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
24 views

Idiom equivalent

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 ...
10
votes
11answers
2k views

Is there an expression that means something bad as a precursor to something good?

If someone is the bearer of bad news you might say, Don't shoot the messenger. If you have something that seems unfortunate at first but ends out wonderful you might say it's a blessing in disguise. ...
2
votes
3answers
54 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
92 views

A word or phrase to describe someone who is obsessed with words?

I want to be able to describe the love for, or obsession with, words. It may also be a condition from other's perspective. It maybe because he is a lunatic who wants to aggrandize his vocabulary, a ...
-1
votes
2answers
67 views

Word/phrase for “last minute love confession”

I want a word or a small phrase which can be used in place of "last minute love confession". I specifically use "last minute" for when the confessor and the confessee are going away from each other, ...
0
votes
2answers
32 views

Term for varies with jurisdiction

Is there a term for the concept of homo/heterogeneity of jurisdictions when it comes to legal status of a certain action? That is being illegal in all jurisdictions [limited to context] or being legal ...
2
votes
7answers
133 views

Alternatives for “I told you so.” [closed]

Sometimes, "I told you so" is expected by the target. What if we want to surprise them with another famous phrase which would deliver the same message, perhaps with more intensity. Sometimes, "I told ...
2
votes
2answers
989 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
147 views

If I measure myself am I only measuring my size?

In Italy when people say they measure themselves, they are not only measuring their height, or their waistlines. Instead they are measuring how well they do something in a challenging or difficult ...
0
votes
2answers
90 views

A word (or expression) which means paying someone with counterfeit money?

Just as shortchange means cheating someone by giving insufficient money as change, the word I am looking for means cheating through counterfeit money. There are words as simple as deceive, bilk, ...
5
votes
4answers
9k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
137 views

Word or phrase for a person who sets their watch forward to prevent being late?

My aunt does this. She sets her watch 15 mins early because she knows that she is chronically late all the time. Is there a word or phrase specifically for the act of setting your watch forward with ...
2
votes
3answers
86 views

“to have merchant's ears”

Is the expression "to have merchant's ears" an idiom or a recognized adage, meaning "pretending not to understand"? Please explain with examples or provide a better idiomatic phrase.
12
votes
7answers
1k views

Gender-neutral equivalent for “Take it like a man”

I'd like to find some gender-neutral equivalents of the phrase Take it like a man I'm not looking only for existing phrases -- any interesting ideas for expressing the sentiment "be tough", ...
12
votes
5answers
4k views

What are the polite and neutral versions of “cut the bull*’?

I was wondering what are the polite and neutral versions of cut the bullshit? Suppose one calls his mobile customer service for signal problem, but the representative endlessly tries to promote ...
0
votes
7answers
161 views

Idiom for someone who works fast without paying attention to the quality?

Is there any idiom or any suitable words for someone who works fast without paying attention to the quality?
-1
votes
3answers
160 views

Metaphor to describe a person who lacks charisma [closed]

I'm looking for a good metaphor or idiom for a person who is completely uncharismatic. I'm preferably looking for a phrase that compares the person's charisma to something, such that it would fit the ...
1
vote
7answers
82 views

Synonym for overdoing something/taking too wide an approach

I'm looking for an idiom or a synonym for a situation when someone has taken a heavy handed measure that achieves the desired effect, but also goes above this, affecting things that aren't a problem. ...
34
votes
17answers
3k views

What is the player called who has a turn?

What is the player called who has a turn? I am guessing something like turning player. But I would like some confirmation or maybe is there an idiom for it? Explanation: In a round based game what ...
24
votes
10answers
5k views

An idiom for a stupid action which is beneficial in the end, or for the person who performed said action

My friend works for an investment firm, and his colleague mistakenly double-submitted a long bid for stock on a very risky day. The entire firm was on edge the whole day, watching the stock price. In ...
2
votes
10answers
701 views

Looking for an idiom to describe “a misunderstanding”

Can you suggest an idiom or common expression that can be used to describe a misunderstanding? The typical case is when Mr. A is talking about something and Mr. B understand something else. Mr. A ...
4
votes
3answers
857 views

Term to describe “revenge through sexual intercourse”?

What term can be used to describe someone who, to take revenge on or extract payback for (perceived) past wrongs done them by their (unfaithful) romantic partner, goes off and has casual sex with ...
5
votes
10answers
545 views

A phrase for “to get heavily involved in something”

I'm looking for a phrase or an idiom meaning "to get heavily involved in something" or "to become passionate about something" where "something" could be a hobby, lifestyle, a music genre etc. One ...
16
votes
2answers
817 views

Term for Only “Unbelieved Warner”

I'm looking for a word, phrase, or idiom to describe a person or fictional device. In stories, especially horror and fantasy, there can be a character who is dismissed when they try to tell others ...
4
votes
8answers
162 views

Adjective to best describe sense of helplessness

I am writing a small piece on the current financial and economic crisis, and I am looking for adjectives or short expressions that describe the sense of helplessness that seems to hang over many ...
3
votes
3answers
79 views

What is the name for group of people who line up to create a corridor?

What is the proper name for group of people who line up in two lines to form some kind of a corridor for other people to pass between the two?
9
votes
4answers
666 views

People who sell their virginity for money

I'm Vietnamese and I'm writing an essay about prostitution. I want to ask the word to express properly the people who sell their virginity for money. In Vietnamese, we use a phrase literally means ...
1
vote
4answers
52 views

Let's not throw money at lawyers

Is there an idiom for telling my client to leave the lawyers to one side and sign a contract later on in the process -- something like "Let's not throw money at lawyers at this stage"? Thanks, ...
5
votes
6answers
602 views

idiom request for “classic is good”

I am looking for an idiom for telling "Classic is good.". The term "Classic is good" by itself tells what I want actually, but I want a more intense saying instead.
1
vote
6answers
2k views

A word that defines shy, but in a positive context

I'm looking for a word that describes shy and reserved, but not to portray weakness or one that has a negative connotation. Being shy and reserved as an executive doesn't fit well for career ...
5
votes
4answers
278 views

What's a good idiom to describe someone who is included in a group only because they have something the group needs

I want a one or two word title for a character who is included in a group only because he is their "ticket" to get where they want to go. "Ticket" is what I'm thinking now but would love another ...
1
vote
4answers
100 views

Phrase required for “Defeated person is more dangerous”

In my native language there exists a phrase Injured snake A wounded snake is assumed to be more vigorous/dangerous. Are there any similar phrase/idiom/proverb in English?
1
vote
6answers
121 views

Another idiom that has the same meaning as “mere ink on paper” or “words without actions”

Is there an English idiom that has the same meaning as "words without actions" or "mere ink on paper"? Especially in the field of economics.
0
votes
10answers
151 views

Boolean OR in English

What is the English equivalent of boolean-OR, which conveys the meaning of "either of the options or both", as opposed to XOR, which conveys the meaning of "strictly one or the other"? "Either or ...
1
vote
3answers
99 views

Looking for a Verb / Idiom to Make a Wish Come True

Let say I wish to have a car, and somebody bought me that car. Which verbs or idioms can describe the "somebody's" action?
1
vote
7answers
948 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
105 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
49 views

Referring to two or more choices [duplicate]

Example: I wasn't sure if it was A, B, or C. [...], I still knew I would fail. I thought of either way but I think is not grammatically correct. What should I chose if I'm referring to two or ...
4
votes
3answers
306 views

What is the military term for calling attention to yourself, in a negative way?

There is a military term or idiom, which I cannot recall exactly, that essentially means calling negative attention to yourself. For example, you are doing something you know you shouldn't be doing. ...
7
votes
4answers
804 views

Is there an opposite of tightfisted that also contains reference to a hand?

Is there an opposite of tightfisted that also contains reference to a hand? The opposite of 'tightfisted' is always 'generous'. I want a word, idiom, or phrase that means generous but with reference ...
5
votes
5answers
638 views

Idiom: to hesitate when something is nearly finished

I have an idiom on the tip of my tongue, or at least I think I do — the meaning I want is roughly “to hesitate or falter on a task, when it’s almost completed”. The phrase that first came to my mind ...
19
votes
33answers
4k views

What's the English equivalent of “Drilling one's head”?

In Arabic (Specifically, north-western Levantine), there's a saying that goes like He drilled my head about/with that lunch meeting (بخشلي راسي باجتماع الغدا) Which means something along the ...
1
vote
4answers
173 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. ...
3
votes
6answers
519 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
77 views

Is there an expression for only offending the recipient?

Suppose one makes a statement that is likely to be offensive to its recipient, but will not offend most third parties. Is there a word or expression for this type of statement? Example: I see someone ...
0
votes
6answers
221 views

Can you give me an idiom which means to take advantage?

Eg- He took advantage of the enemies weaknesses.
2
votes
2answers
147 views

What phrase/idiom can be used to refer to procrastination?

Suppose I'm replying to someone's email and it's long overdue - completely hypothetically :) Starting with "Sorry for [ ... ] this". At first I thought I'd use "dropping the ball on" but it seems ...
28
votes
15answers
2k views

Secular alternative to “preaching to the choir”?

Is there a secular alternative to the phrase "preaching to the choir"?
5
votes
5answers
720 views

avoiding an oncoming vehicle — what is the specific term for this in English?

Is there a specific term to refer to what you need to do in the following situation? You are driving on a road and an oncoming vehicle is moving towards you in the same lane you are using. If ...
2
votes
3answers
549 views

Is there any other idiom for “Hundred blows of goldsmith is comparable to one blow of iron-smith”?

The idiom Hundred blows of goldsmith is comparable to one blow of iron-smith comes from a hindi idiom "Sau sunar ki, ek lohar ki". Literal meaning is One powerful blow is comparable to a hundred ...