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0
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1answer
42 views

What does “I can get behind that :)” mean when you suggest someone to compromise on an alternative option?

"How about we compromise and ... ? ;)" Answer: "I can get behind that :)"
2
votes
1answer
81 views

To buttonhole someone

Can you help me find a synonym to this expression meaning to approach someone as if by grasping the person's garment to have his attention. Could it be used informally to describe boys' attitude to ...
3
votes
3answers
116 views

“covered by” vs. “covered with”

I found this sentence in some book: Imagine a young child who already knows that creatures that live in water are fish, they have gills, and their skin is covered by scales. Saying “their skin ...
1
vote
0answers
93 views

Is “elegance is in the eye of the beholder” an idiom in this case [closed]

If someone tells you that a certain solution of yours in not elegant and you reply with "elegance is in the eye of the beholder", does this mean that you're using an English idiom or could this be ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Idiomatic phrase [closed]

What's the meaning of ARE THE BLOODY COCKS STILL RUNNING THE COOP? Quote from the movie "Young Guns II" For those who are not native English speakers (85% of the world) these kind of phrases ...
0
votes
2answers
143 views

Idiomatic Expression “at a loss”

Im trying to understand the idiomatic expression "at a loss." According to this source: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/at+a+loss it can either mean "Below cost" or "Perplexed; puzzled." However, I'm ...
5
votes
7answers
220 views

What is an English word which means 'bêtement'?

Bêtement is a French word whose literal meaning is 'in the manner of an animal'. It is often used metaphorically, to describe an action carried out in a robotic fashion – without thinking. How would ...
1
vote
3answers
104 views

Made from vs made up of for dishes [duplicate]

If I want to question someone about what makes up a given dish, which of the following sentences is the most appropriate ? What is this dish made up of ? What is this dish made from ? It ...
-1
votes
1answer
68 views

Without vs before

In order to answer a question I have to take a look at a document that is not with me by the time that question was raised. Which of the below sentences is more suitable to express that idea? I ...
5
votes
5answers
240 views

What's a nice way to say “fool's errand”?

I have a situation in which i want to say that a particular task i just completed was rather silly, a fool's errand, but i need to phrase it in such a way as it doesn't insult the management team that ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

Pluralizing a thing expressed by a quoted or hyphenated phrase, e.g. better-than-nothing or “better than nothing”

I found myself writing And so, they went on amassing better-than-nothing's. because I wanted better-than-nothing to be a kind of catchphrase, referred to in this form consistently throughout my ...
4
votes
2answers
937 views

When did informal use of the word “like” become prevalent? [duplicate]

When and why did the word "like" come to be used to introduce an action, or even as a meaningless filler word, e.g. "He was like, [action or quote]."
0
votes
1answer
455 views

Is the following idiomatic English: “At what time do you go to sleep?”

I once asked some English people the following question: "At what time do you go to sleep?" They gave me a blank stare. You see, I tried to avoid the standard expression "At what time do you go to ...
-3
votes
1answer
101 views

4 questions about idiomatic way of expressing [closed]

Yesterday, a six-year-old girl was found dead in a septic tank of a demolition site. The preliminary analysis given by the police was that this had a sheer accident. Q1: "a six-year-old girl was ...
7
votes
3answers
837 views

Does the phrase “don't even pass the laugh test” pass as an idiomatic expression, or only a set of words?

I was intrigued to the phrase, ‘the argument doesn’t pass even the laugh test’ in the following statement of Bruce Schneier, a security technologist on the debate about whether Edward J. Snowden who ...