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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (5)

1
vote
1answer
32 views

Replacement for the annoying habit of saying “I was like”

I am new here, so my first question would be to ask about an annoying habit that I, as well as many other people out there, seem to have... During the telling of a story I will often say this one ...
4
votes
1answer
99 views

Describing a group of people who lie down in a public place to send a political message

I was walking through the square, and I came upon a group of people all lying on the ground. Each had a print out on their chest with a political message, and nobody was moving. What word or phrase ...
-2
votes
1answer
46 views

How to express “Help someone secretly”

One of my friend always helps me but does not want me to know that he helps me. Is there a word or phrase to describe this secret helping? Also, if someone wanted to thank the secret helper, is there ...
1
vote
2answers
51 views

Do “in a black study” and “in a brown study” mean the same?

I encountered relatively often the expression "to be in a brown study" but I can find nothing about the "black" version of the same expression. I found it in William Hope Hodgson's The Island of the ...
0
votes
2answers
55 views

A simple question about syntax

I guess this would be a pretty simple question to answer. Is this sentence correct: The player appears to have not connected. I am having my doubts about the appears to have not part. P.S.: Not ...
8
votes
8answers
1k views

What is meant by “same difference”?

Unless you are comparing two different sets of items to then have a couple of differences and the differences are the same, I do not get it. This would be analogous to: 12-9=3, 7-4=3. Here we have ...
1
vote
2answers
86 views

Professional term for “Apples to apples” comparison

Is there a term which would sound more fitting in an academic or professional setting for describing a comparison between two things highlighting the similarity of the measurement/comparison process?
0
votes
3answers
87 views

Noun to describe a “typo-filled” letter

I am changing my e-mail signature on my phone to read: Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S4. Please do not mistake my brevity and/or misspellings for apathy and/or ignorance. I am looking for a ...
0
votes
3answers
53 views

What is the correct expression: “the estimate number” or “the estimated number?”

I have been looking for a place that tells me which expression is correct, but I didn't get any satisfactory answer. Google returns 2,060,000 results for "the estimate number of *", and 73,200,000 ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

What's the point in saying “I could care less”? [duplicate]

To care less would mean the caring is more, having room to care less.
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Is this proper use

I was watching the movie Man of Steel and in it is this passage: "There's only one way this ends Cal; either you die, or I do." Now this sounds wrong to me. There's two outcomes. "There's only on ...
0
votes
2answers
609 views

What does the expression “as bad as it is” mean?

What does the expression "as bad as it is" mean? Does it mean on top of that for e.g. as bad something (accident or something like that) is, something similarly bad? I have been sick all week. As ...
15
votes
9answers
2k views

Is there a word or phrase meaning to plant my idea in someone else’s mind?

Is there a word or phrase that means to plant my idea in someone else’s mind so they think it is their own idea? Just like what happened in the movie Inception.
1
vote
0answers
36 views

Words describing extent/ degree of 'jeopardy?' [on hold]

I am writing a letter to describe the future of a country is in serious jeopardy, in the sense that all cultures, economies, rules of games and so on will be lost in a second. Which adjectives I can ...
3
votes
6answers
1k views

Usage of “ladies and gentlemen” to address two people of diiferent sex

It seems to be not quite logical to use the traditional address "ladies and gentlemen" when there are only a single lady and a single gentleman in the room, not counting for the person who is ...
-4
votes
0answers
26 views

meaning of “weeds” in english phrase [on hold]

i read this in "calvin and hobbes", calvin said: he'd pay us a dollar to pull weeds out of the front walk. (note: i don't think if it is a same weed of marijuana.) what is weeds here? and what is ...
7
votes
4answers
661 views

Why does to “take a powder” mean to run away or to leave?

From Flappers to Rappers: American youth slang by Dr. Thomas Dalzell cites "take a powder" as a 1930s expression meaning to run away or to leave. Does anyone have any ideas why taking a powder would ...
1
vote
5answers
88 views

English idiom equivalent to “Like a deaf man at a wedding procession”

I have been trying laboriously to find an equivalent idiom or a catchy phrase to the one we have in Arabic مثل الأطرش بالزقة which simply means, “He is like a deaf man at a wedding procession”. It is ...
0
votes
2answers
62 views

What does “One can easily give it a miss” mean?

I read this in a movie review: One can easily give it a miss. What does it mean? And what is this type of construction called? (I'd like to investigate them on Google.) Thank you! (Please ...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

Name for setup and reversal style of writing?

What is the name of an expression where two noun/verb sentences are reversed in the second half of the expression? Here's an example: People were created to be loved. Things were created to be ...
1
vote
2answers
104 views

Meaning of “balls to the wall” [duplicate]

According to this article's first two sentences (which I find a bit confusingly formulated), there are two different meanings to the expression. No way out and no options other than a single, not ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

“Forbidden to” vs “Forbidden from”?

Which sounds better (and where do you live?) I am American, and I think "forbidden from" sounds better, although both "forbidden to" and "forbidden from" are considered standard usage. "The banks ...
5
votes
3answers
7k views

Origins and meaning of “can you not”

What is the origin and meaning of the phrase can you not? To my ear, it has an archaic tone, but searches yield entries in the urban dictionary, along with one quote from Sense and Sensibility. Its ...
8
votes
6answers
787 views

Why “horseback riding” and not simply “horse riding”?

As a German horse riding seems to be to the point. Why is it horseback riding in English? Isn't it obvious that you ride on the back of the horse? Is there a difference between British and American ...
6
votes
6answers
367 views

An expression meaning the feeling you get seeing something so beautiful it hurts [closed]

I'm trying to find an expression (a single word, not a phrase) that means simply that! I'm sure I can't be the only person to feel this. I'm sure I heard it mentioned in a radio programme once but ...
-1
votes
1answer
53 views

Word for someone who has a fear for not getting what he believes he's due? [closed]

There is all different kinds of phobias. What is a phobia for someone who fears that he won't get what he believes he's due?
0
votes
2answers
63 views

The true meaning of “did not immediately respond to requests for comment” [closed]

This expression is included in almost any negative news story - stock price decline, corporate scandal, criminality, you name it - but to me, it's frustratingly vague. I see these as "weasel words" - ...
2
votes
3answers
58 views

Words or phrases for 'credit takers'

Let say, A and B work in the same office. Every time A talks to B about his idea or working style, B always takes that idea to his boss and acts as if it was his own idea. What are words, phrases or ...
-1
votes
2answers
617 views

Build a house, plant a tree, father a son

What is the origin of the phrase (and the principle) "build a house/home, plant a tree, father/raise a son/child" and its derivation (perhaps) "write a book, plant..."?
-1
votes
3answers
177 views

What does “tearing your résumé apart” mean? [closed]

I gave my résumé to a person and she replied back as follows: When you look at the below list of issues, you’ll probably think I'm tearing your résumé apart. I guess I am, in a way. But, I ...
-5
votes
1answer
33 views

EXPANSION of IT MEANS [closed]

IT FULL FORM AND WHAT IS MEANT BY IT? i want to it company full form what is meant by it it means a information technology or another meaning is there show me the correct answer
0
votes
0answers
41 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)?
4
votes
3answers
2k views

What does “not for nothing” mean?

Is the meaning of the phrase "Not for nothing" literal, or idiomatic, and if idiomatic, what does the idiom mean? If you have a reference more reliable than urban dictionary, please share it. Here are ...
0
votes
3answers
75 views

Word or expression for someone who intentionally says false statements to bring someone else down?

Someone who intentionally says false statements and/or facts about someone else (directly related to and/or about them) with whom that person is in a conversation (with or without other people ...
1
vote
0answers
29 views

Better formulation of “technology helps us to create a better world” [closed]

If we (as mankind) want to achieve something like: Eliminating poverty Allowing as many people as possible to live their lives how they want to then, in my opinion, technology offers many ...
3
votes
7answers
253 views

What do you call someone who always puts blame on others?

No matter what had really happened, this person will always blame and find an appearing logical/thought out way/strategy to it that, fundamentally, it's the other person who was the cause for all the ...
0
votes
2answers
35 views

“Word for word” or “word by word”? [closed]

I have an idiom that is used in a sentence; which is correct? You are asked to copy this letter word by word. You are asked to copy this letter word for word. Which is correct?
-1
votes
2answers
43 views

Expression and phrase [closed]

Is it grammatically correct to say "I do not have as much optimism as I'd like to have."? - A statement issued by Speaker Joehner and reported by the Hill on 7/18/2014.
0
votes
3answers
74 views

Does this expression makes sense? [closed]

W : I'm impressed at how expertly you played that piano sonata. M : Sorry. I'm still just an apprentice. When the man says "sorry", what does this exactly mean in this circumstances? Is it ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

How to use the idiom “in force”

I'm wondering how to correctly use the idiom "in force". Often "active" can be used instead, but are there any situations in which "in force" can be used and "active" cannot, or vice versa? More ...
0
votes
4answers
97 views

The “Oh to have…” expression [closed]

What does "Oh to have..." mean, as in "Oh to have a song in a national campaign" in Jon Lajoie's song "Please Use This Song"? Can somebody explain the origin and meaning of this expression? In what ...
1
vote
5answers
3k views

Is “mother tongue” exactly the same as “native language”?

Someone just told me "mother tongue" is exactly the same as "native language". I may be wrong, but I think the first one is not a good translation. Am I wrong?
3
votes
4answers
150 views

What to call it or someone who easily laughs about something which isn't funny? [closed]

This kind of person always or easily laughs, not because something is so funny, but because that person is easily e.g. nervous, agitated, has a short attention span, bit retarded and hasn't really got ...
0
votes
5answers
58 views

A word that comes close to “something that needs to improve/would benefit the end result if you'd do it differently/more efficiently”

Is there a better word to describe what the supervisor says in this examle? Someone has just finished a, by materials built, project and is presenting it to his supervisor. This person is very proud ...
2
votes
1answer
104 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
votes
1answer
58 views

Are “to flee from” and “to run away from” interchangeable?

The verb "to flee" means "to run away" but are they interchangeable in every aspect? I'm kind of confused which one to use. It seems to me that the use of the verb flee could be more elaborate when ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

What’s the original version of “I see, said the blind man as he picked up his hammer and saw”? [duplicate]

What is the original saying of I see said the blind man as he picked up his hammer and saw.
2
votes
3answers
385 views

Is 'I had it sent him' an appropriate sentence?

(1) I had it sent to him. (2) I had it sent him. I thought the first one is right, and the second is wrong. Yet Google Books has the second example’s graph. Is the second also an appropriate ...
4
votes
2answers
38 views

Name for the cognitive bias of seeming to not need something when you have it, but needing it when you don't?

An example of what I'm talking about is buying a snow blower because the past few winters have been very snowy, only to find that the next several winters after buying have hardly any snow, i.e. "it ...
5
votes
2answers
848 views

I am cutting it kinda close here!

I have heard the phrase "I am cutting it kinda close!". Why say "cutting it"? When we are not cutting anything here. Why can't we just say "I am getting late" and its like?