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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3answers
261 views

Right Good but Left Bad

While examining the definition/etymology of the adjective sinister, I noticed its senses of EVIL, ILL-FORTUNE, and general inauspiciousness, as well as explicit references to the noun/adjective LEFT. ...
2
votes
1answer
36 views

Equivalent to idiom 'Decency has been omitted from the dictionary'?

The idiom 'That's it. Decency has been omitted from the dictionary.' It means what is this world coming to no one is respecting anyone anymore. The sayer is suprised, for example it is said if even ...
1
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2answers
38 views

Idiom for doing “space age” stuff instead of what is necessary

What is a good way to call someone out who prefers doing the new, cool, and shiny thing over doing what is really necessary?
0
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3answers
30 views

equivalent to the idiom 'I'll imprint with my ten fingers'

The idiom 'I'll imprint with my ten fingers' is used to mean you don't just approve of something but you completely and utterly approve of it without a scintilla of doubt you are in till the end. Used ...
4
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7answers
603 views

Any slang word for “debt-collector”?( specially among gangsters & criminals!)

According to dictionaries, A collection agency, also known as a debt collector, is a business that pursues payments of debts owed by individuals or businesses. But I have seen in movies that criminal ...
0
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2answers
36 views

I'm looking for a term, word or phase used to describe the important, but minute, details. Something along the lines of, “it's the little things”

Persons often say, "It's the little things". I'm looking for a word or term that would describe this feeling of a minute detail completing a whole.
2
votes
3answers
80 views

Idiom for something like vantage point / perspective, but for point in time rather than place

Vantage point is described by Merriam Webster as "a position from which something is viewed or considered". In this definition, how literal is "position" to be taken? I have the feeling this is ...
8
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15answers
565 views

“He is an opportunist, there's no need to give him more excuses or opportunities!”

We have a saying in my country: He doesn't need music to start dancing. He is already dancing without music! Which figuratively means: He doesn't need any special, real, or necessary excuses ...
2
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3answers
38 views

Similar idiom to ' I don't have the staff of Moses'

It means that one can't make just things happen magically, or that one is incapable of doing the thing requested immediately. It comes from the magical powers Moses's staff had. Any such idioms?
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7answers
1k views

Is there a familiar phrase for spending too much time on something?

We all know that "a stitch in time saves nine" and "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure", but sometimes the opposite is true. A stitch before its time is a waste of time and thread. If ...
5
votes
5answers
165 views

Is there any proverb or idiom that conveys “the world is bound to no man”?

Is there any proverb or idiom that conveys this meaning:" Don't rely on this world, since it is not loyal to man forever, today is in your hand, tomorrow in mine" (actually it is a Persian saying and ...
19
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9answers
2k views

A modern equivalent for “at the coalface”

I let you believe that I am one of the nation's top geneticists, when actually I am a moderately successful scientist who is now coasting on past research, doing the odd bit of examining or ...
25
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7answers
5k views

Is 'I f*cked the dog' an actual idiom and are there alternatives

I am a non-native speaker from Germany. In German there's one idiom that goes: Sich die Eier schaukeln Literally translated, this means "to rock the eggs", where "the eggs" are testicles. This ...
3
votes
6answers
172 views

the feeling left in one's psyche by another person's gestalt

The meaning of the term I'm looking for is something to the effect of: the feeling that one person's gestalt leaves in another person's psyche Or, to say the same thing in a clearer (thanks to ...
39
votes
28answers
8k views

Is there an English equivalent to the Persian saying “Now that it's my turn, the sky came down”?

Suppose there are many people standing in a line to receive an expensive item as a free gift, and everyone receives it except for the last person in the line. The last one is told, "Sorry, the gifts ...
0
votes
0answers
16 views

It happened the same to me as John [migrated]

Let us suppose something happened first to John and then to me. Is it grammatically correct to say: It happened the same to me as John. And if it is not, how would express this meaning, then?
83
votes
24answers
15k views

Idiom for someone who buys all the best gear to do something before they even have a basic proficiency?

I'm looking for an idiom to describe someone who decides to take up a new hobby, then buys an excessive amount of gear before they've even started. Perhaps they believe they need this gear to master ...
2
votes
3answers
54 views

What is placing name with something called?

Recently, I'm watching the Chinese port version of The Voice (not sure if I can call it that since they differ greatly at least in my opinion), 中國好聲音 (The Voice of China). Every time the name of the ...
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3answers
8k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
34 views

Idiomatic phrase for small type words at end of a document

Is there a phrase in English that that can be used in the following situation: You read an article and from the title you understand that this is something positive, but if you read it all, very ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

Is there a word for the relationship between my cousin's family and mine?

My mother's brother is my "uncle". His son is my "cousin". His wife is my "aunt". Each of these words names a specific person based on their familial relationship to me. Together the three of them ...
1
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5answers
57 views

Informal way to say “contrary to popular belief”?

Example: Contrary to popular belief, depression is more about 'hows' than 'whys'. And sometimes we even use logic to try to justify it. I think contrary to popular belief is too formal. Is ...
43
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15answers
6k views

An English equivalent of Arabic idiom ‘Show us the breadth of your shoulders’

The Arabic idiom “OK, now you can show us the breadth of your shoulders.” has a meaning similar to get lost, but with a more humorous edge. The idea of the idiom comes from when the recipient turns ...
14
votes
10answers
2k views

Is there an English equivalant to the Russian saying “the baker never buys his bread”?

I heard a good Russian(?) saying that I like, which is, "the baker never buys his bread," as in, "bakers aren't wealthy people, but at least they always have bread." Kind of like if you were a shop ...
5
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3answers
144 views

equivalent to the idiom 'Even our intestines fight and fall out inside'

In arabic, it comes from the noises sometimes heard from our stomachs, and also from peristalses movement that takes place, and the intestine end up touching each other by contracting, squishing and ...
71
votes
28answers
17k views

Idiom or word for a very crowded place

There is a popular idiom in Russian for describing a really crowded place: "(there's) no room for an apple to fall" ("яблоку негде упасть"). I struggle to think of anything similar in English, and ...
1
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7answers
447 views

English idiom equivalent to “Like a deaf man at a wedding procession”

I have been trying laboriously to find an equivalent idiom or a catchy phrase to the one we have in Arabic مثل الأطرش بالزقة which simply means, “He is like a deaf man at a wedding procession”. It is ...
2
votes
5answers
749 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. ...
2
votes
3answers
113 views

The English equivalent of the Arabic: “Something is innocent of you”

It is used when someone claims to be something, and the other person nullifies his claim. It's like saying they are a liar and that particular thing doesn't have anything to do with him or her. ...
2
votes
9answers
632 views

Idiom for analysing something from a strange perspective

What is an idiom for analysing, describing, or understanding something from an unusual point of view? A sentence using it might be: If you _______, it is quite similar to a burrito. With the ...
7
votes
5answers
16k views

English equivalent of the Hindi phrase “छुपा रुस्तम” (chupa rustam)

I'm looking for English word[s] that come close to छुपा रुस्तम (chupa rustam), literally "hidden warrior". It's attributed to a person who is very clever but does not appear so. If I remember ...
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votes
20answers
3k views

What's an expression for a cunningly-fake friend?

I'd like to warn somebody of one of their harmful managers, or even a so-called fake friend, so I say it like this: Don't trust him! He is nothing but a cunning person who is trying to harm ...
0
votes
3answers
68 views

equivalent to 'chop my tongue off now'?

'Chop my tongue off now', when you regret saying something badly and it hurt the person badly too. It's usually said directly after you've just after realising belatedly how hurtful or wrong it was.
109
votes
17answers
14k views

Is there any English/American equivalent for the Hungarian phrase “beating the nettle with someone else's penis”?

I am trying to translate this comically vulgar Hungarian phrase, often (but not exclusively) used in a political context. It means to make someone else carry out one's rash or risky ideas, usually ...
3
votes
14answers
5k 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 ...
10
votes
12answers
3k views

Idiom for someone who forgets their roots

I am having difficulty finding English idiom(s) for these situations: A person who was previously poor then becomes arrogant because she/he is rich now. A person who has been helped (because she/he ...
69
votes
25answers
11k views

What is deliberately using complex sentences to confuse people called?

I'm wondering if there's a word, phrase, or idiom to describe the action of deliberately confusing people by using complex sentences. For example, some politicians will throw out some big words and ...
2
votes
3answers
60 views

a matching phrase or idiom, to the arabic equivalent 'compelled me to the argument'

If two people were discussing something and they want you to share your thoughts, even more judge. A bit like a lawyer. If someone started with saying something that the other person thinks is ...
1
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5answers
98 views

Is there a word/phrase/idiom to describe the feeling of you facing a dilemma?

I've got "running backward on a cornfield" as an answer on Reddit... there aren't enough usages of it online so I'm not quite sure what it actually means... are there any alternatives?
0
votes
3answers
73 views

Alternative Idiom to “Horse's Mouth”

To be "straight from the horse's mouth" is to be from the most reliable source. I am wanting a title like "The horse's mouth" for my newsletter but I don't really want to call myself a horse. What ...
4
votes
2answers
161 views

Idiomatic equivalent to Arabic “don't enlarge your stomach”

There is a phrase we commonly say in arabic, لا تكبر بطنك which literally translates to "don't enlarge your stomach", which doesn't make much sense in English. It has a widespread usage and means not ...
1
vote
7answers
387 views

Is there an idiom or word to describe the action of individuals who verbally tease another person?

I have seen some young kids like to tease somebody and laugh at the person and think this is a lots of fun for them, I would like to know if there is any word or idiom that explains their action.
2
votes
2answers
117 views

How to express “I hope” in “it is” sentence pattern?

I want to use "it is...that" sentence pattern to express the same meaning as "I hope that..". The first thing to come to my mind is "it is my hope/wish that ...", but that sounds quite weird. So how ...
2
votes
6answers
110 views

Politician says he will vote in favor of legislation that he hasn't read and will change once elected

Can anyone come up with a few good synonyms/idioms/expressions for a person or politician that will say whatever he/she believes will get him/her the most votes? For example: He/she will vote in ...
0
votes
2answers
78 views

Phrases you can say to people who are ashamed to eat at your house?

Any phrases or idioms that one can use to tell someone who is perhaps ashamed to eat at your house as a guest. Something other than 'take those shackles off, help yourself, make yourself at home'. ...
3
votes
2answers
120 views

when you can not reject a request easily

suppose someone (boss, friend, cousin,.. to whom you can not say "no" easily) asks you a personal request that its fulfillment is difficult for you, but you cannot bring yourself to say no, because ...
4
votes
8answers
193 views

Is there an idiom to describe someone who grew from less than average to influential?

Is there a idiom or common expression to describe someone who used to be shy, unsocial, unskilled, or even perceived to be useless, who somehow transformed himself or herself to be influential and ...
3
votes
2answers
66 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
196 views

What can we call “ an employee who is under-productive but the quality of his work is enviable”

A pleasant expression for an employee who has remained under-productive despite several feedback. (QUANTITATIVELY WORST) There are workers who are unable to churn up BIG numbers but the ...
-2
votes
1answer
96 views

Is there an idiom or slang word for “the last round of beer”?

I'm looking for a word or phrase that would fit here, where a few guys are drinking at a pub. A. "I must be going now." B. "Hey, wait, let's have ..............." which would mean a final drink ...