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
10answers
133 views

Boolean OR in English

What is the English equivalent of boolean-OR, which conveys the meaning of "either of the options or both", as opposed to XOR, which conveys the meaning of "strictly one or the other"? "Either or ...
0
votes
3answers
65 views

Looking for a Verb / Idiom to Make a Wish Come True

Let say I wish to have a car, and somebody bought me that car. Which verbs or idioms can describe the "somebody's" action?
2
votes
5answers
65 views

Idiom for “don't put me with somebody together in the same sentence”

I am looking for an idiom used when people say that you are as good/bad as somebody, but you don't agree with it because you think you are not on the same level as them, or that you are way better ...
0
votes
3answers
40 views

Referring to two or more choices [duplicate]

Example: I wasn't sure if it was A, B, or C. [...], I still knew I would fail. I thought of either way but I think is not grammatically correct. What should I chose if I'm referring to two or ...
6
votes
4answers
794 views

Is there an opposite of tightfisted that also contains reference to a hand?

Is there an opposite of tightfisted that also contains reference to a hand? The opposite of 'tightfisted' is always 'generous'. I want a word, idiom, or phrase that means generous but with reference ...
6
votes
5answers
544 views

Idiom: to hesitate when something is nearly finished

I have an idiom on the tip of my tongue, or at least I think I do — the meaning I want is roughly “to hesitate or falter on a task, when it’s almost completed”. The phrase that first came to my mind ...
1
vote
4answers
89 views

Everybody had a different opinion. Is there an idiom for this?

I'm searching for an idiom (in a negative sense) that means that a group of people have different opinions, so it's difficult for them to solve a problem, to decide on something or agree on something. ...
-1
votes
3answers
63 views

Metaphor to describe a person who lacks charisma [closed]

I'm looking for a good metaphor or idiom for a person who is completely uncharismatic. I'm preferably looking for a phrase that compares the person's charisma to something, such that it would fit the ...
3
votes
6answers
450 views

What is the idiom for “as anyone can see” or “clearly”?

I keep wanting to say "the handwriting on the wall," but that's not correct. The place I'm trying to use it is, "Alice likes Bob, Carol likes Bob, Alice thinks Bob likes her, but Bob dates Carol, and ...
2
votes
1answer
160 views

Word or phrase for literally and figuratively?

Say, for example, you and a group of people were all sailing out in the ocean and something happens...then you say, "I guess we are all in the same boat" You are literally in the same boat with ...
2
votes
2answers
62 views

What phrase/idiom can be used to refer to procrastination?

Suppose I'm replying to someone's email and it's long overdue - completely hypothetically :) Starting with "Sorry for [ ... ] this". At first I thought I'd use "dropping the ball on" but it seems ...
19
votes
33answers
4k views

What's the English equivalent of “Drilling one's head”?

In Arabic (Specifically, north-western Levantine), there's a saying that goes like He drilled my head about/with that lunch meeting (بخشلي راسي باجتماع الغدا) Which means something along the ...
0
votes
6answers
118 views

Can you give me an idiom which means to take advantage?

Eg- He took advantage of the enemies weaknesses.
5
votes
5answers
679 views

avoiding an oncoming vehicle — what is the specific term for this in English?

Is there a specific term to refer to what you need to do in the following situation? You are driving on a road and an oncoming vehicle is moving towards you in the same lane you are using. If ...
0
votes
2answers
70 views

Idiom for someone who works fast without paying attention to the quality?

Is there any idiom or any suitable words for someone who works fast without paying attention to the quality?
0
votes
1answer
105 views

Idiom origins: “Piece of cake” and “Walk in the park” and “Close, no cigar”? [closed]

Anyone know the origins/etymology of the following idioms: "Piece of cake" "Walk in the park" "Close but no cigar"
2
votes
2answers
104 views

Idiom/Phrase/Proverb to describe a scenario where a person who saved me from a bad habit has now fallen into the the same habit

I am facing a dilemma. Someone I know once (long time back) helped me get into a good habit, and abandon the accompanying bad habit, and now they have fallen into the same trap as me. I want to let ...
1
vote
10answers
911 views

Idiom for someone who is in good position/mood

What is the idiom for someone who is in a good mood or position? For example, your colleague is in a very good mood because of a recent thing that happened to him.
2
votes
7answers
92 views

Is there a casual way to say “this can wait” on a positive note

Is there a short and casual way (one or two words or the like) to express that whereas something is truly important, the exact timing of when it gets handled or completes does not greatly affect ...
0
votes
2answers
59 views

alternatives for 'finding your feet'

I need alternatives for the expression finding your feet or getting used to something / doing something Can anyone help?
1
vote
2answers
114 views

idiom for: not-a-challenging envrionment spoils a good worker gradually

I want an idiom for this situation. If a brilliant programmer worked with a group of mediocre programmers for quite a long time, he would eventually become a bad programmer (with/without his ...
4
votes
3answers
481 views

Origin of “eat my hat”

I recently came across this expression: eat my hat I googled and found some results. I agree that eating a hat is not easy. But why hat? They could have chosen shoes, gloves, shirt, to name a ...
4
votes
3answers
176 views

What is the military term for calling attention to yourself, in a negative way?

There is a military term or idiom, which I cannot recall exactly, that essentially means calling negative attention to yourself. For example, you are doing something you know you shouldn't be doing. ...
2
votes
3answers
187 views

Is there any other idiom for “Hundred blows of goldsmith is comparable to one blow of iron-smith”?

The idiom Hundred blows of goldsmith is comparable to one blow of iron-smith comes from a hindi idiom "Sau sunar ki, ek lohar ki". Literal meaning is One powerful blow is comparable to a hundred ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Displaying two things scaled differently - ratio?

If got a picture that displays things. As thing A is alot bigger than thing B, I have downsized A. Not mentioning this size adjustment may confuse viewers and transport a wrong message. How can I tell ...
1
vote
3answers
62 views

Is there an expression for only offending the recipient?

Suppose one makes a statement that is likely to be offensive to its recipient, but will not offend most third parties. Is there a word or expression for this type of statement? Example: I see someone ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Meaning of “mentor in a box”?

Is mentor in a box an idiom? What is the meaning in the following context : This book is, in a sense, a "mentor in a box," allowing you to benefit from our experiences, both positive and ...
0
votes
3answers
473 views

“On the other end / side” of the phone line

What's the proper way to reference somebody who're you talking with by a peer-to-peer phone line, usually if you don't know who's there exactly? Russian language, for example, has the idiom (они) на ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

I'm looking for an idiomatic expression meaning 'that old problem'

It's on the tip of my tongue but I can't think of the expression referring to a repeated problem that gets verbalised; something like 'that old nugget'??!
23
votes
7answers
4k views

An idiom meaning “sticking fingers in your ears does not change the fact”

I am looking for an idiom which means sticking fingers in your ears does not change the fact; the fact remains so, even if you don't listen to the one who is mentioning it.
14
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there an English idiom for Bengali idiom “সবজান্তা গামছাওয়ালা”(wise towelsman)?

In the Bengali language there is an idiom, "sobjanta gamchawala" (wise towelsman), meaning a man whose occupation is merely to sell towels, but claims to know everything and gives valuable advice on ...
0
votes
2answers
99 views

Idiom or phrase meaning “satisfactory in all abilities”?

Is there a possible idiom or phrase in the following context that means satisfactory in all abilities? For example, lets say someone knows three languages: English, Spanish, and Korean; however, ...
5
votes
3answers
164 views

An idiom/phrase for someone whose opinions must be accepted by other people

(As a follow-up to the question,) Suppose there is a group of people, and suppose it this group opinions and ideas of a specific member of the group is always accepted by other members and they obey ...
2
votes
1answer
156 views

Idiom for “doing something pleasant and useful at the same time” with positive connotation

Is there a phraseme or idiom for "doing something useful (necessary) and pleasant at the same time" with positive connotation? For example - using a bike to get to work and back home is useful ...
-1
votes
1answer
180 views

What does “burrow (one’s) nose deep” mean? Is it an idiom?

November.30 NPR Books introduces Emily Dickingson’s poems on leftover envelopes under the title, “Emily Dickinson's Envelope Writings” “Readers always seem to want to get closer to Emily ...
1
vote
7answers
421 views

What is the opposite of “preaching to the choir”?

I have found "Whistling into the wind" online but I do not think it fits because it seems to mean that your words are not heard, whereas the opposite should mean that you're being informed by someone ...
0
votes
2answers
105 views

What's an expression that means bringing something to where it can be seen or used?

I'm specifically thinking of in a public service context. Say there is a resource that exists but no one knows about it or makes use of it, so instead of waiting for the people to come to the ...
4
votes
2answers
394 views

English idiom for the Italian “Buon lavoro”

In Italian we can say "Buon lavoro" to someone who is working and it basically means that we wish him/her the best while working (It can be literally translated with "Good work" but it sounds just ...
22
votes
14answers
2k views

Idioms that mean making decision between two good options

I am looking for expressions that mean "to decide between two good options." For example, you have to choose between getting a car that you like or a super car that's very expensive but you are not ...
0
votes
2answers
242 views

How can I say “Staff Only” with a formal warning sentence?

I need to write a door writing that states formally, "students are not welcomed in this kitchen, please use the café..." I've drafted some examples but I was wondering if there is a formal sentence ...
1
vote
2answers
110 views

Is “knocking on” an idea an idiom for dismissing the idea? [closed]

For years, I thought I'd heard others say, "I don't mean to knock on your idea, but..."—and it was definitely on, not down, although I've heard knock down as well—but now that I'm looking ...
5
votes
5answers
127 views

a phrase for “to lure and chop a turtle's head”

There must be a similar phrase in English, meaning to lure the target from protection (like turtle's shell) or hiding, in order to capture or kill it. My English dictionary gives "draw a snake out of ...
3
votes
1answer
171 views

What's a good idiom to describe someone who is included in a group only because they have something the group needs

I want a one or two word title for a character who is included in a group only because he is their "ticket" to get where they want to go. "Ticket" is what I'm thinking now but would love another ...
1
vote
1answer
128 views

Word/phrase for when an incorrect approach leads to an unexpectedly great result

Related question on Chinese.SE There is a phrase ("歪打正着" in Chinese and "怪我の功名" in Japanese) which roughly means "do the wrong thing but achieve the right result anyway". Is there a similar ...
1
vote
3answers
130 views

If I measure myself am I only measuring my size?

In Italy when people say they measure themselves, they are not only measuring their height, or their waistlines. Instead they are measuring how well they do something in a challenging or difficult ...
4
votes
6answers
296 views

English idiom for 'Fry the fish using fish's own oil'

Please help me to find out the appropriate English idiom for Fry the fish using fish's own oil. This is a Bengali proverb/idiom whose word meaning 'When you are frying some sea fish, initially cook ...
28
votes
15answers
2k views

Secular alternative to “preaching to the choir”?

Is there a secular alternative to the phrase "preaching to the choir"?
1
vote
6answers
237 views

What's the phrase to imply random jobs?

What's a phrase that can convey the idea of "a variety of different jobs with no central theme"? "Various odds and ends" was the one that occurred to me, but it didn't feel exactly right and ...
7
votes
6answers
292 views

“Soldier sleeps - the service continues” (Russian idiom/saying)

What are English equivalents for following Russian idiom: "soldier sleeps - the service continues"? In Russian it means that "you have a rest, but your work is still being done". UPD from comments: ...
3
votes
3answers
147 views

When backward compatibility is bad

Sometimes, making a poor design choice in the past prohibits the programmers from providing neat solutions in the future. You want to abandon the wrong route and start from scratch. Which word or ...