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

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Ten bagger baseball explanation

Why would a "ten bagger" refer to baseball? Where is the ten involved in it?
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3answers
9k views

“Pretty please with sugar on top”

Where does this expression come from? I understand when it's used, but I was wondering about its origin.
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2answers
9k views

when to use the expression “hanging from the rafters?”

I've heard of the expression "hanging from the rafters" but I am unsure when is it appropriate to use. Has it got any negative connotations?
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2answers
4k views

Situations where to use “Shake and bake, baby”

In which situations is appropriate to use the expression "Shake and bake, baby"?
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7answers
2k views

“I'm only grandfathering you in because of Serena.”

In Gossip Girl Season 4 Episode 19 "Petty in pink," Blair says the following sentence to Serena's cousin Charlie after she tried to explain to both of them about her plan. I'm only grandfathering ...
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10answers
3k views

A far away place

Is there an English idiomatic expression to indicate a place which is very far away from the speaker's location? Something like in the middle of nowhere but not necessarily implying that the ...
1
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1answer
226 views

'where they would all' vs 'where they all would'?

I just read this but it didn't sound too natural to me: ... trying to predict where they would all end up. Maybe I'm wrong here but I thought that, in this case, all is changing they, so I'd ...
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5answers
22k views

Speaking with a forked tongue

What does it mean for someone to be "speaking with a forked tongue"? I've heard it used by my boss when referring to particular customers of ours.
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3answers
351 views

Phrase about movie stars

Is there a phrase about those movie stars who are just good-looking but mediocre acting and those maybe not so good-looking (compare with those good-looking ones) but amazing skilled acting movie ...
2
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4answers
16k views

Is it “as God is my witness,“ or ”as God as my witness"? [closed]

I have seen both "as God is my witness", which makes sense but sort of puts God in a supportive role, and "as God as my witness", which sounds wrong to me but I don't know, might be an olde tyme ...
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8answers
22k views

What's the origin of “throwing someone under the bus”?

What's the origin of the phrase "to throw someone under the bus" or "so-and-so threw me under the bus?" (in the sense of betrayal)? It seems like a very specific phrase not to come from some specific ...
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8answers
32k views

Which one is correct? “A teacher of English” or “An English teacher”? [closed]

I want to know which is correct teacher of English or English teacher.
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1answer
784 views

Does this sentence “He's too thin to carry it” make any sense to you? [closed]

Does this sentence "He's too thin to carry it" make any sense to you? This is really bothering me for quite a long time!
4
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2answers
20k views

Is it correct to ask “what's your father?” when you actually mean to ask about his job?

What's your father? Some said this question even exist in the visa-applying of USA, but I just couldn't understand it. Is it asking about somebody's father's job, his personality, or just what he ...
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6answers
3k views

Cold turkey as expression

I've discovered a expression : to go cold turkey, meaning something like feeling bad because you have taken drugs and you need to take more. I wonder if another verb rather than go can be used ...
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3answers
3k views

Origin of the saying “X wears the pants”

I just heard this saying recently in this conversation: No.1 : Why aren't you telling him to shut up? No. 2 : Mr. Palm is going to do that. No. 1 : Oh! So Mr. Palm wears the pants!" What ...
10
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1answer
684 views

Expressions for a mystery?

I'm trying to help out a friend with something. Is there any expression for when something has been done, but nobody knows whom by? In Dutch there is an expression which translates into "the gnomes ...
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3answers
17k views

What does it mean to “pay X on the dollar”?

When I hear money laundry lingo in TV crime-series, people sometimes fence stuff for so and so much "on the dollar". What does it actually mean? And where does the expression originate from?
15
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2answers
3k views

Is “spoon feeding” a widely accepted usage?

In India, "spoon feeding" is widely used in context of education where the students are taught in a manner by which they do not have to do much on their own. Everything will be done by the teachers, ...
2
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2answers
447 views

what's the phrase for “I don't want to be reliant on someone else”

I remember that there is a phrase with the word whims that goes about like this: "I don't want to be reliant on someone else" Does anyone know what that phrase is?
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3answers
6k views

Is the term “fire and forget” well understood?

When referring to people's skills, my (IT) circle sometimes refer to a person as being "fire and forget." This would indicate that you could tell such a person to accomplish a task, and they'd work it ...
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3answers
9k views

What is a “shipping quote”?

I see this expression in shopping carts, and it seems related to tracking the shipment, but I don't understand what it is. Could please anybody explain that?
7
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3answers
632 views

“I was fresh out of pies to throw at you”

The sentence was in Lost (TV Series). I got the overall meaning of the sentence. But what does it exactly mean? [SAWYER pointing a gun at JACK] JACK: Trying to be funny? SAWYER: Yeah, I ...
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10answers
14k views

“Out of pocket”?

I'm increasingly hearing the phrase "out of pocket" used in America as a colloquialism to mean "away from the office", "unavailable", or "incommunicado". I apologize for not replying sooner; I ...
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5answers
6k views

Why do they call a murder a “red ball” case?

Not being a native speaker, I wonder why they call a murder a "red ball" case ("redball" or "red-ball") in certain TV-shows and films. Specifically this expression is often heard in TV-shows like The ...
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2answers
90k views

Is “nice to meet you” an appropriate online salutation?

When one makes a new acquaintance with somebody in person, you may say “it was nice to meet you”, e.g. when you leave. What if you make a new acquaintance over the internet, what do you say when you ...
2
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3answers
702 views

What is a symbol [an expression or idiom] for a word of great length in English?

Is there any symbol [expression, figure of speech, metaphor] for something long in length in English? for example, in Persian we say for a long word: "the letters are set like train" train ...
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5answers
7k views

What is the story behind the phrase 'as it were'? Where did it come from?

This is a question my High School English teacher could not answer 20-odd years ago and every time I encounter it, it bugs me. I only know what it means in terms of other phrases such as 'per se'. I ...
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4answers
2k views

What does “gold is where you find it” mean?

Gold is where you find it. Can someone please give me an example of how to use this expression?
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5answers
3k views

Is it rude to call a gay person “homosexual?”

I was talking to one of my co-workers today. We have two homosexual persons in our office. I forgot one's name, so I asked my co-worker, "What's his name?" My co-worker said "Who?", and I replied, ...
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2answers
5k views

Usage of “not comparable”

Can the phrase "not comparable" be used in a negative context? For example, if someone says the latest pirates movie is not comparable to the previous versions, can it mean it is so bad?
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6answers
14k views

What does “In some ways” exactly mean?

What does the expression "in some ways" exactly mean, as in The English language is limited in some ways, and perhaps most limited in its ability to express love. Is it generic (like in many ...
4
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4answers
852 views

What do you call the additional paper used during exam and homework?

When doing exams or homework, one might need some extra paper to make a rough sketch, before writing his solution into another paper that must be turned in. The extra paper does not need to be turned ...
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2answers
3k views

What is a common expression in English that a person might say when one suddenly got shocked by sound?

What is a common expression in English that a person might say, when one suddenly got shocked by sound? For example, while a woman was walking on the sidewalk in a dark place, she suddenly heard ...
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1answer
9k views

Origin of the term “fat chance”

The phrase "fat chance" can be used as a way of sarcastically describing the impossibility of something, but where did it originate from? I've googled it several times, and it always comes up with the ...
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3answers
2k views

Having some kind of grit

What does the expression, "You have got some kind of grit," mean? Is it sarcastic, like being a bit crazy?
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2answers
7k views

“In this year” versus “this year”

"In this year": Can anyone argue that the preposition in is unnecessary here, maybe even a hypercorrection? (Are there any situations where in is necessary?) Edits Some examples: How many days are ...
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2answers
511 views

Is the phrase “Traffic Revision” generally used to describe temporary or permanent changes of traffic flow?

When I first moved to Washington state, I would see mystifying traffic warning signs that would announce "Traffic Revision Ahead" as I was driving and then be in the midst of roadwork and lane changes ...
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4answers
2k views

Why is “head over heels” used as if it were exceptional rather than commonplace?

Most people spend part of each day standing, and if they have normal anatomy their heads are over their heels in this position. Even sitting or lying down, the head is higher than the heels (if not ...
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11answers
12k views

Other expression for “Off the top of my head”

What are some other expressions for: "Off the top of my head" I seem to say this very often, it would be nice to be able to spice things up.
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1answer
939 views

Difference between “how you want” and “how you will”

Is there any difference in meaning betweeen these two? Is one a valid grammar construct and the other not?
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5answers
9k views

More common expression for “move your bowels”

Move your bowels may be too polite and sounds strained, and merely saying shit sounds offensive. What do native English speakers say then when you need to move your bowels, especially when a parent ...
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5answers
345 views

How would you say “written for a Latin population”?

I want to say that the author wrote for the Latin people (common folk of 1200 in Italy) as his main audience. That is, for the wide audience of general populace and not just for the scholars. My ...
6
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1answer
728 views

Why does one come to a “sticky end”?

I was reading this question here, and thinking, the kitten will come to a sticky end. But why is a ghastly but non-specific fate referred to as a sticky end? This source here suggests that blood is ...
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6answers
14k views

Where does the phrase “get crackin'” come from?

"There's a lot of work to be done, so we'd better get crackin'" I've often used this expression, but I have no idea what we might have been cracking, originally? Any insight?
0
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3answers
409 views

Look and 'feel' of a web page/site/app [closed]

Although used a lot, the phrase 'Look and feel' of a web application's assets seems a little inaccurate. Is it not better to change this common phrasing to 'look and character' because we really ...
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11answers
14k views

What on Earth does “cheap at half the price” mean?

I hear this all the time, "cheap at half the price", to indicate that something is cheap (mostly in an ironic sense, but often used literally), but it makes no sense to me. Of course, if something ...
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6answers
7k views

In special cases, can you use “one such family are” vs. “one such family is”? [duplicate]

Is it correct to say "one such family are..." as opposed to "one such family is..." in some circumstances? Say, for instance, as used in this article on gene families: [...] One such family are ...
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4answers
5k views

Best source for origins of expressions and idioms? [closed]

I'm often interested in the origins of English phrases, and I know that I can find answers by googling, and I can find good answers by asking here. How can I find good answers myself? Are there any ...
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4answers
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Which is correct, “buck naked” or “butt naked”?

"Butt naked" or "buck naked" both refer to completely naked, or do they? Where the phrase comes from I have no idea but that would be of interest. This is a phrase I am too afraid to google and ...