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
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3answers
114 views

A term for someone who fails to see the big picture or doesn't see the wood for the trees [duplicate]

I'm looking for a term to describe someone who loses sight of the big picture because he focuses on the wrong details, for instance: a sales manager who fires his highest performing sales rep ...
4
votes
1answer
41 views

No harm be upon you

This is used to comfort the ill in Arabic, among other sayings. This however is very common. It is however also used to inquire about something that might be wrong before it is said, but by just ...
5
votes
3answers
67 views

Any similar idioms to the Arabic 'You don't fill my eye'?

"You don't fill my eye" is an Arabic idiom. When looking at somebody, and if that somebody doesn't fill your eye (namely, doesn't occupy all the space in your eye in order for him to be seen clearly ...
0
votes
2answers
44 views

Word or phrase representing nostalgia as well as pride?

My grandfather remembers the war, which he was a part of. He is proud of the fact that they won, and he is also nostalgic as he remembers those days. He is/feeling _____________.
2
votes
4answers
51 views

“Fanning (hot) air off the soul”

Fanning (hot) air off the soul is an approximate translation to the Arabic idiom الترويح عن النفس. It means to do something recreational to relax and change your mood. Are there any similar idioms ...
0
votes
2answers
76 views

Any idiom/phrase/expression to describe this attitude?

There is this person I know who always gets excited at the slightest of the things. They give a person too much credit than they deserve for simplest of the things they do. Not that I think there is ...
1
vote
6answers
178 views

Someone who does “mundane or repetitive work” for you?

Trying to come up with the name for a new product I am working on. This tool will help hiring managers with their repetitive or mundane work. Something related to hiring or recruitment could also work ...
5
votes
1answer
52 views

How to express that a musical composition you wrote is your own

I am describing a composition that I wrote for an English project that I have to write a paper on. Would "self-written composition" be correct? Or "self-composed composition", "personal composition" ...
2
votes
4answers
167 views

Single word/idiom for a changed man

Here is my story. 10 years ago today, my dad said to me, "I want you to become a better person." before he passed away. I was a bad boy hanging around with bad boys damaging things and fighting with ...
3
votes
5answers
270 views

What is the expression for being unwilling to pay a (small) fine rather than spend much more to avoid it? [closed]

The example in my mind is an entire Myth book where the heroes go on a huge adventure trying to recapture a fugitive because they have been deemed "responsible" for its escape. After many hardships, ...
6
votes
3answers
84 views

What is an idiomatic way of saying 'Straitness is in the heart'?

Straitness is in the heart, or The narrows is in the heart is a translation from the Arabic الضيق في القلوب. It means the "strait" is not real, it's just in our hearts. It means that we have to make ...
5
votes
3answers
66 views

'The bidder and forbidder'

The one who orders everything. Has the final say in everything. Arabic: الأمر الناهي. Examples: 1: I say we go to Spain on holiday 2: I'd want that too, but we have to see Mark he's the bidder and ...
7
votes
3answers
155 views

A word for someone who finds all things beautiful?

I have yet to find an English word, or in any language, which translates to someone who appreciates the beauty in all things.
3
votes
2answers
68 views

A phrase for “repeatedly shaking one's leg up and down when idle” [duplicate]

My friend likes to repeatedly shake his leg up and down when idle. In Chinese, there is a specific term for this action that, if loosely translated, would be "vibrating leg." Is there a more general ...
23
votes
14answers
3k views

Less vulgar alternative to “bee up my butt”

In my corner of the world, the two exressions given in the accepted answer to this question have become conflated. Now, to "have a bee up one's butt" is to have a sudden and obsessive need to do ...
4
votes
3answers
139 views

Does English have an equivalent to the Arabic “Far away from you”?

Arabic has an idiomatic expression which translates as "Far away from you". Is there something similar in English? If something low or contemptible is cited the expression usually immediately follows ...
5
votes
5answers
212 views

“From hands, I pray, will never bereave”

When someone dear serves you a drink or a cup of tea/coffee, the recipient may offer this polite saying. It's very difficult to translate it to English. It should be something like: "From hands that I ...
8
votes
4answers
92 views

Alternate idiom for “Let them eat cake” [closed]

Unfortunately that phrase habitually comes to mind when I want to be chidingly sarcastic towards someone who is out of touch with the reality of a subject, as it's not the right idiom. This is an ...
4
votes
3answers
81 views

Anything similar to Arabic “O' Peace”?

The best way to go about an explanation is an example. Imagine if the times would go back, when we were living in Baghdad, when all was quiet and mellow. "Ooo Peace! O God O God. If only ...
1
vote
4answers
119 views

Single-word or idiom request to mean “overshoot the runway” and its etymology

In yesterday's Outfront anchored by Erin Burnett, she and one of the panelists exchanged the below conversation: Burnett: So, Van, Clinton was wrong technically in terms of there's been no ...
1
vote
3answers
47 views

A phrase to describe “implementation of an order in all the cases” [closed]

To a query, an order has been given by the higher authority. Now, it is a question as to whether the same order should be implemented in all the cases. In this scenario, what phrase should be used?
0
votes
3answers
80 views

What idioms could be used to say you are a close relative with someone?

Anne, Emily, and Charlotte Brontë are such talented writers. No wonder, they are cut from the same cloth. To be cut from the same cloth means to be very similar, according to Cambridge Idioms ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

What do you call a word that changed because of everyday usage?

When words are common and they are being used regularly their meanings change. Sometimes they are spelled in a different way than they are supposed to. What do you call this phenomena or what do you ...
0
votes
3answers
69 views

Idiom/Phrase for “results without work/effort”

I'd be greatly appreciative of a cleverly devised idiom/phrase that depicts the following concept: Results without work/effort. ...and/or... My Work/Effort; Your Result. Any idioms/phrases ...
6
votes
7answers
179 views

Idiom or phrase for “nickel-and-dime”ing your time?

I'm looking for a phrase for someone who is over-grasping with regards to minutes on their work time-sheet or other time accounting. Someone who will not only charge from the moment they walk in the ...
6
votes
2answers
78 views

'If only youthness may come back a day so I may lament to it the grayness'

Arabic poetry يا ليت الشباب يعود يوما، لأخبره بما فعل المشيب If only youthness may come back a day, so I may (complain/unbosom my feelings to it/tell it/lament to it/open my heart so it may ...
2
votes
3answers
74 views

An idiomatic expression for: “not to be seen by someone”

Sometimes I have something to share, but hope that it can't be seen by my close friends or family. Is there a word, idiom , or a better expression that means: “not be seen by someone” An example: ...
7
votes
4answers
105 views

Similar idiom to 'Do not feel sorry about the turn of the times'

It's from Arabic poetry: He who is covered by the days is naked, so do not feel sorry about the turn of the times/the infidelity of the days, for long have dogs danced around the corpses of lions, ...
0
votes
5answers
145 views

Is “Donald Trump finally dropped the ball” the right expression?

I would like you to suggest a more apt/suitable idioms and expressions in the following senses: Everybody knew it would eventually happen at the end of the day. After waiting for some time like a ...
3
votes
2answers
43 views

What's the best adjective to define a person's attitude to project thoughts into the future?

Regardless if optimistic, negative, or realistic, it should depict an innate quality or ability, rather than a professional skill. I'm not trying to adjectivalize the scientific thinking of a ...
15
votes
19answers
2k views

Word/Idiom/Phrase to describe a stage in a project's life-cycle when you are stuck and thus no progress is happening?

Sometimes while working on a project, we get stuck. We run into a problem which we are not able to solve despite of trying for some time (a few days or weeks). Sometimes we don't even know what is ...
2
votes
3answers
66 views

Idioms/Phrase for Obvious No

There are idioms for an obvious yes when answering a question maybe if you were offered something and replying for example : 'Does the pope pray?' And various other ones. What are the equivalents ...
3
votes
2answers
58 views

to almost meet someone at some place

Is there a common way to say in English that two people were in the same place but didn't know at the time about each other and eventually didn't meet? I know one can say they passed each other on ...
0
votes
4answers
59 views

Idiom for “what is apparent may not be the truth” [closed]

Is there an idiom or phrase for "what is apparent may not be the truth" The use context is: You may see XYZ in zooming off in a Ferrari. But that is only because s/he works in the dealership as a ...
17
votes
11answers
3k views

How do you say to someone that you will reuse a sentence you've just heard from them?

How do you say to someone that you will reuse a sentence (or a joke) you've just heard from them, as-is, because you liked it a lot ? In Italian we say "Questa me la rivendo", that translated is ...
0
votes
1answer
134 views

Is the idiom “as neat as a pin” an American phrase?

I'm editing a novel set in 1930s England, written by an American author, and have been editing out any Americanisms I come across. I just read a line of dialogue containing the idiom "as neat as a ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

A word or idiom to describe an abusive parent who wants to keep their child

I just finished watching the video game Among the Sleep and at the end At the beginning of the game, the mother seems to cling onto the child possibly in memory of the little boy's father. At the ...
4
votes
9answers
585 views

A word/phrase for something massively complex

I am looking for a word to describe something that is so massively complex and poorly organized, that it collapses under it's own weight. Due to a tight word count, I would prefer to use one word, but ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Calling this kind of situation of defeat

I am looking for a phrase to describe a situation where two people are arguing and only one of them is good with words (Let's call him 'A') and the one with limited speaking skills (let's call him ...
20
votes
11answers
3k views

Phrase to mean one is described by his name [duplicate]

I found in some other languages such as Chinese an interesting idiom which describes some people; for example, when you see a person is named "Smart" and he/she is really smart, one would say: "a name ...
1
vote
4answers
37 views

Is there an idiom for the maximum amount of surprise?

Looking for an expression of extreme surprise. I've got shock, amazement, aghast and the rest of the the thesaurus, but I'm really seeking something more idiomatic. Ideally the phrase/idiom would ...
2
votes
3answers
243 views

Looking for an idiom opposite to “the more the merrier”

I am looking for an idiom or a phrase that expresses the opposite idea of "the more the merrier". Context: Five persons are taking a class in gymnastics with a private coach. Only two show up ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Searching for a possible idiom

I was watchin the show "The Leftovers" and there is a scene where a woman is talking to a guy who was giving a survey to people. They were talking about the results. And he said that the responses he ...
11
votes
20answers
2k views

Word or short phrase for something that constantly monitors

I'm looking for a word for a computer that monitors a group of things, and computer always notices when a member of the group misbehaves. So the group cannot escape notice. Example: The monitor ...
7
votes
8answers
489 views

Word, phrase or idiom for an action taken for solely political advantage

Is there a word, phrase or idiom for an action taken for solely political advantage (although superficially this might be non-obvious)? Example: What evidence is there that Lyndon Johnson's War ...
0
votes
4answers
87 views

Looking for an idiom to say that a substantial portion of the work is done and a small part remains

While looking for it, the closest expression I found was 'finishing touches', but that does not really give the same idea.
6
votes
3answers
360 views

What would you call a person who helps you only to later boast about it or repeatedly, emphatically mention it during a fight? [duplicate]

Say someone helped you of their own volition. You express your gratitude for it. Then, whenever you have an argument over something, anything, they see it fit to repeatedly mention the fact that they ...
0
votes
0answers
67 views

Pretty specific, but is “with your plate in your lap” a common expression in English?

In Dutch we use it to refer to (the airtime of) tv-shows that start around dinner. Is there an equivalent to it? I suppose it's sort of an idiom, but probably too specific to be considered so.
5
votes
4answers
240 views

An idiom for “saving tap water on drowning Titanic” situation [duplicate]

I'm looking for a phrase, that can be applied to the situation when someone attempts to resolve a big problem or minimize damage by performing minor, insufficient actions, or is micromanaging instead ...
6
votes
8answers
369 views

Is there a word/idiom for feigning a belief for the purpose of constructing an argument?

Currently I'm using the phrase "Operating on the premise that". Here's an example: Operating on the premise that the God depicted in the Old Testament is real, I would provide a sacrificial lamb. ...