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

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5
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4answers
175 views

Is there a word for “colors in the order of the rainbow”?

I was just wondering if there is a word for having the colors in the same order as the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple)? (Like when words are in the order of the alphabet we say ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

From/Since time immemorial

Which is correct? 'From' or 'Since' when applied to 'time immemorial'? I have seen both around, and have a feeling it might be 'from', but would like to check.
2
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9answers
107 views

Word meaning “someone who does all the work”

Is there a word for someone who does all of the work? Or for the person who is exploited when someone else steals the credit?
6
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5answers
8k views

Preposition after “Good luck”.

I have seen different preposition after "Good luck". Example: Good luck on/with/for your new job Could you explain the possible differences of usage or meaning. Thank you.
4
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3answers
861 views

What does ‘alpha’ mean in the phrase, “A plea came for the President to be more alpha.”

I find the articles of New York Times’ columnist, Maureen Dowd, a treasure house of English expressions unfamiliar to non-native English learners. It’s stud with knotty expressions and new words to ...
1
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2answers
58 views

Make something great out of a bad situation

I'm looking for an expression similar to "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." This phrase means to make the best out of a bad situation. I am looking for a phrase for when someone did do ...
0
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3answers
53 views

word for someone who laughs things off?

Is there a word for someone who laughs things off? In other words, someone who does no work but when told to do something they just laugh it off.
0
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0answers
23 views

Is this an acceptable way of claiming emphasis?

I proposed this edit to a Stack Exchange answer. Because there were three rather lengthy block quotes, I thought bolding the most relevant sentences would be helpful to readers, especially if they ...
0
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1answer
21 views

On the use of “is not so […] but”

Is it proper English to say: "With method A, the goal is not so to perform task B but (rather) to address problem C." Are there other more appropriate/elegant ways to convey the same meaning?
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1answer
37 views

Meaning of the phrase “empty your pipe against the heel of your boot” [on hold]

Not being a native English speaker, I'm reading What to Talk About to improve my communication skills. While reading, I came across this phrase: empty your pipe against the heel of your boot. I ...
1
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1answer
79 views

What is the term for the unpleasant placement of the chair or sofa - in a way that you can be approached from behind?

What is the term for the unpleasant placement of the chair of sofa - in a way that you can be apporached from behind ? I've heard several times that you should place all the sofas and tables that ...
0
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1answer
48 views

I don't understand the difference between slightly and a bit? [on hold]

What is the difference in meaning or usage between slightly and a bit? For example, the sentence: I thought she was younger than me, but in fact she proved to be even slightly older. Is ...
11
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9answers
2k views

Does “is potentially faster” imply “is not slower”?

Someone said to me, "X is potentially faster than Y". Without any clarification at that point, I immediately assumed that the speaker thought that X was at least not slower than Y. It was revealed in ...
1
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1answer
95 views

Why do programmers say: “Did you meet the Spartans?”

English is not my maternal language and on development/IT forums, I've found the expressions "Did you meet the spartans?" or "I've met the spartans?". To set the context, they are speaking about a new ...
0
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2answers
53 views

What is the correct visualization of “first left down the hallway”?

I hear a lot of native speakers say something like this: Once in the arena take first left down the hallway Take your first left down the hallway. When you come to the second floor, make a left and ...
0
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1answer
101 views

Do people in Colorado typically say “attorney” or “lawyer?”

I'm interested to know if people in the Colorado area say attorney or lawyer more frequently.
0
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1answer
37 views

When advertisers say product X has N times less 'thing' than product Y, what do they mean [duplicate]

Here is an example: NESTLÉ a+ SLIM Milk has 15 times less fat than regular toned milk. Source:http://www.nestle.in/brands/nestleaplusslim So the question is this: say regular toned milk has 100 ...
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0answers
9 views

Question on using the phrase “draw on” in context.

Is this a proper use? "He is an icon in that he acts as a symbol to draw on."
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1answer
80 views

How to express combinations using “any […] by […]”

I'm writing a text in which I need to repeat combinations of k out of n - for example, "any 2 out of 6" - but I think something the likes of "any 6 by 2" would be more appropriate since the subject is ...
1
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1answer
40 views

“Correct” way to describe “looking at someone with new eyes” or similar?

I'm not a native English-speaker, so I'm not sure how to "correctly" phrase the following... When you learn something new about a person, than makes you look at him "with new eyes" - and perhaps ...
2
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6answers
143 views

A simile / metaphor for the concept that an entity is formed from a wide range of factors

I am trying to explain that health is not simply determined by biological factors. Instead it is shaped by a whole host of variables: lifestyle, education, culture, attitudes, socio-economic factors ...
2
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1answer
61 views

Is it possible to use “ every second Saturday” instead of “every other Saturday”?

Is it possible to use " every second Saturday" instead of "every other Saturday"? What about "every two Saturdays"? Is it same as "every other Saturday"?
0
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0answers
48 views

Is it correct/idiomatic to omit “once” in some cases?

Example: Once again, I traveled three hours just to sit alone. Again, I traveled three hours just to sit alone. We decided to go to the balcony. Once there, we leaned on the ...
0
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2answers
35 views

“What this thing was” vs “what was this thing” [duplicate]

Example: What this new plan was I had no idea. What was this new plan I had no idea. What's the difference between the two? Is one more common than the others?
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4answers
77 views

Expressions for “exact copy”

Example: The painting was a [...] copy of the original. Are there other common expressions other than exact and identical?
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1answer
51 views

“Buy on credit” - How to say it properly [on hold]

How do I properly express to the shop owner when I'm buying an item on credit. Should I say to her: "Hey, I'm buying this on credit." Or just: "On credit, okay?"
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16answers
6k views

Describing “not knowing what to do” (as a response to an unexpected event that happened)?

Is there a good word or a great expression that describes not knowing what to do (as a response to an unexpected event that happened)? Something uncanny happened, and I do not know what to do. ...
1
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2answers
283 views

What does refering to someone as a “garden shed” mean? [closed]

http://youtu.be/a9GgU3hzGGw?t=1m54s In the following video, a talk host watches an acting performance, and refers to the actor as a "garden shed". I've never heard that expression before. I am also ...
0
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3answers
794 views

How to describe the feeling you get when something exceedingly irritating, irritates you? [closed]

Got extremely annoyed today. But that's not the word I was looking for. I had to deliver a case of bottled water to some friends living in another dorm in our college. I have to tell you, the sound ...
11
votes
7answers
6k views

Meaning of the phrase “the wrong side of history”

I've just realized I don't understand what this phrase means. What does "Gaddafi is on the wrong side of history" mean? Does it mean he's about to die, or something else? Here's the relevant ...
4
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3answers
124 views

What does “in the name of…” actually mean?

Whats the meaning of the phrase; "In the name of"? For example : whatever you ask in my name, Ask in my name. Oxford actually has an entry for the phrase, but it doesn't seem to match how it's used ...
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1answer
57 views

Time reference and express attractivness of a fitting job role in cover letter?

I found a job ad of a job which is perfect for me. I have the following sentences: After my studies and acquiring the IBM certificates I am now searching for a position as an programmer. The ...
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1answer
38 views

English word for this specific behavior [closed]

behavior of a girl friend when she suddenly stops talking, did not reply and ignore you. what word we can use for her this behavior?
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0answers
36 views

Send someone away without sounding harsh [closed]

Somebody came to visit me for 3(three) days but till now, one(1) week after, he is still in my house. How can I ask him to go without sounding harsh?
0
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2answers
53 views

Give some examples using “food, cuisine, dish, menu and ingredient” [closed]

I have troubles using some words about food and I cannot feel the subtle differences of their usage. I'd like to get some help with examples using these various words. Food Cuisine dishes menu meal ...
0
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1answer
40 views

Can I say “X decreases the contribution of our report”?

I'd like to mention that the contribution of my writing report will be less if I do not describe about previous research. Is it possible to say that "it decrease the contribution of our report if I ...
2
votes
2answers
219 views

expression of the form “I wouldn't trust them with X”

The following expressions are idiomatic: 1) "I wouldn't touch Z with a 10-foot pole", meaning the speaker wouldn't want to be involved with Z in any way. 2) "S couldn't find his way out of a paper ...
23
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1answer
3k 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 sauce (Spanish) = willow triviale (Italian) = vulgar parentes (Portuguese) = relatives slim ...
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0answers
56 views

meaning of “Better Thanksgiving than never”?

"Better Thanksgiving than never." I heard this expression first around 3:27 at the front part of the Gossip girl season 1 episode 09. How about the expression? Isn't there any problem to ...
4
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4answers
64 views

Is there a term for extracting a cultural element from its originating environment and placing it in a foreign and contrived context?

I have a nagging feeling there’s a word or term for this practice. The example that lead to this question has to do with a food truck. A bar/restaurant in my city has apparently had an actual truck ...
0
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1answer
58 views

“That strikes one for me”…what's it mean?

What's the "one" mean here? Is this taken from baseball? Can the idiom be grammatically used in other persons besides the first?
1
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2answers
52 views

Proper usage of “passed” vs “passed away”

The current popular verb for someone who has died is to say they "passed." It sounds incorrect to me -- isn't the proper terminology "passed-away"? I've noticed that people on TV and people under 30 ...
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0answers
24 views

Translating from English to Portuguese [closed]

What is the translation for: "He dug us out of the snow." "He kept us in hay."
0
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1answer
46 views

Why does “not a one” sound incorrect, but “not a single one” sounds okay?

To me, not a one sounds incorrect, but not a single one sounds okay. Is there any grammar to support why my ears weep at the sound of the former phrase, but not the latter?
1
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4answers
249 views

Looking for an expression that sounds worse than “cardboard” to describe blandness of a food

How would you exaggeratedly express food that tastes nothing to sound even worse than "It tastes like cardboard"? I want a word that sounds beyond a average man can imagine. "Shit" would have its ...
1
vote
2answers
118 views

What is the difference between “extended from” and “extending from”?

Scenario 1: part A is extended from part B Scenario 2: part A is extending from part B Is there any difference between these two descriptions? Would any one so kind to help me about this? Thanks in ...
206
votes
37answers
81k views

Is there a non-sexual phrase for sleeping with someone?

The phrase "sleeping with someone" often means "having sex." What is the origin of this sexual connotation? Is there a non-sexual equivalent of this phrase to express sleeping with someone without ...
0
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1answer
47 views

What does “Slash the life” mean?

What does the expression "Slash the life" mean? I'm Brazilian and I'm trying to understand what is the meaning of this expression, since I've found it in a music piece that seems to have a positive ...
0
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0answers
47 views

Can the adjective “sexist” be replaced by “chauvinistic” in this context?

Can chauvinistic denote the same meaning as sexist in this sentence? The nature of these rituals generates a sexist mentality among the new members.