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)

2
votes
2answers
733 views

Failed Experiment? [closed]

Is it proper to use the phrase "failed experiment" at all? And if so, should it refer exclusively to experiments that had some ineluctable flaw in the process of their implementation or can it also ...
1
vote
1answer
248 views

What does “has been loathe to fully distance itself from” mean?

The following sentence I read from Huff Post: "Why Egypt Matters: The Implications Of The Protests" gets me quite confused. I've made the key problem boldface. Hope someone can explain to me the ...
5
votes
3answers
15k views

Meaning of “quick reply”

"Quick reply": does it mean responding in a timely manner or something like 'your answer was super fast you could've put more thought into it'? Because if you say "thanks for the quick reply" I think ...
1
vote
2answers
62 views

Why “face by” in the following

In one of today's nydailynews headlines, the writer writes the following: India reminds world of cross-border terror faced by Kabul. The face by usage doesn't seem to convey the right meaning ...
8
votes
5answers
88k views

“For the time being” vs. “for now”

Consider the following passages: A litter made of two rifles and two field jackets would suffice for now. That was good news; another bit was that the EPW was a lieutenant, a regimental REMF ...
17
votes
2answers
525k views

Difference between “How are you?” and “How are you doing?”

I've heard a lot of times already, that there is a major difference between saying "How are you?" and "How are you doing?" Is that true? I've heard one was like an extension of "Hello" ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

English equivalent of the Italian “Mannaggia!”, “Che peccato!”

What is the English expression or exclamation to refer to something that has gone wrong or a missed opportunity, or something that we could have done better than we actually did? I'm specifically ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Meaning of “slow boring of hard boards” [closed]

What is the meaning of "slow boring of hard boards"? The full text is given here.
9
votes
9answers
8k views

Idiom to mean “one must avoid going into dangerous situations”

In my native language, there's an idiom that someone warn you not to go into a dangerous situation when you're sure you'll get into trouble but you still feel like doing it. For instance, making jokes ...
5
votes
2answers
182k views

Can you say “see you then/there” when arranging a meeting? [on hold]

I am sending an e-mail to a colleague to arrange a meeting. In my e-mail I inform her where and when we can meet, and I would like to end the e-mail by saying something like "See you there" or "See ...
1
vote
0answers
69 views

Expression: 'Correct! J'? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What does a single letter “J” mean in emailing? To q question that I had asked I got a reply as below: Correct! J Is there an expression like this in ...
5
votes
3answers
668 views

Common phrase for “intermediate goal”

What is the most common phrase with the meaning of intermediate/interim goal/target/result? For example, setting up interim goal in a project/agenda calculating a intermediate result in a bigger ...
14
votes
8answers
8k views

Feminine version of “gentleman and a scholar”

Although I've often heard use of the phrase: You are a gentleman and a scholar I have never heard a version appropriate for the fairer sex. I guess you could say a lady and a scholar?
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Is “and then some” an offensive expression?

I started an internal email discussion with the title "Editorial: link issues, some spelling issues and then some". However, upon rereading my own mail, it occurred to me that this might express ...
2
votes
3answers
31k views

Cheering words for friends preparing for the exam [closed]

What do you say to a friend who is preparing for the bar exam to cheer him/her up? I can only think of the sentence "keep up the good work", but are there any other phrases that I can use? In the ...
2
votes
5answers
14k views

Are “preaching to the choir” and “preaching to the converted” synonymous

The following are acceptable expressions that I have heard: "Preaching to the choir" "Preaching to the converted" To me, both mean essentially that you are trying to explain something to ...
5
votes
5answers
17k views

How to express your supporting someone's decision no matter what?

My wife is trying to start a new job and I want to say something like "I will always support your decision no matter what your decisions would be..." How do you express that in English in a way a ...
3
votes
2answers
364 views

Almost half a dozen [closed]

I understand, dozen may be more comfortable than twelve in speech. I can understand using over a dozen or almost a dozen These imply rough measurement of the count, maybe ten, maybe eleven, or maybe ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

What is a “fishbowl moment”?

I was reading an article where this quote appeared: "... I often receive emails and calls from friends telling me I was just spotted at X corner wearing Y outfit—people observe, comment, notice. ...
3
votes
1answer
536 views

What is the meaning of the phrase “made out to”, in the current context?

I have received a letter which has the following sentence. The letter is about reimbursement of my travel costs to their location. Please note that for tax reasons all invoices have to be made ...
12
votes
7answers
745 views

What is the term for the part of a jingle that states the company name?

I have a vague recollection that there's a specific term for the way a company name is set to music in an advertising jingle. The only examples I can find right now are at the end of this Youtube ...
4
votes
1answer
331 views

“Fight with the grape”: what does it mean?

I am reading Why the West rules---for now and found the idiom "to fight with the grape": Like the Medes before him, he fought with the grape: he let the Massagetan vanguard loot his camp [...] I ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the origin of 'Just Kidding'?

The phrase is quite popular but I wish to know its origin. Is it possible that it has something to do with childbirth (also called kidding)?
0
votes
2answers
51 views

cried and begged

Below are two options in my grammar questions : 1.The newly released 3D Disney movie was supposed to be the best of all time and Joe’s little sister cried and begged him to take. 2. The newly ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

“Listen to music” or “listen for music”

Which of the following sentences is grammatically correct? The music for which we heard last night at the concert was exceptionally good. The music to which we listened at the concert last night ...
1
vote
2answers
135 views

What is a “Dublin Castle Knight”?

I was reading Surtees' Young Tom Hall the other day, and came across this... Sir Thomas, whose father had been a great army tailor, was a Dublin Castle knight, but, like all truly great men, ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Is the expression “Be flattered that” right? Couldn’t it be “Be flattered to do sth.”?

Michigan State Rep, Lisa Brown’s comment using the word, vagina in her address against banning abortions in Michigan state House caused a big dispute, and she was rejected to speak on the another bill ...
3
votes
3answers
748 views

On the expression “some… and not others”

I want to ask a simple question. One often uses some and and not others or but not others together. For instance: (1) Why does cancer attack some tissues but not others? (2) Why do ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Roy Hodgson's “Church in the centre of the village” expression

Listening to the current England football manager, Roy Hodgson, speaking on the radio, he used a very curious expression while speaking about his team: "We have to try to get back to putting the ...
25
votes
5answers
5k views

Meaning of “give a pony”

I came across this phrase while reading an article by Paul Krugman on the New York Times website. Here's the quotation (emphasis added): … non-GIPSI [the group of Eurozone nations – Greece, Italy, ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

Substitute for “give or take”

Is there a better word or way of saying give or take to refer to the possibility of inaccuracy? For example, I will be arriving in 30 minutes, give or take 5 minutes. I want to indicate the ...
4
votes
4answers
5k views

Difference between “I was being careless” and “I was careless”

Is there any significant difference between saying I am/was being adj. (careless, busy, etc)... [treating "am/was" as an auxiliary verb] and I am/was adj. (careless, busy, etc)... ...
1
vote
3answers
20k views

Meaning of “if anything” [closed]

I watch the TV series Glee to learn English and came across the phrase if anything. It's in a sentence Rachel said. If anything, she is gonna kill all of our chances to achieve that elusive ...
1
vote
4answers
453 views

'harvest' as a metaphor — alternatives

I was wondering if it is fine to write From this project, I have learned [blah blah], and this is the most important harvest I have received from this project. What is a better metaphor or ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

Meaning of “being sold as a silver-bullet”

I was reading an article about software developers and read that something is being sold as a silver-bullet. What does it mean?
1
vote
3answers
47k views

Origin of “up and at ’em”

The phrase up and at ’em (commonly construed as ?up and Adam) is used a lot. Where did it originate?
2
votes
3answers
18k views

Is the expression “yesterday afternoon” correct?

Is it proper to use the following expressions I started to London yesterday afternoon . I started to London yesterday morning I ask because it is supposedly correct to say 'last night'. ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Does the term “garbledy gook” have racist origins?

For me, the term garbledy gook simply means garbage; unintelligible text or speech. An example usage would be: If you open that binary file in notepad, you'll just see a load of garbledy gook ...
3
votes
3answers
8k views

What does “I cannot but totally agree” mean?

What does the phrase/expression "I cannot but totally agree" mean? The sentence was said after Person A had praised Person B. I understand that Person B is completely agreeing with what Person A ...
2
votes
6answers
765 views

The 00s equivalent for “so 90s” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the name of the first decade in a century? When you wanted to state that something belongs to a previous era's fashion at the turn of the century you could say ...
41
votes
8answers
198k views

Polite alternatives to “as soon as possible”

I’ve found myself writing the phrase “as soon as possible” just too often. Sometimes I wonder if it sounds a little rude. How can I convey the same meaning in a more polite way but without losing ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Word for a shop which sells materials used in making clothing

What generic word/phrase can I use for materials like zipper, buttons, threads and needles, etc which are used in making clothes? I want to use this word to describe a shop which sells these things.
1
vote
4answers
1k views

Use 'suggest' passively

How can I use passive voice to say this sentence with suggest? Is this grammatical: These models are suggested to be phased out by us.
15
votes
4answers
65k views

Where did the “unavailable” meaning of “Out of Pocket” come from? [duplicate]

The phrase "out of pocket" is often used in my office to mean "unavailable". I've found reference to this on the internet as well, but no obvious clue to where this meaning comes from. Where does ...
2
votes
4answers
25k views

Alternative to saying “Long pole in the tent”

Help! A former colleague got all of us using the expression "x is long pole in the tent" to mean: x is the person or issue that's preventing forward progress on a project x is the person or issue ...
2
votes
1answer
858 views

Meaning of: “If I could buy my reasoning I'd pay to lose” [closed]

In the lyrics of "It's my life" by No Doubt, there is: If I could buy my reasoning, I'd pay to lose Can someone explain what this means? Update Does it means: my feelings tell me to go left, ...
1
vote
3answers
252 views

What does “how not to speak” mean?

Consider this sentence. Americans consider themselves egalitarian and unsnobbish about accents, but they are full of notions about how not to speak. What does "how not to speak" mean? I know the ...
5
votes
4answers
5k views

What does it mean when someone says he is from the “Class of 2001”?

Does it means he graduated or entered the College in 2001?
4
votes
3answers
984 views

What do you say when a person/an idea/… is crazy to your mind?

What does one say or do if they think that a person's idea, behaviour, etc. is crazy to their mind? For instance: In Germany, when someone dangerously passes you, you will show them by tipping your ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

how can I introduce myself in emails? [closed]

My question is, if I'm writing an email to some one for the first time, do I introduce myself with sentance like:'I'm ...'? or like in the phone:'This is...'? Thanks!