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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4
votes
5answers
407 views

Slang or idiom for submissive [closed]

Is there an idiomatic or slang word meaning a submissive person who does everything others order him to do and never complains even when they should, and is ,in a sense, controlled by someone else.
6
votes
5answers
399 views

The last small thing that messes up all the (previous) effort

For example: In the immortal Tom and Jerry cartoons, Tom tries to balance himself in delicate situations like walking a rope, balancing a tower of flatwares or lifting a ton of weight above his head, ...
-1
votes
2answers
30 views

Expression that means naked dress/garb (see description)

People play strip poker and get naked through the game but what about when they start playing poker without any clothes on. I want ro say "they are wearing/putting on _____ before playing poker." ...
4
votes
7answers
278 views

Idiom for making up a false story as an excuse to get out of something

An idiom that means to make up stories or excuses, especially those that are not true, and are just false excuses you give when you try to justify/save yourself. Maybe similar to feeding crap/bullsh*...
9
votes
16answers
2k views

Is there any idiom or expression that would imply “ It is hard to argue against such rationale”?

Is there any idiom, expression or saying that would imply "this is a rational idea and there is no room to dispute, so one has no choice but to accept it" (i.e. "It is hard to argue against such ...
2
votes
5answers
79 views

Is there an idiom or word that describes something exciting or unsettled till the end

Suppose I watch a movie or event, do a task or listen to a story. All these events are exciting and they keep this excitement up throughout until the end. It keeps us engaged and exhilarated till the ...
8
votes
8answers
163 views

Requesting a word or idiom for “impressive failure.”

I'm looking for a more formal expression or word that indicates failure to the extent that one would have to work very hard to achieve it. I'm aware of the idiom "epic fail" but I'm looking for ...
10
votes
5answers
161 views

English equivalent of Polish “An ox forgot [how it was] when it was a calf”

"An ox forgot [how it was] when it was a calf" is used to describe a person that has no mercy/is severe for someone younger when he makes a mistake. Generally speaking, the older one pretends to be Mr....
6
votes
5answers
758 views

The phenomenon of having given or receiving a thing that gives you a reason to keep trying after you have failed or slowed down

I guess something like a second motivation. A situation : Let us suppose that I am working on a project. I started it with enthusiasm and worked hard at it for a while. But after a plodding for a ...
2
votes
4answers
185 views

(In)formal equivalent for “Sword of Damocles” concept

What are the formal and informal equivalents (idiom or word) for the situation which Sword of Damocles could describe that? From Cambridge Dictionary, Sword of Damocles means: If you have a sword ...
0
votes
1answer
17 views

A particular time when someone will/may/is supposed to be tried/executed/punished

A time/date/something like that when someone is supposed to be tried/punished/executed or will be tried/punished/executed for something evil that he has done (people may or may not be aware of it)
2
votes
2answers
64 views

Is it clear what the idiom “lit up like a candle” means?

Take this sentence: I gave a beggar all my change, and he lit up like a candle. It's used in Norwegian, but I wonder if it's perfectly clear what it means in English, and are there better idioms to ...
0
votes
3answers
58 views

“wrench” is to “works” as “crimp” is to what?

It's commonly said that one puts or throws a "[monkey] wrench/(BrEng) spanner" in the "works", but what does one put a "crimp" into? CRIMP Google Image the act of crimping. a crimped ...
4
votes
4answers
112 views

What is a idiom for a person who can read people and is perceptive? [closed]

I'm doing homework and I need idiom for a character who is very perceptive?
26
votes
20answers
5k views

Is there any idiom or expression that would mean “all my efforts wasted”?

I'm looking for an idiom or expression that would mean "all one's efforts wasted". I have found "to have one's cake dough". Can I use it for "all my efforts wasted" too? ( A non-native friend told me ...
3
votes
4answers
102 views

Is there an English idiom/metaphor for “mind boggling”, only more so?

In Hungarian, if you want to express that something is mind-blowing, you say megáll az ész "the mind stops". (For example, the National Geographic Channel's show Brain Games is titled Megáll az ész! ...
3
votes
4answers
96 views

Is there a SPORTS PHRASE [in particular, one relating to “soccer”] similar to “make sure all our bases are covered”?

The expression mentioned in my question’s title is a baseball reference, of course, which I fear could potentially limit its understandability to only those English speakers who are familiar with that ...
2
votes
4answers
179 views

Is there any idiomatic synonym for “to apply a double standard”? [closed]

Is there any idiom that if you use it in your conversation, the audience would notice that you are accusing someone of having a double standard behavior or policy? In Persian we use this idiom: "...
7
votes
10answers
310 views

Idiom or expression for criticizing people who ignore you right after getting what they wanted/ were after

There is an idiom in Persian that literally says: "(to be ignored right after) somebody's donkey has crossed or passed (over) the bridge" We use it in situations where someone (now feels relieved and)...
2
votes
2answers
67 views

Generic one-word term for “fixed date and time”?

I'm looking for a generic word that describes a fixed date and time, as an entry in a datebook, translating from the german word "Termin". An online translation tool suggests "appointment, deadline, ...
3
votes
2answers
34 views

What would be the phrase or proverb or idiom for “A robber is recognized or appreciated by a thief”?

What would be the phrase or proverb or idiom for "A robber is recognized or appreciated by a thief"? For instance, a jailbird criminal is supported/helped/appreciated/awarded by a corrupt politician ...
2
votes
2answers
30 views

To be a reference in a skill/topic

I am struggling on how to say when someone is an expert on a certain topic or skill. Because it is not exactly the meaning I intend to give. What I really want to say is like: "When you want to know ...
26
votes
10answers
4k views

Any equivalent to this Persian proverb “The yellow dog is the jackal's brother”?

Suppose you have a new boss and your former boss was a vicious and dictator one. Now you are visiting the new boss for the first time. He seems to be a nice person to you, but one of your colleagues ...
4
votes
3answers
124 views

Idiom for being forced to dig your own grave?

Suppose that a team of people is laid off but is asked to temporarily stay to train their replacements. Is there any idiom that would describe people in such a conflicting situation? "Digging their ...
6
votes
3answers
274 views

Idiom request for critisizing someone who ignores or overlooks their old things or friends, in an annoying manner, after having or finding new ones

I'm looking for and idiom, expression or proverb for criticizing (or describing) a situation in which someone doesn't pay attention to/ like their old things, friends, colleagues, hobbies, etc any ...
2
votes
2answers
134 views

What is single word or phrase/idiom for “someone speaks alot but works very-very slow” [duplicate]

What is single word or phrase/idiom for "someone speaks a lot but works very very slow" for example.... someone said/planned he would do 100 task but actually finished less than 10 task
8
votes
13answers
1k views

Idiom request for describing an uncrowded or a deserted place

Is there any idiom for describing an uncrowded/ a deserted place? ( I mean a place with few or no people in there.) We say in Persian : " not a single bird is/ was flying (there)". ( i.e. There ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Is there another idiom to replace “rolling the dice”?

Does this sentence sound unnatural? The journalist has read the book, written a review and rolled the dice. I know rolling the dice means to "take a chance". But I am not sure if giving ...
4
votes
3answers
68 views

Need help naming this platform in my back yard

What do I call a semi-circular concrete platform in my back yard that looks like a stage. It is about 30 inches above my grass lawn and is attached to my rear wall and appears that it could be a band ...
6
votes
6answers
718 views

English equivalent for the Persian idiom “Putting the drill on poppy”?

There is an old saying in Persian that describes a situation in which: Someone is going into too much (unnecessary) detail while doing something. Someone does something with too much (unnecessary) ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

Term for a “bad advisor” [duplicate]

How would you name someone who is intentionally giving you a bad advice with a purpose of getting advantage of you (think of Francis from "House of Cards"), or just to get pleasure out of watching ...
0
votes
3answers
42 views

What is the idiom for “throne always succeed by their sons only”? [closed]

What is the idiom for "throne always succeed by their sons only"? What i means is: there is no chance for new talents.
37
votes
15answers
5k views

What is the equivalent of Persian idiom “When the reed blooms”?

In Persian, we say "When the reed blooms" when we want to express that an event: Never happens. (This is only the opinion of the speaker so it's not a fact) It's very unlikely to happen. It's going ...
16
votes
18answers
4k views

Any English equivalent for the Persian idiom “to play dead like a mouse”?

I'm looking for an idiom or expression for describing someone who fools or manipulates other people by pretending to be poor/ weak or incapacitated/ ill (=unwell)/ inoffensive / innocent as a tactic ...
5
votes
7answers
1k views

What is it called when you end up preparing for something and then it doesn't happen because you prepared?

For example, if you bring your umbrella with you 6/7 days of the week, and it does not rain - and then on the 7th day, you end up not bringing it with you, and it rains because you did not have your ...
1
vote
2answers
104 views

an idiom used to compare two people

I saw an idiom that is used to compare one person, group, etc. with another that is much better. I forgot what it is, but I remember it can be used in a question form like 'How can you ___ ?', ...
4
votes
2answers
118 views

Idiom for tinkering and then returning to what you had at first?

I'm trying to think of a good idiom/phrase for the process of questioning what you have, tinkering with it and finally returning to what you had at first. Specifically returning accidentally, then ...
1
vote
4answers
64 views

Idiom request about conversation [closed]

Is there any idiom or expression for this: To make a conversation and talk about many different and irrelevant subjects, keep changing the topics frequently and so. Thanks
2
votes
2answers
92 views

What is an appropriate expression/idiom for “adding argument/point to a discussion”

I am searching for an expression/idiom describing a situation of adding an argument or a valid point to a heated discussion. For example: I have read an article about something that relates to a ...
6
votes
7answers
599 views

Is there any Idiom or provide verb that would imply “ You cannot conceal such facts or issues”?

I'm looking for an idiom or expression that could be used for criticizing someone who tries to hide a big fact in their life/ an important issue while the nature of that fact/ issue is so that it will ...
7
votes
10answers
1k views

Colorful idiom/phrase equivalent to French “s'en fourrer jusque là/plein la panse”

Is there an expression/idiom in English that comes anywhere close in flavor to the colorful French expression, s'en mettre (or fourrer or foutre) jusque là s'en mettre (or fourrer or foutre) ...
36
votes
11answers
3k views

Intentionally committing hypocrisy, to show a wrong-doer why you think what they do is wrong

I am looking for a word/idiom to describe the act of doing something against your beliefs so another person can experience the receiving end of the act. You dislike being blinded by high-beams ...
9
votes
18answers
1k views

Idioms for a 'obvious' or 'needs no explanation'

I need to find an idiom for the following situation. I am talking to the HR department about a particular policy. I did not know about the policy beforehand and HR had never explained it to me. For ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Overly concerned with unimportant details [duplicate]

I would like to use an idiom for "Overly concerned with unimportant details."
6
votes
8answers
933 views

English equivalent for the French expression “péter de santé”

Is there an expression/idiom in English that carries pretty much the same connotation as what is implied by French "péter de santé"? WordReference actually gives for translation, "be bursting with ...
2
votes
3answers
138 views

Colorful English equivalent for the French expression “mine de capitaine”

Is there a colorful expression in English which equates to the French [avoir] une mine de capitaine? (Literally, to sport skipper's [glowing, healthy] looks) It is something that we say to someone ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

Hammer a nail into my chin if

Hammer a nail into my chin, if it ever happened. Informally they say, Spit on my grave if it ever happened. Someone who is so confident that his following statement is irrefutable and cannot be ...
10
votes
10answers
3k views

Is there an idiom like the Russian's “Untilled field”?

"Непаханое поле" - a [big] amount of undone work. Updated example: a kid is leisurely watching TV while there a lot of undone homework (which he hasn't even started). Note: the example below is ...
6
votes
3answers
71 views

How can we say “I see my dreams not happening”

I want to say that I can see my dreams falling apart. Is it correct? I mean to say that the things I want to do (or happen) in the future seem to be impossible.. How can I say it?
0
votes
2answers
124 views

English equivalent of this Telugu proverb [closed]

What English proverb can be matched to this Telugu proverb? There is no harm in lying 1000 times in order to perform a single successful marriage. This is a famous proverb in Southern India, ...