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

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2answers
53 views

Is “main focus” considered bad form?

Is using "main focus" considered bad form or redundant? I started thinking about this since the spelling function in MS Word highlighted it and suggested "main focus" -> "focus". I can see why it ...
2
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6answers
300 views

Something as an “antechamber” for something else

In Italian there is the expression "something as an antechamber for something else", meaning something can precede and somehow cause something else. For example: Data show prisons are far from ...
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1answer
2k views

Is there a term for a foreign word that looks like an English word but has a completely different meaning?

Examples: gift (German) = poison poisson (French) = fish embarazada (Spanish) = pregnant triviale (Italian) = vulgar
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2answers
23 views

Is there a noun(phrase) meaning 'the state' of being a masterpiece?

'Masterpiece' is a noun. I would like, however, to use a noun or a concise noun phrase which refers not to a masterpiece, but its state of being a masterpiece. I thought of using 'masterpieciness' as ...
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12answers
3k views

Is there a word or phrase for someone who strongly disapproves of smoking, drinking and gambling?

It would be used in a sentence like this: Let's not invite your Uncle Peter. He is (a) ......, you know, and he would feel very uncomfortable among our friends. I'm not looking for lists. I'm ...
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1answer
117 views

“You are not your f***ing khakis” - What does “khakis” exactly mean in the Fight Club movie?

You are not the car you drive You are not your fucking khakis! I absolutely love Fight Club - this is a cult movie. I know that khakis mean a special color used for army dresses; but I want to ...
0
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1answer
61 views

Usage of “I'm incredulous!” as an exclamation of shock or disbelief

Would the exclamation "I'm incredulous!" be an appropriate response to finding out some unexpected news, if the intention is to convey shock or disbelief?
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1answer
24 views

Younger Class of Students

What is the expression to refer to a "younger class of students". Specifically, for instance I entered my university in 2002, and there a pool of students entering university of in 2004. How should I ...
0
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1answer
72 views

Shall I put the adjective behind the noun in this case?

"Function" means the performance of something, so it is on a level different from "project".(self-made) Here what I mean is that the two words are on different levels, the first may refer to ...
2
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2answers
164 views

How does the word “gas” relate to cheating and deception?

According to A Collection of College Words & Customs by Benjamin Homer Hall, written in 1856 I believe, gas is defined as cheating or deceiving someone. Any ideas why that may be?
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3answers
47 views

“Don't teach somebody to do bad things” - is there any expressions in English?

In Russian there's a sort of expressions like "Не учи его/ee плохому". Literally, "Do not teach him/her to do bad things", usually used, when somebody gives an advice, that could be harmful for the ...
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0answers
49 views

What is different between “Arithmetic Calculation” and “Calculation” in computer science? [migrated]

What is different when you say "Arithmetic Calculation" and "Calculation" in the context of the computer science? The "arithmetic" in the former seems needless to me since all calculations are ...
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4answers
4k views

Does English use “red thread” as expression for theme?

In Swedish the expression "röd tråd" (literally "red thread") is used to describe that something follows a theme. For instance, if a piece of text has a "red thread", it's written with a consistent ...
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1answer
21 views

Looking for an imperative word or expression [on hold]

Hi guys im looking for a way to say "do something" in another way, one word or a slang will be great
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1answer
43 views

Origin, logic, and range of use of the verb ‘untrack’ and the phrase 'get untracked'

One of the terms that appears in Merriam-Webster’s Eleventh Collegiate Dictionary (2003) but not in the Tenth Collegiate (1993) or earlier editions of the Collegiate series is untrack: untrack vt ...
2
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3answers
65 views

Arrogancy vs. Humility

Is there a word or phrase to describe a state of mind within an arrogant person who has been overwhelmed in a debate by another person who is humble in his/her demeanor, but armed with the truth to ...
2
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3answers
1k views

What's an alternative for “Where the rubber meets the road”

In the past, I've been at a loss to explain the idiom "where the rubber meets the road" to a non-native English speaker without resorting to a similarly confusing idiom. Is there a way to express the ...
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1answer
62 views

Use of the word “definitive edition”

Can I use the phrase "definitive edition" to explain that a product has the most up-to-date and highest quality in the field as opposite to mean "last edition of the same series"? Thank you for your ...
0
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1answer
29 views

Need a concise term to denote “request to borrow”

The context is that I am developing a web application, in which there's the concept of allowing one party to request to borrow items from another party. Up to this point, we have been calling it ...
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3answers
2k views

How to understand 'flatter to deceive'?

How should you understand the expression: "flatter to deceive"? The Oxford Dictionaries defines flatter to deceive as: Appear promising but ultimately disappoint. Which is all nice and ...
4
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9answers
855 views

What is the word to describe a situation when rival gangs come together to figure out who is stronger?

a very common situation when 2 hostile groups,gangs come against each other to fight and dominate? It could be a slang word, what is the occurrence of this situation? I can think of gang fight, but ...
2
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4answers
7k views

A more succinct expression for “The day before yesterday”

Is there a more succinct expression for "the day before yesterday"? In German for example, gestern = 'yesterday.' The prefix vor roughly means before, so logically, vorgestern means 'the day before ...
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3answers
3k views

Meaning of “it's long past time to …”

Saw a lot of such sentences (examples below). What does the "it's long past time to..." mean? Example: It's long past time to ditch the use of the ubiquitous bulleted-list templates found in both ...
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3answers
225 views

A title or descriptive phrase for someone who likes to share

I'm building a mobile app that has a series of achievements that may be awarded based on the users interaction. The app itself is an easter egg hunt. One of the achievements is for sharing (via ...
2
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4answers
57 views

How to name something that is common for two competing theories?

Geocentric and early heliocentric models of cosmos were different at the very core of theory, but they did share some elements: circular orbits, epicycles, uniform speed of celestial bodies. What ...
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4answers
408 views

What do we say when glue does not stick anymore?

I want to know how can we says to a glue that does not stick anymore, can we say "Glue has faded"? is there any specific word in English for this phenomenon?
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1answer
84 views

“Don't fall in anger”, I heard you say

If the phrase rang a bell, it's because the actual Oasis song lyric is "Don't look back in anger", I heard you say. But did my question title sound very strange or only slightly off? I might argue ...
2
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2answers
44 views

Hit and miss, or hit or miss?

Are both "Hit and miss" and "Hit or miss" valid English phrases? Hit-and-Miss Misses the Grammar Mark claims that "Hit and miss" is illogical, but I see both in Google NGrams.
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1answer
40 views

Word for arson by secret police

Is there a word or phrase for when, during a protest meeting, the secret police lock the doors and set fire to the building?
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3answers
443 views

“in a word” vs “in a sentence”

In a word, you are wrong! In a sentence, you are wrong! Which is more natural? I feel "in a word" is more common than "in a sentence", but "you are wrong!" consists of three words rather ...
0
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1answer
24 views

Is “prove the advantages of ” right?

I have designed two algorithms, say, A and B. Is it right if I say The following experiments prove the advantages of A over B? Or is there some better method to express the idea that "the ...
1
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1answer
19 views

All of … use or omit of? [duplicate]

While writing a sentence , I used all of my books , I got stuck with the usage of "of". Which of the two shall I write: all of my books vs all my books
3
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8answers
5k views

What do you call someone who always puts blame on others?

No matter what had really happened, this person will always blame and find an appearing logical/thought out way/strategy to it that, fundamentally, it's the other person who was the cause for all the ...
2
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2answers
49 views

1902 use of phrase “giving a tiger” in the context of paying homage to the King's coronation

In Mrs Aeneas Gunn's autobiographical 'The Little Black Princess : A True Tale of Life in the Never-Never Land, 1905, she writes about previously celebrating the coronation of Edward VII in the bush. ...
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5answers
677 views

How toffee-nosed is “toffee-nosed”?

Not being a speaker of British English, I was much amused on discovering the new adjective toffee-nosed. The American Heritage dictionary doesn't list it at all, but I found a definition in Collins: ...
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2answers
133 views

“I was used”, is it correct?

I want to use the term used, like I was used. I mean when someone used my name or some of my property for his own advantage. Is it OK to say in this context: I was used ?
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3answers
25k views

“thank you for the kind words”

I have seen and/or heard the sentence "thank you for the kind words" more than once. The context is usually that the speaker is responding to an appreciative comment in a discussion whose overall ...
2
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2answers
33 views

How to say that the two dates in two different calendars coincide?

How to say that the two dates in two different calendars coincide? Like, The 24th of Shawwal coincides with 12th of October. Shawwal: The tenth month of the year in the Islamic calendar.
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1answer
41 views
0
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1answer
41 views

Is there a name for this type of construction? [duplicate]

2-part question: (1) Is there a name for this type of construction in English? Examples: "We can't go, can we?" "I am here, aren't I?" "We mustn't get ahead of ourselves, must we?" "You are ...
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0answers
50 views

What is this type of “double-entry” phrase called?

What are the word combinations called? (Blank AND Blank) they are often used... Law and Order Judge and Jury Cops and Robbers Bait and Switch Cease and Desist Stop and Go Checks and ...
1
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1answer
43 views

Word or phrase describing on/off state

English is not my primary language so I have hard time with this problem. I am currently writing comments to computer code. There is setting that enable/disable some functionality. What would be ...
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0answers
40 views

Why is “delaying gratification” good? [closed]

The documentary "Four Horsemen", directed by Ross Ashcroft, ends with the following narration: "A predatory capitalist's truest enemy, and humanity's greatest ally, is the self-educated individual ...
0
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4answers
79 views

What's the oral address of “fellow student”?

I have known "fellow student" is a formal address and we used this in somewhere formally. But in oral situation, how to introduce a senior student to my friends when we face to face? If I say "this is ...
2
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1answer
81 views

What is the origin of “burning a hole in my pocket”?

It's an old expression, but when someone used it today it made me wonder about how the phrase came to mean what it does. Coinage would not seem to bear an association to being on fire, though if ...
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0answers
16 views

Which sentence is right? [duplicate]

If I want to know who he is, how can I ask? 1.Do anybody know who he is? 2.Do anyone know who he is? Do these two sentences have mistakes? or how can I modify it to make it better? if not, which is ...
3
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3answers
711 views

What is the origin of “I calls ’em like I sees ’em”?

This expression seems to be pretty widespread, for example being in Wiktionary and Futurama. Does anyone know what the origin is? Also, what kind of dialect might I calls or I sees be?
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1answer
43 views

An expression for someone who causes “pain” and for those who receive this “pain” [duplicate]

What do you call a person who gives only pain to his dear ones (whom he cares about the most)? What do you call a person who gets only agony from the person he cares most?
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2answers
56 views

The correct espression for something’s surface is parallel to the ground level?

Like the title says, I thought it was something like “the kitchen table is now level” but I’m not sure anymore.
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5answers
815 views

word or phrase for a smell that sparks nebulous memories of times or places past

I sometimes catch a whiff of something that reminds me very strongly, but very vaguely, of a time in my past. Different whiffs for different times. It's not a single identifiable smell and a single ...