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)

0
votes
5answers
790 views

“I like living by ocean” , “I like living by the ocean” or “I like living by the sea”?

Which is the correct sentence: "I like living by ocean" , "I like living by the ocean" or "I like living by the sea"? I want to say I love ocean and I like staying nearby ocean. Update: I had been ...
4
votes
5answers
325 views

How could I express the idea that one person is learning the habits of other person?

I want to express the idea that one person is becoming like another person. I was thinking to use color, as in "Mr. X is getting colored in Mr. Y." Is this a common usage?
7
votes
3answers
314 views

What are the origins of: to “bleed something”?

I've come across the answer about what it means to bleed something but am having a hard time finding its origin. What was the original thing that was bled and in what context was it used?
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Expression “making a bid/break for freedom”?

What is the difference between "making a bid for freedom" and "making a break for freedom"? In which situations would one use one and not the other?
12
votes
4answers
41k views

The expression “hands down.”

How did the expression "hands down" come to mean "without a doubt?"
4
votes
8answers
8k views

What is the difference between a marque and a brand?

What is the difference between a marque and a brand? For example, why would one use the expression "car marques" instead of "car brands"?
5
votes
3answers
13k views

Origin of the expression “part and parcel”

Does anybody know the origin of the expression "part and parcel"? Where and when did the word "parcel" start to be used?
5
votes
2answers
2k views

PhD = Piled Higher and Deeper

For most folks, PhD means "Doctor of Philosophy". But, for Jorge Cham, it means "Piled Higher and Deeper". Can you explain to me the title of that comic book?
4
votes
2answers
785 views

“Figment” other than in “figment of the imagination”?

Are there any recurring uses of the word "figment" other than in the expression "figment of the imagination"?
15
votes
13answers
3k views

What is an expression for something you particularly like?

I'm not a native English speaker. I want to find the English equivalent of ho un debole per le ragazze svedesi that, in Italian, basically means "I particularly like Swedish girls." (It's just ...
1
vote
2answers
7k views

What is the meaning of “chewing the carpet”?

I was digging about Load-Balancers (computer networking stuff) and came across this expression: Sometimes it (Load-Balancer) sits down chewing the carpet while backends go idle ... I guess "chewing ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

How to describe something that is very likely happening immediately?

How should I describe something that will very likely happen right away? For example, would it be it correct to say, "It is about to rain"?
0
votes
2answers
146 views

Expression for “a regular bencher” in sports?

How would one describe a player in a team that is not playing much, and is usually just on the bench for most of the games?
1
vote
1answer
8k views

expression “caught between a rock and a hard place”

What is the origin and definition of the expression "caught between a rock and a hard place"? I also heard it in a situation where it could have had a jocose double sense, but I may have ...
4
votes
3answers
470 views

What does “it tastes like horspy” mean?

I heard an expression today but I did not know how it is written or what it is. And I could not find it with Google. It's something like: it tastes like horspy Any pointers?
-2
votes
2answers
805 views

Meaning and origin of “dressed like a slob”

What does the expression "dressed like a slob" mean? Where does it come from?
12
votes
5answers
42k views

Meaning and origin of “if you catch my drift”

What does the expression if you catch my drift mean? Where does it originate? I've heard it in the context to signify something like if you know what I mean.
1
vote
2answers
348 views

Where does “If I can do it, you can do it!” come from?

I first heard this in "Don King's Prizefighter for Wii", where he says, if I'm transcribing correctly: If I can do it, you can do it! The heart would say, in America anybody can do it! ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Expression “enter [somebody]”

I would like to know what's the meaning and in which situations would one use the expression "Enter [somebody]", like "we were trying to find a solution. Enter John".
5
votes
4answers
12k views

Differences among expression and idiom, as well as colloquial and vernacular

Expression and idiom are used interchangeably, and so are colloquial and vernacular; albeit incorrectly. Please advise on differences in meaning and recommend a proper usage.
4
votes
2answers
6k views

What does 'knee-jerk reaction' mean?

What does knee-jerk reaction mean? From NYT article: Another senior Socialist, who declined to be identified, said the party could not afford knee-jerk reactions.
3
votes
4answers
713 views

What expression ironically says that something new is better or improved?

In French, we have the Expression X lave plus blanc which translates word for word as X washes whiter. It comes from old TV advertisements where it was the typical argument to show that a new laundry ...
6
votes
3answers
16k views

Getting into the Groove

What is the exact context of using this phrase? Is a positive connotation attached to it or a negative one?
11
votes
12answers
3k views

Words to describe a semi-literate person

I once had a manager whose level of literacy was lacking to the extent that he would nearly always return my technical reports with sections rewritten such that they became either ungrammatical, or ...
1
vote
3answers
114 views

Is it correct to speak of an object as “cover” ? or to say “behind cover”?

In gunfights, fighters protect themselves from shots by staying behind objects. It's called taking cover and staying behind cover. But cover, just like shadow, is the consequence of the position of ...
20
votes
8answers
17k views

Are there any expressions that describe going from a bad to a worse situation?

Are there idioms or expressions in English that describe going from one bad situation to one that's even worse? I heard "between a rock and hard place" but this describes a dilemma not really a ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

“Toys out of the pram” expression

Can the expression "toys out of the pram" be applicable for describing that someone is having a bad day?
2
votes
3answers
178 views

Ten bagger baseball explanation

Why would a "ten bagger" refer to baseball? Where is the ten involved in it?
12
votes
2answers
8k views

“Pretty please with sugar on top”

Where does this expression come from? I understand when it's used, but I was wondering about its origin.
5
votes
2answers
7k views

when to use the expression “hanging from the rafters?”

I've heard of the expression "hanging from the rafters" but I am unsure when is it appropriate to use. Has it got any negative connotations?
1
vote
2answers
3k views

Situations where to use “Shake and bake, baby”

In which situations is appropriate to use the expression "Shake and bake, baby"?
4
votes
7answers
1k views

“I'm only grandfathering you in because of Serena.”

In Gossip Girl Season 4 Episode 19 "Petty in pink," Blair says the following sentence to Serena's cousin Charlie after she tried to explain to both of them about her plan. I'm only grandfathering ...
5
votes
8answers
2k views

A far away place

Is there an English idiomatic expression to indicate a place which is very far away from the speaker's location? Something like in the middle of nowhere but not necessarily implying that the ...
1
vote
1answer
206 views

'where they would all' vs 'where they all would'?

I just read this but it didn't sound too natural to me: ... trying to predict where they would all end up. Maybe I'm wrong here but I thought that, in this case, all is changing they, so I'd ...
5
votes
5answers
18k views

Speaking with a forked tongue

What does it mean for someone to be "speaking with a forked tongue"? I've heard it used by my boss when referring to particular customers of ours.
2
votes
3answers
331 views

Phrase about movie stars

Is there a phrase about those movie stars who are just good-looking but mediocre acting and those maybe not so good-looking (compare with those good-looking ones) but amazing skilled acting movie ...
2
votes
4answers
13k views

Is it “as God is my witness,“ or ”as God as my witness"? [closed]

I have seen both "as God is my witness", which makes sense but sort of puts God in a supportive role, and "as God as my witness", which sounds wrong to me but I don't know, might be an olde tyme ...
4
votes
8answers
18k views

What's the origin of “throwing someone under the bus”?

What's the origin of the phrase "to throw someone under the bus" or "so-and-so threw me under the bus?" (in the sense of betrayal)? It seems like a very specific phrase not to come from some specific ...
0
votes
8answers
20k views

Which one is correct? “A teacher of English” or “An English teacher”? [closed]

I want to know which is correct teacher of English or English teacher.
-1
votes
1answer
719 views

Does this sentence “He's too thin to carry it” make any sense to you? [closed]

Does this sentence "He's too thin to carry it" make any sense to you? This is really bothering me for quite a long time!
4
votes
2answers
14k views

Is it correct to ask “what's your father?” when you actually mean to ask about his job?

What's your father? Some said this question even exist in the visa-applying of USA, but I just couldn't understand it. Is it asking about somebody's father's job, his personality, or just what he ...
12
votes
6answers
3k views

Cold turkey as expression

I've discovered a expression : to go cold turkey, meaning something like feeling bad because you have taken drugs and you need to take more. I wonder if another verb rather than go can be used ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

Origin of the saying “X wears the pants”

I just heard this saying recently in this conversation: No.1 : Why aren't you telling him to shut up? No. 2 : Mr. Palm is going to do that. No. 1 : Oh! So Mr. Palm wears the pants!" What ...
10
votes
1answer
572 views

Expressions for a mystery?

I'm trying to help out a friend with something. Is there any expression for when something has been done, but nobody knows whom by? In Dutch there is an expression which translates into "the gnomes ...
5
votes
3answers
12k views

What does it mean to “pay X on the dollar”?

When I hear money laundry lingo in TV crime-series, people sometimes fence stuff for so and so much "on the dollar". What does it actually mean? And where does the expression originate from?
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Is “spoon feeding” a widely accepted usage?

In India, "spoon feeding" is widely used in context of education where the students are taught in a manner by which they do not have to do much on their own. Everything will be done by the teachers, ...
2
votes
2answers
370 views

what's the phrase for “I don't want to be reliant on someone else”

I remember that there is a phrase with the word whims that goes about like this: "I don't want to be reliant on someone else" Does anyone know what that phrase is?
7
votes
3answers
5k views

Is the term “fire and forget” well understood?

When referring to people's skills, my (IT) circle sometimes refer to a person as being "fire and forget." This would indicate that you could tell such a person to accomplish a task, and they'd work it ...
0
votes
3answers
7k views

What is a “shipping quote”?

I see this expression in shopping carts, and it seems related to tracking the shipment, but I don't understand what it is. Could please anybody explain that?
7
votes
3answers
591 views

“I was fresh out of pies to throw at you”

The sentence was in Lost (TV Series). I got the overall meaning of the sentence. But what does it exactly mean? [SAWYER pointing a gun at JACK] JACK: Trying to be funny? SAWYER: Yeah, I ...