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
votes
1answer
46 views

Idiom for the Appearance of a Quæstion [duplicate]

Is there an idiom like ‘the quæstion raises itself, whether …’?
0
votes
2answers
81 views

Expression for “dividing something with others”?

In a play, a girl finds some stolen treasure and divides it among her friends. I ask for an expression which is used to describe this heroine that wants to share with her friends. Within the dialog ...
0
votes
3answers
46 views

'cut one off /loosen grip'

'Cut one off, or loosen grip'. Meaning if someone asks you to do something for them and you accept, but you then just don't do it. We have an idiom that translates something around the lines of 'he ...
-2
votes
2answers
37 views

'Not to be taken as a standard'

'Not to be taken as a standard to evaluate somebody or something' Is this correct to say or is there another idiom or saying for it in English? For example if a team who wasn't expected to lose a ...
4
votes
6answers
277 views

Is there an idiom or set phrase for “pretending not to understand an innuendo”?

You understood perfectly what the other person said but preferred to act as if you hadn't. For any reason: it may be that any reply would be embarrassing, it might start an argument, or would make you ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

What's a good idiom to describe someone who is very clever?

Is there an idiom to describe someone who is clever and quick-witted?
21
votes
15answers
5k views

What is the term for a person who doesn't waste time?

What is an English word/expression/idiom for a "person who doesn't waste time"? Especially a person who doesn't look for excuses when she/he should be doing something productive e.g. working, ...
6
votes
8answers
1k views

Describing someone who has a great potential but is not aware of it

What's the best idiom/phrase/word to describe someone who has a great potential to do something while he/she is not aware of that potential. For this reason, (s)he underestimate her/his capabilities ...
6
votes
4answers
185 views

What’s a person who borrows something but won’t return it?

I cannot find the right words or expression or idiom to describe a person who borrows something from someone but will not return it to its owner. Also, I would like to know the word that describes a ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

What is the idiom for “as anyone can see” or “clearly”?

I keep wanting to say "the handwriting on the wall," but that's not correct. The place I'm trying to use it is, "Alice likes Bob, Carol likes Bob, Alice thinks Bob likes her, but Bob dates Carol, and ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

proper way to write the slang term for “gravitational force”

I came across something very similar to this in a thriller novel: At this stage, the rocket is experiencing its maximum acceleration, say about ten gees. Here, the author has spelled out the ...
2
votes
5answers
394 views

Idiom for “don't put me with somebody together in the same sentence”

I am looking for an idiom used when people say that you are as good/bad as somebody, but you don't agree with it because you think you are not on the same level as them, or that you are way better ...
1
vote
7answers
118 views

What is an expresion for “getting older in appearance”?

"The children in school grew up so fast. They, like their parents, went about their professional career. In a flash they became gray and grizzled, and were getting tired of life." Is there a ...
9
votes
11answers
8k views

“You get what you deserve nothing more nothing less”

In this world we reside, what we acquire depends on what we can acquire. In other words, if we have the money to, we can buy a house; if we have the necessary educational qualifications to, we can get ...
35
votes
14answers
6k views

Is there a word or an idiom for people who only spend their families' money and fool around?

Is there a word or an idiom for rich people who spend only their families' money and do not bother to work, just fool around?
4
votes
9answers
584 views

Equivalent for the Persian idiom “Khaste Nabaashid”

We Persian speakers have a common idiom, Khaste Nabaashid, and usually say it to someone who finished a task or is in the middle of doing that. The literal translation of the idiom is something like ...
0
votes
5answers
101 views

Alternative for “found something accidentally even when it was lying really close the whole time”

Let me give you an example of the situation where I would like to use this "word/phrase/idiom/expression". A friend of mine who had a laptop for 3 months now accidentally discovers that it is ...
1
vote
1answer
98 views

“You not only couldn't fix it but even damaged it more!” [duplicate]

Suppose you want to fix your brother's bicycle, but this time it seems that you cannot do it and at the end of your work, you find that you have caused an extra damage to that bicycle, too! :) We ...
0
votes
0answers
69 views

'Brew' for a hot drink. Internationally understood?

I'm working on a business case for a startup that is related to making a coffee/tea. The brand website should be internationally recognizable but not include the terms tea or coffee. I've been ...
11
votes
9answers
1k views

Idiom / phrase for a treasure in a ruin

How to describe some thing valuable that could be gained from an unexpected place? I heard a Persian Idiom that could be appropriate for this case: a treasure in a ruin. Is there any equivalent ...
2
votes
1answer
36 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
100 views

What do you call a person who has a relationship with a much younger adult?

What do I call someone who marries or has a sexual relationship with someone much younger than themselves? Their partner is someone who is at least 18 years old. The term paedophile is not the ...
1
vote
7answers
78 views

Happening of something that is beyond of one's expectation [closed]

Is there an idiom or phrase or word associated with something good that is beyond of one's expectation and happens to him or her?
102
votes
16answers
21k views

Is there an English idiom for trying to do two things at the same time and failing at both of them due to splitting your effort?

I'm basically searching for the opposite of putting all your eggs in one basket, where the risk is total failure because you did not hedge your efforts. I'm searching for a phrase that encompasses ...
0
votes
2answers
23 views

equivalent to 'my Liver lobes'

In arabic, the organ 'the liver' has a noticeable role in language as does 'the heart'. For example, We say, in the heart of the city. But we also say, Zuhr prayer begins when the sun is at the liver ...
3
votes
8answers
95 views

What would be the equivalent of “spam” if referring to face-to-face conversation?

If unsolicited bulk mail in your inbox is referred to as spam, what would be its equivalent for someone talking indiscriminately, but face-to-face without the intervention of technology.
0
votes
1answer
77 views

To prove some property “to stretch to some class of objects”

While collaborating in the writing of a scientific paper, one of the co-authors wrote ".../... and we will prove it to stretch to some class", is it usual ? The context is the following. "Then, ...
2
votes
2answers
70 views

Word/phrase for describing a relationship/association that could be productive and conterproductive

How to explain such a relationship/association (preferably not in the human context) : Approach A could be regarded as an innovative idea to leverage full potential of system B. In the reverse ...
22
votes
16answers
3k views

Alternative idiom to “phone it in”

I like to use the idiom 'phone it in' in the sense described by Wiktionary: To fulfill a responsibility with a minimum effort rather than the appropriate level of effort. For example: 'He used ...
3
votes
3answers
118 views

Describing something that was the best solution in its time

What's the word/phrase/idiom for describing something that was the best solution, product, etc in its time. However, after a while, for example a decade, it's proved that it is not as efficient and ...
10
votes
7answers
1k views

Antonym for 'serial', as in 'a serial publication'

I'm looking for a word that signifies the opposite of a serial publication, where a serial publication is described like: The first novella in a three-part series. Or: A quarterly ...
1
vote
6answers
85 views

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

The Arabic 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
45 views

Idioms for diffrentiating the experience of dealing with drones versus expert professionals

I'm looking for a means of expressing a type of individual (or the burden of dealing with a type of individual) that is hired/outsourced but is not autonomous, initiated nor can they deliver anything ...
1
vote
2answers
56 views

Idioms and common English phrases related to music? [closed]

I am writing a dissertation on musical education in developing countries. I would like to find titles for my section that are catchy. Does anyone have any recommendations for resources of ...
4
votes
3answers
114 views

Describe someone who chooses the worst option for doing the work

How to describe someone who chooses the worst option (way) to do their work(s)and this puts he/she in trouble. Persian speakers have an idiom for such a situation that its literal translation is ...
0
votes
2answers
72 views

Alternative ways of saying “Try your best”? [closed]

I want to encourage my friend through a hardship of his career. What are some alternative ways of saying "Try your best"?
8
votes
20answers
2k views

Idiom for something that is the best “available” solution

What's the most relevant idiom for something that is not the best solution and theoretically is far from the ideal. However, among the current solutions this the most appropriate and working one. It ...
9
votes
12answers
847 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?
1
vote
2answers
90 views

Idiom or phrase associated with a person who blame others for his or her fault?

Is there an idiom or phrase associated with a person who can't do some work or something but he or she blames something or somebody else?
0
votes
1answer
74 views

Word/phrase/idiom that means “deliberately chosen”?

Example: The books in this library were extremely colorful, almost as if they'd been [...] to fit the contemporary feel of the library. Maybe hand-picked? That's the only word I can think of. ...
2
votes
3answers
47 views

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

It means that one can't just make things happen magically, or that one is incapable of doing the thing requested immediately. The wording comes from the magical powers that Moses's staff had. Any ...
7
votes
20answers
858 views

When someone ruins all the good they have ever done!

Suppose you have a nice and kind friend who helps you whenever possible, but sometimes they say something to you so angrily and sarcastically that you forget about all their kindness and help, because ...
6
votes
6answers
256 views

Is there a good alternative to “low man on the totem pole”?

Since "low man on the totem pole" is potentially ambiguous (and is possibly offensive to some), are there any good alternative idioms to mean someone of low rank who gets stuck with undesirable ...
0
votes
4answers
33 views

'let him vent out his malevolence/rancor'? matching idiom?

I believe an example will serve best to explain it, so if someone has been extremely tolerant with smb or a group of people over a long period of time, until no more can be beared and emotions flood ...
5
votes
4answers
206 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
66 views

English equivalent to the Arabic idiom 'soak it and drink its water'?

There is a common Arabic idiom, which literally translated says: Soak it and drink its water It can said about pretty much anything, to express a kind of contemptuous indifference. For ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

'go ride your highest horse' equivalence?

'Go ride your highest horse'. It is used to mean go do whatever you wish I will not comply or listen to what you want. It's like never will I do that, go do as you wish. The idea behind riding your ...
1
vote
4answers
82 views

“One has to die one death”

I'm looking for an English equivalent to the German "Einen Tod muss man sterben" ("One has to die one death"). As far as I know the literal translation is not in use. It refers to a situation in ...
1
vote
3answers
301 views

Right Good but Left Bad [closed]

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
44 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 ...