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

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16
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1answer
648 views

What do you call exaggerations like “I'm starving”?

For example, when you are a little hungry and you say "I'm starving", or when you are so tired and you say "I'm dying". What do you call these type of expressions? Just exaggerations? I don't know how ...
0
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2answers
281 views

not a moment too soon - is it fast or slow? [closed]

Is this late or early? It's a bit unclear to me. Because this question body wasn't meeting good quality standards of this site, I had to write this additional sentence.
0
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2answers
189 views

Where in the world does “a lift” mean “a ride in the car”?

In the United States and Canada, when someone asks you for "a lift" or you offer "a lift", you are speaking about riding in a car with them. However, in England and other places, a "lift" is an ...
1
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5answers
114 views

A phrase for 'a free, informal space for learning'

What could be a short phrase for 'a free and informal space for learning?'
3
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1answer
78 views

What expression are these titles alluding to?

There are two episode titles from two separate shows that are written similarly: From Castle: The mistress always spanks twice From Doc Martin: The GP always rings twice Episode titles are usually ...
3
votes
3answers
122 views

A single word for “a quick passing of sound”?

We have the word "flash" for "a quick passing of light". Do we have the equivalent for our auditory sense?
1
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1answer
52 views

Is there something incorrect about the phrase “fall back asleep”?

A quick Google search shows that the phrase seems to be in relatively common usage, but for some reason I find the construct very awkward. I would say "fall asleep" the first time, and then "fall ...
7
votes
2answers
134 views

Meaning of “Taking a Glister”

I am reading Candide by Voltaire. Candide urges a sick man to find a cure for his illness, and the man responds with "Alas! how can I?" said Pangloss, "I have not a farthing, my friend, and all ...
5
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2answers
269 views

Origin of the expression “landed in a tub of butter” (meaning lucky)?

I've heard a friend say "he says he was so lucky, it's like he sat his ass in a butter tub" a few times. Even though I'm from the same area (northeast USA) as the speaker, the expression wasn't ...
0
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3answers
52 views

Can “I write of love” be used as a substitute for “I write about love”?

Can I use something like "I write of love, I write of hate. I write of destiny and fate." instead of "I write about love, I write about hate. I write about destiny and fate."? Do they mean the same? ...
1
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3answers
147 views

Is English particularly well suited for so-called “natural language programming”?

Programming languages like sEnglish, Inform7, WolframAlpha, and even AppleScript purport to use the "natural language programming" (NLP) paradigm. Even SQL is a kind of NLP, if you think about it. ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Origin of “Screw the pooch”

Wiktionary says this of "screw the pooch": The term was first documented in the early "Mercury" days of the US space program. It came there from a Yale graduate named John Rawlings who helped ...
7
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2answers
326 views

Is “A Moveable Feast” more than home catering?

I read Hemingway's A Moveable Feast before I knew the term describing moveable feast days on the calender. Comparing Hemingway's famous quote about Paris: "If you are lucky enough to have lived in ...
8
votes
1answer
142 views

What is the origin of the term “fresh fish”?

I'd only ever encountered this term in more modern movies and literature—typically in a prison setting—referring to new, and therefore more vulnerable, inmates. Recently, however, I noticed its use in ...
15
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14answers
810 views

An expression for trying to futilely apply old methods that once worked

We are looking for an expression that captures this idea: When someone tries to adapt an old way of doing something, holding on to the original core of their process, in a futile way, instead of ...
2
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1answer
399 views

Oh my God, Oh my Lord, Oh my Gosh

What are the differences between them? Is there a cultural and/or social interference? Do young people say "Oh my Gosh" more than others?
0
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2answers
150 views

Which is a better and commonly used word, Bulk or Batch?

What is a better word which can be used to refer to a large number of files as in following? Batch file processing or Bulk file processing Which is commonly used?
4
votes
1answer
149 views

What is the meaning of “April smile?”

I was reading Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, and I came across the phrase "April smile." I was unable to find a meaning of this phrase using Google, so I thought I'd ask here. Here is a quote where the ...
0
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3answers
608 views

“Named” vs “called”

Over on Stackoverflow, I keep seeing questions wherein posters say: *I have an item named SoAndSo (a table, a file, etc.). Shouldn't it be: *I have an item called SoAndSo. Is "named" an acceptable ...
0
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1answer
80 views

“He started paying Carol to look after me”

Can anybody help me understand this sentence? He started paying Carol to look after me... Does it literally mean he started to give her money for looking after me or is there some other meaning ...
0
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3answers
185 views

a better way to express “an idea/thought suddenly came to me”

What are some grandiloquent, or simply better, ways of expressing "an idea/thought suddenly came to me", or "an idea/thought struck me", or "I was struck by an idea/thought"?
4
votes
2answers
121 views

Is “I like!” a recent idiom? What is its origin?

Does it seem to anyone else that in the past few years people have been saying "I like!" in a new, playful, ungrammatical way? I am not plugged in to popular culture so I wonder if some of you could ...
-2
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2answers
50 views

Beneath/Behind his innocent looks, he is an aggressive person/ lies an aggressive person [closed]

[Beneath/Behind] his innocent looks, [he is/lies] an aggressive person Is there a better way to frame this sentence and are there better adjectives?
3
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3answers
162 views

Word for a sound of insult-with-a-smile

What is that sound called, when one produces a short demeaning (almost as if looking down upon the other person) sound, which might be followed by a very cunning smile. Example: A: The US is ...
0
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3answers
227 views

Usage of “elliptical” sentence [closed]

Please explain an "elliptical" sentence. Is it used as a shortcut of implied ascription?
-1
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1answer
35 views

by the way of our thinking Vs. by the way we think

Is it correct to say Everything changes by the way of our thinking. or should I say: Everything changes by the way we think. And how different are they in meaning?
1
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2answers
184 views

When is 'over and above' used?

When is the expression 'over and above' used instead of just 'over' or just 'above'?
2
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6answers
181 views

Would the phrase “No worries!” be understood outside Australia?

In Australia, No worries! is a very common way of saying You’re welcome. I wonder whether it is used this way in other English-speaking countries. The phrase’s meaning can be understood easily ...
0
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2answers
462 views

What does the phrase “it does not become you” mean?

I have heard it used in a negative sense. For example, "rudeness does not become you" etc. Is this phrase used in a positive context as well? (like "generosity becomes you")?
2
votes
2answers
85 views

What does “to revive the 2-for-1 model” mean?

What does "find a clever way to revive the 2-for-1 model pitched by the Clintons so long ago" mean in the following quote from The Washington Post of today? The author, Michelle Cottle, wrote that ...
0
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1answer
103 views

Is 'et cetera' used in spoken English?

I've never heard someone say it. I'm more interested specifically in British English, but also in general.
0
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1answer
48 views

is the phrase “leave all worries” correct?

Is the phrase "leave all worries" right ? Or should it always be "No worries" when saying to someone who is disappointed with something ?
0
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3answers
340 views

Is “put in place” a correct English expression?

I'm French and work with a German colleague. I often hear the expression "put in place" which to me corresponds to the French expression "mettre en place". This expression means more or less "set ...
0
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2answers
226 views

Is “how much ever” correct here?

"How much ever you prepare, it is your attitude in the exam hall that matters" From a previous question concerning the same phrase, I realize "how ever much" could be used.But I am asking this ...
3
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3answers
113 views

A word to describe an empathetic employee in regards to their business

I'm a software developer and I'm looking for the correct business term that best describes an empathetic developer. More often than not, a developer is just a code monkey. They receive a set of ...
0
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3answers
279 views

What's the opposite of “happy to”?

When I need to deliver someone an unfortunate news, what would be the opposite phrase to: I'm happy to inform you... or I'm delighted to give you this news...
0
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1answer
65 views

Frequency: Every three weeks or more / At least every three weeks / etc

I would like to express that an action should be done every three weeks, but that longer periods are also acceptable. Which of the following is the simplest, clearest, and most natural way to express ...
0
votes
2answers
105 views

What's an expression that means bringing something to where it can be seen or used?

I'm specifically thinking of in a public service context. Say there is a resource that exists but no one knows about it or makes use of it, so instead of waiting for the people to come to the ...
1
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3answers
190 views

Expression choice: 'conclusion', 'taken as a whole', or 'regarding'

I am wondering if it would be more effective to use another construction: Taken as a whole or Regarding instead of In the general framework of the leaf photosynthesis limitations ...
0
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1answer
66 views

Can “make something out of …” mean what I want to mean here?

Life for this sparrow is very hard, but even so, she had a pleasant character. Then an eagle fell in love with her. He explained to her: I did not adore you because you could make an adorable ...
1
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1answer
98 views

Is the expression “moderator's set” used in English? What would you call it?

We are talking about a small suitcase which contains different presentation materials like markers, felt pens, post-its, paper in different shapes, laser pointers etc. for convention organization. ...
1
vote
4answers
313 views

a better expression for 'percentage divided by 100'

The function f(a,x) returns the value in the array a specified by x, where x is a percentage of the length of the array, divided by 100. (i.e. x can be any number between 0 and 1, corresponding ...
0
votes
1answer
104 views

Put on a very impressive display

I found this phrase in a translation studies textbook, Veeraphol Nakonluang-Promotion put on a very impressive display to knock out defending champion Joichiro Tatsuyoshi of Japan to become the ...
-1
votes
1answer
460 views

What does it mean “I am not around”? [closed]

When I asked my friend, "would you like to come to the party tomorrow?" he answered, "thanks, but I am not around" does it mean he is not in the NYC or just not around the hood??
0
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2answers
206 views

What does the phrase “today's dollars” mean? [closed]

I do not completely understand the meaning of the phrase "today's dollars" in this sentence from a document on health care expenses: "... they will need almost $400,000 in today's dollars by the ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the best way to describe someone who is very social in a party?

If a person is very social in a party, striking up conversations with different people from one end of the hall to the other end, are there some good expressions to describe this person? In Chinese, ...
0
votes
2answers
140 views

Meaning of the phrase “to corner the world's pleasures”

So I was baffled when the women at college accused me and my sex of having cornered the world's pleasures. I know about the meaning of all of the words in this sentence, but I don't know the ...
6
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1answer
176 views

Where does “pop it in the oven” come from?

Where and when did the phrase "pop it in the oven" originate?
-3
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1answer
194 views

What does these sentences mean? Explain your answer [closed]

But as a boy, Sanders was also exposed to soldiers on military bases, and he came to view soldiering as the only available alternative to a life of toil_the warrior, faced not with toil, but with ...
0
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1answer
117 views

How to correctly express an intention to work on a certain day instead of working on another day?

How to say "I will work on Saturday instead of working on Tuesday" in a more natural fashion? I guess the verb will be constructed like "work or make" + "out or off or ?", but what is the exact ...