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

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7
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9answers
2k views

Does “wobble” sound negative?

I'm launching a project which I want to make big as possible. I want to find a name, but I'm not looking for any real meanings. This project is a web tool (Javascript prototype & API) so I want to ...
-1
votes
0answers
29 views

Word for defining an act that is legal but not justifiable/immoral [on hold]

A word for defining an act that is legal but not justifiable/immoral. Eg: In legal terms we use - "In letter but not in Spirit" , if this can be replaced by a single word ?
2
votes
2answers
86 views

What do “former” and “latter” refer to, here?

Here I am trying to peer into the meaning of this below paragraph (full version here).Being a non-native English speaker I am struggling in making sense, especially the bold part.The paragraph : ...
2
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0answers
20 views

Can I write “…argue it sufficiently…”?

in a scientific paper written in American English, I am using the following sentence: "...we would argue that it is sufficiently established that..." Can the sentence be shortened to "...we would ...
0
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0answers
25 views

Is the sentence in the question correct?

I want to say that "x theory and y theory are much elder than z theory. However, z theory plays an important rule in germination of both x and y theories." How to write the two sentences above in ...
-1
votes
2answers
170 views

What could be an appropriate word in between long-lived event and short-lived event?

I am wondering a word to express the moderated values between long-lived and short-lived events. For example, I would like to describe heat wave durations. My durations are 1hr, 2hr, 3hr, .., 10hr. I ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

How to ask for the current token number of the person being served by customercare

In places like banks or other customer care centers, tokens are issued to people and based on the token number, one is served by customer care. At some places, there are automatic displays displaying ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

The best words for a person who does not accept reality? [on hold]

I am looking for some good words to describe a person who does not accept reality. I do understand deluded is one. Are there other ones? Somehow, deluded doesn't seem to exactly express what I am ...
0
votes
3answers
94 views

'Go to sleep' vs 'Go and sleep'?

I just had a linguistics test (it's called UKLO) that measures you're ability to problem solve and translate languages you know nothing about. For one of my translation answers I wrote 'Don't go and ...
0
votes
4answers
384 views

idiom for proceeding slowly and with difficulty

Is there an idiom I could use if I wanted to say that someone is doing something with a lot difficulty and slowly? I cannot think of anything. Thanks Edit from comment: For example: You have learnt ...
-5
votes
1answer
57 views

Meaning of: “Therefore whether it were I or they” in scripture

In the following passage: Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Origin of “Very Good, Sir!”

It's quite likely you've read a P.G. Wodehouse book. Well, then you'd also know about Jeeves, and something he says quite often: Very good, sir. Jeeves is a butler. And he isn't the only one to ...
4
votes
2answers
112 views

Is there a term for the inability to find a word which is then substituted with a “funnier” word?

Take this sentence: "If people are lost when they start out, they usually just keep getting...loster." — from "Don't Make Me Think" Obviously "loster" isn't a word, but I see this turn ...
1
vote
6answers
133 views

Any idiom/phrase/expression to describe this attitude?

There is this person I know who always gets excited at the slightest of the things. They give a person too much credit than they deserve for simplest of the things they do. Not that I think there is ...
1
vote
0answers
55 views

How to say “As crucial as it is, it's surprising to…”

As a non-native English speaker, I'm trying to improve variety in my writing. For this particular, I want to express my feeling of surprise toward something that I always considered critical but ...
10
votes
14answers
9k views

Looking for idiom/expression to describe an instance where one makes something seem better than it really is

Maybe the example would help to describe the expression I am looking for: Say - a sub-par school or organization makes a promotional video, whereby they make the school look way better than it ...
2
votes
3answers
190 views

The “it-seems-better-than-it-actually-is-because-it-comes-from-a-famous-place” effect?

It is far easier to provide an example for what I am trying to describe than to try and articulate it: Example: Scholar A: "Wow. That new study from University X is getting a lot of attention." ...
1
vote
4answers
625 views

What is the meaning of the expression “Get all you can, can all you get, sit on the can”?

What does "Get all you can, can all you get, sit on the can." mean? It seems that Google can't help me with this one. Could you also explain its origin and how it is related to the meaning?
1
vote
1answer
88 views

“Are you a man or a mouse” phrase origin

Robert Burns associated the fates of mice and men in his poem "To a Mouse" (1785): The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft a-gley, But this seems to suggest that mice and men have a ...
1
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2answers
31 views

a thousandS years tradition

A thousands year old tradition "a thousand year old" tradition, would mean only a 1000 years, but I'm not sure we could use the plural form in this expression. I'm looking for an adjective that ...
1
vote
4answers
389 views

“to go up the field a ways”

I found this phrase in some Chemical Brothers lyrics: I thought we were going To go up the field a ways To join all the other living souls But you never came English's not my first ...
4
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4answers
6k 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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2answers
32 views

Punctuation of the Expression “The Works”

I'm feeling really sick today, and I wanted to text my friend to tell him why I won't make it to our meeting. I wanted to say "I'm feeling pretty sick. Fever, headache, cough, the works.", but I've ...
5
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4answers
3k views

Origin and variations of “being handed your hat”

I heard the expression being handed your hat being used to mean that you are invited to leave. What is its origin and what are the possible variations?
0
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2answers
316 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 ...
0
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1answer
91 views

Is “more general, still” an acceptable expression?

Are "more general, still", or "more general, yet" acceptable variations of "still more general"?
0
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2answers
61 views

What is the meaning of the phrase: 'down the memory hole'?

I have heard the phrase 'down the memory hole' used before, and I believe it to have originated in the novel 1984 by George Orwell, but I'm not 100% sure the definition I've found is right: memory ...
5
votes
2answers
268 views

Something like antonym for “dependent”

Let's suppose I have two objects – A and B. They are a pair. I mean that we will name them considering them one logical unit. For example: If I call A as "driven," then B will be called ...
2
votes
4answers
86 views

Contractors becoming part of company they are working for

What's the term when a contractor (or other person) who is technically employed by company A but works so much/closely with company B, that they feel more loyal to company B or assimilate better with ...
9
votes
7answers
1k views

Term to describe when one event cannot occur without the other

So my wife and I were just having a conversation concerning a situation at her work, and I was trying to think of a term to describe the GM's approach but it's eluding me. Here's the context: ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

Parody of a Parody

I recently became aware of this video: What has the ECHR ever done for us Which, to me, is clearly a parody of this scene from Monty Python's Life of Brian - itself a Parody of the new testament. ...
0
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1answer
268 views

Use of the expression “have to” in a sentence

Tasting Mediterranean cuisine is a “have to” plan in Oia Is that expresion correctly used in this sentence, or is it wrong?
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3answers
56 views

How to say “there is plenty of room for improvement.” in a more academic manner? [closed]

My last sentence in an academic assignment reads "Even in ........, there is plenty of room for improvement.", Is there anyway to say the same in a more academic manner? or is it acceptable as it is? ...
3
votes
2answers
128 views

Term or Phrase for “Listening without Understanding”

Is there a word or a phrase that describes someone listening to somebody else speak to him without understanding what is being said while acting like he's getting it?
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0answers
16 views

Does “spiritual circumstances” mean “spiritual state/condition”? [on hold]

I came across an expression "spiritual circumstances" which puzzles me a lot. The text is as follows: "Our emotions also react to our spiritual circumstances. When a person, overwhelmed with guilt, ...
2
votes
2answers
82 views

Is there an expression for cutting ties or calling off something that is ultimately unfavorable to both parties?

In particular, ending something that one of the parties is still attached to. For instance, in a relationship, if one person doesn't want to go through the short term struggle of a breakup (and is ...
1
vote
2answers
93 views

Never Meet Your Heroes - Is this expression an adage?

When the expression "Never Meet Your Heroes" is used, is it used as an adage? If yes, what is its origin? In other words, why should we not meet our heroes?
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Usage of Too… to

In school, I learned too... to... as an expression, like I am too tired to stand or It is too early to sleep. But sometimes I want to say something like I think 30 days on trip is good, it is not ...
2
votes
2answers
37 views

Go out into the world - The Tempest?

A few years ago, we studied the London Paralympics Opening Ceremony with our English teacher. The following words (spoken by Sir Ian McKellen if I remember well) are still echoing in my mind: ...
0
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1answer
43 views

What does “weaker for it” mean?

What does "weaker for it" mean? Look at this context, for example: Those of us in the tourism sector have traditionally ignored this reality, and we are weaker for it. Thus, once the members of the ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Word or expression for guys who slept with the same woman(prostitute)?

Embarrassingly, in Korean, there is a slang word for this kind of relationship between guys. Might be translated as, "the husband of my wife's sister but only by the hole" ? I don't know how can I ...
0
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0answers
43 views

“The sketched one” [migrated]

I'm new in the English world. This is my questions: can I say the sentence "the sketched one" to indicate a draft version of a work? Is it correct in english?
3
votes
4answers
2k views

What's a noun for the group of people who you're very close to, such as family, friends, relatives, and significant others?

If I wanted to describe all of the people close to someone such as their close friends, family, relatives, and spouse/significant other, how would I do so with one noun? The simplest 'noun' that ...
29
votes
16answers
3k views

Is there any equivalent to this Persian proverb? “A bad or faulty item should inevitably be kept by its owner”

We use a proverb that implies "A bad property (i.e., a thing belonging to someone) or item should inevitably be tolerated/kept by its owner" when we want to say "This bad item won't be accepted by ...
15
votes
4answers
65k views

Where did the “unavailable” meaning of “Out of Pocket” come from? [duplicate]

The phrase "out of pocket" is often used in my office to mean "unavailable". I've found reference to this on the internet as well, but no obvious clue to where this meaning comes from. Where does ...
8
votes
1answer
261 views

A swallow does not make a summer … or a spring?

The famous proverb, one swallow does not make a summer means: A single fortunate event doesn’t mean that what follows will also be good. (ODO) the origin, according to the Phrase ...
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votes
0answers
36 views

How can I describe a relationship between two characters whereby one character has much control over the other? [closed]

I have three types of character relationships (all between two characters) that I need to be able to describe: 1) One character (who is in control) belittles the other (who seems to be defenceless) ...
2
votes
3answers
62 views

How can something be “set in stone”?

Something could be carved in stone, or etched in stone. Or it could be set in concrete or set in mortar. But if someone asked me to set something in stone, I wouldn't know how to do it, since stone ...
1
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2answers
63 views

My coworker and I were trying to solve a problem — we both tried two different things at once that only worked because of the other's attempt

Each solution to the problem we were trying to solve would have independently failed. We were each trying many different solutions at the same time. We each happened to try a solution that worked, but ...