1
vote
1answer
67 views

Alternative to idiom “Barking up the wrong tree”? [closed]

I want to use the idiom: Barking up the wrong tree. But in the situation it seems a little rude. What are the idioms/phrases similar in meaning to this idiom?
25
votes
12answers
8k views

Idiom for “just because you give something a different name, it doesn't change what it is”

I'm looking for a way to idiomatically express the sentiment that just because you give something a different name, or precede it with a disclaimer, it doesn't change what it is, e.g.: "I mean this ...
4
votes
5answers
617 views

What's the US slang term for “following someone in a car”?

I heard this somewhere on YouTube and I wish I could recall where exactly. The person was recording himself from a dash-cam while driving, and when he noticed that a cop was following him, he said ...
5
votes
6answers
734 views

A phrase for “extremely bad luck”

Is there a (short) phrase or idiom meaning that someone had extremely bad luck? In the context of a sports match: as you would have a "perfect game" or the even more specific "perfect hand" (when ...
3
votes
2answers
137 views

Is there more than a 'double' whammy?

I have three (could grow to be more) bad reasons for a situation and I wondered if there is such a thing as a triple whammy that is an extension of the double whammy. From my research online, a triple ...
9
votes
5answers
380 views

Term for “[Idiom], [Rhyme]”

Browsing the web, I came across this image of the cast of the television show Community using a type of structure familiar to me, and I wondered if there's a name for it. The most familiar instance ...
26
votes
10answers
8k views

Opposite of “literal”

I was listening to the radio today, and someone said, "The couple came across a literal 'pot of gold.'" It made me think: how do you say the opposite of that? I'm looking for a statement or phrase ...
0
votes
3answers
142 views

Need native expressions for “something happened but no one wants to undertake the responsibility”

Are there native expressions in oral and formal writing English about something happened - mostly negative incidents or events, but those, who should be responsible for it , don't want to undertake ...
2
votes
4answers
239 views

English idiom similar to “grab one, hit the other”

In my native language there is an idiom which literally says "grab one, hit the other". It is used to express that a group of people possesses the same negative personal traits, habits, vice, etc. and ...
-2
votes
1answer
165 views

Choose the proper variant to complete the sentence:

... misses the kisses, ... kisses the misses. A) An rejected lover, a accepted lover B) An accepted lover, a rejected lover C) A rejected lover, an accepted lover
33
votes
18answers
7k views

Is there a word for being so polite as to appear insincere?

I'm looking for a term in English to describe being so polite that one appears to be insincere.
0
votes
3answers
2k views

“On the other end / side” of the phone line

What's the proper way to reference somebody who're you talking with by a peer-to-peer phone line, usually if you don't know who's there exactly? Russian language, for example, has the idiom (они) на ...
2
votes
4answers
198 views

Is there an English equivalent of this common Maldivian Proverb meaning “to do something carelessly or perfunctorily”?

The proverb is "Amaa buneethee fara-h dhiy-un" which basically translates to "To walk along the shore (the point of which is to collect cowrie shells which were used as currency among seafarers and ...
1
vote
2answers
165 views

Meaning of “yesterday's papers”

What does this phrase mean? It should be an idiom and I can't find it.
0
votes
2answers
206 views

What's an expression that means bringing something to where it can be seen or used?

I'm specifically thinking of in a public service context. Say there is a resource that exists but no one knows about it or makes use of it, so instead of waiting for the people to come to the ...
2
votes
3answers
518 views

An American English idiom for “die of happiness”

Is there an American English idiom for Russian "die of/from happiness"? I thought I would die of happiness when I heard this wonderful song!
2
votes
2answers
106 views

Idiom for or more colorful phrasing of “without having their lack of trivia exposed”

I am writing a children's book (8–12) and am looking for an idiom or more colorful language to be used in place of the highlighted section. Now that she’d stumped me, Ms. Sanders, my favorite of ...
2
votes
2answers
173 views

Is “knocking on” an idea an idiom for dismissing the idea? [closed]

For years, I thought I'd heard others say, "I don't mean to knock on your idea, but..."—and it was definitely on, not down, although I've heard knock down as well—but now that I'm looking ...
-1
votes
5answers
305 views

Specific word/phrase/idiom for the following scenario

I have a second cousin living at the end of my street, but we hardly meet. I plan to meet her soon and tell her to come out and go out for a walk. Could anyone suggest a phrase, word, or an idiom ...
5
votes
7answers
258 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Origin of “sleep like a baby”

I believe that many, or in fact, most of you have heard the phrase "sleep like a baby". But actually, where does the phrase originate from? Personally, I don't think using baby is a good reference as ...
4
votes
6answers
2k views

How do you describe a young woman who, while pretty when seen from behind, is ugly when seen from the front?

Is there a term, a phrase or an idiomatic expression to describe a young woman who, while pretty when seen from behind, is ugly, if not repulsive, when seen from the front? After some searches I ...
1
vote
6answers
301 views

What's the phrase to imply random jobs?

What's a phrase that can convey the idea of "a variety of different jobs with no central theme"? "Various odds and ends" was the one that occurred to me, but it didn't feel exactly right and ...
42
votes
9answers
3k views

What is the opposite of the Devil's Advocate?

If I am arguing against a proposal that I may actually agree with, then I am playing Devil's Advocate. However, what if I do not necessarily agree with the proposal but am arguing for it, with the ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Is there an idiom beginning “when a dog is cornered”?

Is there any saying in a complete sentence including “a dog which is cornered”? I have tried to find a complete one, but there seems to be no one. Actually, what I want to know is how to explain the ...
0
votes
1answer
401 views

What do you say when you wish someone to do well the next time they run?

A friend of mine was leaving to start running as an exercise and I said "Have a good run!". Then I found out it is an idiom with a different meaning. What is the right thing to say in that case?
1
vote
4answers
296 views

What is the proper phrase for being in one's official limits, probably when quoting something?

While quoting something, the consideration of the fact that it does not offend the sentiments of a community or culture one belongs to. How do we ask that in one sentence e.g Did I remain in my ...
2
votes
3answers
403 views

Idiom wanted for means and ends

There is a common Russian expression, literally translated as "winners are not judged". The meaning is that one can get away with cutting corners and/or employing less-than-wholesome means in pursuit ...
16
votes
7answers
2k views

English equivalent of a Kannada proverb

The saying goes like "ಬಡವನ ಸಿಟ್ಟು ದವಡೆಗೆ ಮೂಲ". When roughly translated to English it means: A poor man's anger only hurts his jaw [due to all the grinding of teeth in the process]. How to ...
8
votes
10answers
4k 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 ...
36
votes
10answers
5k views

“To shoot out of cannon into sparrows”

In Russian we have idiom/saying "To shoot out of cannon into sparrows" (literal translation) which is used to convey an idea of applying too drastic measures to small problems. I believe there should ...
4
votes
5answers
381 views

Is there an English idiom “in threes and fives” to describe arriving, gathering, or leaving of people in a pair, trio, or group in succession?

We say ‘san-san-go-go – 三三五五’ in Japanese to describe the status of people coming, arriving, gathering, going, or leaving in a pair, trio, or group in succession in such a way, People gathered in the ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

An idiom to describe someone who thinks he/she is wiser than others

Is there an idiom in English to describe someone who thinks he/she is smarter/wiser than everyone else? In Polish, we have an idiom, which literally translated, would sound like: He/she has eaten ...
10
votes
8answers
1k views

Is there an idiom that corresponds to the Hungarian expression “fall off the other side of the horse”?

There's a Hungarian phrase that can be literally translated as something like "fall off the other side of the horse". (The literal implication is either that instead of falling off this side of the ...
4
votes
5answers
642 views

Opposite of “straight talk”

What is the opposite for the straight talk idiom? How do I best call the activity when someone makes a very long preamble before he says what he wants?
4
votes
3answers
308 views

What would be a good idiom for this?

In Hebrew there is an idiom that translates to English like this: "To go without and to feel with". The usual meaning is that one doesn't have some object or ability but is nevertheless is able to act ...
1
vote
1answer
889 views

Idiom for “The solution for the problem is the cause itself”

Is there an idiom or phrase which means: The solution for the problem is the cause itself. I was thinking of Use the snake to suck out the venom which, I'm unsure, is a valid phrase.
5
votes
5answers
588 views

Phrase which describes falsely improving something

Is there an aphorism or proverb in English which describes attempting to improve something fundamentally flawed by dressing it with a lot of ornament?
6
votes
7answers
566 views

Does the idiom “stop shooting the ball to my opponent” make sense?

Getting into a fight with someone, I think the other person is accusing me of being the wrong one and is trying to show that everything that has happened is my fault. Stop shooting the ball to my ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there an idiom about wasting money and a window?

Is there an equivalent to the french idiom Jeter l'argent par la fenêtre which means throwing money through a window? (I'm not sure about the translation, especially through.)
-1
votes
2answers
281 views

What could be the correct idiom for expressing that someone is baking up false allegations without evidence?

Are "barking up the wrong bush" or "sailing on the wings of imagination" close?
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Idiom to describe something that has little to no effect?

I'm looking for an idiom to describe something that has a negligible effect. The only similar question I found here was: An idiom meaning someone's doing something useless and has no result at ...
3
votes
3answers
345 views

What is the best way to idiomatically translate this pun into English?

I'm trying to translate some text from Russian to English. The text discusses both chairs and power over people (it is a fantasy work discussing a Chair of Power for a Lord). At one point, it has a ...
3
votes
4answers
723 views

Is there an “opposite” to the idiom “throwing the baby out with the bathwater”?

"Throwing the baby out with the bathwater" means that something essential is lost in the process of getting rid of something unwanted (and relatively minor). I'm looking for a phrase that means that ...
1
vote
2answers
12k views

How to say “I'm calling to touch base” without using the idiom? [closed]

Is there a common phrase or a word to convey the same meaning?
8
votes
18answers
18k views

Idiom, word, or expression meaning an easy-to-do task

I am looking for a term, expression, word, or idiom to describe a task as an easy one to do or to go through. What I’d normally say is: Actually it’s not difficult, it’s as easy as drinking a ...
7
votes
8answers
7k views

What is an alternative (more positive) analogy to “beating a dead horse”?

I'm looking for an analogy for my repeated attempts to revive interest in a project. The phrase beating a dead horse almost fits the bill, but a dead horse refers to a subject that is no longer ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Idiomatic saying for “just over” and “just under”

Is there an idiomatic saying to say that a distance is about x kilometer, including the connotation of "a little bit more than" or "a little bit less than" as "just over" and "just under" respectively ...
1
vote
4answers
139 views

Is it correct to use “train has surfaced”?

Can you say The train has surfaced to describe the moment when a train emerges from a tunnel?
3
votes
5answers
826 views

Idiom that describes a person who doesn't have an acceptable witness

We Persians have a proverb that says: They asked the fox, "Who's your witness?" The fox said, "My tail!" What do Americans say when a person only has their ally as a witness? Is there any idiom ...