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

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How to express “I got to know about this from someone” in a better way?

In verbal communication, I can say "I got to know that our analysis is complete from David". But, in written communication, how will I express the same ? I found that "learnt" is used most commonly i....
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19 views

Is it correct to use “I have something on hold”?

For example, some people have offered me price, and I am waiting for last person so I tell him Can you offer your price quickly? Because I have some offers on hold, that I have to reply to those ...
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29 views

More general term than “uncanny valley”

I'm looking for a shorter way to convey the meaning of The phenomenon of something being found saliently disturbing due to its imperfect similarity to (but little compatibility with) something ...
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3answers
34 views

The Usage Of “Coming Along”

I have a question about the viability of this phrase. "We were hungry and when the food came along it didn't last" My biggest concern is how does the "Coming along" expression can and can't be used ...
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formal expression in website

we have a website and want to remind people who want to register must show his/her true name, because the name which registered will connect with the bank account for payment later. so if my ...
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5answers
13k views

What is the origin of idiom “Keep your hair on”?

I had a conversation with a coworker and he told me to keep my hair on. My first understanding of the idiom was that he will do something so fast that, if I was wearing a wig or something it will fly ...
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3answers
46 views

Is “do for” always inherently positive, compared to “do to”?

Compare the sentences: After all he has done for me, he needs my help. After all he has done to me, he needs my help. The first one implies that the subject has done good things for the speaker and ...
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What does 'knee-jerk reaction' mean?

What does knee-jerk reaction mean? From NYT article: Another senior Socialist, who declined to be identified, said the party could not afford knee-jerk reactions.
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How informal exactly is “good stuff”?

I work at a large financial services company in Germany where we have rather formal ways. We have a manager who frequently uses the expression "good stuff" to comment on progress and results of ...
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Looking for an English word or expression for not having a real boss in charge

There is a Hungarian word fejetlenség, literally, having no head, in the state of having no head, meaning a situation where a state or an organisation is an unruly mess. Is there an English ...
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27 views

Post idioms and explain their origins [on hold]

I'm new here so Hello to each and everyone of you. I don't know whether this site is only dedicated to asking questions; therefore my post may not pertain here. If so, someone will surely delete it. ...
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Is is right to say “to do a medical exam”?

Here's the case: At the appointment the doctor asks the patient to _______ the (say) heart exam. The patient goes to the hospital to check if everything is ok, and asks the staff to ______ the exam (...
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Is there a word for someone who is usually in the minority?

My original question was "Is there a legitimate word for 'a balancer'?" but I think it's a little hard to understand... Let's just say there is a person, and most of the time, he is in the minority. ...
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How to avoid the word “that” in a reception history

I'm writing a reception history and find myself expressing the sources as "X said Y about Z" or "X said that Z was Y" (mainly the latter). I can vary the verb and invert the sentence, but how else can ...
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0answers
45 views

How do you politely say in this situation? [on hold]

Our company was supposed to undertake tasks and place in the position as contact desk for a certain event、but the negotiations ended up with being broke off. A customer is currently contacting us ...
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1answer
37 views

Why is it “study the [instrument]” instead of “study playing the [instrument]”?

Musicians often say things like "I study the violin", but "I majored in violin performance". It seems to me that it should be "I study violin performance" to both match with the thing actually being ...
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Feminine version of “gentleman and a scholar”

Although I've often heard use of the phrase: You are a gentleman and a scholar I have never heard a version appropriate for the fairer sex. I guess you could say a lady and a scholar?
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Expression to describe self-inflicted fall from a position of strength

Twelve months ago, Mr David Cameron — the British Prime Minister in government alliance with a smaller party — won a surprise outright victory in a general election. This put him in a position of ...
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How do you describe someone who can hear you or see you but pretends or ignores your presence while you are trying to get his or her attention ?

you are trying to get somebody's attention by waving your hand or saying hello! but he or she ignores you; I am looking for an Idiom or word to describe the situation or attitude of that person.
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“I would not prefer to” or “I would prefer not to”?

(1) Is there any difference/nuance (in mood, meaning, or something else) between "I would not prefer to" or "I would prefer not to"? (2) Which is the more/most common in usage?
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How to say that foods with too strong taste can kill the flavor of the wine?

Recently I had a dinner with my friends and I wanted to say that, "The food's taste is so strong that it kills the flavor of the wine." Are there expressions with the similar meaning but also with ...
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14answers
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Is there a slang word or phrase for someone who is always playing dirty tricks or unpleasant practical jokes on his friends and acquaintances?

context: He will surreptitiously introduce a frog into your handbag. You leave your car keys on a desk, he sees it and hides it somewhere. He may offer you M&M type candies that will leave your ...
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Is there a word to describe someone who often inaccurately uses words?

Or a word to describe the act of inaccurately using complicated or unusual words (often in an attempt to sound more intelligent)? I considered 'bombastic' but it doesn't have that quality of ...
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How toffee-nosed is “toffee-nosed”?

Not being a speaker of British English, I was much amused on discovering the new adjective toffee-nosed. The American Heritage dictionary doesn't list it at all, but I found a definition in Collins: ...
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Is there a word or phrase for someone who strongly disapproves of smoking, drinking and gambling?

It would be used in a sentence like this: Let's not invite your Uncle Peter. He is (a) ......, you know, and he would feel very uncomfortable among our friends. I'm not looking for lists. I'm ...
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Is there a word or phrase for someone who always tries to get more than he needs or deserves?

This person always tries to get more than he/she needs, especially gratuities, gifts and souvenirs. Looking or sounding ridiculous is no barrier for him/her.
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Noun or Adjective for someone who is good in managing resources and/or money

I am looking to describe someone who is good at keeping track of hir resource use and goods usage behaviour. This can be either for monetary currencies, but also for food, material or other ...
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450 views

Describe a person who brags about difficulties

I am looking for a commonly used phrase, idiom, or simile that describes people who like to talk (brag?) about their difficulties, especially self inflicted or easily avoidable ones, as if having ...
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3answers
100 views

Expressions for someone who likes doing things alone and doesn't like help

What expressions are there for someone who likes to be alone and independent? "Lone runner" is what comes to my mind, but I don't think I've really heard it, to be honest. Could anyone help?
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BrEng expressions to describe a man who is becoming stupid

I'm searching for British English expressions describing a person who starts to be stupid, crazy or foolish. I mean something like the idiom to lose one's head and epithets like: You fool! Are there ...
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23answers
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A stronger word than “snob”

I recently stayed at a charming boarding house and had the pleasure of meeting one of the most curious people I have ever come across in my life. He was polite, and yet standoffish. He reminded me of ...
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Does “spot inspection” make sense?

We have a lot of machines located in many places in our site, and we need to define the activity that inspecting the machine running status regularly by plan in field, does the "spot inspection" a ...
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More eloquent idiom/expression for the phrase “cut it at the roots/source to prevent the problem from growing/escalating ”

There's nothing particularly wrong with the phrase that's in the title except I figure there may be some better sounding alternative or something more pleasing to the ears. Example usage: We have to ...
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the expression is roughly equivalent to “ Cover your breast over the baby's mouth”

In my own language, the "Cover your breasts over the baby's mouth" is such a lovely and interesting idiom. It's derived from the thing that is: a baby cries very much and the mother is too busy with ...
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'passive' vs 'active' dietary therapy

How do I explain that my questionnaire included range levels of active dietary therapy and passive dietary therapy? is it even correct to say "passive dietary therapy"? if not, how do I say it ...
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Using 'On the night' [on hold]

When I was on my English academy I was told that to refer to something that happens at night I should use 'at' and not 'on'. However, there is a Dire Strait album called 'On the night' so that title ...
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What do we call “easily readable books”?

I just wonder if there is a good expression to refer to an "easily readable book", like a simple short story or pocket book?
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Is there a phrase for “something good that doesn't last long”?

In Arabic, the expression "Summer cloud" is usually used to mean that "this is not going to last for a long time" or "it won't last as long as you think it will". Is there an equivalent phrase in ...
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Is there a phrase to say that someone's hidden intentions are revealed in his/her talk or movements?

Is there an English expression to say "Le jupon dépasse" to express the fact that someone's hidden intentions are revealed in his/her talk or movements?
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Word for turning a situation around on someone

Let me describe the situation: My wife has been having issues with a certain employee at work...long story short, this other employee now goes out of her way to try and exclude/snub/cold shoulder my ...
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2answers
59 views

Word for different office/work “cultures”

I am looking for a word to describe differences between two groups of professional fields. Our small company is having a competition for best outside-of-work pictures. There are about 10 people in ...
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Is there any difference between the meanings of “phonetic translation”, “phonetic transcription”, and “transliteration”? [on hold]

I was asked to provide phonetic translation for legal name (as original characters are none-Latin characters), does it mean I must make transliteration (or phonetic transcription)?
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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 ...
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Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people?

Was H. L. Mencken the first to say 'Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.", or was he paraphrasing another comentator?
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Word or phrase for the moment/reason/motive you reveal to someone why you had acted a certain way prior to parting ways

A massive cliche in action movies (especially James Bond), but is there actually a word for that moment when the evil villain reveals their deadly plot to the action hero before (usually attempting ...
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3answers
2k views

Why do the words ducky and jake mean fine or satisfactory?

Even the Merriam-Webster dictionary acknowledges both ducky and jake as acceptable terms meaning fine or satisfactory and it dates the word ducky back to 1897 and jake to 1914. Does anyone know how ...
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If someone has the right to something, how could I say in this situation

If someone has the right to something, how could I say in this situation. My client would like an organiser to cover flight ticket fare for business class due to physical health problem. According to ...
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What's the more common way to refer to a road with 180° curves?

A hairpin road is a road with hairpin turns or bends. According to Wikipedia: A hairpin bend , named for its resemblance to a hairpin/bobby pin, is a bend in a road with a very acute ...
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Is this correct? : “Tenji that was, died in his sisters arms.” (Kind of like 'powers that be') Also is 'have a claim to' correct' or 'hold a claim to'

Full quote for context "I have no claim to life, yet I walk. I have no claim to valor, yet I fight. I have no claim to love, yet I mourn. I am not the dragon, for Tenji Minamoto that was, died in his ...
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Origin of “pull your socks up”?

I was pulling my socks up this morning, in the literal sense of the term, when I started to wonder about why pull your socks up came to mean what it does:- to make an effort to improve your work ...