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

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Origin of the phrase “mother's ruin”?

I was under the impression that the phrase "mother's ruin" came from the England in the 1800's, where many people living in London did so in absolute poverty, and gin (the so-called "mother's ruin") ...
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What are the correct form of the following 2 expressions

I am working on a simple application which predicts you the wake up time if you go to bed at the moment. In example: if you go to bed at 12am and set your alarm, you should set your alarm to 8am. Is ...
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What is another way to say the need for?

What is another way to say "the need for" in regards to mental health system reform
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Is the term “fresh and original” redundant?

I see this phrase all over the place. Fresh in this usage appears to be in the usage: not previously known or used; new or different. And directly lists original as a synonym. And original in ...
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Is there a non-romantic phrase for missing someone? [on hold]

The phrase "I miss you" can be equivocal: suggestive of (a) romantic longing and/or (b) regret of loss. Certainly, context can shape its meaning, including geography, historical period, and the ...
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“Try me”: Too Sexually Suggestive and “Slangy” for Retail Marketing?

Is the expression “Try Me” inappropriately sexually suggestive and “slangy” for use in retail marketing? A client wants an expression for use on a sticker for an electronic device in a retail store ...
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Is “on-parade” an actual term?

A google search came up with almost nothing. Am I just imaging things? I could have sworn one could use the term "on-parade" to mean a succession of something. For example: Life is an on-parade of ...
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43 views

When did “out of” come to mean “in”?

When I was a child, I learned that the term "out of" could be used to apply to a person or thing to describe where he, she or it was from. For example, a ship docked in Miami could be described as ...
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a word for “time to self-destruct” [on hold]

Is there a word which means "It's time to self destruct" or "It's time to die" or "Your time is over on earth" ? For example, what would person 1 tell another person 2, when person 2 is on her/his ...
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usage of the verb to bridge in “Bridging someone to something”

My friend suggested a tag line for our project: "Bridging you to your dream higher education online" and I have doubts that "bridging you to smth." is a proper word usage. I've never heard this ...
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Term for using “thingy-esque” phrases rather than a common word

{This question came to mind because of the recent question .. What do you call the interconnecting bits of a puzzle piece in English? } In my opinion, in English, it's reasonably common ...
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How to verbalize a mathematics expression in English?

How do we express a simple mathematics equation in a way that could be understood by most people bad in mathematics? I have a formula like this: Processing Fee = Base Fee x ( Your Bid / Original ...
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Do these phrases have any sense? [on hold]

To besmirch the honor of mr. Johnson. When we compare mr. Johnson with mr. Jackson, we disrespect the latter one (is it understandable that 'the latter one' refers to mr. Jackson?).
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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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How to describe a guy who is popular with girls?

Perhaps I should make it clear: - He naturally attracts girls. - He doesn't chase girls and have no intention for any relationship. - You just see him often together with girls.
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“Hot mess” meaning and etymology

A phrase has started to be used somewhat frequently over the past few years: "hot mess". I have heard it in professional journalism (albeit, admittedly, mostly entertainment and/or gossip ...
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“delivered effort” versus “deliberate effort”

If someone has written, "a delivered effort to do something," is it a typo where the intended word was "deliberate" or is it its own turn of phrase?
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Is a blushing violet the opposite of a shrinking violet?

I understand that "shrinking violet" is used to describe an excessively shy individual. Recently, I encountered the similar-sounding phrase "blushing violet", but the definition given was the very ...
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Difference between “I will call you” and “I give you a call”?

What is the difference between I will call you and I give you a call?
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A Replacement for “Free tour guide”

In France, there are people who welcome tourists into cities in a free manner, where said tourists do not need to pay for a guided visit around town, who are introduced to the local scene without ...
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A better statment for “Get back to me” [on hold]

I would like to know if there is a better statement for expressing the following statement in an email, "Please get back to me if you have any query".
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1answer
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What does “where's waldo” mean in this context?

The student thinks that he can where's waldo their way to the answer Now, does it mean it's gonna be a cinch or a sisyphean task? Again, if I add a little detail, The student thinks that he ...
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Is there a shorter alternative for “Enjoy your meal”?

The French have "Bon appetit". In Belgium and the Netherlands we have "Smakelijk". Is there a short way to wish someone a good meal in English?
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to be above board

I have made 2-year apprenticeship as a multilingual correspondent. One expression that I came across but is still unclear to me is: "to be above board" or "He is above board" I have looked it up on ...
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Suitable expression for value in defeat?

When someone loses a match, I want to tell him that this loss can make him strong, that in the end this will help him to be a winner. Is there any expression in English for defeat is the ...
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Principle Of Life

Hi guys I want to understand what is meant by this expression: I often asked myself, did the principle of life proceed? This sentence came in the following context: When I had arrived at ...
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1answer
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Is there more than a 'double' whammy?

I have three (could grow to be more) bad reasons for a situation and I wondered if there is such a thing as a triple whammy that is an extension of the double whammy. From my research online, a triple ...
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Why do the words ducky and jake mean fine or satisfactory?

Even the Merriam-Webster dictionary acknowledges both ducky and jake as acceptable terms meaning fine or satisfactory and it dates the word ducky back to 1897 and jake to 1914. Does anyone know how ...
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Succinct way to describe “clocking in” page on a web app

A Swedish colleague has asked for my suggestion for web app page titles. The task has left me and a fellow native speaker stumped... The answers should apply to British and American English. A page ...
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What does ‘Red meat rhetoric’ exactly mean?

I see quite often the expression 'Red meat rhetoric’ these days in journals, for example Obama’s red meat rhetoric –CNN Conservative Media July 7. Mitt Romney delivers red meat rhetoric to ...
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Is “very less” correct English?

Is using very less correct English? My friend suggests it should be very little. Are they both correct, or is there a difference?
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At the beginning of “The hands of Mr. Ottermole” by Thomas Burke, an expression 'discolored themselves', which I can't simply understand

Murder (said old Quong)—oblige me by passing my pipe—murder is one of the simplest thing in the world to do. Killing a man is a much simpler matter than killing a duck. Not always so safe, perhaps, ...
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English equivalent of the Italian “Mannaggia!”, “Che peccato!”

What is the English expression or exclamation to refer to something that has gone wrong or a missed opportunity, or something that we could have done better than we actually did? I'm specifically ...
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6answers
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Is the “will” in “can and will” necessary?

Anyone who's ever seen much American film or television has heard some variation of the following sentences countless times: You have the right to remain silent. If you choose to give up that ...
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A more formal way of saying “pointing out”

The goal of an edge detection algorithm is identifying pixels that belong to an edge of an object in an image ... The rest of the sentence should say something along the lines of "and point ...
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What's the term for expressions like “man's man” or “lawyer's lawyer”?

To indicate an exemplar or someone well-respected within their own group or occupation, sometimes you see expressions like "man's man" or "lawyer's lawyer." Is there a name for this construction? ...
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Knocked up, two very different meanings. But why and how did the phrase split? [duplicate]

In American English, "Knocked up" means "pregnant." I just found out via an article regarding jobs that no longer exist that in British English, they use use the phrase "Knocked up in a completely ...
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Bora Bora, Here We Come

Saw this phrase/expression in CIBC advertisement. The pleased client asked, "should we re-investment or expand", and the bank clerk said, "you can do both", then the old lady in the back happily ...
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What's a “brace” in the expression “brace yourself”? [closed]

I know the meaning of the expression, "brace yourself," and also the meaning of the word "brace" but I don't understand why they have that word in that expression and what its origin or history is. ...
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1answer
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Why does “to wire” mean to trick?

A Collection of College Words & Customs written by Benjamin Homer Hall in 1856 defines a "wire" as a trick and I'm curious to know if it is of any relation to a magician using invisible wire to ...
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What exactly does “tally ho” mean?

I heard this tally ho in a youtube video (British). I also heard it in the movies "Jack the Giant Slayer", and "Spiderman 1". I understand it's some kind of expression or exclamation or idiom to say ...
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What does “To-may-to, to-mah-to” mean?

What does "to-may-to, to-mah-to" mean? I've seen this expression a few times and it seems to indicate some sort of equality. But what does it really mean?
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What does “Bunk over” mean?

Here ia a quote from The Avengers, 2012 film. Stark : The next building is gonna say "Potts" on the tower. Pepper : On the lease. Stark : Call your mom. Can you bunk over? Q. "The building is ...
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Is there an English (British or American) expression or idiom that refers to a recluse finally socializing

In Icelandic, there is an expression "að viðra sig", using the analogy of clothes that smell of closet and the act of taking them outside to get some of that old smell out of them, that is used to ...
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9answers
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Better way of saying “Go-to man”?

Does anyone have a suggestion for a gender-neutral alternative to the phrase "Who's the go-to man?" The go-to person feels stylistically awkward.
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Insert or Enter? [migrated]

What is the difference between Insert and Enter? If I have a form to fill in, which legend is better? Insert your data or Enter your data Thanks, Nk
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3answers
818 views

Is there a word to describe a phrase such as “it is what it is”

For example "it is what it is" This multi-word statement has no real meaning if read literally (or at best a circular meaning), but it does express a meaning that is meta to its lexical meaning ...
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Meaning of expression “take contingency on someone”

What exactly does a phrase 'we need to take contingency on them' mean? This is an expression I heard from a project manager so I presume it has to do smth with risk mitigation. However, I'd rather not ...