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

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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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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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: ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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”...
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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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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“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/...
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1answer
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“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.
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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830 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 "...
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2answers
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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 ...
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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.
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Was your fender “stove-in” after your car was hit by that truck?

Is stove-in — smashed inward — an archaic expression? Is it a regional expression? I was speaking with someone from my hometown (Salem, MA), and he used the word during our conversation. Made me ...
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What does “cup” mean in “cup of cheese”? [closed]

I was reading a recipe of macaroni-and-cheese. In Brazil (Portuguese) cheese is sold only by weight. I understand the concept of cups to measure volume or weight of liquids and powders, but as far as ...
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Is there an expression that sums up “improperly conflating two ideas that are really separate issues”? [closed]

I'm intrigued by a local sign-holder who was improperly labeled "atheist" for carrying a sign that asserted that there was no after-life for a person's consciousness. The person expressed a belief in ...
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“Photo playback” — can photos be played?

The phrase "photo playback" has about 35k Google hits, especially in production descriptions, but is it correct English? It seems that “playback” can be used with video and audio, because we can play ...
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Expressions in Tim Minchin's “Cont.”

In his song "Cont.", Tim Minchin uses two expressions I cannot find in a dictionary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmTexiEZmL8 Can somebody explain the meanings? "..., who lean on their horn..." (...
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Why does 'dead on' mean 'very accurate'? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where does the phrase “dead simple” originate? According to Wiktionary, the phrase 'dead on' means 'very accurate' or 'exactly at'. This is also how I have used the phrase. ...
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Why is “a 100% increase” the same amount as “a two-fold increase”?

and is such interpretation the norm? When something went from 4 units to 8 units, most authoritative sources seem to agree with the use of "a two-fold increase", even though what was actually ...
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Condition which is likely to happen

For example, after I run one mile I start to sweat. So should I say I'm likely to sweat. Or if there is any other expression more accurate?
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How do you say that a food and a sauce 'harmonize'?

One time I told my friend that I ate a piece of bread with honey (not jam, real honey from the bottle) and my friend asked me if the honey is good with bread. Sometimes you say to two people (...
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Why is Geography is sometimes pejoratively referred to “Advanced Colouring In” as a subject?

Why is Geography is sometimes pejoratively referred to "Advanced Colouring In" as a subject? I have seen people use it as a joke but I don't understand what the joke is about.
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Is the term “go-to-hell hat” in common usage?

I am a fan of hats and own a number of them. One of my collection is what is commonly called a "flat cap," though it has many names. Seeing me wearing it one day, my father told me that his father ...
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What's the etymology of the expression “let it slide?”

Today, my three year old son was doing something he wasn't normally supposed to do but we were letting him get away with it (wearing a backpack to the dinner table). He pointed out that he wasn't ...
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word for a put-together system or solution

I am looking for a word to describe a system or solution that has been put together from pre-existing parts. For example if a computer company gets software from 3 different software houses and sells ...
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Where does “emphasis mine” go in a quotation?

I have often seen the term emphasis mine used whenever an author wishes to denote that emphasis in a given quotation originates from said author rather than from the original source. What is the ...
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Does “reinventing the wheel” have negative or positive connotation?

I've always assumed that the expression "reinventing the wheel" meant something negative. For me it means doing something that has already be done without making any improvement. However, a few ...
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Origin of “one man's noise is another man's signal”

This variant of the saying probably comes from signal processing. It is in Wikipedia somewhat attributed to Edward W. Ng (his "famous quotes", 1990 interview in NYT) however that cannot be correct, as ...
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“rather than” vs “as opposed to” [closed]

We do not know whether X will have an effect on element Y as opposed to others. We do not know whether X will have an effect on element Y rather than on others. The first version is the first one ...