This tag is for questions seeking an idiom that fits a meaning. If you're also seeking a phrase, see the "phrase-requests" tag too.

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0
votes
1answer
23 views

'go ride your highest horse' equivalence?

'Go ride your highest horse'. It is used to mean go do whatever you wish I will not comply or listen to what you want. It's like never will I do that, go do as you wish. The idea behind riding your ...
6
votes
7answers
213 views

Is there a good alternative to “low man on the totem pole”?

Since "low man on the totem pole" is potentially ambiguous (and is possibly offensive to some), are there any good alternative idioms to mean someone of low rank who gets stuck with undesirable ...
0
votes
4answers
26 views

'let him vent out his malevolence/rancor'? matching idiom?

I believe an example will serve best to explain it, so if someone has been extremely tolerant with smb or a group of people over a long period of time, until no more can be beared and emotions flood ...
4
votes
2answers
55 views

English equivalent to the Arabic idiom 'soak it and drink its water'?

There is a common Arabic idiom, which literally translated says: Soak it and drink its water It can said about pretty much anything, to express a kind of contemptuous indifference. For ...
-1
votes
1answer
33 views

equivalent to 'don't hold it on me'?

'Don't hold it on me' means don't take it as a certainty, it is an approximate answer that is more likely. for e.g. A: How many floors did the Hotel have? B: Don't hold it on me, but I think it was 8. ...
3
votes
11answers
354 views
+50

When someone ruins all the good they have ever done!

Suppose you have a nice and kind friend who helps you whenever possible, but sometimes they say something to you so angrily and sarcastically that you forget about all their kindness and help, because ...
1
vote
4answers
76 views

“One has to die one death”

I'm looking for an English equivalent to the German "Einen Tod muss man sterben" ("One has to die one death"). As far as I know the literal translation is not in use. It refers to a situation in ...
-1
votes
0answers
58 views

How to fit metric units of distance into idioms [on hold]

I appreciate that the system of traditional English measurements was widely used before many English speaking countries switched to metric. So we have expressions like give an inch, walk a mile in ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Equivalent to idiom 'Decency has been omitted from the dictionary'?

The idiom 'That's it. Decency has been omitted from the dictionary.' It means what is this world coming to no one is respecting anyone anymore. The sayer is suprised, for example it is said if even ...
0
votes
4answers
45 views

equivalent to the idiom 'I'll imprint with my ten fingers'

The idiom 'I'll imprint with my ten fingers' is used to mean you don't just approve of something but you completely and utterly approve of it without a scintilla of doubt you are in till the end. Used ...
2
votes
2answers
44 views

Idiom for doing “space age” stuff instead of what is necessary

What is a good way to call someone out who prefers doing the new, cool, and shiny thing over doing what is really necessary?
1
vote
3answers
283 views

Right Good but Left Bad

While examining the definition/etymology of the adjective sinister, I noticed its senses of EVIL, ILL-FORTUNE, and general inauspiciousness, as well as explicit references to the noun/adjective LEFT. ...
0
votes
2answers
36 views

I'm looking for a term, word or phase used to describe the important, but minute, details. Something along the lines of, “it's the little things”

Persons often say, "It's the little things". I'm looking for a word or term that would describe this feeling of a minute detail completing a whole.
4
votes
7answers
631 views

Any slang word for “debt-collector”?( specially among gangsters & criminals!)

According to dictionaries, A collection agency, also known as a debt collector, is a business that pursues payments of debts owed by individuals or businesses. But I have seen in movies that criminal ...
2
votes
3answers
41 views

Similar idiom to ' I don't have the staff of Moses'

It means that one can't make just things happen magically, or that one is incapable of doing the thing requested immediately. It comes from the magical powers Moses's staff had. Any such idioms?
0
votes
0answers
16 views

It happened the same to me as John [migrated]

Let us suppose something happened first to John and then to me. Is it grammatically correct to say: It happened the same to me as John. And if it is not, how would express this meaning, then?
2
votes
3answers
54 views

What is placing name with something called?

Recently, I'm watching the Chinese port version of The Voice (not sure if I can call it that since they differ greatly at least in my opinion), 中國好聲音 (The Voice of China). Every time the name of the ...
0
votes
2answers
34 views

Idiomatic phrase for small type words at end of a document

Is there a phrase in English that that can be used in the following situation: You read an article and from the title you understand that this is something positive, but if you read it all, very ...
3
votes
6answers
175 views

the feeling left in one's psyche by another person's gestalt

The meaning of the term I'm looking for is something to the effect of: the feeling that one person's gestalt leaves in another person's psyche Or, to say the same thing in a clearer (thanks to ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

Is there a word for the relationship between my cousin's family and mine?

My mother's brother is my "uncle". His son is my "cousin". His wife is my "aunt". Each of these words names a specific person based on their familial relationship to me. Together the three of them ...
8
votes
15answers
575 views

“He is an opportunist, there's no need to give him more excuses or opportunities!”

We have a saying in my country: He doesn't need music to start dancing. He is already dancing without music! Which figuratively means: He doesn't need any special, real, or necessary excuses ...
1
vote
5answers
59 views

Informal way to say “contrary to popular belief”?

Example: Contrary to popular belief, depression is more about 'hows' than 'whys'. And sometimes we even use logic to try to justify it. I think contrary to popular belief is too formal. Is ...
25
votes
7answers
5k views

Is 'I f*cked the dog' an actual idiom and are there alternatives

I am a non-native speaker from Germany. In German there's one idiom that goes: Sich die Eier schaukeln Literally translated, this means "to rock the eggs", where "the eggs" are testicles. This ...
44
votes
15answers
6k views

An English equivalent of Arabic idiom ‘Show us the breadth of your shoulders’

The Arabic idiom “OK, now you can show us the breadth of your shoulders.” has a meaning similar to get lost, but with a more humorous edge. The idea of the idiom comes from when the recipient turns ...
2
votes
9answers
635 views

Idiom for analysing something from a strange perspective

What is an idiom for analysing, describing, or understanding something from an unusual point of view? A sentence using it might be: If you _______, it is quite similar to a burrito. With the ...
0
votes
3answers
69 views

equivalent to 'chop my tongue off now'?

'Chop my tongue off now', when you regret saying something badly and it hurt the person badly too. It's usually said directly after you've just after realising belatedly how hurtful or wrong it was.
5
votes
4answers
157 views

equivalent to the idiom 'Even our intestines fight and fall out inside'

In arabic, it comes from the noises sometimes heard from our stomachs, and also from peristalses movement that takes place, and the intestine end up touching each other by contracting, squishing and ...
14
votes
10answers
2k views

Is there an English equivalant to the Russian saying “the baker never buys his bread”?

I heard a good Russian(?) saying that I like, which is, "the baker never buys his bread," as in, "bakers aren't wealthy people, but at least they always have bread." Kind of like if you were a shop ...
2
votes
3answers
116 views

The English equivalent of the Arabic: “Something is innocent of you”

It is used when someone claims to be something, and the other person nullifies his claim. It's like saying they are a liar and that particular thing doesn't have anything to do with him or her. ...
20
votes
20answers
3k views

What's an expression for a cunningly-fake friend?

I'd like to warn somebody of one of their harmful managers, or even a so-called fake friend, so I say it like this: Don't trust him! He is nothing but a cunning person who is trying to harm ...
2
votes
3answers
81 views

Idiom for something like vantage point / perspective, but for point in time rather than place

Vantage point is described by Merriam Webster as "a position from which something is viewed or considered". In this definition, how literal is "position" to be taken? I have the feeling this is ...
41
votes
28answers
8k views

Is there an English equivalent to the Persian saying “Now that it's my turn, the sky came down”?

Suppose there are many people standing in a line to receive an expensive item as a free gift, and everyone receives it except for the last person in the line. The last one is told, "Sorry, the gifts ...
0
votes
3answers
73 views

Alternative Idiom to “Horse's Mouth”

To be "straight from the horse's mouth" is to be from the most reliable source. I am wanting a title like "The horse's mouth" for my newsletter but I don't really want to call myself a horse. What ...
1
vote
5answers
98 views

Is there a word/phrase/idiom to describe the feeling of you facing a dilemma?

I've got "running backward on a cornfield" as an answer on Reddit... there aren't enough usages of it online so I'm not quite sure what it actually means... are there any alternatives?
84
votes
24answers
15k views

Idiom for someone who buys all the best gear to do something before they even have a basic proficiency?

I'm looking for an idiom to describe someone who decides to take up a new hobby, then buys an excessive amount of gear before they've even started. Perhaps they believe they need this gear to master ...
2
votes
3answers
62 views

a matching phrase or idiom, to the arabic equivalent 'compelled me to the argument'

If two people were discussing something and they want you to share your thoughts, even more judge. A bit like a lawyer. If someone started with saying something that the other person thinks is ...
5
votes
5answers
166 views

Is there any proverb or idiom that conveys “the world is bound to no man”?

Is there any proverb or idiom that conveys this meaning:" Don't rely on this world, since it is not loyal to man forever, today is in your hand, tomorrow in mine" (actually it is a Persian saying and ...
0
votes
2answers
81 views

Phrases you can say to people who are ashamed to eat at your house?

Any phrases or idioms that one can use to tell someone who is perhaps ashamed to eat at your house as a guest. Something other than 'take those shackles off, help yourself, make yourself at home'. ...
4
votes
2answers
161 views

Idiomatic equivalent to Arabic “don't enlarge your stomach”

There is a phrase we commonly say in arabic, لا تكبر بطنك which literally translates to "don't enlarge your stomach", which doesn't make much sense in English. It has a widespread usage and means not ...
3
votes
2answers
123 views

when you can not reject a request easily

suppose someone (boss, friend, cousin,.. to whom you can not say "no" easily) asks you a personal request that its fulfillment is difficult for you, but you cannot bring yourself to say no, because ...
69
votes
25answers
11k views

What is deliberately using complex sentences to confuse people called?

I'm wondering if there's a word, phrase, or idiom to describe the action of deliberately confusing people by using complex sentences. For example, some politicians will throw out some big words and ...
3
votes
2answers
69 views

“Order of magnitude” for qualitative changes

The phrase "order of magnitude" is used to indicate differences between quantities in terms of exponential powers. I've also seen it to indicate Big-Oh differences in algorithm run times. However, in ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Idiom meaning that something doesn't happen often, but happens more than needed when it does?

I remember that there was an idiom that describes something that doesn't happen often, but happens more than needed when it finally does. Hypothetical scenario that could be described by such an ...
2
votes
7answers
479 views

Equivalent for the Persian idiom “Khaste Nabaashid” [closed]

We Persian speakers have a common idiom, Khaste Nabaashid, and usually say it to someone who finished a task or is in the middle of doing that. The literal translation of the idiom is something like ...
22
votes
11answers
4k views

What do you call an 'unselfish' action made with a selfish reason?

There are many examples of this, and I'd like to give a few: A person who puts a lot of effort to help the community and earns reputation points. But that reputation is the motivation behind helping ...
2
votes
2answers
119 views

How to express “I hope” in “it is” sentence pattern?

I want to use "it is...that" sentence pattern to express the same meaning as "I hope that..". The first thing to come to my mind is "it is my hope/wish that ...", but that sounds quite weird. So how ...
5
votes
10answers
353 views

What's an idiom or word or name for an initial tester?

What would be an idiom or word or name for someone that is an initial tester (like a beta tester). I am writing a speech for my younger brother's engagement and want to say how I have always been the ...
2
votes
2answers
174 views

Suitable English idiom for the Chinese idiom “Three years old fixes eighty” (三歲定八十)

The Chinese saying "Three years old fixes eighty" (三歲定八十) means roughly: From the character and personality traits revealed by a three year old, one can infer that he will have similar traits as an ...
2
votes
8answers
114 views

What's the best term for a cognitive state where you can't quite build the components up to achieve the solution?

Obviously we have various terms to communicate specific shared states of mind: Déjà vu - the illusion of having previously experienced something actually being encountered for the first time... ...
1
vote
4answers
150 views

What is the best word (or term) to identify pronouncing W's for L's and R's?

Is there a specific/proper/technical term for it? And not just the R-flop, but specifically the L-flop to W. What would work here: “I'm watching Formula 1 on Sky Sports and the __________ of the ...