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36 views

What does idiom 'hippo in a haystack' mean?

I am aware of idiom 'needle in a haystack' which means something hard to get. Is 'hippo in a haystack' opposite of it?
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3answers
44 views

what will be a good artistic world or phrase for close cooperation for mutual success

what will be a good artistic word or phrase for close cooperation for mutual success.The cooperation of two parties (one with stronger power, second with weaker power, but huge dedication) where each ...
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0answers
51 views

What's the meaning of “I+verb+not+object1+the less, but+object2+more”?

What's the meaning of: I verb not object 1 the less, but object 2 more. Example: I love not man the less, but Nature more.. I've searched Google about the meaning of it, but unfortunately ...
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2answers
57 views

Is this usage of “account for” correct?

Can "account for" mean "take into consideration", such as in the sentence "I forgot to account for the time it would take to drive here, so I'm late"? Oddly, I couldn't find such usage in any ...
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3answers
218 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?
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2answers
60 views

What does “in no time” mean? [closed]

What does the following sentence mean? The trip can be made in no time.
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3answers
79 views

The meaning of “own a room”

What does "can still own a room" mean in the following newspaper article? Ichiro Suzuki sipped green tea, elicited a few laughs and turned the tables on a media member with three questions of his ...
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2answers
41 views

Confusions about the definitions of “draw on”

The idiom draw on as I know has many definitions. Two of which are to approach and to pass gradually This can be very confusing because the same phrase has two opposite meanings. Here's an example ...
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0answers
118 views

Meaning of “Back on their heels” [closed]

In a townhall meeting, President Obama used the expression of "being back on heels": Now, it's no secret that unions have been back on their heels a little bit over the last several decades. ...
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1answer
87 views

Is “In any case, with 99.9% probability, …” correct?

I'm wondering whether the meaning of the idiom "in any case" still has a hint of "in every single case". I would like to say We expect an R² of 0.79 (in any case within 0.75 ± 0.15, with 99.9 % ...
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4answers
145 views

Idiom for preparing very very thoroughly. ( take a lot of stuff for doing smth)

In Russian we have: Why did you take a lot of clothes and equipment? Are going to go to war? But what about English idiom?
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2answers
282 views

What is a “kitchen sink approach”?

What does "kitchen sink approach" mean in this context? Where some startups focus on the minimum viable product, (name of startup) has gone for a kitchen sink approach that approximates the ...
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1answer
61 views

meaning of 'under the fedora'

"It's under the fedora. Wanta run down and look at it with me?" A police asks his private detective friend to come along to the murder site to take a look. (from 'Killer in the rain' by Raymond ...
2
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1answer
81 views

Meaning and derivation of “so-and-so would know from X”

A couple of times I've seen a phrase much like "that's horrible coding — and I would know from horrible coding!" This seems extremely peculiar to me (if only because of how ungrammatical it is), ...
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4answers
98 views

What does “come to terms with” mean?

The Free Dictionary defines it as "to start to accept and deal with a difficult situation," but I don't know what accept means in this expression. Does accept mean to welcome the difficult ...
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2answers
421 views

Can the phrase “take it with a grain of salt” have four different ways to get to the same meaning? [duplicate]

Frequently in my workplace, when some bad news comes in, the advice take this with a grain of salt is used in such a context to mean choose for yourselves how to interpret this but don't consider it ...
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1answer
140 views

Synonymous idiom for: You can't run before you can walk

I'm looking for an alternative way of saying "You can't run before you can walk." This is equivalent to saying "you can't take on higher level things before you have mastered the basics". I am ...
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1answer
79 views

Telephone as an idiom [closed]

Is "telephone" considered an idiom? If we pull apart the meanings, "tele" means "far;" or "distant" and "phone" means "sound." So, it would, on the face of it, mean "far-sound." But that is not ...
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1answer
72 views

Using Verbpathy as a Tool to Connect with English [closed]

Does anyone use the tool of "verbpathy" in their own English studies? This is a device that lets the language learner connect with the positive, negative, or neutral aspect of a word, phrase or ...
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2answers
263 views

“No less than” vs. “None less than”

Is the expression none less than similar to the idiom no less than? Which form is preferable to use in the following example: None less than the country's president attended today's meeting. OR ...
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1answer
153 views

“No less than” idiom root

I know that "No less than somebody/something" means that this somebody/something is important. What I don't understand is why this idiom means so!! What I literally understand is that "No less than" ...
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2answers
204 views

How far (technically) is a “stone's throw?”

A "stone's throw" means a short distance. Questions: (1) How far--technically-- is a stone's throw in terms of its usage? (i.e., Can you use it for a few feet as well as a mile away?) (2) Is it ...
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2answers
241 views

What does “To get on a high horse” mean? [closed]

Here is the phrase: I'm going to get on a high horse here and say that it worries me that developers think client-side rendering is faster. I think I can understand the meaning of the whole phrase, ...
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1answer
47 views

Meaning of “Noble of us” idiom in context

It would be noble of us to not revel in it, though. The sentence above has some idioms that I don't know the whole meaning of the sentence. What dos it say? Or when such a sentence could be ...
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2answers
79 views

What does it mean to say, “It's only who knows when I will respond” [closed]

I would like to know what does "It's only who knows when I will respond." mean? Is this an idiom? Background: She is pretty much busy with her work lately so she seldom replies to him. She said, "I ...
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1answer
32 views

What is the meaning of “less a function of” in the following sentence

Given such a view of thought and rationality, human performance and experience that take form in nondiscursive modes of conception and expression are regarded as nonrational, somehow less a ...
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4answers
632 views

Meaning and origin of “put a wrinkle on one's horn”

While investigating a recent EL&U question (What does "throw a wrinkle" mean?), I came across the unusual expression “put a wrinkle on [or in] one’s horn [or horns].” I have three ...
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1answer
148 views

What is the meaning of “a winged victory”?

What is the meaning of "a winged victory"? Also, is this an idiom? Thank you
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2answers
144 views

“Quite a combo” - meaning

I found this phrase in comment for one song - "I really like this song, and i really like how diverse shawns family is, thats quite a combo." It seems, that it's a some kind of idioms. I really ...
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2answers
338 views

Formal/informal word for “something which is hard to deal with”?

Is there any formal/informal word which possibly reflects the meaning of "something which is hard to deal with"?
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2answers
295 views

What is the meaning of the phrase “picking up friction”?

Earlier today, I used the phrase "picking up friction" thinking it was a common saying. Later intrigued by the possible history of the phrase, a Google search turned up pretty much no results for the ...
0
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1answer
81 views

What does “bodded ill” mean? [closed]

Quoted from here: "Not to make an impression but anyone that bodded ill with the Duchess, did not sit with with Ealora" I was wondering what the expression "bodded ill" means. Thank you. P.S. As ...
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2answers
99 views

What is the meaning of the phrase “cut five sides in [something]”?

I was browsing the Elvis Presley page on Wikipedia when I read a strange sentence: During a two-week leave in early June, Presley cut five sides in Nashville. I've never heard this phrase ...
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2answers
122 views

implication behind “can I ask you to …”

Is there any difference between these two sentences ? (1) Can I ask you to ...[do something]? (2) Can you ... [do something]? Eg., if my boss were to say to me "Can I ask you to pick up the ...
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1answer
66 views

what's a close synonym for “ sorted for Es and whiz”?

what's a close synonym for "sorted for Es and whiz"? and what does it mean in general? When And how can we use in conversation? is it polite or impolite or impolite?
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2answers
106 views

what does “ Plant Your arse” mean?

What Does " Plant your arse" mean? for example in greeting? And Is it Rude and offensive? or is politely? or if its meaning changes in different situations please explain. And please provide me some ...
0
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1answer
228 views

Why is a dead man like a plumber's candle? [closed]

Here I read the following about a man who had just died: He was the ghastly pale of a plumber’s candle. What exactly is meant? As far as I can google, a plumber's candle is just a shorter and ...
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1answer
198 views

What does “shrinking beneath someone's feet” mean?

I just watched Batman Rises on HBO, and I didn't get it when Bruce Wayne spoke about the Cat Woman. He said, "But the ground's shrinking beneath her feet". It seems like it may mean "no one can ...
7
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1answer
274 views

Where did we get “buster” as in “Look here, buster”?

Americans, at least, have for some time used buster in speech or dialogue as a generic form of address. It has a range of tonalities, from light to affectionate to grimly confrontational. Listen, ...
3
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2answers
144 views

“get a coating”

I recently saw the expression "get a (real) coating" in this book review: Swales, perhaps unsurprisingly, is the only guy who gets a real coating, but only in passing But I just cannot figure ...
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4answers
13k views

What does “If wishes were fishes we'd all swim in riches” mean?

What does "If wishes were fishes we'd all swim in riches" mean? This phrase doesn't make any sense to me though I do understand the point it's making. But by the logic of the phrase, if a wish = a ...
0
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1answer
656 views

Where does the expression “carrot and stick” come from? [duplicate]

I thought it was a Tantalus-like metaphor, suggesting a donkey will walk toward a carrot dangling from a stick forever, given the stick is tied to the donkey. It seems to be used as reward versus ...
2
votes
3answers
398 views

Alternatives of 'a snowball's chance in hell'

I am looking for a different, common English idiom that expresses the same thing as a snowball's chance in hell. My teacher says I use this expression too much, and that it is not appropriate for ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Meaning of “get a serious reaming”

As a non-native reader, I stumbled upon the meaning of "get a serious reaming" and it seemed to be an idiomatic expression for being punished. At least the first Google matches seem to suggest this. ...
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3answers
1k views

Meaning of “for the day” [closed]

I Google'd "for the day" but it seems that it is not precisely an idiom. Does it mean during day time or for a whole day? Here is the sentence where I found that expression: Now I could take a ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

What is the difference between “here goes” and “here it goes”?

I’m wondering what the difference between here goes and here it goes is. When something is going down and I want to express my feeling of “I’ll make it!”, which expression is correct? For example, ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Why the “give” in “I don't give a flying f***”?

I’m not a native speaker. I know that I don't give a flying fuck means "I don’t care", but how did it come to mean that? Specifically, why does the verb give mean "don’t care" here?
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3answers
135 views

“to have merchant's ears”

Is the expression "to have merchant's ears" an idiom or a recognized adage, meaning "pretending not to understand"? Please explain with examples or provide a better idiomatic phrase.
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2answers
49 views

'Took a lot of breakin' down' in Yellow Slugs by E.C. Bailey

He gazed at Bell with large, solemn eyes. “His wife! He’d schooled her thorough. Ever hear anything more miserably appealing than her on her dear babies and poor old Mrs. Wiven? Not often? No. Took ...
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2answers
330 views

What does “pleasant to a fault” mean? [closed]

Googling didn't help. Thanks in advance for your help.