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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12
votes
12answers
397 views
+50

Synonym for “Blind Spot”

I'm looking for a term or an idiom to point to the weakness of something, specifically a computer program. Something similar to "Achilles Heel" but not that! I just found blind spot : "an area in ...
15
votes
14answers
3k views

Is there any idiom about the problems so bad that cannot be solved? [on hold]

Do we have any idiom in English stating such a concept? "the problem got so bad/complex that it cannot be solved anymore"
6
votes
11answers
31k views

Phrase for something that is always out or reach/you almost have but never can get

I believe there is a two-word phrase for something that is always just out of reach for you and which you cannot ever seem to get. (It is not Tantalus or anything having to do with Tantalus, please). ...
8
votes
8answers
1k views

Chasing something that doesn't exist

I'm trying to find a word or short phrase that would describe chasing something that doesn't exist. My restriction is that it can't be referencing something that would only make sense in our world ...
0
votes
3answers
102 views

What do you call someone who is easily influenced?

I am looking for a term with bad connotation. I am aware of the popular terms like "he/she has no personality", pliable, malleable, weak-minded but i couldn't find any more on the insulting side. It ...
28
votes
27answers
6k views

Idiom or expression that would imply “someone is a habitual liar”

I'm looking for an idiom or expression for describing people who tell lies out of habit (so you cannot trust them at all). I know that these people are called "compulsive liars", but I'm not looking ...
41
votes
18answers
5k views

English equivalent for the Persian proverb “The mountain just gave birth to a mouse”

I'm looking for an idiom or expression to describe a well-known person/ organization/ politician/ government whose achievements in a given situation are smaller than what they had claimed or promised ...
0
votes
2answers
36 views

Do you know any idiom/proverb for saying “that's great! Literally everybody got aware of our problem!”

How do you sarcastically say "that's great! Literally everybody got aware of our problem!" if you want to use an idiom/proverb?
7
votes
5answers
325 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
57 views

Is there an English idiom that is equivalent to “ calls seem to be getting ever more louder”? [on hold]

Are there any phrases that I can use instead of this? context: In this case it is to show something whose importance is increasing and therefore the number of people supporting this particular ...
18
votes
14answers
2k views

What is the expression to describe that you are surrounded and have few ways to act?

Something like "circle is narrow" (just total random)? For example I'm trapped by circumstances and don't know how to get away with that. Because every way of acting seems not to be good. Thank you ...
5
votes
17answers
2k views

Idiom for “dominate”

I'm looking for an idiom that means "dominate" and can be used in the following sentence: Our team dominated from the beginning to the end.
3
votes
1answer
39 views

I need a word to convey the meaning of getting a course approved w/o ever going to class

I've recently started working at the International Office at my University and I've found myself in need of an English word for succeeding in a test and getting a course approved without going to ...
0
votes
3answers
26 views

Phrase similar to “in the offing”

The meaning of "in the offing" I guess is "something that is likely to happen in the (distant) future" Is there any phrase that describes something that is likely to happen soon?
8
votes
4answers
94 views

A phrase for when one is reduced to quibbling on unimportant details having had to give up significant ground

Is there a popular phrase or idiom to capture the following very particular scenario? Person A and person B are arguing over something. Person A repeatedly gives ground to B until the argument becomes ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

Expression for two people whose similar personalities makes it difficult for them to get along?

I am aware of the concept of "personality clash", when two people can't get along because their natures are too different, but what is it called when two people can't get along because their ...
7
votes
8answers
126 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
24 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 ...
16
votes
23answers
4k views

Suitable saying for “different people like/dislike different things”?

Suppose I have some problem when someone takes an action 'X' on me which I find highly offensive and which makes me feel bad but it may/may not effect other individuals if used on them. A friend of ...
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 ...
7
votes
5answers
388 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, ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
128 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
361 views

Words or phrases for 'credit takers'

Let say, A and B work in the same office. Every time A talks to B about his idea or working style, B always takes that idea to his boss and acts as if it was his own idea. What are words, phrases or ...
5
votes
1answer
57 views

Alternatives to “exponentially bigger”

One idiom that grinds my gears is "exponentially bigger" outside of an actual (exponential) trend, e.g. in pairwise comparisons like "A is exponentially bigger than B". What is a good idiom for ...
10
votes
5answers
152 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
35 views

An idiom that means to make someone admit/confess that they are wrong

Example sentence: He was _____ by his friends and was looking embarrassed. He is a fraud and will _____ soon.
4
votes
5answers
397 views

Slang or idiom for submissive [on hold]

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.
5
votes
7answers
243 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
24 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." ...
3
votes
5answers
60 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

An idiom for taking advantage of something which gave you the right to take advantage in the first place

Can someone suggest an idiom which means - taking advantage of something, which gave you the right to take advantage in the first place? I know this isn't clear, but it's something like - Shooting a ...
8
votes
5answers
287 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
738 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
176 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
16 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)
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 ...
7
votes
10answers
278 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
55 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
55 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 ...
6
votes
7answers
545 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
87 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
98 views

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

I'm doing homework and I need idiom for a character who is very perceptive?
3
votes
4answers
98 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! ...
1
vote
2answers
87 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 ___ ?', ...
2
votes
4answers
167 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: ...
6
votes
3answers
265 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
9answers
186 views

Is there an English equivalent to “Do not expose others' misdeeds”?

In Bahasa, the phrase "Jangan membuka aib orang lain" is used to ask other people to not expose one's bad deeds. An example of this would be: [After A breaks B's vase with C watching] A: C, ...
1
vote
6answers
156 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
184 views

English equivalent for “Just eat the cake. Why count the holes?”

In Malayalam/Indian, there's an expression: Appam thinnal pore, kuzhi ennano! It literally translates to: Just eat the appam (Indian pancake). Why count the holes! It implies that one ...