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 a common expression for someone who “always holds a mobile phone in hand”?

I would like to know if there is a typical expression or phrase, used by native speakers, for someone who always has their mobile phone in their hand. I would prefer a spoken expression rather than ...
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4answers
4k views

Origins and meaning of “Put your money where your mouth is”

I heard this phrase uttered by a Canadian (from Vancouver) once; it left me in awe and elicited my curiosity. Wikipedia was not helpful. What is its origin? Is this expression used more in certain ...
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1answer
417 views

Is there a difference between “Wrong or Right” and “Right or Wrong”

I was writing about the difference between morals and ethics when i wrote the following line both these terms talk about the right and wrong conduct of people both these terms talk about the ...
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2answers
6k views

Has the meaning to the question “Do you mind” changed ?

When a person asks "Do you mind if I ..." The response now days seems to be "Yes ..sure go ahead" which to me means they DO mind.. I hear this constantly on TV and in the work place, it just seems ...
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2answers
149 views

Why does 'pine feather period' signify the period in a woman's life when she blossoms?

A book titled Flappers 2 Rappers lists youth slang from the 1920s, and one of the terms it lists is "pine feather period." "Pine feather period" is defined as a period in a woman's life when she ...
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1answer
2k views

One word/phrase to describe the reaction when you eat a very spicy-hot food

I've read the discussion here about Difference between “spicy” and “hot”. I've also read this one: How to say that food is hot (temperature) without the listener thinking that I mean “spicy”?. But I ...
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3answers
478 views

Is “Neither I you” Correct?

A friend of mine said "...I never saw you during school." For some reason I wanted to respond "Neither I you." I am certain I have heard this reply before, but, looking at it now, it does not seem ...
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2answers
5k views

“No A or B” vs. “Neither A nor B”

I wrote "No error or issue since 2013". I feel this is natural when I say so. But, in written English, because of the first "No", I wonder the "or" should be changed to "nor". Or, maybe "Neither error ...
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1answer
5k views

Going to the seaside and going to the sea

The British say "go to the seaside" (meaning I'm going to spend some time at the beach, swim, sunbathe etc.) It's like "going to the mountains" or "going to the lake." However, I once heard an Aussie ...
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2answers
114 views

How to call the two points at each end of a path?

By "path" I mean a route that has been walked by. The best I could come out with is starting point and ending point. Is there a shorter way to refer to them? (Maybe end points?)
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0answers
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What does one call the twisting of a proper name into a pejorative? [duplicate]

For example, in politics one sees Obummer, John Boner, Mittens R-money
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2answers
469 views

“number of books” or “book count”?

The number of books is nine. The book count is nine. Which is more natural? What's the SUBTLE difference between them?
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3answers
2k views

Word expression to say “Stopped smoking” or “got rid of some unhealthy habit”

I'm looking for words ( or word groups) that can be used to say "I stopped smoking", or "I stopped taking drugs" or, in other words, "I got rid of some bad and unhealthy habit". I have found ...
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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 ...
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3answers
16k 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 ...
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1answer
4k 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 ...
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3answers
1k views

Horse of a different color

I recently heard someone use the expression "Now that's a whole different bag of dog food". While highly unusualy, the meaning was well understood by the audience. I know there is an actual ...
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1answer
110 views

The condition for saying “You’re the door on the right.” etc. and its construction

This question is a spin-off from “Is you’re the door on the right. grammatically correct?” . After the original question, some ideas came to me, about its conditions and construction. I opened this ...
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1answer
8k views

expression “caught between a rock and a hard place”

What is the origin and definition of the expression "caught between a rock and a hard place"? I also heard it in a situation where it could have had a jocose double sense, but I may have ...
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1answer
54 views

“Preventing them to wrap” vs “Preventing them from wrapping”

I've found on StackOverflow an old answer written by me, in which I've used the first form. Reading it now, it sounds weird and wrong; I am inclined to think that the second form is the only one ...
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2answers
353 views

What does “One can easily give it a miss” mean?

I read this in a movie review: One can easily give it a miss. What does it mean? And what is this type of construction called? (I'd like to investigate it on Google.)
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4answers
1k views

Is there a word or expression to call someone who easily gives credit, especially to insignificant efforts? [closed]

A common example would be a professor who is too mild in his marking of a poor assignments. Another example could be someone who doesn't add or say much with his words, but still receives a lot of ...
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8answers
260 views

Is there a word or expression for someone who takes an over-optimistic view of things?

Someone who takes an over-optimistic view of himself, his own country and all other things that have meaning/value to him. And who doesn't see or admit the smaller, yet not insignificant, things. E.g. ...
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3answers
118 views

What does “tearing your résumé apart in a way” mean?

I asked a résumé checker to check my résumé and she gave me the following answer: When you look at the below list of issues, you'll probably think I'm tearing your resume apart. I guess I am, in a ...
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2answers
2k views

What does 'A small medium at large' phrase means? [closed]

Just received this joke: Q: What do you call a midget fortuneteller on the run from the law? A: A small medium at large. the 'Q' I understood. It's a runaway psychic gnome. But what does A ...
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1answer
7k views

How to spell 'ewww' as in 'ewww ahhh' [closed]

I was wondering how I should spell 'ewww' as in 'ewww ahhh': Bob showed Jill his most impressive set of magic cards. Jill, impressed, said, 'ewwww[sp?] ahhhhhh.' ...
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1answer
740 views

Under which cases should an article (a/an/the) not be used? [duplicate]

The current machine has been repaired. Current machine has been repaired. Which is more natural? What are the subtle differences between them? Under which cases should an article ...
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1answer
802 views

Meaning of 'That old rocking chair's going to get me' [closed]

In the Joni Mitchell song Stormy Weather, there's this line: That old rocking chair's going to get me What does that mean? I suppose that old rocking chair is a symbol of something, but what? ...
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3answers
2k views

What does “cup” mean in “cup of cheese”? [closed]

I was reading a recipe of macaroni-and-cheese. In Brazil (Portuguese) cheese is sold only by weight. I understand the concept of cups to measure volume or weight of liquids and powders, but as far as ...
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2answers
3k views

Substitute for “The thought came to my mind” [closed]

I want a substitute for the sentence "The thought came to my mind". It should be a slightly formal substitute as I am writing a formal letter. Can someone help me with that?
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2answers
19k views

Me too or I as well [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it correct to use “me too” and “I too”? Which one is correct to use Me too or I as well? For example - Suppose my friend says I want to go ...
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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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1answer
3k 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

How about 'play cute' or 'play adorable'?

I wonder if 'play cute' or 'play adorable' is frequently used to stand for 'act cute/adorable' in spoken language. It seems easier to google out 'act cute/adorable' instead of 'play cute/adorable'.
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4answers
598 views

A phrase to describe a “collection of false exaggerations”

I am looking for a phrase to describe a "collection of false exaggerations", something that can fit well in the following line: I am really shocked to see this, it seems that everything you told ...
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3answers
301 views

squeezed every drop of meaning and enjoyment? [closed]

I'd like to know what 'squeeze every drop of meaning and enjoyment' means in the following. B is said to be a more specific version of A, but I suspect that 'squeeze every drop of meaning' is not a ...