit: I'm thinking specifically in the sentence: "I'm looking forward to a good night's sleep" ...
4
votes
6answers
14k views

Which saying is correct?

I've been having a small argument with a family member. She insists "It's no skin off my teeth" is the correct saying, though I've only heard "It's no skin off my nose" before. Which saying is more ...
20
votes
9answers
6k views

Why do we “get cold feet”?

A sudden loss of nerve when embarked on a venture is called cold feet. Does anyone know why that should be? An etymology is suggested at englishdaily626. If your 'feet' are 'cold', you can't walk ...
6
votes
4answers
201 views

“No more dirty dishes shall meet the eye.”

My flatmates frequently make a huge mess in our kitchen. I created a motivational poster to hang in our kitchen with a picture of Optimus Prime and the phrase: "Optimus Prime says: No more dirty ...
1
vote
2answers
809 views

What is the correct usage of “those”?

I often hear people describe a specific subset of a larger set as "those things that are ________." Is this correct English? I mean, you could just say "the things that are ________." Something ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

Meaning of “it's long past time to …”

Saw a lot of such sentences (examples below). What does the "it's long past time to..." mean? Example: It's long past time to ditch the use of the ubiquitous bulleted-list templates found in both ...
1
vote
2answers
577 views

“Time settles everything”

Is this a common phrase? A google search found only 6 pages using this exact phrase. What do you think of this phrase? What about "time solves everything?"
4
votes
2answers
7k views

What is meant by the phrase “which is to say”?

When someone says ... X which is to say Y ... is there an implication that X is mistaken or false? In this construction is Y generally the opposite of X? Some random examples from the NY ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Do you have English counterpart to “To ask a question is a shame of a moment. Not to ask the question is a shame for whole life”?

I doubt whether my question is worth asking or being answered every time I’m posting a question, and ask myself, “Doesn’t it look too naive or primitive a question?” However, I keep posting questions ...
3
votes
2answers
705 views

A “human cue tip”?

I am watching the excellent documentary "Nobelity" by Turk Pipkin: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobelity http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turk_Pipkin 4 minutes into the movie, there is a bit that I ...
5
votes
5answers
968 views

Is it possible to say “as you can”?

Is it possible to say that "someone does something as he or she can" to express that he or she is doing it with full enthusiasm or is this just badly translated German? Edit: Unusual language ...
6
votes
3answers
7k views

What's the origin of the phrase “around the horn”?

Yesterday as we were sitting in traffic, my husband said he would have gone "around the horn" had he known traffic was so bad, meaning to take a longer way. What is the derivation of this phrase?
5
votes
2answers
38k views

What is the meaning of “you bet!”?

I often hear the term "you bet!". What does it mean?
8
votes
8answers
29k views

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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
4k 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
302 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 ...
12
votes
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?
13
votes
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 ...
5
votes
6answers
68k 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?
3
votes
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 ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

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

Photographers seems to love to say this. Is this still considered funny?
4
votes
3answers
428 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
946 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 ...
10
votes
7answers
39k 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 : ...
5
votes
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 ...
11
votes
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 ...
11
votes
5answers
49k 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 ...
16
votes
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 ...
8
votes
9answers
41k 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?
5
votes
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 ...
5
votes
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?
4
votes
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?
11
votes
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 ...