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

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How to describe someone who doesn't listen well [closed]

How would you describe someone who doesn't listen well? I don't mean someone who has hearing problems. I mean someone who doesn't finish listening and starts interrupting the conversation.
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3answers
13k views

“Don't mistake me”

Many times during conversation I hear the phrase Don't mistake me. Is it grammatically correct when used to mean Don't take negative connotation of my word. Shouldn't they say Don't take me by ...
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5answers
497 views

Adjective for the likes of someone who consistently has a hard time finishing what s/he has started?

What adjective would you suggest for the like of someone who consistently has a hard time finishing what s/he has started? I thought of the word "distracted", but I don't feel it's sufficient to ...
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4answers
1k views

What adjective would you use to describe someone who uses the right vocab consistently?

I thought of precise, but not entirely sure even after checking a dictionary. Would you think it is the best choice?
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1answer
567 views

Can “to revolve around” mean “to deal with/pertain to”?

... around which the book revolves. Can I use this expression to say that the book is dealing with a subject, addressing an issue, or talking about something? I'm open to suggestions if there is a ...
9
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2answers
2k views

How old is the expression “as if”?

It's a pretty simple question, but just to clarify, I am talking about the expression used by itself, not just in a sentence. So not: — Have you seen Ted? — Yes! He flew through here as if his ...
3
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2answers
1k views

What is a “cracker-barrel sage”?

What is a cracker-barrel sage? Context: The influence of many years spent in America talking to (and often down to) Americans also gave his performance a kind of Barnum quality: Hitchens the ...
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2answers
1k views

What is the meaning, and origin, of the phrase “breaking windows with guineas”?

Regarding the phrase: Breaking windows with guineas What is its meaning, and origin? The 'guineas' part of it might mean more to the British audience on this site than the others.
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0answers
1k views

“Describes me to the 'T'” - why not the to the “E” or some other letter? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Origin of “Fits [x] to a T”? I was about to tell someone that the article they shared "described me to the 'T'" only to realize that, while I understand the ...
1
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1answer
5k views

“It's working for me”: correct? [closed]

This question came to my mind, while working with StackOverflow. Whenever a solution to a question is posted, I usually see people writing: "It's working for me". I somehow do not like this ...
4
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1answer
611 views

“Concerned of Tunbridge Wells” - what is the etymology of the name?

What is the origin of "Concerned of Tunbridge Wells" - a possibly fictitious writer of letters to the editor? Can anyone dig out a definitive etymology for the term, or is it just a conflation of ...
0
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2answers
245 views

An expression for law students using “tuppence”

Has anyone heard of an expression, from the Renaissance or older, containing the word "tuppence" which describes a student of the law or someone without a great deal of experience or training in it?
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2answers
10k views

“All but convinced” as a way of saying that one is, in fact, convinced? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “All but” idiom has two meanings? It seems kind of counterintuitive, but saying that: I'm all but convinced that ponies eat leprechauns. means ...
4
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2answers
727 views

Original use of kosher in the English lanuage

Recently I saw a post on the meta.rpg.se site that asked When is editing your answer not kosher?, and it got me thinking. Why is the word Kosher used, instead of, for example, Halal, Permissible, or ...
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3answers
223k views

What is the origin of the phrase “Top of the morning to you”?

Each morning, a colleague of mine greets me with the phrase: Top of the morning to you! I've tried to figure out what the meaning of this really is and how to properly respond, however there ...
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5answers
567 views

How can I express “sacrificing ease for quality” in a common expression?

I'm really having a hard time to even phrase the sentence I'm looking for, sorry! Examples would include: A programmer telling someone he wrote a small piece of code directly in assembly instead of ...
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6answers
22k views

What's the meaning of the word “brand” in the expression “brand new”?

What meanings might be conveyed by something being called brand new, as opposed to it simply being called new? What's behind the word brand here?
0
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2answers
379 views

If a high attrition rate is observed in a workforce, how do you state it as a characteristic of a generalized individual? Highly Mobile?

Here's the context: Statement: Attrition among the X workforce is high. Now I want to specify this at an individual's context. As in: "The X worker is __" What is the correct term here? The X worker ...
3
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1answer
925 views

Post-fixing or pre-fixing “mind you” onto an informative/descriptive statement

Example: It was quite a sunny day, mind you. or in the middle: It was quite a sunny day, mind you, so I packed my sunglasses. or prefixed: Now mind you, it was quite a sunny day... ...
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3answers
53k views

What is the meaning of “way better” [closed]

I sometimes hear people use "I hope you feel way better","This is way more than I was expecting" and etc. Could you explain this type of usage and what is the difference between "feeling better" and ...
3
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2answers
3k views

Difficult and rare words/expressions that never show up in vocabulary lists

I've come quite far in my studies of the English language; ask me what "eleemosynary," "perspicacious" or "rambunctious" means and I'll give you an instant definition. But I'm still not on a native ...
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3answers
1k views

Is “looking to” acceptable English in this use?

Recently there is dramatic increase in the use of looking to verb as in: Jeff is looking to start something big. Is this acceptable grammar? Why is it recently popular? What could best be ...
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2answers
2k views

Do you use “pick nits”? [closed]

Recently I have been watching What's my car worth? One person said several times, "I like to pick nits.", as in being a nitpicker. Do you use or have ever heard "pick nits"? It is used?
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5answers
43k views

Is “a ways to go” grammatically correct?

In English we often say, for example, "he still has a ways to go before he's done." Is this grammatically correct?
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3answers
4k views

To put more “weight/power” into a conclusion

I am trying to find an expression which would meet my needs. In the report that I am currently writing I would like to explain that I have done a certain action in order to "put more weight/power" ...
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7answers
7k views

Is there a phrase to say that someone's hidden intentions are revealed in his/her talk or movements?

Is there an English expression to say "Le jupon dépasse" to express the fact that someone's hidden intentions are revealed in his/her talk or movements?
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4answers
888 views

Good English expression for sorting this between ourselves?

If there is a problem at work and I want to convey to others at a similar level to me, that I would like to solve the problem "between ourselves" and not involve the boss or management - is there a ...
2
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1answer
9k views

Emotions: “running high” or “riding high”?

Quickly Googling both phrases brings up a number of results (mostly from sports websites) for each phrase; is one of the two in wider use and/or more correct?
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2answers
3k views

Meaning of “thespian pin” [closed]

What does it mean that a boy gave his girlfriend even his thespian pin? And they are so in love! He even gave her his thespian pin or something.
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7answers
1k views

What do British and American post boxes say when they don't want any advertising?

Advertising leaflets shoved en masse into mail boxes are one of the banes of modern society. In Germany, putting a note saying "Bitte keine Werbung" ("No advertising please") on your box protects ...
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4answers
1k views

Common expression for “frame conditions” for a working concept/process

In German, the common expression "Rahmenbedingungen" (used both as plural and singular) relates, for example, to a set of conditions necessary for a business idea to work out (e.g. low taxes and wages ...
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2answers
2k views

Is there a word or an expression that describes the bad mood caused by bad weather?

"Gloomy" comes to my mind naturally for God knows what reason. I'm not sure it's appropriate or not. Maybe some even better words or expressions?
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4answers
932 views

Expression for temporarily moving into a another place

I am looking for an expression that emphasizes moving into a friends place without having to paying rent. Only because your friend is doing you a favor. I am planning to using it in the line below. ...
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6answers
21k views

Phrases that would be similar to “Tip of the Iceberg” but with a positive connotation

I am looking for phrases that would be similar in meaning to 'tip of the iceberg,' but has a positive connotation. My understanding is that 'tip of the iceberg' has a negative "hidden" connotation. ...
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2answers
344 views

“Gnashing teeth” - why only teeth?

Why is it always "gnash one's teeth"? Is anything else ever gnashed?
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8answers
7k views

Word for situation in which there is no alternative

What is a word to describe the situation in which there is no alternative or something cannot be helped? I am looking for a neutral word, similar to impotent, instead of the slightly negative ...
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1answer
433 views

Adj + Noun + Verb to be + Same Adj

Is this a natural grammar or some kind of joke/internet meme? Cute girl is cute. Poor child is poor. Troll topic is troll.
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3answers
4k views

Term for pleasure or joy obtained on top of others' misery or unhappiness [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: An idiom for deriving pleasure from another's suffering We often experience the following: We feel happy when our fellow classmates get a bad grade and not ...
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3answers
3k views

Is there an alternative expression for 'opening band' or 'opening act'? [closed]

The question says it all. Together with a colleague we were looking for this. We both had the feeling that there's another way to say it.
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3answers
6k views

How did the use of “could of” and “should of” originate, and is it considered correct? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is “of” instead of “have” correct? It bothers me that so many people use could of, would of, should of instead of could've or could have, etc. For instance, I have seen ...
4
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1answer
235 views

“How did I do this” or “how did I do that”?

Is there a difference between: How did I do this? and How did I do that? If not, is there a preferred one? If they are different, when should I choose one over the other? I am not a ...
3
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4answers
404 views

A term for providing irrelevant and hiding relevant information [closed]

For example, you're doing a research for a car to purchase. You get a list of cars with engine number, city where a car was assembled, and a color. What's missing is make, model and price.
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3answers
2k views

“A Smith & Wesson beats a straight flush” [closed]

I just came across (pdf) this expression: A Smith & Wesson beats a straight flush What does it mean? Is it the idea of winning via unlawful means when losing? Is it a common expression?
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1answer
6k views

Meaning of the phrase “take a pass on yelling uncle”

I have heard that phrase recently on this YouTube video "Why We Row (Inspirational)" and I can assume what it means, but I just don't understand it on the context of the speech. ... don't be ...
5
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4answers
234 views

False premise request

Is there a name to characterize certain requests that look like a good idea at first, but ultimately have a false premise? Example 1: We need our software product to be extremely configurable! ...
3
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3answers
9k views

What’s the difference between ‘as much, if not more, than’ and ‘as much, if not more, as’?

When I found as much, if not more, than, I had an impression that than might be wrong at first because the phrase looked like a variation of as much as. However, there’re a lot of examples of both of ...
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10answers
16k views

What is the etymology of “bugger-lugs”?

I have recently heard the phrase bugger-lugs used to refer to a person present, as in "How much do I owe you, bugger-lugs?". I have also heard it used to refer to a moderately mischievous child ("what ...
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3answers
1k views

Term for the type of audible reaction typically written as “heh” or “hmph”

Is there a term for a person's audible reaction, the quoted written form of which we typically find spelled as heh or hmph?
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10answers
20k views

What's the verb for making that “pffft” sound?

I have a dialogue like this: "All I wanted to do was to keep a low profile" "Pffft. That worked well, we not only have the entire police force but also the entire mafia chasing us" I don't ...
4
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3answers
391 views

Is the correct phrase “free run” or “free roam?”

Is the correct phrase "free run" or "free roam," as in "the dog has free run of the house"?