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

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15answers
2k views

Single word for “pleasant to look at”

Consider: It is pleasant to look at. So pleasant that you do not want to let it wander out of your sight. What would be a word for pleasant to look at? Something that's pleasant to my ...
4
votes
7answers
942 views

Are there English variations to ask people to smile other than “Say cheese!” when taking a picture of others?

We ask people who become the photographing subject(s) to smile when taking a picture of a family, team, and group of people by calling “Hai (Say) cheese!” to them. I think we imported this practice ...
0
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1answer
68 views

European expression that varies by historical international relationships [on hold]

I recall reading an article a long time ago about a specific expression that, translated into other languages, would vary the subject of the expression in a way that revealed historical attitudes and ...
4
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3answers
4k views

origin of phrase 'stone the crows'

Just as the title says — where, and how, did the phrase 'stone the crows' originate?
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6answers
190 views

Forcing someone's choice through malicious or careless timing

Let's say Alice needs Bob to make a decision between options 1 and 2. Bob would prefer 1. However, Alice asks Bob at such a time he cannot choose 1, so he is forced to pick 2 except in all but the ...
-1
votes
2answers
63 views

synonym for “worth finding”

Can the sentence "It's worth finding a part-time job during the holidays" be replaced by "It's good to find a part-time job during the holidays." Do they mean the same ?
0
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4answers
197 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

How can “in touch with” be used figuratively?

I am sure that we can say “get in touch with someone”, to mean figuratively that we are in good contact. Can I go further to use it more figuratively, e.g., to say that “my brother is not in touch ...
33
votes
10answers
6k views

One word - someone so scared that he can't move

I am not able to find an appropriate word to fill in for "scared". He was so scared, he couldn't move. He turned to stone. He was too shocked. He almost turned to stone and could not move. ...
1
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3answers
88 views

What to say if you don't want anything from a store?

I learned English as a second language. As I have never lived in any English speaking country, sometimes I don't know what to say in common daily situations. One good example of this occurred when I ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Is “fake teeth” correct?

Is the phrase "fake teeth" correct? I googled it and found out that it is used. But my English tutor says that this phrase is incorrect and the book from Hillside Press had this phrase as a mistake. ...
1
vote
3answers
50 views

Phrase to describe “re-reading an email you wrote, because it is just that good”

I want to describe a recurring situation that happens in the modern day when people craft an email that is "perfect" in that person's mind, and they end up re-reading the sent message over and over. ...
14
votes
12answers
3k views

Ways of saying “You don't have to be a rocket scientist”

I'm trying to find different ways of saying that "You don't have to be a rocket scientist", but I can't seem to get any good ideas. I got a variation, "You don't have to be a brain surgeon...," but ...
9
votes
4answers
232 views

Source and meaning of the proverb “Milk says to wine, Welcome friend”

While investigating an unrelated expression, I came across the following proverb in George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum ; or Outlandish Proverbs, Sentences, Etc., second edition (1651): Milk says to ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

What is the inverse of an orphan? [duplicate]

An orphan is a child whose parents have died. Is there a single English word to describe a parent who has lost all their children? If not, what is the most clear and concise description for this ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Am I the only person to use “punch up” to mean “remind someone”?

I have always used "punch up" in the context of reminding or prodding someone for something such as: "I just punched up Jane that she needs to turn in her vacation schedule" When I used this ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

Being “on the ticket”

I'm currently watching House of Cards and I keep hearing the expression "being on the ticket". It's always in relation to a presidential candidate, but I'm not quite sure what it means, particularly ...
3
votes
2answers
69 views

“At this stage” in corporate speak

I've noticed "At this stage" preceding delivery of the negative to the reader. What's the reason for this? "At this stage, unfortunately (for you), we won't be proceeding further with your ...
2
votes
2answers
84 views

A formal way of saying 'rub it in'.

I am trying to find a formal phrase equivalent to the colloquial expression'rub it it.' rub it in (informal) if someone rubs it in, they keep talking about something that makes you feel ...
0
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0answers
37 views

what is meaning of odd bunch [on hold]

THE Ood are an odd bunch. Among the more enigmatic of the aliens regularly encountered in “Doctor Who”, a television series about a traveller in time and space, they are mostly silent—though sometimes ...
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5answers
2k views
0
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2answers
139 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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0answers
25 views

A question regarding the use of “for” or “with” in an expression

Which of the following two is correct? (a) "jumped for joy" (b) "jumped with joy"
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1answer
91 views

Question/Matter of definition?

A "Definitionsfråga", as it is called in Swedish, is for instance if you talk about what's good and bad, you can remark that it depends on what you mean by good and bad. You could might as well remark ...
2
votes
2answers
84 views

Is there an English expression from Latin for “in writing”, “written”, etc?

Is there a Latin expression that is now used in English for "written"? For example, "Here is my request in written form." - to replace "in written form"? Or, "We took written notes.", you get the ...
2
votes
2answers
57 views

What is the origin of the phrase “grease the skids”?

What is the origin or derivation of the phrase "greasing the skids?" The phrase connotes preparation, in such a way as to make the subsequent activities easier. Definitions are available various ...
2
votes
2answers
227 views

If we can fall in love, why can't we fall in anger?

Although we can look back in anger, we can't fall into it. I might argue that the phrase, to fall in love, has something to do with being helpless, of letting go and losing control. But what ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

“father to” vs. “father of”

Would it be grammatically correct to write Mister X is father to a son and a daughter or should one preferably choose the preposition of? Mister X is father of a son and a daughter. ...
4
votes
2answers
124 views

A word or phrase for an unremarkable event that occurs with uncanny frequency

I am looking for a word or phrase for an unremarkable event that occurs with uncanny frequency. To give a specific example, one might be seeing a random shopper drop their bag every time you enter a ...
5
votes
4answers
6k views

What is the origin of “that's using your noggin”?

I find myself using the phrase "that's using your noggin" in various situations, even though English is not my native language. Most likely I picked it up watching some tv show. I understand that ...
3
votes
2answers
172 views

Physical object, carried be a person, that represents an encumbrance

I believe a word currently exists that is used as a metaphor to mean something similar to, "a person is (willingly?) carrying a physical object, but there is no benefit to carrying (or transporting) ...
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votes
12answers
2k views

Is there a suitable antonym for 'Achilles heel'?

I'm trying to juxtapose antonyms in a effort to describe something. The first draft of an excerpt reads something like this: I will tell of their triumphs and downfalls... I would like to ...
0
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2answers
62 views

“Nice little place you've got here” - is it derogatory? [on hold]

That is, does "little place" imply that the place is small, but pretty nevertheless? When told, would this offend a person owning a large mansion?
0
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1answer
44 views

Is “from … over … to …” correct?

I came across a title with a "from A over B to C" structure, namely "Facts and events from the USA over the UK to Australia" Now, I personally think this is incorrect (potentially a carbon copy ...
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2answers
2k views

“I can only hope to X”

When someone says "I can only hope to X", what does she mean? How is it different from the simpler expression "I hope to X"? Would it be natural to use "I can only hope to" in the following case? ...
5
votes
6answers
796 views

How to describe a strong wind?

Could you say 'The gale was blowing about his jacket' ? I'd like to express the repetitive movement of his jacket going from side to side.
8
votes
3answers
807 views

“Short for” vs. “Stands for”

US stands for "the United States". US is short for "the United States". What are the subtle differences between them?
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2answers
62 views

Is it normal to say “greater extreme”?

Some animals have taken cooperation to even greater extreme. (BBC documentary, journey of life) I doubt that “extreme” is subject to comparison with other extreme. An extreme is a polar point. ...
0
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2answers
36 views

Meaning of 'insider hiring' [on hold]

there is an article about hiring. http://www.haaretz.com/misc/iphone-article/.premium-1.637980 one of the headers is 'Insider hiring'. what does it exactly mean? hiring someone you know? does it have ...
5
votes
1answer
375 views

Meaning of “I'm a large” [on hold]

In one of the Seinfeld episodes (season 6, episode 12) there is a conversation, in which Elaine tells Jerry that she had given a label maker to a dentist and the dentist obviously gave that same label ...
0
votes
2answers
55 views

“From then on” or “since then”?

Do these two expressions mean the same or are they used in different contexts? I wrote "Since then" in an essay for my English teacher but she wrote me "from then on" instead. I wanted to say that two ...
2
votes
4answers
193 views

Phrases for (someone) making a short visit/appearance

When I need to visit to any place for a very short time, say, for 10-15 minutes A politician coming late and leaving in minutes at a fundraiser. An acquaintance just dropping by to say ...
2
votes
3answers
20k views

“I think …” or “In my opinion…” or “From my point of view…”

If I want to express my opinion about something, what's the most correct form? What are the differences? What is more formal and what more colloquial? For example, in Italian, nobody says In my ...
0
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1answer
4k views

How offensive is the expression “I am sick of you”?

Question 1: What is the meaning of "I am sick of you" exactly? Question 2: Does the meaning of this expression change depending on the context? Question 3: How offensive is this expression in ...
27
votes
27answers
10k views

Derogatory term for a corporate employee

I’m looking for a derogatory term for a person who works in a big, international business. In Polish we have a few informal words for that, like korpoludek (“corpo little guy”) and korpoczłowiek ...
3
votes
3answers
241 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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0answers
30 views

A “cold opening” like by Saturday Night Live [closed]

I could not find it on my favorite translator dict.leo.org, so I ask the resident AI, what is a cold opening, as found in many titles of Saturday Night Live episodes on your favorite video clip ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

The phrase - “I remain sceptical” vs “I continue to remain sceptical”

During a parent meeting , I heard a teacher say : I remain sceptical (on the progress of the child). and the parent questioning him- Why do you continue to remain sceptical? ...
0
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1answer
71 views

How to express difficulty selecting from equally appealing options [closed]

I want to express the idea that multiple options are equally appealing and therefore difficult to choose from. I thought of this sentence: They are too equally attractive to >be picked up. ...
0
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0answers
33 views

Do you say “ What I was the most surprised at was …”? [closed]

Superlative is confusing to me. I am the most surprised at ... , I am most surprised at ... I am surprised most at ... I am surprised the most at ... It's the most surprising that ... Which ...