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

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2
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4answers
164 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
19k 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
votes
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
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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
239 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?
0
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0answers
25 views

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

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 ...
1
vote
4answers
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? ...
2
votes
1answer
62 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
67 views

How to express difficulty selecting from equally appealing options [on hold]

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
26 views

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

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
80 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
2answers
1k views

What does “minute maid” mean?

I understand the meaning of both words, but I can't figure out what the expression means.
4
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4answers
8k views

What's another word for Guinea Pig, i.e. when you call someone a “test dummy”?

If someone is being used to test a new product or idea, they can be called a "guinea pig" (because Guinea Pigs are usually used by medical labs for testing). What is another term that would carry the ...
-1
votes
0answers
41 views

US English equivalent of “I'm sorry but this is actually not my fault” [on hold]

I was asked to write a review for a journal. There was not much time to the deadline, and no detailed instructions. So I examined the previous issues and found a review. I used the very same structure ...
28
votes
15answers
6k views

Friendly way of saying “I love you”

In Spanish, Te amo (I love you) has more romantic feeling than saying Te quiero. The last one is used as a friendly way of saying I love you, but without romantic purposes. However, if translated to ...
0
votes
1answer
16 views

can I write this? [on hold]

I have just started to write in English. Can you maybe help me with this expression: The most difficult thing about writing texts in English for me is how to begin. So I’ve been thinking about ...
1
vote
1answer
97 views

Help understanding a sentence/reference

The introductory paragraph of the book An Introduction to Mathematics, written for general audience by the great British mathematician Alfred North Whitehead goes like this: Chapter 1: THE ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

How do you say “more moneys”? [on hold]

If I give a bank note of 100 and get back three 20 bills and a bunch of coins, I have less money, but more physical units. How could one express it? Assume an informal setting. In other languages, ...
6
votes
1answer
149 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 ...
4
votes
6answers
752 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.
2
votes
4answers
81 views

What is it called when someone does an action they don't fully understand? [on hold]

For example, someone speaking and writing the English language, but not actually knowing how to use it properly.
2
votes
4answers
97 views

Word for a problem that goes away when a larger thing changes?

What is a word or expression for a problem has effectively gone away because of a larger change that makes the problem no longer a problem? I'm thinking "obviated" or "made unnecessary," but it ...
1
vote
0answers
69 views

My grandmother used an idiom “ ought have been a wheelbarrow”

My grandmother (who was of Irish descent)was born in the New England area of NSW, Australia. She used an idiom that she "ought have been a wheelbarrow". I think it meant something about a lack of ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

father to vs. father of

Would it be grammatically correct to write that "Mister X is father to a son and a daughter" or should one preferably choose the preposition "of" and write "Mister X is father of a son and a ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

If I feel that an answer isn't relevant, how do I express that? [duplicate]

If I feel that an answer isn't relevant to the given question, how can I express it more clearly? I am not able to come up with an appropriate word to describe what I wish to describe, a few ...
3
votes
5answers
157 views

Misuse of the verb allege?

I recently visited Jordan on a business trip. Read the following in a newspaper: Bleeding profusely, she pleaded with the alleged attacker, Mushataq, to take her to a hospital. My ...
0
votes
1answer
198 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
votes
1answer
308 views

What does 'quiet laughter' refer to?

Abraham Lincoln in his famous letter to his son's teacher asks the teacher to teach his son the secret of quiet laughter. Is this expression an oxymoron (like deafening silence)?
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4answers
131 views

What do you call a document that doesn't need a signature?

Is there a term describing a document that doesn't need to be signed in order to be valid? Edit after several answers and comments: An electronic banking system can generate documents for a user to ...
2
votes
2answers
37 views

How else can “he's really inconsistent” be expressed ? [on hold]

How else can "he's really inconsistent" be expressed ? For an article about a sports person.
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votes
1answer
48 views

How to express the quality of being fried? [on hold]

I want to express the good quality of being fried of some dumplings, the way their almost redness and crispiness etc... What words or expressions would you use to do that?
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Connotation of “intestinal fortitude”

I have heard the expression intestinal fortitude to mean courage or endurance to achieve something. Is there a connotation for stubbornness in this expression?
1
vote
3answers
104 views

When someone says, “I have no words,” what does it mean? [closed]

I contacted a former friend to tell her about a rough situation in my life, and she said to me, "I have no words." What did she mean?
2
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4answers
71 views

An idiom for “don't buy the first thing you see”

I'm looking for a colloquialism for: shop around a bit before you make your decision
0
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1answer
96 views

A word that describes stories with negative and unfulfilling endings?

I'm trying to find a word or phrase that describes the ending to a story where the outcome is generally negative and unfulfilling. At the end of these stories, the protagonist usually makes a decision ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Origin of “as all get out” meaning “to the utmost degree”

At reference.com, all get out is glossed as “in the extreme; to the utmost degree”, and at thefreedictionary.com as an unimaginably large amount; “British say ‘it rained like billyo’ where ...
5
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4answers
2k 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?
3
votes
4answers
18k views

Is the expression “Say your piece” or “Say your peace”?

I have googled this one and seen arguments for both sides. Say your piece would imply that you've had the opportunity to make your part of the statement on the subject. Say your peace would imply ...
2
votes
1answer
35 views

“Less than … it looked like …”

Is this expression common? Example: Less than a mansion it looked like a castle: crenelated roof, lancet windows, cylindrical towers with crosses on top. The reason I asked is because I got 0 ...
1
vote
1answer
26 views

Phrase experimentation - Marching a trough

I'm trying to touch up this part, and wondering if the above could work as a metaphor. This is my text right now: “George, it's me, .... I can't connect with my money!” he fired while marching ...
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0answers
61 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.
2
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2answers
39 views

He whose breath is taken

I have a character who sees something breathtaking, and I want to say that "his breath was taken by..." Most results I get for the expression end with "away", which I don't like. so, Can I say ...
-3
votes
0answers
42 views

In my cover letter: Express win-win situation for both sides [closed]

I am applying for a job. At the end of my cover letter I write: The positiona at [...] allows me to apply and expand my theoretical and technical knowledge in the area of [xxx] and [xy] ...
2
votes
6answers
68 views

Politician says he will vote in favor of legislation that he hasn't read and will change once elected

Can anyone come up with a few good synonyms/idioms/expressions for a person or politician that will say whatever he/she believes will get him/her the most votes? For example: He/she will vote in ...
0
votes
2answers
64 views

What does it mean to “gum the spoon”?

I recently found out about a new term. It's "gum the spoon". What does it mean? By the various contexts I found, I conjecture that it means to add saliva onto the spoon or to hold the spoon in one's ...
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5answers
2k views

“Vitriol” vs “caustic comments”

In choosing whether to use the expression He spewed his usual vitriol or He spewed his usual caustic comments does one carry more weight than the other?
0
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1answer
126 views

What does it mean “a piece of schlock”? [closed]

What does a piece of schlock mean in the following phrase? "You aren't in this game to write a piece of schlock."
6
votes
5answers
863 views

What is an expression for a priest not wearing official attire?

Is there an English expression for a priest or monk not wearing his religious attire? (any Christian doctrine, or even more general). Clarification: I'm trying to say that someone looks like an ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

Meaning and usage of “to be done for”

(Not to be confused with "to be done with stng") I've seen several times the expression "to be done for", not followed by anything. Here is an example not so far from what I could actually read or ...
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vote
6answers
80 views

Is there a phrase for - “making hard work of easy stuff”

I am looking for a phrase or a flowery way to say that he made hard work of what should have been a cakewalk. To give more context - sometimes the commentator says that the team should have finished ...