1
vote
1answer
156 views

Are “the fact of the matter” and “as a matter of fact” the same?

For a long time, I had only known the phrase "matter of fact" to be used in "as a matter of fact..." However, for quite a few days, I have also been hearing, "the fact of the matter is..." in news ...
2
votes
4answers
234 views

Is 'she-woman' an acceptable counterpart of 'he-man'?

If this is, as it is, a real English example, I wanted to know what role his women played in persuading him that he was this incredible he-man. can this I wanted to know what role her men ...
4
votes
1answer
395 views

What is the origin & meaning of “It used to drive me spare”? [duplicate]

While watching the eponymous documentary on Stephen Hawking, his wife described her husband's behaviour when he was deep in thought. She said he could be surrounded by children and not even notice ...
3
votes
3answers
516 views

Is the usage of idiom, “get hold of the wrong end of the stick” situation specific?

I came across the idiom, “get hold of the wrong end of the stick” in the following sentence of the scene where Barry Calvert, an FBI agent tells his colleague, Mark Andrews about the statement of an ...
10
votes
17answers
620 views

Karma, Kudos, …?

I'm looking for a word that I can use to describe the following: A point system where I give points to my kids to incentivise them to do some tasks they don't really want to do. I don't want ...
1
vote
1answer
145 views

What is the difference between “Have got sb by the balls” and “Sb being over a barrel” in describing somebody in predicament?

I found two intriguing idioms in a pair in the following sentence of Jeffery Archer’s “The Forth Estate” (page 592) that I came to the last part at length. A media mogul, Dick Armstrong (seemingly ...
2
votes
1answer
182 views

“She hasn't said but a few words to me…” or “She has said but a few words to me…”?

"She hasn't said but a few words to me since last winter." or "She has said but a few words to me since last winter." Which of these is right? I think the latter is heard more often, but ...
1
vote
1answer
212 views

Are both ‘Hit a raw nerve’ and ‘Tip sb. the wink” predominantly British English idioms?

I was drawn to both of idioms,‘hit a raw nerve’ and ‘tip sb. the wink” being quoted as British skewed English idioms in the following scenes describing verbal exchanges between Captain Richard ...
-4
votes
1answer
260 views

Why is the noun 'sex' uncountable? [closed]

According to the definition of the noun 'sex' in dictionaries, it means 'the PHYSICAL ACTIVITY that two people do together in order to produce babies or for pleasure.' If so, why isn't it countable? ...
3
votes
3answers
171 views

Parallelism with “in order to”

Which of the following is grammatically correct, or are they both gramatically correct? We use this product in order to increase work efficiency and to streamline testing. We use this product in ...
4
votes
2answers
512 views

Is “Would rather have had one’s tooth pulled than doing,” an idiom or common saying?

I found the following quote from Sally Ozonof the MIND Institute of the University of California, who discovered that some children who exhibit symptoms of autism recover completely in “Quotation of ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

Why do we say “I envy you your <something>”?

That construction has always bothered me. People will say it's because you envy a person not a thing, and that on the surface is okay, but then why isn't it I envy you for your thing, or because of ...
1
vote
2answers
384 views

Is “my place” correct and common in British English?

I was recently told that "my place", such as in "let's go to my place" is not commonly used in British English? Is that the case and what would you say instead?
2
votes
1answer
625 views

Can “You are an officer and a gentleman” be used to praise a good deed done by a person completely unrelated to armed forces?

Can "You are an officer and a gentleman" be used to praise a good deed done by a person completely unrelated to armed forces? I would like to praise a friend of mine for an act of kindness. Is it ...
1
vote
1answer
109 views

Use of sequences like “In modern's US” [closed]

Is it correct to use possessive case for referring to the time in consideration, like in in today's US in modern's US in last century's England etc?
-3
votes
2answers
151 views

'Fill an appeal' or 'file an appeal'? [closed]

I encountered both expressions but I am not sure which is correct. Should I use "fill an appeal" or "file an appeal"?
10
votes
3answers
353 views

Is the word “borderline lunacy” a ‘stand-alone’ phrase or just an accidental combination of ‘borderline’ and ‘lunacy’?

I saw the word borderline lunacy in the scathing comment of a Republican strategist on Mitt Romney’s statement en route to London, Israel and Poland in Washington Post’s (7/31) article titled “Does ...
0
votes
2answers
480 views

Subtle distinction between “at once” and “all at once”?

According to OALD both "all at once" and "at once" can mean at the same time. I can't do everything all at once I can't do two things at once. Don't all speak at once! These examples ...
1
vote
0answers
1k views

“To a T” or “To a Tee”, and where does it come from? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Origin of “Fits [x] to a T”? I frequently hear the phrase "To a T[ee]", but I'm not sure that I've ever seen it written. What is the correct way to write ...
3
votes
1answer
855 views

Is “Give (get) space” a common usage for “give (get) flexibility / freedom”?

NSNBC (March 26) reported that President Obama was overheard telling Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to “give him space" until after November during his meetings in South Korea on missile defense, ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

How does one write “day in and day out”

I work like a dog day in and day out. day-in and day-out? day in, and day out? , day in and day out? Please advise.
3
votes
3answers
10k views

Usage of “as per”

Could you show me how to use the word as per in a sentence? Can I make sentences something like the following: I changed the image as per the suggestion of my boss. Or could you give me an ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Where did the phrase “shut up” as an expression of disbelief or amazement originate?

I recently heard shut up used according to this definition in Urban dictionary. shut·up (shuht-up) --interjection 1. An expression of disbelief. 2. Amazement; astonishment. I've only ...
1
vote
1answer
121 views

“Loviest-doviest” or “lovey-doviest”?

I know that this term in its comparative form would 'lovier-dovier', but somehow I can't decide whether it is "loviest-doviest" or "lovey-doviest" Which is the correct form?