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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
7answers
181 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 ...
32
votes
20answers
8k views

Is there an idiom or typical expression for an unfunny joke?

Could you tell me suitable idioms to express this situation; A guy told you a joke, but it's not funny at all. In Japanese, we say "He slipped." or "His joke was so cold that the air got ...
6
votes
5answers
368 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 ...
9
votes
8answers
1k views

To donate something you want to throw away

Suppose that a person buys a packet of sugar. On the way home, the packet falls off his hands and the sugar scatters on the ground. Nobody is expected to gather the sugar again, but that person does ...
0
votes
2answers
126 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 ...
45
votes
29answers
9k views

Is there an English equivalent to the Persian saying “Now that it's my turn, the sky fell 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

A word for a period covering two years

Specifically the phrase "two years". Just like how you can say two moons for “two months”. I've thought of: "two periods" but that doesn't seem right, and "two seasons" but not quite sure if it is ...
28
votes
11answers
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 ...
9
votes
4answers
340 views

Idiom or proverb request for describing or criticising a situation in which the lowliest dare mock a mightiest who has become old

I am looking for an idiom or proverb that can be used in situations which the lowliest dare mock a mightiest because of his/her age and thus considering him/her enfeebled. There is proverb in Persian ...
3
votes
2answers
70 views

Idiom or expression that would imply “someone is showing equivocal behaviors that indicate a feign reluctance”

I'm looking for an idiom or expression that mean "someone is showing a feign reluctance to do/ have something" or "someone pretends to be less interested in something or someone than they really are." ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

other ways of saying 'to want something bad enough'

I've been surfing the web looking for an alternative to 'want sth bad enough' but I haven't found anything useful. I've got a dialogue between two characters who are a couple. They're facing ...
29
votes
27answers
7k 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 ...
26
votes
18answers
6k views

What is the problem that gets worse after you try to solve it?

Example sentence - This problem is a _____ which gets complicated every time you try to solve it. Is there such a word that represents a problem which will become worse if/when one tries to solve it?...
27
votes
12answers
6k views

Idiom for a person who is above any question

I read somewhere a sentence which said about a political leader that he is the "holy something" whose actions cannot be questioned. The context was to describe that even though this man does bad ...
24
votes
14answers
3k views

An idiomatic phrase meaning that you are aware of a coming change based on minor signals you've observed over time

I feel like there's a phrase that people sometimes use in order to indicate that they have been aware of an impending change or event. The phrase draws on the metaphor of a soldier placing his ear to ...
18
votes
6answers
5k views

Word for “a way of choosing the guy to do the horrible job.”

In the aftermath of a party, a few friends are to decide the guy who will have to do the cleaning. They play a game, any game, like rock paper scissors, to decide who has to do the cleaning. The one ...
2
votes
2answers
68 views

Alternative for “all for one, one for all”

Looking for an alternative idiom/phrase, etc. for the titular term. Any idea?
9
votes
13answers
2k views

Idiom or phrase about a situation in which a person has little hope

Is there an idiom or phrase associated with a time when a person has little hope and has to choose between bad and worse options?
0
votes
4answers
104 views

What's a word or phrase that means 'take advantage of someone's psychological weaknesses'?

I'm looking for something that's catchy and succinct. 'Exploit' is a good word for 'take advantage of' but it doesn't take into account someone's psychological weaknesses.
11
votes
11answers
2k views

Idiom for challenging someone to fight

Calling or inviting someone, maybe even pushing in some way, to have a fight with them. It might be a bar fight, a school brawl, or a professional challenge like in the UFC. Example sentence—The ...
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 ...
2
votes
4answers
47 views

An idiom for using power of position to get things done

It is not nepotism as nepotism is possible because they use their power and it is use their power which I want to replace. Example situation would be getting into someplace by force, like a concert, ...
2
votes
2answers
279 views

Is there any proverb or idiom in English that says that “If you understand yourself and your opponent, you can win any battles”?

There is a Chinese proverb saying that "If you understand yourself and your enemy, you can win any battles"? It seems that the proverb was from "The Art of War" of Sun Tzu “If you know the ...
14
votes
7answers
3k views

Term for “to have a hidden purpose for being involved in something”?

The hidden purpose can be selfish or not. He or she is involved in something to ensure their purpose is fulfilled. Example : She joined our group to help us. She has no _____. He will only join us ...
1
vote
3answers
88 views

Idiom for a situation with no reliance and trust

Is there an idiom or expression for a situation or a part of time that there's an atmosphere of distrust and every one is cheating each other and no one can be able to find a trusthworthy person?
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Is there an English equivalent to the Syrian proverb: “Throw meat to the dog, and he'll forget the bread and salt”?

When they throw meat to the dog, he forgets the bread and salt (companionship one had with someone else). This Syrian phrase is said to someone who throws away years of friendship and gregarious ...
1
vote
0answers
32 views

What's an expression for “it doesn't matter where you start so long as you end up in the same place”?

Is there an expression for "it doesn't matter where you start so long as you end up in the same place"? The specific context I wish to use this in is in education: saying that it ultimately doesn't ...
0
votes
5answers
195 views

A word for stripping someone of something hard-earned [closed]

It is like taking away the fame, wealth or influence of a celebrity. The police ____ Alan Turing. Alan Turing was unfortunately ____.
3
votes
2answers
162 views

Idiom for trying to make better something that is already perfect

Examples maybe editing mona lisa, finding a substitute of chocolate, etc. It was just a thought, I can't think of anything else. I mean I can, but only as accessorizing unnecessarily, which is not ...
5
votes
1answer
84 views

Translation of German “Es wird nichts so heiß gegessen, wie es gekocht wird”

A German speaker wrote: As the German saying goes: You never eat the food as hot as it is cooked. This is a literal translation of the proverb, "Es wird nichts so heiß gegessen, wie es gekocht ...
2
votes
4answers
42 views

Idiom to express that there is no more hope for something to happen

Example situation : I have been waiting for the admission results. The result is declared and I don't have my name in it. Still I check every other hour if it has changed to include my name. Then my ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

An expression for not giving up when you know you should

Is there an idiom or expression that describes a situation where one knows they need to stop doing something that's not working, but they don't want to because of all the effort they've already put ...
-1
votes
1answer
34 views

Idiom to express that everyone pay for themselves

I understand there is splitting the check when the bill is split equally between certain number of people. But that may differ than paying for what each of them bought or used. Example : I'm not ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Idiom for two different consequences from one antecedent

I'm searching for an idiom to use to say briefly that two different outcomes may represent different sides of the same underlying phenomenon. I would use it in the topic of a chapter. These two ...
2
votes
3answers
69 views

What's it called when someone does his work at client's home

People of some occupations usually do their work at the specifically equipped facilities. For example, you go to the barbershop to get a haircut or you go to the dentist, when you have a tooth pain. ...
16
votes
18answers
3k views

Term for when doing a job or work following all the rules and regulations

Sometimes a work is done by any means necessary, often against rules. I am looking for a word or idiom that means doing work according to or following rules and regulations. Example : You're ...
43
votes
16answers
6k views

Is there an expression to indicate the strategy of wearing someone down with numerous small irritations?

I would use rope-a-dope, but it's got connotations of pretending to lose that I don't need. I'm trying to describe the behavior of someone who sends twenty detailed emails a day about various projects,...
14
votes
14answers
3k views

The verb for love at first sight (idiom or word)

The verb for love at first sight (idiom or word) that is loving or liking them nearly instantly. Love at first sight is an experience and therefore a noun. I wonder if there's a verb close to, if ...
1
vote
2answers
41 views

How to say that “not watching a movie continuously”?

I feel awkward when I am trying to express this. Sometimes when we watch a movie on a computer, we don't watch it from the beginning to the end. In this case, is there a verb or phrase that native ...
5
votes
4answers
97 views

Idiom for expressing feeling of not willing to talk to a person who always replies in a disrespectful manner?

Is there an idiom for expressing the feeling of not willing to talk to a person who always replies in disdain or have such attitude or replies back in a disrespectful manner?
21
votes
8answers
3k views

Idiom for falsifying/altering records, illegally

So far I've got fudge. I wonder if an idiom verb exists for changing account information or something like that done by crooked businessman or accountants to dodge authority, like IRS.
1
vote
0answers
38 views

Negligence in saying something

When I said something and I want to state that what I said was based on some level of negligence, what phrase should I use? For example: There are two main parameters in the method: the number of ...
0
votes
2answers
137 views

A term for thinking that something will happen in the future because it hasn't happened yet

It can be called a false belief I guess. An example situation would be rolling a die five times and getting every number except six and then believing that the next one will be a six. But in reality ...
13
votes
9answers
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
53 views

Idioms to say If there is something needed to be done, then do it today?

My friend try to use idioms/parse to express that "If there is something has to be done, then let's do it right now, not postpone to other day." She was trying to use "One of these days is none of ...
5
votes
1answer
34 views

An idiom meaning “The ideal form of something always seems perfect, but in reality it probably isn't”

Is there such a thing? I am thinking, specifically, of socio-economic systems whose theory looks fine and good—but usually turn out bad. Consider the scenario where someone, for example, is ...
6
votes
6answers
722 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
2answers
37 views

The term for when it is easy to remember things that happened at the start or beginning but not the middle

It is like remembering how we started a thing and finishing it but not those in the middle. An example is a trip taken long ago about which you only remember the start and end or things near to the ...
3
votes
1answer
54 views

A phrase that means “feigning being violated”

There was a recent phrase I can't remember for feigning being violated. I know the word perfidy is sometimes used, but that is not what I am looking for. I remember seeing something on the media and ...
3
votes
3answers
435 views

Is there a word or phrase to describe the aging of graphics technology?

So I'm thinking of something along the lines of the idea of the "uncanny valley" in which technology reaches a point where it's very human/life-like but still "off" somehow, causing a revulsion or ...