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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3
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2answers
37 views

Alternative ways to say “I am feeling pushed to the ground”

Assume a get together where a group of friends are having chit chat over tea. Suddenly they plan to pull someone's leg together. No matter what the person in the spotlight says, people are not ...
4
votes
4answers
61 views

Is there an idiom or word or phrase for having good luck when you also had bad luck?

E.g.: He fell off a cliff, but he only broke his leg. Was he lucky or unlucky? He was unlucky he fell off a cliff but he was also lucky that he only broke his leg. So he was both! Is there a ...
-1
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0answers
32 views

Looking for a phrase

I know there's a phrase for this I just can't remember what it is. It means basically that you don't have an opinion in an argument. What I do know is "I don't have a ____ in this fight". This is ...
2
votes
2answers
97 views

Whatever tickles their fancy in the US?

The delightful-sounding tickle your fancy is, I think, one of those rare idioms where the word order can be reversed and its meaning changes; the request: fancy a tickle? said with a raised eyebrow ...
1
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3answers
77 views

“Don't cut yourself on that edge”

What does the idiom don't cut yourself on that edge mean? I have seen it being used on multiple occasions, but could not find anything on the web that explains this idiom.
2
votes
1answer
54 views

Etymology of “the fix is in”

The common phrase “the fix is in” means that the outcome of an event or process has been covertly manipulated to ensure a result that would otherwise be determined by chance or a fair test of some ...
3
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1answer
50 views

Grammar of present perfect continous of sit and stand

I've often been seeing phrases like the following lately: s/he has been stood s/he has been sat used instead of the present perfect continous i.e.: s/he has been standing s/he has ...
0
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2answers
28 views

“Right up one's alley?” Formal/in-formal?

Is "Right up my alley" formal enough to use in a cover letter/job application etc? If not, are there any alternative idioms? It sounded right to me and I was just about to use it in a formal ...
15
votes
16answers
2k views

Idiom meaning diverting somebody's attention from a topic which you don't want to talk on

Is there an idiom or expression which means diverting somebody's attention with profuse talk about irrelevant things and trying to change a topic which is unpleasant to you or which you just don't ...
23
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11answers
3k views

Idiom for the effect that money from funding is easier to spend, as opposed to one's own savings

I am looking for an idiom in English, if it exists. In Czech it goes like "Z ciziho krev netece", literally "Someone else's property never bleeds" which was probably originally meant to describe the ...
0
votes
1answer
79 views

What does this vulgar expression mean?

I found several mentions, only online, and have no idea what this means. But obviously people repeat this phrase, so they mean something particular. Here is one example: It is still morning here ...
0
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3answers
42 views

What does I'm just out of my size mean?

What does I'M OUT OF MY SIZE mean? IN the following context. A: I don't know all about you but I can't make any sense of that at all ? B: Me too. I'm just out of my size.
4
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8answers
101 views

Looking for idiom meaning “to make many serious or stupid mistakes”

I'm working on a translation with the guidelines to make it as accurate as possible, so dynamic equivalence is important. My provisional translation is "to screw up royally," but it feels a bit too ...
2
votes
8answers
98 views

Maxims that have to do with persistence?

I am looking for idiomatic expressions that convey the value of persistence, such as a long, drawn-out battle where the victor is necessarily the person who simply outlasted the other. I know there is ...
-3
votes
1answer
41 views

“No time” meaning [closed]

Good day all. I would like to know what exactly Cecile McLorin Salvant has in mind when saying "no time" in the song called "Nobody"? Does it mean "never"? "Nobody, I will never do nothing for ...
0
votes
2answers
50 views

Is it “involved with” or “involved in”?

In the following sentence, should "in" or "with" be used? "They are all involved ____ the program." Assuming there is one correct way to say it, is there ever a situation where the other is used, or ...
0
votes
4answers
67 views

Is there an Idiom where a person praises another to get his work done?

Is there a Idiom where a person praises another to get his work done ? This usually happens in my work environment. Few execs praise my work just to dump it over me and get their job done. -- ...
1
vote
4answers
83 views

What does 'Apply yourself' really mean? [on hold]

For a long long time, I thought that applying oneself meant that whatever I know, I should be able to apply that to a problem that is presented to me. For example, if I was asked something, and I ...
0
votes
0answers
51 views

What is the meaning of “how did you fare out”?

I was in a conversation with a person and I told them that I'm doing a wild guess (on something) to which the person replied, 'How did you fare out?' What is the meaning of this? Is this specific to ...
0
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2answers
133 views

On origin and usage of 'sight unseen'

The expression sight unseen is generally used with the meaning: Without having viewed the object in question, as in He bought the horse sight unseen. The American Heritage Dictionary ...
2
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3answers
121 views

What does “our bone chattering” mean in this excerpt?

What does "bone chattering" mean? For example when someone says: "our bone was chattering". I am not talking about teeth chattering. After, only six Little Fish survive. Me and Siv and Kha and ...
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 ...
0
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1answer
66 views

Is there any authoritative source from where we can find out if a phrase or figure of speech is American English or British English? [closed]

For example the figure of speech " One swallow doesn't make a summer" is British English. Similarly the figure of speech 'All hat and no cattle" is American English. Is there any source from where ...
0
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3answers
84 views

Another term for “middle to upper management”?

I'm trying to express a vocational range of experience. Can anyone conceive of an alternative way of articulating the following: Middle to upper management. I conducted a browser search but ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

What are the sentence/ idioms and phrases often used in day to day life? Is there any good articles available listing these items?

English speaking peoples are most often using simple phrase in their day to day life. It would be help to speaking easily if those sentence or phrases known and share any link to learn those words.
2
votes
1answer
106 views

how comes this horrible world to exist?

In the quote below, what does the first line mean? "How comes this horrible world to exist?" Catice did not answer. "Who is Surtur?" source: A Voyage to Arcturus What I understand is: How ...
0
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1answer
44 views

Who uses idiom the most? [closed]

I cant find any resources about the user of idiom, what kind of people that use idiom the most? and in what range of age? Is there any research about that?
-2
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1answer
43 views

How many idioms can you find using the word “word”? [closed]

For Eg: "have a word" means "to talk briefly".
0
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2answers
53 views

when you say “throw back” some drinks, is the word replaceable with “gulp”?

This is the whole sentence from the article: "R went to the bar, where he and other friends threw back drinks, the photos show."
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Is the term “expendable capital” superfluous?

I want to use the term... "expendable capital" ...to describe... "a company's available budget for a particular thing" Am I using the the word "capital" innaccurately and is all capital ...
0
votes
2answers
56 views

What does “work a rope line” mean?

When Presidential race and caucuses are close, the candidates seem to be busy in “working a lope line” as in the following examples:. Wolf needs to work on his rope line speed. - ...
1
vote
2answers
47 views

Where does the idiom “get it in the neck” come from?

The collins dictionary says "get it in the neck" means "to be reprimanded or punished severely". Is this a commonly used in American english? Why does it mean so? (what "it" refers to in the ...
2
votes
2answers
70 views

What does “Maybe I wasn't breast-fed as a child” mean in the following excerpt? [closed]

In the film Blood Diamond, journalist Maddy Bowen and smuggler Danny Archer have a conversation: M: Hi. I'm Maddy Bowen. D: How about you dance with me? M: No, I don't dance. D: ...
0
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2answers
57 views

Word or phrase for success in spite of incompetence

We might talk about someone "slipping through the cracks" if they're capable but don't find success in some area, but how does one express the converse of being highly successful in spite of ...
-2
votes
1answer
115 views

What is meaning of idiom “I COULDN'T BE BETTER”? [closed]

I have seen people using this idioms while texting when i ask how are you they reply i couldn't be better so i want to know its meaning and which others idioms and words which i can use against this ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

What vs Where …is the common ground/basis

According to Merriam-Webster the common ground is a basis of mutual interest or agreement and the basis is the principal component of something Both are often used in the context of ...
1
vote
3answers
55 views

“Put the way forward ”

Is "Put the way forward " common in native English? I searched google book and read it from non-native writers. For example, "These papers put the way forward to solve it far more eloquently than I ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

what does “hold off” mean [closed]

I updated my colleague about a travel subscription confirmation. And he said "Great News! Hold off on arranging travel until I hear from Bill today." I got the point - Dont arrange any travel. But I ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

What does “let's fold that in” mean?

One of my colleagues replied with a suggestion in the group email. I agreed with his suggestion. The other colleague in the group responded "perfect - lets fold that in Andy."
0
votes
2answers
88 views

Is “fortune favors the bold; cheek brings success” a popular idiom or proverb in English? [closed]

I want to express the idea that: If you want to be rich, you have to have guts and take a big risk. If you want to achieve a high position in your society, like becoming a doctor or lawyer, you ...
0
votes
0answers
57 views

Bernie Taupin's “Voyeur” lyric

I cannot understand the meaning of the folowing excerpt from Bernie Taupin's lyrics to Elton Johns "Voyeur" (the bold lines): I’m looking, I’m looking back I’m trying to imagine this and that ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

Meaning of “Green” and “GreenBack” in American english?

I found 2 new words on my American Slang book (Talk the way americans do). 1) Green 2) GreenBack Meaning of these words on my book : Green : money (Referring to the color green seen on U.S. paper ...
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 ...
6
votes
4answers
339 views

the idiomatic use of “no more than” and “no less than”

I have questions about the use of no more than and no less than . The following is the item 14. phrase of the word more from COBUILD online dictionary. You use no more than or not more than when ...
1
vote
1answer
97 views

That's a lot of 'pizza'!

I've heard this expression on TV suggesting 'a lot/(too)big amount of something'. Is it just an extension of the expression that's a lot? Is it a common expression (AmE or BrE) or just a one-off ...
0
votes
2answers
67 views

What do 'drive' and 'hard' refer to in 'drive a hard bargain'?

If I have to say that "this person(X) does very good bargaining" in a more refined way, I should ideally write "X drives a hard bargain". (I saw it in a book). I know that I have to use 'bargain' word ...
0
votes
1answer
103 views

Common word for two people who want to meet but are not acquaintances

I'm looking for a word to describe two people (instructor and student), who are trying to find time to met each other. Preferably one or two word expression.
5
votes
4answers
712 views

English-language equivalent to the Russian idiom, 'Not let someone within firing distance near X'

I've been hard put to come up with the most appropriate English expression for a particular Russian one. In Russian, an expression that roughly translates as "To not let someone come near X within a ...
0
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2answers
71 views

Looking for a phrase: a needlessly overcomplicated method of accomplishing a simple task [duplicate]

In my language, there is an expression for this - you can touch the tip of your nose normally, or you can move your hand behind your neck, across it, then touch the tip of the nose from the opposite ...
3
votes
1answer
86 views

How to understand “cat's evening wear”?

I really had a difficult time to understand this. It comes from a book I am reading, and it is used to describe a concept the author speaks highly of. Does it mean that something is very special? Or ...