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

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What's the meaning of the expression “I'll bloody well see to that!”?

Legolas prodded him across the bridge ("You'll beg for mercy, but you'll get none from me, oho no!"), up the beech-lined path ("You'll never work in this country again, I'll bloody well see to that!") ...
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4answers
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What does “half the point” mean?

We're doing a Dutch translation of an English play and having a disagreement about how to translate "I don't like her, but that's not half the point". Some want to translate "half the point" ...
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7answers
7k views

Why do we say “to be a laughing stock”?

I've come through the expression "to be a laughing stock" to talk about a person who has done something stupid and who people laugh at because of that, and I've started to wonder about it. First of ...
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1answer
223 views

definition of “you are churning it”

What is the definition of the expression "you are churning it", other than its literal sense? I heard it in the context of someone playing music.
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8answers
25k views

A Good Phrase to Replace “Get To Know”

This is what I want to express: I want to get to know more algorithms that have been created. I have thought about changing the sentence into I want to gain a better insight into algorithms ...
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3answers
357 views

Expression for “work productively”

Say you're having a chat with someone and as they're about to leave, they mention that they're about to do a particular task. How do you wish them a productive time, besides "Go kick some ass!"? Or ...
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4answers
180 views

Request for a natural version of “Whether you will succeed or not lies in the use you make of chance.” [closed]

"Whether you will succeed or not lies in the use you make of chance." This sentense does not sound very idiomatic. Could you suggest a more natural expression?
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3answers
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“The other way around” or “the other way round”

I see both phrases the other way around and the other way round very often. Which is correct? Please provide usage examples.
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2answers
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“Don't know what the name is” vs. “Don't know what it's called”

What is the difference between saying: A: Which meal do you want, Sir? B: Number 4. I don't know what the name is. A: Which meal do you want, Sir? B: Number 4. I don't know what it's ...
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1answer
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Origin of “I wouldn't … for all the tea in China”

What is the origin of the expression "I wouldn't ... for all the tea in China"? I've heard it from a British speaker, and I am guessing it may be of British origin, but I couldn't find a reference for ...
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1answer
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Meaning of “stuck in a barb wire snare” [closed]

What is the meaning of the expression stuck in a barb wire snare? I heard it in a song but I can't find the explanation and I can't figure out what it means.
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6answers
867 views

“commit suicide” In A Literary Way [closed]

They have committed suicide. It sounds too cold. I am not writing a report. They have ended their lives. It sounds too boring. So how can I phrase it such that there is a sense of ...
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6answers
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What expression would be the opposite of “Deal Breaker”?

I understand that "Deal breaker" is an expression used for a feature/characteristic that would make one not go for a deal (or terminate a contract), even if the deal's other features are great. What ...
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1answer
702 views

What is the meaning of expression “zen and the art of..” [closed]

Over the years I have come across a bunch of book titles and blog posts that goes "Zen and the art of X", and X being any damn thing. What to deduct when you see such a title? My research lead me to ...
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2answers
2k views

expression “meat and potatoes business”

I heard of the expression "meat and potatoes business", and when I was explained what it means, I was told is that it referred to a business with no fancy products, just simple products for simple ...
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2answers
8k views

Usage of “the more you squeeze, the more sand disappears between your fingers” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Could you help me to do a syntax analysis of this sentence? When would one use the expression the more you squeeze, the more sand trickles through your fingers? I just ...
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2answers
5k views

What is the difference between “in terms of” and “as far as is concerned”?

What's the difference of their emphasis? Often I felt these two are very similar. For example, In terms of quality, A is better than B. is similar to: As far as quality is concerned, A is better ...
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9answers
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“Saving on the parrot's chocolate is futile”

In Catalan there is an expression "ser la xocolata del lloro" that can be translated as "saving by not giving chocolate to the parrot is futile", conveying the meaning that when a household wants to ...
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1answer
902 views

“What am I meant to have”

I heard the following on 'The Office' in episode Downsize (#1.1): David Brent: I'm going to have to let you go first. Dawn: What? Why? David Brent: Why? Stealing. Thieving. Dawn: ...
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3answers
101 views

“Connections”, “network” or…?

Suppose I know a lot of people in a particular place — let's say, Singapore — and they can help me. How can I express it through a short sentence to let someone know that he has found the right ...
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2answers
989 views

Is “Stand-Your-Ground law” an official legal term? What is meant by “stand-in-your-ground”?

Regarding the Trayvon Martin case that took place in Sanford, Florida, which became a worldwide topic, AP News (March 26) quoted Ben Jealous, head of the NAACP in “Meet the Press” saying; “Florida’s ...
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2answers
347 views

Is the expression “Liver's ability to detoxify alcohol was tested…” [closed]

Is the expression "Liver's ability to detoxify alcohol was tested..." grammatically correct? Can it also be used for genes, for example: "C-MYC's role in cancer is well known". This is, can gene ...
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1answer
7k views

“Head over heels” and “head over feet”

Does the expression head over heels mean the same as head over feet? To be madly in love with someone?
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1answer
235 views

Usage of “to canter through a topic”

What are the types of uses of the expression "to canter through a topic or issue"? I heard it in this context: I don't have much time to go through this section now, so I'll canter through the ...
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4answers
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Origin and meaning of “from out of left field”

What is the origin of the phrase from out of left field? My understanding is that the meaning is unexpected, or odd. Is that correct? Real world examples of the phrase being used badly would be great ...
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3answers
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Is “flatter than a mashed cat” a common phrase?

I became interested in the expression but can’t find out whether it has original or common forms. Why is it a cat? From the very first note she was horribly, hopelessly, irretrievably off key, and ...
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1answer
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English phrases/expressions and their meanings [closed]

In English we have expressions/phrases that come from the combination of two or more words, conjunctions, etc. These expressions have their own metaphorical meanings, which could be used in specific ...
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2answers
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“Draw a bath” vs “prepare a bath”

Is there any difference in meaning between the expressions draw a bath and prepare a bath?
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5answers
233 views

Meaning of headline “Goldman Stunned by Op-Ed Loses $2.2 Billion for Shareholders”

What does this headline mean? Goldman Stunned by Op-Ed Loses $2.2 Billion for Shareholders I am not sure what "Op-Ed loses" means in this context.
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2answers
490 views

What is the meaning of “drill our way out”?

I read a news about the jump of gas prices and the president Obama said: we’re not going to be able to drill our way out of the problem of high gas prices My first understand was "escape", but ...
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5answers
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Is the use of the phrase “left as an exercise for the reader” appropriate for technical documents?

I'm updating a technical document, and the phrase "left as an exercise for the reader" is used twice. However, that phrase is something that just irks me, so I'm thinking about removing it and ...
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4answers
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Origin of the expression “being cagey about something”

What is the origin of the expression "being cagey about something"? Does it have anything to do with "being in a cage", not letting someone out of a cage? I googled for it but didn't get much: ...
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3answers
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Expression “let's cross that bridge a little further down the road”

I've heard the expression "let's cross that bridge a little further down the road" to convey something I understand a bit like: "let's take that difficult decision a bit later" or "let's take on that ...
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2answers
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expression “to catch a chill”

Can the expression "to catch a chill" be used informally today or has it already past its peak in usage? I have seen it mentioned referring to people living in the 19th century.
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3answers
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let you know a couple of facts OR bring couple of facts to your notice [closed]

Which of the following is more appropriate / polite? I would like to bring a couple of facts (or things?) to your notice. OR I would like to let you know a couple of facts. Please advise.
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7answers
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Idiomatic expression for a difficult choice

This has cropped up several times in the past couple of months, and I've been struggling to find a fitting word to describe this phenomenon. I'll describe it: You have two choices(no, it's not ...
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2answers
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Rules for rising and falling intonation in similar questions - what are they?

Consider these two questions: Would you mind saying a little bit more about that? and What do you mean by that? When they perform the same function, and I expect an answer to both, why ...
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5answers
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Can I say “reduces the proximity to zero” to describe 2 objects being very close?

When I say "reduces the proximity to zero", does it mean that the distance between two objects are extremely close? My intention is to describe that the distance between two objects gets very close ...
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4answers
170 views

Something causes a lot of initiatives [closed]

I’m translating a movie about basic income, from French to English. In this movie, someone says that basic income would make people do a lot of new things, that it would create a lot of initiatives. ...
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4answers
540 views

basketball expression: “Plays with a lot of flair”

This is an expression that I don't really know the meaning of when applied to basketball playing: "Plays with a lot of flair" Can anyone elucidate the meaning for me? EDIT: after reading a couple of ...
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4answers
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What is meant by the “benefit of the doubt”? [closed]

I think doubt is a negative emotion, so I find it difficult to know what is meant by "benefit of the doubt". How does this phrase work, and how did it arise?
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2answers
474 views

Is “as long as” grammatically correct?

I would like to know whether following sentence is correct: The battery does not last for as long as it says on the label
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2answers
5k views

Definition of “throw the gauntlet down” [closed]

What is the definition of "throw the gauntlet down"? I googled for it and only got examples where it's used, but no actual definition of the phrase.
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2answers
163 views

Meaning of “envy of his brethren” [closed]

I have googled for the definition of the expression envy of his brethren, but didn't get more than references to the Bible. What does this expression mean?
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5answers
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rule of thumb for 'however' in the middle of the sentence?

What is the rule of thumb for using 'however' in the middle of the sentence? For example: Some people disagree with this theory, however, as it's never been proven right.
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2answers
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origin of the expression “trying to catch a falling knife”?

What is the origin of the expression "trying to catch a falling knife"? I have just read it and I wonder how it came up to be a common expression.
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1answer
310 views

expression “as an affirmation of its efficiency, we show that” [closed]

Is the expression "as an affirmation of its efficiency, we show that" correct and adequate for a scientific text? Or should it be "as a confirmation of its efficiency, we show that"?
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2answers
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“traipse up the steps” just synonym of walking? [closed]

Is the expression "traipse up the steps" just synonym of walking up the steps? Is there any other connotation to the verb traipse?
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3answers
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Expression to say that you did something better than before

I remember that there's an expression in English for this situation but I can't remember which one. Three weeks ago I did my best drawing ever, and now I did one better. This is what's coming up "I ...
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1answer
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expression “get above/off your sofas” [closed]

Is the expression "get above your sofas" equivalent to "get off your sofas" or have they got different meanings? PS: I was sitting on my sofa when I heard that...