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

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Is there any alternative expression to “Brace Yourself ”

I have translated an article into English. The author of the original article uses a “Bumpy ride on a plane in a hazardous weather” as an analogy to predict an unfavourable political development in a ...
2
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1answer
2k views

“Bad blood” usage

I know that the bad blood expression means animosity and dislike. But where does it come from? I can understand why bad, but why blood, and whose blood is implied here?
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4answers
1k views

“Yes marry have I” usage

I was looking through the original text of a popular nursery rhyme “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” in Tommy Thumb’s Pretty Song Book when noticed an expression whose meaning I can’t understand: “Yes, marry, ...
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4answers
233 views

How can I say four different colors for five different items using “one”, “another”, “the other”? [closed]

Am I saying this correctly? There are five items in four different colors. One is in red, another is in yellow, another is in green, and the others are in black. Also, can I say: Two items ...
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5answers
3k views

How to express desires in English so that they don't sound like commands?

At that time I won't want you to again land up in the thread to tell me the rules. With the above statement, I wanted to express my desire, but it was interpreted as a command. How can I rewrite ...
0
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1answer
2k views

phrases where opposite words can be used to mean the same thing [closed]

For example "1 in 20 Americans suffer from..." and "1 out of 20 Americans suffer from..." "it is down to you" and "it is up to you" They seem like great ways to add to creative writing. Are there ...
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5answers
1k views

“Has the say on it”

I know the idiom have the final say, but I wonder if we could use the same idiom without the word final in it? For example: He is the boss, he is the one who has the say on it. Could the above ...
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1answer
9k views

“at hand” vs “at issue”

We can talk about "the matter at hand" or "the matter at issue" and they seem to mean just about the same thing: something along the lines of "the matter currently under discussion." Is there a ...
2
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1answer
202 views

Does one say “to ring stupid” or what are appropriate alternatives?

If you want to express that something is true even if it is actually dumb, in German we can say something along So blöd es auch klingt, aber es ist wahr. Literally it's As stupid it also rings, ...
5
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2answers
7k views

What does “Turn a lemon(s) into lemonade” exactly mean?

In association with my question about possibility of using Etch-a-Sketch as a verb, I found the expression “turn a lemon into lemonade” in the related article of Five Star. It says: Etch-a-Sketch ...
0
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1answer
5k views

“sit back and relax” vs. “kick back and relax”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why 'kick back' can mean 'get relaxed'? I have seen so many times "Sit back and relax" while installing softwares. I understand that it means it will take a ...
0
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1answer
4k views

“to what extent” vs. “to what level” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “to a degree” vs. “to an extent” What's the difference between "to what extent" and "to what level"? Please support your answer with examples.
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2answers
2k views

“check out” vs. “look at”

Consider the following: Check (out) the portfolio and let me know if you are interested via e-mail. or Look at the portfolio and let me know if you are interested via e-mail. Can I use ...
6
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2answers
633 views

phrase origin: “sent packing”

What is the origin of the phrase "sent packing," which is used when someone gets the boot? I have seen it used a lot but would like to know where it originally came from.
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5answers
36k views

Why does Polly want a cracker?

Where does the expression "Polly wants a cracker" come from? Why is the parrot named Polly, and why doesn't she want seeds?
2
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1answer
491 views

Which adjective to use for a hour that has already started?

I am having a hard time with wording of a simple agreement (just as an exercise, not a real thing, of course). I am trying to express that for each hour the person spends on some task, he will get $...
5
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5answers
478 views

Synonym or equal phrase to “merely philosophical”

When something is bound to be of little substance, or the discussion of it surely only giving rise to opinion or sophistry, sometimes the phrase "merely philosophical" is used. In this article I'm ...
4
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2answers
248 views

Does this phrase mean what I want it to mean?

I want to say that "the value decreases at a rate at least x" (i.e. faster than or equal to x). Does the phrase "the value decreases at minimum rate x" mean the same thing? If not, is there any other ...
5
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4answers
5k views

Meaning of “to pivot to do something”

I found the use of the verb pivot in a context I can't quite understand: We will now pivot the company's effort to date and focus on becoming a comprehensive provider of ... What is the meaning ...
5
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2answers
2k views

What does the expression “we are looking to you” mean?

What does the expression "we are looking to you" mean in the following sentence? Now that you have taken the test and have an understanding, we are looking to you to teach this to your ...
2
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1answer
55k views

Thanks for help vs. Thanks for helping me

Is the sentence 'Thanks for help' easily understood? Should I use 'Thanks for helping me', or 'Thanks for help me'?
7
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1answer
427 views

Meaning of “for all their colour”

What does "for all their colour" mean in the following sentence? Standing immobile throughout the day, these vivid objects, with their fantastic shadows on the wall behind them shifting and ...
4
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6answers
190 views

How to express a risk of breaking a target/objective

I am French, and I am looking for ideally a word or a short expression to express the situation where someone is about to do something that is going to put at danger/risk a goal/target. Let's say ...
4
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2answers
667 views

Meaning of “went through the floor”?

Question: I read this post: http://answers.onstartups.com/questions/40480/how-much-traffic-is-necessary-to-generate-1000-per-month-in-advertising-revenue Quote I previously had a real estate ...
3
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0answers
42 views

Is it acceptable to write “Best Regards” with a capital “R” and not followed by a comma? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: 'Thanks and Regards,' or 'Thanks and regards,'? Should you use a comma/period after "Thanks"/"Regards" in email signatures? In my ...
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1answer
3k views

Difference between “the main reason” and “the chief reason”

What's the difference between "the main reason" and "the chief reason"? I've heard both, but have no idea where exactly these two differ.
2
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2answers
778 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 ...
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1answer
250 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
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3answers
16k 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 ...
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2answers
63 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 ...
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5answers
91k 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
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2answers
554k 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
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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 ...
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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.
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9answers
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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
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2answers
194k views

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

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
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0answers
70 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 English. ...
5
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3answers
696 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 ...
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9answers
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?
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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
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3answers
33k 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
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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
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5answers
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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
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2answers
379 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
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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
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1answer
614 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
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7answers
771 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
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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 ...
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3answers
4k 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)?
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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 ...