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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5
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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
91 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
116 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
55 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
82 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
552 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
929 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
134 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
108 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, ...
4
votes
3answers
111 views

English equivalent of Polish saying “The truth is like an ass, each has its own”

I'm looking for English equivalent of coloqiual but popular Polish saying "Racja jest jak dupa, każdy ma własną" that literally means "The truth is like an ass, each has its own". Explanation This ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Verb for pressing upper and lower lips together?

There are some people that would call it to bite, but it is wrong because you don't use the teeth. Is there a verb or idiom for pressing with the lips? Something like this:
24
votes
9answers
2k views

How do you describe these animals' action/ state before attacking their prey?

Some animals like tigers, lions, cats, etc do this action before attacking their prey suddenly and unexpectedly. In fact they seem waiting insidiously (?) until the appropriate moment for attacking ...
15
votes
11answers
2k views

An idiomatic alternative to “familiar with the matter”

The common expression "familiar with the matter" is generally used to refer to people who have information that is not yet available to the public and is to be confirmed. Google Books For ...
7
votes
10answers
1k views

Word for “blissfully oblivious”? [closed]

Is there an English word or idiom that describes a person who's blissfully unaware or oblivious to their surroundings? I always thought this word was "aloof," but "aloof" seems to hold a rather ...
4
votes
7answers
146 views

Is there an idiom/proverb in English to denote unfair discrimination?

In Tamil, we have a proverb that roughly translates into English as If the mother-in-law breaks the pot, it is just clay . But if the daughter-in-law breaks the pot, it is made of gold! ...
0
votes
1answer
92 views

English equivalent of Polish saying “Uncle replaced hatchet with stick”

Consider another nice Polish saying "Zamienił stryjek siekierkę na kijek" that literally means "Uncle replaced hatchet with stick" but I managed to form it into a little rhyme just like in Polish (I ...
8
votes
4answers
738 views

What is the expression for rules that are typically flouted?

I seem to remember that it involves the word "observe", but I can neither recall it nor find it in a thesaurus.
4
votes
4answers
75 views

Idiom, phrase, or word for “no clear division”

Example: "There is no clear division between a liquid and a solid. The soggy soil we are standing on is a case in point. So is the yogurt you're having." What's an idiom, phrase, or word for "no ...
44
votes
9answers
10k views

English equivalent of Polish saying “A yokel can leave a village, but village will never leave yokel”

Consider another nice Polish saying "Chłop ze wsi wyjdzie, ale wieś z chłopa nigdy" that literally means "A yokel can leave a village, but village will never leave yokel". Could you please help me ...
6
votes
7answers
229 views

English equivalent of Polish saying “[You've got] freedom Thomas in your own house!”

Another nice Polish saying about freedom in ones own house "Wolnoć Tomku w swoim domku!" that is rather untranslateable but modern version of this quotation would be "[You've got] freedom Thomas in ...
19
votes
14answers
3k views

Idiom or proverb that implies “ the evidence contradicts what you claim”

Is there any idiom or proverb that means "the evidence contradicts what you claim"? There is a proverb in Persian that says: "Should/ shall we believe the rooster's tail or the fox's oaths to ...
6
votes
5answers
339 views

English equivalent of Polish idiom “To explain [something to someone] like a cow in bound”

Another Polish saying "Tłumaczyć jak krowie na miedzy" that means "To explain [something to someone] like a cow in bounds". Explanation This idiom is used to describe a person that is dumb above ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

English equivalent of Polish saying “You let a boor into office and he will drink ink”

I'm looking for English equivalent of Polish saying "Wpuścić chłopa do biura to atrament wypije" literally meaning "You let a boor into office and he will drink ink". Explanation This saying is ...
11
votes
5answers
671 views

English equivalent Polish saying “Dumb people are not sown, they're born”

I often wonder if there is any similar English idiom to Polish saying "Głupich nie sieją, sami się rodzą" literally meaning "Dumb people are not sown, they're born." Short explanation: This saying ...
7
votes
5answers
328 views

English idiom for a lot of paper? [closed]

Is there any English idiom with meaning "a lot of paper" (like documents), like "a tons of paper" or so? I mean paper as paperwork, but not in the context of the work itself, more kind of going ...
3
votes
1answer
62 views

English idiom for keeping a lousy employee on the payroll because of his connections? [duplicate]

You know (hypothetical) Larry, the CEO's third cousin, who was hired on an important and well paid position even though he totally sucks at it, dragging the entire department down, but the CEO keeps ...
12
votes
11answers
658 views

Phrase or idiom for someone that is overspecialized

If I have a friend that spreads their interests too thin, gathering a large body of superficial knowledge related to many topics, I'd probably use the phrase "jack of all trades, master of none" to ...
10
votes
8answers
912 views

Is there any equivalent for this Persian proverb “A lopsided load won't reach the destination”?

There is a proverb in Persian that literally means: "A lopsided load won't reach the (given) destination." It implies that "dishonesty, deviation from the right path, or injustice wouldn't have ...
9
votes
6answers
130 views

Is there a term/phrase for a vicious cycle of overcorrection?

When something starts going wrong, then when you try to correct, you overcorrect and make things worse, then you try to correct it again, and again overcorrect, making things worse again, etc, until ...
1
vote
4answers
52 views

Expression for “more uses to come for a technology”?

I'm looking for an expression to use about a recent technology, where there are some uses already, but there may be more not yet widely known, and people are still figuring out what to use it for. I ...
4
votes
8answers
734 views

Idiom request for describing someone who is writhing in great pain

How do you describe someone who twist their body from side to side and bend it in reaction to a great pain? Like the men in the pictures below. We Iranians have an expression that says: to twist ...
2
votes
2answers
58 views

How to express a situation where someone puts others in a situation where others have to solve the problem

Is there any proverb to express a situation where someone put others, without asking approval in advance, in a situation where others have to solve the problem? He knows if he seeks for permission, ...
9
votes
16answers
343 views

Word or phrase for the poor idea of replacing old with nearly as old

Someone that I know is trying to replace a very obsolete item which is currently causing problems with one that is itself obsolete, if not as much so. I am trying to find a word or succinct phrase to ...
26
votes
10answers
3k views

A word or idiom for being offended for someone else

Is there a word or idiom to describe being offended for some one else? For example, Person A makes an off-the-cuff remark that person B is 'trailer trash'. Person B knows that person A means it as ...
6
votes
8answers
2k views

What is that point in business where it is extremely difficult to generate new business/customers called?

I think the title is sufficiently clear. To add a little more clarity, if a business is performing extremely well, we generally say it has "peaked". Is there a word/phrase/idiom that implies ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

What is the idiom or single word for a person who just talks high-flying to show himself important and powerful? [duplicate]

What is the idiom or single word for a person who just talks high-flying to show himself important and powerful? But, in actuality, he is not what he tries to portray himself as.
1
vote
3answers
90 views

Is there a word or idiom for the phemonon of conflating the definition of a word with its connotation [closed]

Suppose that a person(Person A) gets attacked, and they kill their assailant in self defense. Another person(Person B) who this considers killing to be bad, but they consider this specific ...
22
votes
22answers
2k views

Idiom request for recommending someone to end their toxic relationship/ friendship with somebody

​​Is there any idiom or proverb for recommending someone to end their relationship/ friendship/ partnership with somebody whose behaviors or actions seem toxic, harmful, and thus really intolerable? ...
5
votes
7answers
740 views

Idiomatic expression for “the last chance” [closed]

I am looking for an idiom or an idiomatic expression to convey the idea of the last chance or the last possibility that a person may have or may be given in a critical situation. For instance, if ...
18
votes
7answers
1k views

Is there an idiom for “making a puerile excuse”?

In Italian there is a juicy idiom when somebody gives a risible explanation: knowing that children can delude themselves and try to deceive others when playing hide-and-seek, they say: "... hide ...
21
votes
12answers
2k views

Idiom or expression request that would convey same meaning as this Persian set phrase “ simple yet impossible to imitate”

In Persian poetry there is a style which literally means: "simple yet impossible" It implies that the poems have been told using simple words and in a seemingly simple way, yet cannot be ...
8
votes
5answers
294 views

Is there an English idiom that is equivalent to “throwing stones at sewage will only spoil your dress”?

There's a colloquial saying in Tamil that I am used to, If you throw stones at sewage, it's your dress that will get spoiled" It means if you try to change the opinion/behavior of a ...
12
votes
8answers
2k views

Phrase meaning whoever is buying can choose

I was at the pub the other day, and it was my friends turn to buy a round. As he left the table, he asked what beer we wanted, and I replied with "Dealers choice", meaning that since he was buying the ...