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

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9answers
11k views

Is it “Check and mate” or “Checkmate”?

I found the expression “Check and mate!” in the following sentence describing furious exchange of words between CNN host Piers Morgan and rightwing radio host and anti-gun-control propagandist Alex ...
1
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1answer
2k views

What is the difference between ‘I got to thinking about something” and ‘I got to think about something’?

I was amused by the line “I got to thinking about something” in the following answer to the question, “You don't want to answer this word-placement question, now do you?” which I saw this morning in ...
3
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1answer
807 views

How do you use the expression “to come out in front” (as in “to gain an advantage”)?

The usage of the expression "to come out in front", in the sense of gaining an advantage, or succeed in an endeavor (in spite of all odds?), isn't very clear to me. As far as I can tell people use it ...
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1answer
374 views

The meaning of “crime and grime” [closed]

What does the expression crime and grime mean? It was mentioned from this comment: My dad's SUV got jacked when I was living in Saga Bay. Don't live in FL anymore. Too much f-king crime and grime.
1
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1answer
712 views

Different meanings for phrase “off the regular price”

What is the correct way to say a product can be bought with a discount of 30%? Is it: “Buy this by 30% off the regular price.”? What I want to say is that a 30% discount is being given, so the ...
2
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2answers
699 views

Word or phrase for mere coincidence that brings happiness

I wish to state that my exposure to a certain area was a mere coincidence, and I am happy about the area. Moreover, I want to convey the idea that the incident was like a fairytale, something no one ...
3
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2answers
5k views

Shut your mouth

I’m confused regarding these expressions: Shut up Shut your mouth Shut your mouth up Shut up your mouth After some research, I’ve come to believe they are all correct except “Shut ...
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1answer
1k views

What does “It must be the pizza” mean ? [closed]

Is there an idiom such as "it must be the pizza" ? If so, does that mean something other than what it is ? very much Appreciated, : )
0
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1answer
1k views

Meaning of 'That old rocking chair's going to get me' [closed]

In the Joni Mitchell song Stormy Weather, there's this line: That old rocking chair's going to get me What does that mean? I suppose that old rocking chair is a symbol of something, but what? ...
7
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1answer
263 views

English equivalent of Catalan expression “fer la senyora” for moving heavy furniture

There is an expression in Catalan: Fer la senyora Which would be translated as moving it "like a lady" defined as the action of moving a heavy piece of furniture (e.g. a wardrobe) that involves ...
4
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4answers
10k views

Is “That would be great” conveying a touch of unwillingness? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Should I use “will” or “would” when I suggest that something will/would come in handy? For example: Tom: Hey, will you be free tomorrow night to catch a movie together? ...
2
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3answers
1k views

What is the meaning of “coarse hand”?

Recently I came across the expression "coarse hand" and couldn't find its meaning. For example, — Can you read? — No, only coarse hand. What does this mean? Edit This is a term Twain used in ...
2
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4answers
331 views

“This wine is drinking nicely” : does anything else drink nicely?

People tell me this phrase is only used in the context of wine. Even though my lack of knowledge of other phrases that are built similarly suggests these people must be right, my curiosity gets the ...
7
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1answer
10k views

What's the origin of the expression “Them's the breaks”?

What's the origin of the expression "Them's the breaks", meaning "that's how the cookie crumbles"?
2
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4answers
1k views

Is “Can I persuade you?” a common word to expect acceptance from somebody?

I came across the phrase, “Can I persuade you?” in the following sentence of Jeffery Archer’s popular novel, “Kane & Abel” in the scene a Harvard graduate, ex-marine Bostonian, Henry Osborn ...
4
votes
5answers
17k views

What's another word for Guinea Pig, i.e. when you call someone a “test dummy”?

If someone is being used to test a new product or idea, they can be called a "guinea pig" (because Guinea Pigs are usually used by medical labs for testing). What is another term that would carry the ...
0
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3answers
3k views

Meaning of “by appointment to”

Yesterday, when I was looking a bit closer on a teabox from Twinings, I noticed the phrase: "By appointment to her Majesty the Queen." According to google and my dictionary this phrase means: ...
1
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1answer
377 views

Why do we say 'Tearing about' [closed]

Why do we say 'tearing about' meaning rushing around in a rather haphazard way. I can't find the expression in any dictionary or thesaurus and am not sure if I am spelling it correctly. Most ...
3
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3answers
3k views

If someone thinks like you, can he or she be your 'alter ego'?

Wikipedia explains alter ego thus: An alter ego (Latin, "the other I") is a second self, which is believed to be distinct from a person's normal or original personality. A person who has an ...
2
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2answers
1k views

How can I say in one word “number written in words”?

If there should be numbers written in words, like "one hundred and ten" instead of "110", how can I say it in one word?
0
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2answers
119 views

Content Performance [closed]

What is a right word to describe Content/Performance? It is about best and effective content that form a complete artefact. The example text as below: 5.4.1 Content/Performance This is about a ...
2
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1answer
5k views

Push somebody over the edge

From TheFreeDictionary, pushing somebody over the edge is defined as: If an unpleasant event pushes someone over the edge, it makes them start to behave in a crazy way. Can crazy here be to ...
10
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4answers
16k views

Origin of “for the birds” (Trivial; worthless; only of interest to gullible people.)

I really have looked, but the best I can come up with is this To say that something is "for the birds" is to call it horse manure. Dating from the days of horse-drawn traffic, the expression is ...
5
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6answers
4k views

Phrase which describes falsely improving something

Is there an aphorism or proverb in English which describes attempting to improve something fundamentally flawed by dressing it with a lot of ornament?
13
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6answers
2k views

Vulgar way of saying “he killed himself”

I'm trying to translate my acquaintance's cartoon to cite it in an article written in English. For the subject of the article it is important that the translation will be direct, thus very vulgar (...
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1answer
195 views

Definition of “Run a gauntlet of raucous”

Can anybody please explain this expression and the reason "run" is there (and not for example run-into) and how this can be related to gauntlet? The expression has been used in sentences like these: ...
6
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7answers
1k views

Does the idiom “stop shooting the ball to my opponent” make sense?

Getting into a fight with someone, I think the other person is accusing me of being the wrong one and is trying to show that everything that has happened is my fault. Stop shooting the ball to my ...
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6answers
2k views

When should “such forth” be used?

I was just having a conversation with a friend and I said "see how far from the access point each device is, so that I can do some relocation and such forth". She said that using such forth at that ...
2
votes
1answer
766 views

Verb or phrase meaning “to serve as evidence of one's character” [closed]

I want to know whether there might be an expression along the lines of "Convey X". Meaning, to serve as testament of X's character. I suspect that convey is not the correct verb, but I wonder if a ...
5
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10answers
1k views

Word for non-monetary price

Is there a word or phrase or expression for something that you ask in return for a product or service, when it is something other than money? And what is the verb that goes with it when someone “pays”...
1
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4answers
1k views

phrase to mean “giving the exact answer” [closed]

I was having a coversation and part of the conversation, the person asked me which part of the world I was from, and I answered him exactly "the western hemisphere". Then I asked him the same question ...
9
votes
2answers
929 views

Origin of the expression 'hard by'?

There's an expression "hard by", which I understand to mean "nearby", "close by". I don't know if it could be called an idiom, but it baffled me when I first encountered it in the translation of ...
2
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2answers
135 views

Is the expression, “The Hillary Clinton Republican Primary” self-explanatory and clear-cut without reading the text?

December 6 Time magazine carries the following clip of Mark Halperin’s remark in MSNBC‘s “Morning Joe” under the Lede, “The Hillary Clinton Republican Primary.” “You talk to Republicans about ’16, ...
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1answer
2k views

What is the origin of the expression “ya think”?

Maybe I'm just slow on the uptake, but the expression "ya think" seems to have recently become nearly universal, at least as viewed from the US and the UK, where I encounter it all the time, spoken by ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Origin of “Black & blue Friday”?

I know what "Black Friday" is and how the phrase first came about. What I would like to know is how the phrase evolved into "Black & blue Friday" which seems to have come about in very recent ...
2
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4answers
180 views

Who are “them” in the sentence “Awards honorees were a group of upending types who took expectations, and showed them the door.”

I’m a bit perplexed with the interpretation of the ending line of the following sentence in the December 3rd Time magazine’s article dealing with this year’s Kennedy Center Honors award winners under ...
5
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3answers
637 views

What is the behavior where one closes their nose with their lips to elude foul odour called?

I have seen this question, and it is not exactly what I'm asking. Sometimes people (most especially in developing countries) raise the tip of their lips to cover their nose when a foul odour is sensed ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

What are “up” and “down” in “up there” and “down there”?

"Up there" and "down there" are two of the most frequent expressions that I, myself, use often. I really don't know whether they are just expressions used to refer to a place to go ("I went down ...
11
votes
11answers
2k views

What is it called when you “refill” a debit card?

How it is called (in the US) when you go to the bank or an ATM to add cash to your VISA/MasterCard debit card? That is, when you add cash to the bank account which is tied to that card. Is it ...
15
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5answers
10k views

Origin of “Put up your dukes”

This link claims that one cannot be sure of origin of this phrase. Three explanations are given here, but they are not very convincing (I am not a native speaker). In one of our newspapers, ...
1
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5answers
189 views

“stars on heaven” vs “stars in heaven” [closed]

Which expression is correct? stars in heaven or stars on heaven I want to express that something comes in really, really large numbers. For instance: "There are more Blabla than stars on/...
2
votes
1answer
199 views

“Some is controversial, and some is my opinions” — is this grammatical?

I came across the expression ... some is controversial, and some is my opinions. Is this correct? I wonder if “... some are my opinions” might be more correct.
1
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2answers
5k views

Using “you got it” in the sense of “you are welcome”

Normally I would assume the meaning of you got it were something like: You do understand it right. You’ve achieved your goal. Or even I’ll do it for you very shortly. But from time ...
2
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3answers
3k views

meaning of expression “land in the tall grass”

I have seen the expression "land in the tall grass" and I am unsure of its meaning. Googling for it, I can only get the literal meaning, but not the one from a context like the one below from a TV ...
1
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1answer
169 views

On the interpretation of “walked to the station at 9 o'clock” [closed]

I want to confirm what a book says. It says: I went to the station at 9 o'clock. I walked to the station at 9 o'clock. Sentence (1) has the following two meaning: a. I left for the station at 9 ...
2
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2answers
196 views

Disbelief at gullibility

What is the name for a feeling (name of facial expression much welcome too) you'd experience, when facing someone apparently believing an obvious lie or scam? "So, imagine this, the guy who came ...
6
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4answers
1k views

Is there any expression that is the opposite of “slippery slope”?

Slippery slope is a subtle and powerful English expression. Are there any expressions that are opposite or contrasting of that expression? The sense of slippery slope I have in mind is Small ...
4
votes
5answers
819 views

Better way of saying “two people have worked on their stories together”

What is a better way of saying "two people have worked on their stories together"? Here's an example of a situation in which this phrase would come up: A witness in a trial is suspected to have "...
4
votes
2answers
467 views

Is there a funny expression for “Keep it simple”?

There is an expression in my native language that goes "Don't try to give birth to a bicycle". It usually encourages someone to use a solution that has already been found, or to refrain from making ...
3
votes
2answers
567 views

How to call the wall behind him?

It's the wall when the suspect is taken a shot. I don't know how to call it so It's hard for me to find picture about the wall itself.