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

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Biden Got Out ‘Over His Skis,’ Says Obama

I read that headline in the New York Times. From the context, I understood that it means that Biden was a little too hasty. I would like to know the origins of this expression
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2answers
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origin of the expression “never argue with someone who buys ink by the barrel”

What is the origin of the expression "you argue with someone who buys ink by the barrel"? I heard it on the news and I would like to know who coined the expression.
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4answers
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Expression for a rare find?

Is there an expression along the lines of Red cars, for the man, were like the birdwatcher's spatuletail ... assuming the spatuletail is a rare find for birdwatchers. I'm pretty sure I heard ...
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1answer
260 views

expression “neck tingle” [closed]

I've seen the expression "neck tingle" used in the context of enjoying a good song. Is this a similar expression to "goose bumps"? If not, what would be the difference in use?
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5answers
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“Deuce and a half” for body weight

This expression is from the movie There's Something About Mary: She put a lot of weight, about a deuce and a half. Is this used to refer to overweight people? The only reference I could find is ...
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2answers
1k views

Take my photo, take a photo of me

Please tell me, is there any difference when saying take his photo and take a photo of him? To me, the first one sounds awkward.
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3answers
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Where does the expression “a wide berth” come from

Where does the phrase "a wide berth" as in "give it a wide berth", meaning lots of room, come from? I know it as a nautical term. (Some of my female friends seem to think it's a chauvinistic ...
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4answers
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Can I use “you guys” when it includes gals? [Northeast USA] [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is “guy” gender-neutral? I'm in the Northeast USA. I'm about to email 3 people, 2 are women It is ok to say "I thought you guys would find this ...
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3answers
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What does it mean to “start from scratch”?

This question speaks to the "start from the beginning" meaning, but in yesterday's USA Today, there was a headline about Obama and Romney starting from scratch because they were even in a poll. Have ...
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1answer
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Can I use “wow” to express surprise but not necessarily with something related to pleasure, but confusion and surprise?

For example: "Wow! How can he do that? Unbelievable..." or: "Wow! How can he be so insensible!? Unbelievable..." I would like to double check so I don't become the insensible myself... :)
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2answers
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Can I say “acquiesce” and be acquiescent?

Can I say "acquiesce" and be acquiescent, or by saying the word do I then imply a protest, negating my acquiescence? Example: "I acquiesce to your request." To me, it seems that speaking the word ...
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2answers
60 views

What should I use? “The ways of something” or “The path of something” [closed]

I am always learning stuff about computers and I switch between saying "The Path of the Computer Knowledge" and "The Ways of Computers" every time. When I use those expressions I want to express that ...
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4answers
10k views

Might “see you shortly” be used to mean in a week's time?

I wonder if it's appropriate to say "see you shortly" when we both know that it's going to happen in a week's time. What I'm trying to say is that I'm looking forward to see the person, but I already ...
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2answers
157 views

Reciprocal or converse definitions

I am writing an article where I need to describe an equation like the one below, in reference to two mathematical objects, A and B, that I have already defined in the text. f = #merge errors + ...
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0answers
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What is the antonyms of “capitalize”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there an antonym for “capitalize” (as in letter-case) What is the antonyms of "capitalize"? I am referring to the following meaning (original reference): ...
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2answers
1k views

Expression for when you've fixed something, but something else breaks? And repeatedly?

Is there an expression for the situation where you've just fixed something, only to find out that your fix broke something else? So you fix that something else, and another thing breaks. And so on and ...
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2answers
105k views

Origin of “do not argue with idiots” [closed]

What is the origin of the phrase “do not argue with idiots”? Please cite some credible references. From googling around, I found these three variations. One came from the Bible but I couldn’t find ...
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6answers
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What's the origin of “Copycat”?

I called one of my friends "copycat" the other day, and suddenly thought about it. Why is it a "cat"? Where did this expression come from? Does anyone have any information regarding how this phrase ...
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11answers
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Better way of saying “Go-to man”?

Does anyone have a suggestion for a gender-neutral alternative to the phrase "Who's the go-to man?" The go-to person feels stylistically awkward.
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1answer
2k views

Where does “life of Riley” come from? [closed]

I heard the saying, "life of Riley" when someone was talking about my cat, and I wondered what the origin of the expression is. The only thing I can think of is that it comes from the name of someone ...
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2answers
805 views

Capitalisation of “Many thanks” as a stand-alone term

I am having a brochure designed and wish to place the words "Many Thanks" on the very back of it after all the policies are listed. Which is more correct? to capitalise the first letter of the first ...
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3answers
3k views

What's the best way to say: “which one is more true or more accurate”? [closed]

What's the best way to ask: Which one is more true, or more accurate? ... when talking about a choice of two words?
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3answers
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Analogue of “to the best of our knowledge”

I have seen the following formula when writing an academic article: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work that shows how to optimize a non-submodular function for .... I like ...
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2answers
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Is “spend (a lot of) pixels” becoming an idiom?

I found the expression, “spend a lot of pixels” in the article titled “Handicapping the Veepstakes: Romney’s Rules of the Road” in today’s (April 25) Time magazine. It begins with: “We’ve spent a ...
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3answers
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What does “here's to someone/thing” mean?

I got an email from an instructor today. Towards the end of email she says: "Here is to finishing off the semester in a positive way." What does that mean?
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2answers
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Ways to express “Thank you” in English [closed]

I am wondering how many expressions in English can express "Thank you" (I am just running out of them) Thank you (very much) or Thanks. Many thanks! I appreciate it indeed! Thanks a million! I ...
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2answers
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Difference between “while” and “whilst” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the correct usage of “while” and “whilst”? In terms of construction of sentences, can the two words while and whilst be used ...
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6answers
2k views

Expression “to arrive at a place with your hands hanging”

In Spanish language there is an expression "llegar con las manos colgando", that can be literally translated to something like: If you are invited to a friend's party or social gathering, you need ...
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6answers
8k views

Phrase or idiom to mean “one at a time”

When you have too many tasks in your to-do list, you will like to clear them one at a time. Is there another way to say this? Or to say "worrying about the next one only after finishing the current ...
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1answer
996 views

Expression for desire to feel superior to others [closed]

I am looking for an expression which is somewhat of a merger of "any port in a storm" and "can't beat the ass so he/she beats the saddle" Examples of when you would use it include: UFC ...
3
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2answers
246 views

Meaning of “boosting cat food from someone”

In the 'The Panic in Needle Park' movie, one of the actors tell someone the following on the phone: No, man. I didn't boost any cat food from you. What does it mean? It doesn't seem to be a very ...
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4answers
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Is there a word to describe a phrase such as “it is what it is”

For example "it is what it is" This multi-word statement has no real meaning if read literally (or at best a circular meaning), but it does express a meaning that is meta to its lexical meaning ...
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1answer
187 views

Use of the word “lore”

Should I use the word lore when speaking about knowledge that is connected to a specific domain, or would it be better to use the expression "professional knowledge"?
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origin of the expression “there is more than one way to skin a cat” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Origin of the phrase, “There's more than one way to skin a cat.” what is the origin of the expression "there is more than one way to skin a cat"? I can't ...
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2answers
171 views

“[Noun] as she is [past participle]”

As an example, I recently came across a blog titled "Software As She Is Developed". I know I've seen that construct before — "noun as she is past participle" — in other contexts. It's fairly ...
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17answers
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Opposite of 'Midas touch'?

I'm wondering what word or phrase could be used for the counter examples of 'Midas touch' effect. The Midas touch, or the gift of profiting from whatever one undertakes, is named for a legendary ...
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1answer
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non-literal uses of “chugging away”?

What is the most common non-literal use of the expression "chugging away"? I've heard it in the context of: The machine is switched on and *chugging away*.
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3answers
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What's the meaning of the expression “I'll bloody well see to that!”?

Legolas prodded him across the bridge ("You'll beg for mercy, but you'll get none from me, oho no!"), up the beech-lined path ("You'll never work in this country again, I'll bloody well see to that!") ...
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4answers
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What does “half the point” mean?

We're doing a Dutch translation of an English play and having a disagreement about how to translate "I don't like her, but that's not half the point". Some want to translate "half the point" ...
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7answers
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Why do we say “to be a laughing stock”?

I've come through the expression "to be a laughing stock" to talk about a person who has done something stupid and who people laugh at because of that, and I've started to wonder about it. First of ...
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1answer
208 views

definition of “you are churning it”

What is the definition of the expression "you are churning it", other than its literal sense? I heard it in the context of someone playing music.
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8answers
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A Good Phrase to Replace “Get To Know”

This is what I want to express: I want to get to know more algorithms that have been created. I have thought about changing the sentence into I want to gain a better insight into algorithms ...
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3answers
337 views

Expression for “work productively”

Say you're having a chat with someone and as they're about to leave, they mention that they're about to do a particular task. How do you wish them a productive time, besides "Go kick some ass!"? Or ...
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4answers
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Request for a natural version of “Whether you will succeed or not lies in the use you make of chance.” [closed]

"Whether you will succeed or not lies in the use you make of chance." This sentense does not sound very idiomatic. Could you suggest a more natural expression?
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3answers
82k views

“The other way around” or “the other way round”

I see both phrases the other way around and the other way round very often. Which is correct? Please provide usage examples.
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2answers
2k views

“Don't know what the name is” vs. “Don't know what it's called”

What is the difference between saying: A: Which meal do you want, Sir? B: Number 4. I don't know what the name is. A: Which meal do you want, Sir? B: Number 4. I don't know what it's ...
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1answer
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Origin of “I wouldn't … for all the tea in China”

What is the origin of the expression "I wouldn't ... for all the tea in China"? I've heard it from a British speaker, and I am guessing it may be of British origin, but I couldn't find a reference for ...
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1answer
1k views

Meaning of “stuck in a barb wire snare” [closed]

What is the meaning of the expression stuck in a barb wire snare? I heard it in a song but I can't find the explanation and I can't figure out what it means.
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6answers
793 views

“commit suicide” In A Literary Way [closed]

They have committed suicide. It sounds too cold. I am not writing a report. They have ended their lives. It sounds too boring. So how can I phrase it such that there is a sense of ...
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6answers
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What expression would be the opposite of “Deal Breaker”?

I understand that "Deal breaker" is an expression used for a feature/characteristic that would make one not go for a deal (or terminate a contract), even if the deal's other features are great. What ...