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

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Capitalisation of “Many thanks” as a stand-alone term

I am having a brochure designed and wish to place the words "Many Thanks" on the very back of it after all the policies are listed. Which is more correct? to capitalise the first letter of the first ...
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3answers
4k views

What's the best way to say: “which one is more true or more accurate”? [closed]

What's the best way to ask: Which one is more true, or more accurate? ... when talking about a choice of two words?
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3answers
43k views

Analogue of “to the best of our knowledge”

I have seen the following formula when writing an academic article: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work that shows how to optimize a non-submodular function for .... I like ...
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2answers
171 views

Is “spend (a lot of) pixels” becoming an idiom?

I found the expression, “spend a lot of pixels” in the article titled “Handicapping the Veepstakes: Romney’s Rules of the Road” in today’s (April 25) Time magazine. It begins with: “We’ve spent a ...
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3answers
48k views

What does “here's to someone/thing” mean?

I got an email from an instructor today. Towards the end of email she says: "Here is to finishing off the semester in a positive way." What does that mean?
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Ways to express “Thank you” in English [closed]

I am wondering how many expressions in English can express "Thank you" (I am just running out of them) Thank you (very much) or Thanks. Many thanks! I appreciate it indeed! Thanks a million! I can'...
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2answers
1k views

Difference between “while” and “whilst” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the correct usage of “while” and “whilst”? In terms of construction of sentences, can the two words while and whilst be used interchangeably?...
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6answers
2k views

Expression “to arrive at a place with your hands hanging”

In Spanish language there is an expression "llegar con las manos colgando", that can be literally translated to something like: If you are invited to a friend's party or social gathering, you need ...
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6answers
9k views

Phrase or idiom to mean “one at a time”

When you have too many tasks in your to-do list, you will like to clear them one at a time. Is there another way to say this? Or to say "worrying about the next one only after finishing the current ...
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1answer
1k views

Expression for desire to feel superior to others [closed]

I am looking for an expression which is somewhat of a merger of "any port in a storm" and "can't beat the ass so he/she beats the saddle" Examples of when you would use it include: UFC ...
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2answers
249 views

Meaning of “boosting cat food from someone”

In the 'The Panic in Needle Park' movie, one of the actors tell someone the following on the phone: No, man. I didn't boost any cat food from you. What does it mean? It doesn't seem to be a very ...
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4answers
3k views

Is there a word to describe a phrase such as “it is what it is”

For example "it is what it is" This multi-word statement has no real meaning if read literally (or at best a circular meaning), but it does express a meaning that is meta to its lexical meaning ...
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1answer
194 views

Use of the word “lore”

Should I use the word lore when speaking about knowledge that is connected to a specific domain, or would it be better to use the expression "professional knowledge"?
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0answers
42 views

origin of the expression “there is more than one way to skin a cat” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Origin of the phrase, “There's more than one way to skin a cat.” what is the origin of the expression "there is more than one way to skin a cat"? I can't ...
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2answers
171 views

“[Noun] as she is [past participle]”

As an example, I recently came across a blog titled "Software As She Is Developed". I know I've seen that construct before — "noun as she is past participle" — in other contexts. It's fairly ...
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17answers
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Opposite of 'Midas touch'?

I'm wondering what word or phrase could be used for the counter examples of 'Midas touch' effect. The Midas touch, or the gift of profiting from whatever one undertakes, is named for a legendary ...
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1answer
6k views

non-literal uses of “chugging away”?

What is the most common non-literal use of the expression "chugging away"? I've heard it in the context of: The machine is switched on and *chugging away*.
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3answers
3k views

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
227 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
26k 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
361 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
100k views

“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
3k views

“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
886 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 beauty?
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6answers
13k views

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
724 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
2k views

“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
916 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
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“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
991 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
348 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?
2
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1answer
242 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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5answers
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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
1k views

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
4k views

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
10k views

“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
497 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
4k views

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
4k views

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
2k views

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 ...