1
vote
4answers
49 views

Can “your reputation precedes you” be used as a negative statement?

I have always considered "your reputation precedes you" as a gesture of complement and respect. However it occurred to me if it is possible to use it for a notorious person with a bad reputation? ...
1
vote
1answer
31 views

Is this the correct useage of… including; but not only,

Is this the correct useage of, "every possible accessory and trimming a body could desire to adorn their costumes with, including; but not only, brightly colored ribbons, buttons, needles of brass and ...
1
vote
1answer
58 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
91 views
2
votes
5answers
106 views

A word that represents a group of people working to achieve a common goal or dream

I am working on a project that involves bringing people together who share common goals or dreams. Is there a word or phrase to describe groups of people who are working together to accomplish these ...
1
vote
2answers
179 views

If you say in English: wear the pants in a relationship, then can you also say wear the skirt in a relationship?

What I mean is: if the person wearing the pants assumes a masculine/dominant role, then can we say someone assumes a feminine/submissive role by saying they wear a skirt in a relationship? Especially ...
2
votes
5answers
79 views

Single word for “at one's wits' end”

While there often appears to be a word that could replace an idiom or a phrase in meaning, this one seems to be an exception (for me that is). I've tried: Confused : Less powerful, isn't it? ...
0
votes
2answers
45 views

Is “…written by the author it claims to be and not by someone passing themselves for them” correct?

I have a question to this sentence: Sometimes you need to know if the book was really written by the author it claims to be and not by someone passing themselves off as them. Is that correct? I ...
0
votes
2answers
153 views

When the waitress at a diner calls her male customer a ''good girl'' after getting tipped, is it meant to be offensive?

My friend got called that and since neither of us are American, it just sounded offensive to us.
2
votes
2answers
106 views

Idioms or phrases for “Be it good or bad”

Can you suggest some idioms or phrases for Be it good or bad? For example: Be it good or bad, television has become an indispensable part of our lives.
0
votes
3answers
99 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
1answer
65 views

What's meaning of “get to the meat of”?

For example, "let's get to the meat of the problem"? When could I use this phrase? Does this mean "let's get to the most important part of the problem"?
3
votes
2answers
230 views

“Chief Cook and Bottle Washer” meaning and etymology

In my experience, referring to someone in an organization as "chief cook and bottle washer" has multiple possible meanings: person has a wide variety of duties in the organization person is very, ...
-4
votes
1answer
118 views
1
vote
2answers
159 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
132 views

How did the phrase “hear you out” or “hear me out” come about?

How did the phrase "hear you out" or "hear me out" come about? The phrase means "listen to whatever I have to say before you pass judgment on me," or "tell me whatever you want; I don't mind and ...
0
votes
1answer
255 views

“Butt in line” vs “cut in line” vs “bud in line”?

What's the proper term to use if you want to talk about trying to move up in the lineup or switch up?
-2
votes
1answer
139 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
5
votes
3answers
7k views

Original Meaning of Blood is thicker than water, is it real?

I recently read that the phrase "Blood is thicker than water" originally derived from the phrase "the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb", implying that the ordinary meaning ...
3
votes
7answers
340 views

Are there any English idioms to describe “futile benevolence?”

We have a word, “宋襄の仁” meaning “futile benevolence.” The word comes from a historic episode from ancient China. In Spring and Autumn era (BC 8C) in China, when Song Country fought Chu Country, Muyi, ...
0
votes
3answers
147 views

Use of “Just In Case”

I was writing to someone and I had below line using "just in case" "I have done blah blah blah..., just in case they need to be so and so..." I was wondering if this the right way of using it? or ...
3
votes
4answers
110 views

Justifying one wrong thing by comparing it its opposite which is also wrong

Is there a word or name for the phenomenon or syndrome in which people try to defend one wrong thing by comparing it something that is total opposite of it but also wrong? For example: Drone ...
2
votes
1answer
233 views

What does “You're as bad as the old Irish woman who took the two pills to be sure, to be sure…” mean?

What does "You're as bad as the old Irish woman who took the two pills to be sure, to be sure..." mean? And if you know what it means, can you also specify the origin of this phrase? To be more ...
2
votes
4answers
148 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
1answer
67 views

'Happy Christmas to all, all be epicures too.'

'Happy Christmas to all, all be epicures too.' Can anyone explain what, if any, precisely means, or adds, 'all be epicures too' after 'Happy Christmas to all'? Is it idiomatic English?
7
votes
2answers
574 views

“Let's get it over (with)” — do I need the “with”?

I'm trying to understand why there is this "with". I can say "Let's get this done". So, why "Let's get this over with?" I would really appreciate if someone could explain that a bit.
0
votes
1answer
80 views

“I've been looking to do [this or that].” Is “looking to do” idiomatic?

Pretty much that's the question. I wanna think that I have heard it used many times ("I've been looking to do that for the longest time"), but now I'm not sure. Thanks!
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Synonym for “raise the bar”

Is there another way to express "raise the bar"? The context I'm looking for would fit this sentence: A firewall raises the bar for would-be attackers.
3
votes
1answer
98 views

“Advice I wish I'd had ears to hear” — is this phrase in common use? Origins?

Productivity writer Merlin Mann often uses the phrase "ears to hear" on his podcast. An example from his writing: "a discursive mishmash of advice I wish I'd had the ears to hear in the year or ...
1
vote
2answers
162 views

Is “cut against sth” an idiom or just ‘cut’ followed by a preposition?

There was a phrase, ‘the governor cuts against his core argument” on the issue of how to handle undocumented immigrants in the following sentence in Time magazine’s (Nov 23) article titled, ...
1
vote
0answers
61 views

Corner Gas sitcom episode I, witness [closed]

In the Canadian sitcom Corner Gas episode 7, season 4 "I, witness", the dialogue among Brent, Wanda, and Oscar about Lacey know it all. Wanda said something "She is xxx know it all". xxx sounded ...
6
votes
7answers
520 views

Should I consider the phrase “filthy rich” offensive

I am not a native English speaker. Somebody used this sentence when talking about me. Unless his parents are filthy rich everybody needs some form of income. While most dictionaries define it as ...
4
votes
8answers
265 views

encapsulating a positive thing among many negative things

Is there a phrase that encapsulates 'this is a positive thing among many negative things'? Context: I need to find a name for an article I am writing - which is about how a person turned everything ...
3
votes
3answers
249 views

What does “Hold one’s back” mean?

There is the following sentence in the scene Director of FBI, H.A.L Tyson instructs his men in Jeffery Archer’s fiction, “Shall we tell the President”: “So they (assassins group) think you’re ...
12
votes
7answers
880 views

Other ways to say “I have a bad hunch”

I'm looking for ways to say "I'm having a bad hunch", or more like a bad feeling about something upcoming. The gut-wrenching feeling that something bad will happen.
3
votes
1answer
88 views

“until the end of (the) time(s)”?

I'm trying to translate a phrase from Spanish ("Hasta el final de los tiempos") and I was thinking of using one of these phrases: Until the end of time Until the end of the times Until the end of ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

double whammy usage for two good things?

The phrase "double whammy" is used in a situation where two bad things happen but can it be used in a situation where two good things happen? I didn't know "double whammy" is used in a situation with ...
1
vote
2answers
125 views

What does “barefoot notes” mean?

Can someone please help me understand what "barefoot notes" means?
6
votes
1answer
95 views

Term for distinctive wasp flight pattern

Many wasps have a characteristic way of flying back and forth while approaching the opening to their nest (see for example the intro paragraph in this Wikipedia article on yellow jackets). Is there a ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

What does the phrase “His mouth worked when he thought” mean?

“Jody was only a little boy, ten years old, with hair like dusty yellow grass and with shy polite gray eyes, with a mouth that worked when he thought.” (Steinbeck, 4) -The Red Pony
-1
votes
2answers
875 views

What does “I really get the juices flowing when I’m driving” mean?

New York Times article “In golf, moments good and bad are well remembered” (June 14) ends up with the following episode: "Jerry Kelly (PGA golfer) said that his steely memory of golf extended to ...
1
vote
6answers
237 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
448 views

Is it “moved into” or “moved in to”?

I suppose I am confused in general about the use of "into" versus "in to." For this case, though, consider the sentence, "I moved into my apartment today" as opposed to "I moved in to my apartment ...
1
vote
1answer
406 views

Difference between tomorrow never comes and tomorrow will never come

What is the difference between tomorrow never comes and tomorrow will never come? A friend said that Tomorrow never comes is a saying. Then Why is the latter not a saying too? Are their meanings the ...
0
votes
4answers
1k views

Phrase or expression meaning “getting more than you bargained for”

I'm writing an article and I'd appreciate a more sophisticated phrase for the term "getting more than you bargained for". All help is greatly appreciated.
2
votes
2answers
256 views

Can “take fruit in” something mean you enjoy it?

Consider to take fruit in something For example: I take fruit in my life. I feel like I have heard this term used before, but because I couldn't find an example with Google, I wanted to ...
0
votes
3answers
405 views

Does “walk back” have a meaning of ‘deny’ or 'keep distance from sb. / stg.' as an idiom?

I came across the phrase “a State Department spokesperson had walked back his (John Kerry’s) comments in the Time magazine’s (August 2) article titled, “Oops: John Kerry gaffes, Washington ...
8
votes
4answers
474 views

What does “cocktail chatter wisdom” mean?

Jennifer Rubin’s article titled “Did the South win Pickett’s charge, Sen. Cruz?” in the Washington Post (July 30) begins with the following sentence: ...
1
vote
0answers
26 views

“I am yet to see” versus “I have yet to see” [duplicate]

What is the difference between I am yet to see X and I have yet to see X and in which situations would each be preferred?
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Why does “go spare” mean “get angry”?

I don't know whether the phrase "go spare" is used in the US, but it is very common in the UK. e.g. You're an hour late. Mum's going spare upstairs! I would like to know where the phrase comes ...