Idioms are a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words.

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6
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6answers
557 views

English idiom equivalent “discover America/Mediterranean”

In Spanish we have got an ironic expression which is: "You've discovered America!" or "He thinks that he has discovered the Mediterranean Sea" to say that someone has said something obvious or well ...
-1
votes
1answer
37 views

on the order of somebody

if the idiom "on the order of" does mean "approximately" can we write something like this? "Everyone, who left that bunker and other ones on the order of Bandera followers, died." Would it mean "at ...
2
votes
1answer
30 views

derivation of the expression "I am just going out to turn my bike round

I believe the phrase was used in london upto the 1960's as a cryptic way of saying to go (outside) to the toilet. Upto the 1960's most pubs and many houses had outside lavatories. The speaker may not ...
-5
votes
0answers
30 views

Please proofread. “Those are…”, “[enumeration], with the last one to be a…one” [on hold]

I passed Abitur examinations in 2015, and received results on 18 June. Those are an overall score of XX, XX points in the Abitur examinations of both physics and maths, and XX points in the ...
-1
votes
0answers
30 views

What do these idioms with “bring” mean? [on hold]

To bring is to: take or go with (someone or something) to a place. cause (someone or something) to be in a particular state or condition But in an idiom, what does the idioms mean? and how does it ...
1
vote
2answers
61 views

Replacement For “Drive Someone Nuts” [on hold]

In the expression to drive someone nuts, I studied that it's possible to replace the word nuts with words like: bananas, crazy, insane, bonkers, ... I'd like to know is this expression polite? If it ...
2
votes
2answers
63 views

Does the phrase “Do you want a hand in this” make sense?

From someone, somewhere, I remember hearing the phrase do you want a hand in this? I was told that it meant do you want to be a part of this? However, when I googled this phrase, nothing turned up. ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

What does Cairne Bloodhoof mean by “a pup still wet behind the ears”? [on hold]

This is a quote from War Crimes: “For the Thrall I knew, who befriended the tauren and helped them so greatly, would not have blithely handed over the Horde he restored to a young pup still wet ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

Is this girl “piling on agony” or “ throwing a pity party” or what?

Is this girl"piling on agony"? ( I mean she is trying to draw attentions, while her situation is not that bad and scary, she is shedding tears falsely(?), and reacting so exaggeratedly ) What is the ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

What is this type of idiom called: “I know he's not the smartest person in the world, but…”

Basically, when someone says something along the lines of "I know he's not the smartest person in the world, but he should at least pass first grade math." It's peculiar because they are ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

Proper ways of saying “just had” or “expecting” a child for future guardians that aren't the birth mother

If a person is the spouse of or is adopting a newborn from a currently or recently pregnant person, what phrase describes their relationship with the unborn or recently born child? Are there clearer ...
1
vote
3answers
70 views

Phrase/Idiom for increasing odds of winning by placing multiple bets

I'm looking for a phrase/idiom that represents when you increase your chances of winning some sort of gamble (or event with multiple possible outcomes) by saturating the field with bets. E.g. ...
12
votes
14answers
2k views

Is there an expression or idiom for something convenient that happens right when you need it to?

Especially if it's something unlikely. Almost as if it could only happen in a movie. For instance, you're about to be robbed and a random cop on patrol arrives at that exact time. What are the chances ...
1
vote
3answers
63 views

Mind Blowing vs. Mind Boggling

I have seen these phrases using interchangeably, but I couldn't pinpoint exactly what do they mean. what is the difference between the 2 and where/how to use them?
2
votes
1answer
68 views

are there any compiled lists of modern equivalents of historical proverbs? [on hold]

I'm not even sure of what we commonly label these types of expressions that are passed down from generations. Some are attributed to the bible, like, "idle hands are the devil's workshop." There ...
0
votes
2answers
76 views

What is the opposite for “thin-skinned”? [closed]

What is the idiom or term for describing a usually respectful and nice person who is not easily offended by others' criticism, advice, jokes, or insults? ( I know the opposite is "thin-skinned", but ...
1
vote
3answers
65 views

expressions meaning to risk death [closed]

I am looking for expressions roughly synynymous wtih 'to risk death'. The following are some examples. Can you think of others? to risk one's life to put one's life on the line to flirt with ...
-1
votes
0answers
68 views

Confusion between:“{is/has} no chance” and “{is/has} no match” [closed]

Which form is correct in the sentences below? A snake has no chance/match to an angry rabbit. OR A snake is no chance/match to an angry rabbit. Please explain when I should use has ...
3
votes
3answers
117 views

What does “… which is somewhat long in tooth” mean, and what is the source of the phrase? [closed]

This is the complete sentence where I found it. It is from an online training about the Linux operating system. e4defrag is part of the e2fsprogs package and should be on all modern Linux ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

What's the difference between “case by case” and “case to case”?

What's the difference between "case by case" and "case to case"? I often hear the former from my Japanese students. When I asked them where they got the phrase, they always say they learned it from ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Idioms and phrases [duplicate]

In a sentence idioms acts as which parts of speech??
1
vote
3answers
82 views

Every once in a while [closed]

Representatives from my recruiting company sometimes come to visit me, may be once in a six months in my office. Is it correct to write some words of appreciation to them as shown below?. "I ...
2
votes
2answers
59 views

What are some synonymous phrases for the phrase “Turning Criminal”?

I need suggestions for different ways to say "turning criminal," as in "He began turning criminal, committing illegal acts instead of abiding by the law."
4
votes
5answers
138 views

Idiom/expression that means “canceling” an event from your calendar?

This is a bit tricky because checking off and crossing out could mean that I marked those items as finished. What I want to convey is that I changed my mind and decided not to do those items. ...
2
votes
2answers
133 views

To “levy criticism” or to “level criticism?”

In a recent NY Times article the reporter writes, "Criticisms are also levied at Jews...". I have always heard the idiom as "to level criticism" or to "level charges" against. Which is the proper ...
0
votes
2answers
36 views

Keep proper time

What does "keep proper time" in the following sentence mean? I've needed a new one for ages- mine hasn't kept proper time since I dropped it in the bath.*
4
votes
2answers
51 views

Is 'yeah-nah' a uniquely Australian idiom?

There is a response in Australian English that means "Yes I hear you and empathise with your situation, but no this course of action won't work for me." [Yeah-Nah] I assumed this was a normal part of ...
3
votes
2answers
81 views

Why is it called “to not pull any punches” and how did this phrase originate?

If one does not pull any punches, he speaks bluntly. Why is this idiom phrased this way? Is it because the motion of a punch, i.e., to speak bluntly, can be described as a push, which is the ...
5
votes
1answer
78 views

How did screaming as loud as you can become screaming “at the top of your lungs”?

What is it about the top of one's lungs that has to do with especially loud screaming? Every time I hear this idiom I imagine a little man screaming atop a giant lung.
4
votes
5answers
128 views

Someone who uses idioms excessively

Is there a term for someone who uses idioms (e.g. right off the bat, lowest hanging fruit, living under a rock) excessively (but correctly)? To clarify the confusion in the comments: I'm referring to ...
5
votes
5answers
3k views

Idiom for a Shy Girl [closed]

What do you tell a girl who shies away from expressing her feelings and avoids saying what you expect her to?
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Can “in alpha” be used as an antonym to “in beta,” or it’s a totally different animal?

I was drown to the phrase, “in beta” in the following passage of New York Times’ (June 16) publicity of their own new scheme, Trending: “The Times unveils a new tool, Trending, that shows you ...
0
votes
2answers
50 views

Idiom for “Single out” in a negative way

In a small group of people, the leader singled out Person A to pick on her. What's another idiom (that's a verb) to describe this action? There was a two-word idiom which I cannot remember. The idiom ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

What does “can/could shake a baguette at” mean?

Could you please explain me what does "can/could shake a baguette at" mean? More fromage than you can shake a baguette at. or There were robot barbers, picturephones, and more flying ...
1
vote
3answers
143 views

List of new idioms from our era? [closed]

A recent question was about the new idiom in English "it goes to eleven". (It dates from 1984.) I was wondering, Taking "recent" or "in our generation" as since the 1980s... a) What's the single ...
2
votes
4answers
77 views

A better way to say “too busy to become more productive”?

I am looking for a clear way to describe a situation in which someone is genuinely interested in becoming more skilled, but is so overburdened with obligations that they have no time to learn how to ...
2
votes
7answers
427 views

Equivalent for the Persian idiom “Khaste Nabaashid” [closed]

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
175 views

Idiom: Bear with me

The sense of this formula is clear. It means be patient with me, be tolerant/lenient. Don't be too harsh on me. But how can a verb as "to bear" develop the meaning of to be tolerant? "To bear" is an ...
13
votes
13answers
3k views

Is there an idiom for being consistently unlucky through no fault of one's own? [duplicate]

Not quite sure how to word this, but I'm looking for an idiom or phrase/saying that describes when somebody who's done nothing to deserve it has hit a streak of bad luck. Wish I could be more ...
0
votes
3answers
95 views

Idiom for “wanting a long-term relationship”?

Example: Because he just wanted a one-night-stand, he told the girl he had a girlfriend, to make sure the girl [...] Meaning that the guy told the girl he had a girlfriend so that the girl ...
0
votes
0answers
37 views

Origin of the phrase “because of course it does”

I've been hearing "because of course it/he/she does" a lot recently. I'm assuming this is internet-speak, but maybe it's older? Grateful to anyone who can help pinpoint its origin.
-2
votes
2answers
55 views

little thud, thud, tap, tap

What do you mean or express by this expression Sometimes you'll get a little thud, thud, tap, tap I tried to translate "..thud, thud, tap, tap" and failed!
1
vote
6answers
134 views

Idiom for “something is not as bad as they say”

I am looking for the way to translate the Russian saying that goes something like this " the Devil is not as dangerous as he was described, or, in direct translation, painted". Please help! I look ...
2
votes
3answers
236 views

Are they “in a good mood“ or ”in good moods"?

Just now I was walking my dogs down S St. in Sacramento. We were gaining on a woman walking in front of us, when she turned around to see who was behind her. "Sorry," I said. "We aren't going to ...
0
votes
2answers
52 views

Is “go to the papers” a standard idiomatic expression?

"I'll go to the papers since it's the most appropriate thing to do." I received this email not long ago from a blogger. (He is Scottish by origin.) He was complaining about plagiarism of an article ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

What is the etymology of “You don't look too clever”

In BrEng, at least in the North, there is an idiom: "You don't look too clever." which means "You're looking quite ill." Does anybody know the etymology of this idiom please?
9
votes
3answers
326 views

How do I identify a British idiom from an American one?

I live outside the US and the UK. I just started reading a book titled "Speak English like an American". The book teaches numerous idioms but I don't know if these idioms are usable outside the the ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

is “up *something*!” an idiom?

I overheard someone say "up something!" wherein something is a variable for... whatever. Is this an English language idiom? If so, in what dialect of English? What are some examples of it's usage? ...
6
votes
12answers
1k views

Idiom for describing an unintended benefit

I am looking for an idiom to describe an unintended benefit that results due to an action taken.
2
votes
1answer
47 views

Ability to reason and mental agility

I want to say that math improves the 'ability to reason' and 'elasticity of mind'. This is what I would say in my language (Italian). After a Google search I see that 'ability of reason' is an ...