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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2answers
62 views

Does “the military” refer to any military?

When someone uses the term "the military" is it implied they are talking about the military of the current country they are in, or any military? For example I sometimes see on application forms "Have ...
0
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1answer
38 views

Any difference between pleasure to us to… vs. pleasure of ours to…?

I am writing a super-formal letter (it is a semi-legal text) and I am unsure if there is any sensible difference between writing "It is a great pleasure to us to..." (26,200,000 hits on Google) ...
8
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1answer
118 views

Why is “violated” being used as future perfect with a person as the object?

On Aviation StackExchange, I've seen these: I don't think you will be violated.. He was subsequently violated... Pilot [...] may now be violated for it. ... pilots have been violated... It seems ...
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0answers
17 views

Can Fair Enough mean quantity enough?

Fair could mean quite large/big or many in quantity or degree, so can fair enough mean it's quite big enough or it's quite much/many(corret me if im wrong) enough?
9
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2answers
93 views

A word or idiom for a car mechanic that rips you off

I'm curious if there is an English word or idiom specific for a car mechanic that rips you off. In the case of a doctor, one could use charlatan, or quack.
2
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1answer
32 views

Personification of a Vehicle and it's sleeves

Normally, to describe something which has special abilities or something secret, we use the phrase Something up its sleeve or something similar to that. Now, if I had to say the same thing about a ...
1
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2answers
68 views

My coworker and I were trying to solve a problem — we both tried two different things at once that only worked because of the other's attempt

Each solution to the problem we were trying to solve would have independently failed. We were each trying many different solutions at the same time. We each happened to try a solution that worked, but ...
0
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1answer
31 views

Demonstrate a discrepancy? [closed]

I was writing some article about scientific debate over one subject and then came to my keyboard the following : "... demonstrate large variability..." . I was wondering if I could replace ...
-2
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1answer
63 views

“Righting wrongs” or “Writing wrongs”? [closed]

I've seen people using different forms of this phrase. "Righting some wrongs", "Righting the wrongs", "Right a wrong" "Writing some wrongs", "Writing the wrongs", "Write a wrong" It seems to be an ...
0
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2answers
60 views

What is the idiom or proverb or phrase for this “hard packing but loose knot”? [closed]

What is the idiom or proverb or phrase for this "hard packing but loose knot"? For example, you took hard preparation for the exam, but, didn't attend it.
0
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1answer
51 views

What is the meaning of “to spite the whole world"? [closed]

I found that in this text: recently wrote on Twitter that he was willing to revise his position towards ISIL and join it “to spite the whole world" if it stopped labeling other jihadists as ...
0
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1answer
67 views

Meaning of “off the clock”

Could you explain the meaning of the expression "off the clock"? Do I need to use hyphens as in "off-the-clock"? I have seen some explanations on the Internet, but none of them seem to be reliable.
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9answers
4k views

Derogatory word or idiom for city dwellers

I'm looking for something people from rural area would use, especially when they refer to that person's inability to adapt to the country life.
4
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3answers
113 views

Idiom for being forced to dig your own grave?

Suppose that a team of people is laid off but is asked to temporarily stay to train their replacements. Is there any idiom that would describe people in such a conflicting situation? "Digging their ...
2
votes
2answers
127 views

What's another way of saying “to hell with it”? [closed]

How do you express displeasure and disregard over something (e.g. To hell with that new policy _____'s office has come up with! I'm going to do whatever the hell I want) without sounding crude? I am ...
3
votes
2answers
82 views

Does “taking the heart out of something” mean to defeat it?

Does the idiom "taking the heart out of something" mean to defeat it? Context: rituals of science have taken the heart out of the rituals of religion
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2answers
25 views

Meaning meaning [closed]

Could someone please help me out of the misunderstanding problem below? Empowering the underprivileged lies in assuring them that education holds the real source of power
2
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2answers
47 views

Synonyms for “having a property”

When writing a mathematical text one often wants to express that a certain object has a certain property, i.e.: "Object A has property X." Since this formulation gets boring if used too many times, ...
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3answers
102 views

'Third wheel' or 'fifth wheel'?

If you are the "extra" person in a situation, are you the "third wheel" or the "fifth wheel"? Some books—like Film Noir Guide—say "third": O'Keefe plays an escaped convict on the run with his ...
0
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1answer
34 views

running into someone after vacation

for the question 16, I don't know either using "How was your break?" or "What's going on". And Q20,"what about you?" and "what are you up to?" seem able to use? Could someone explain their usages?
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1answer
51 views

Is there another idiom to replace “rolling the dice”?

Does this sentence sound unnatural? The journalist has read the book, written a review and rolled the dice. I know rolling the dice means to "take a chance". But I am not sure if giving ...
4
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3answers
68 views

Need help naming this platform in my back yard

What do I call a semi-circular concrete platform in my back yard that looks like a stage. It is about 30 inches above my grass lawn and is attached to my rear wall and appears that it could be a band ...
5
votes
1answer
105 views

Why does “keep tabs on” mean what it means

Keep tabs on sth/sb means "to ​watch something or someone ​carefully". Why is that? Can somebody analyze and explain this idiom, please? What does "tabs" mean here, and how does the whole phrase ...
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2answers
43 views

Synonym for Idioms [closed]

I need to know one or more synonyms of this idiom: beating around the bush Thank you.
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1answer
43 views

correct language usage [closed]

Those clerics, who often have views on life which are in stark contrast to the Belgian lifestyle, have been provoking identity crises in many immigrant youths, making them vulnerable for ...
5
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5answers
674 views

English equivalent for the Persian idiom “Putting the drill on poppy”?

There is an old saying in Persian that describes a situation in which: Someone is going into too much (unnecessary) detail while doing something. Someone does something with too much (unnecessary) ...
0
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1answer
29 views

Is there another way to say a false dichotomy, such as a forced choice or …?

Is there another way to say a false dichotomy, such as a forced choice or ... ??? Isn't there some even handier phrase, that I can't for the life of me think of (doesn't that drive you absolutely ...
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2answers
51 views

What does “be (totally) on” mean?

Today I come across the headline、“Meek and Nicki are still totally on” followed by sub-headline, “Just stop asking when they're getting engaged.” in the Scene site. Does “A and B are on” mean A and B ...
37
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15answers
5k views

What is the equivalent of Persian idiom “When the reed blooms”?

In Persian, we say "When the reed blooms" when we want to express that an event: Never happens. (This is only the opinion of the speaker so it's not a fact) It's very unlikely to happen. It's going ...
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0answers
46 views

Phrase Synonymous to “Stop at nothing?”

I'm writing a paper describing a fashion designer who creates incredibly complex and EXTRAVAGANT sets for his runway shows. I want to say he "stops at nothing" or "spares no effort" or "leaves no ...
3
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4answers
194 views

What is another idiomatic way to say “have a trick up my sleeve”? This “trick” is the last resort.

I am translating a Chinese short film. In a dialogue, a soldier suggests to the king that they should activate a sacred time-travel item. The king knows full well that the time-travel item as their ...
7
votes
3answers
286 views

Is there any idiomatic meaning of 'it can be a real pig'?

In the Terry Pratchett's book, 'Reaper Man', there is a passage: Most species do their own evolving, making it up as they go along, which is the way Nature intended. And this is all very natural ...
2
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1answer
107 views

Holy holy=Holy s###?

I thought I heard the store manager (a native English speaker, mid-20's) muttered to himself like "Holy holy." That was when the store was newly opened and was so crowded with lots of customers. He ...
2
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2answers
66 views

How should I interpret 'come evening' in this long sentence?

How should I interpret come evening in this long sentence? This ensures that, come evening, you've remembered whether or not you followed through in the morning. This is a new grammar that I ...
4
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2answers
116 views

Idiom for tinkering and then returning to what you had at first?

I'm trying to think of a good idiom/phrase for the process of questioning what you have, tinkering with it and finally returning to what you had at first. Specifically returning accidentally, then ...
5
votes
1answer
58 views

single word or phrase for particular feeling of release

Is there a word that describes when you have a great idea, revolutionary even, and then you find out it has already been done? Or maybe, that feeling - not futility, not Sisyphean - but that wry ...
1
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4answers
100 views

English idiom, for checking thoroughly before executing, please!

in my language we have " measure 7 times, cut once" meaning one better check, think and plan thoroughly before making any decision or excuting any action. is there any English equivalent? Thank you ...
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3answers
65 views

Idiom for doing trivial things during a crisis [duplicate]

I'm looking for an idiom for when someone will do small, irrelevant tasks during a crisis instead of working to solve the crisis. The focus of the phrase wouldn't be on procrastinating, it would be ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

Specific meaning of term “nail-biters” in context of mid-1970s America

The phrase in question revolves around a rather odious quote, so I beseech all reading to please suppress your political leanings and focus instead on the meanings of the phrases employed. In around ...
1
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1answer
49 views

Term for two people doing something thinking it pleases the other

Is there a term or an idiom for a situation where two (or more people) are doing something only because they think the other person wants it. They themselves may dislike or be neutral about it. An ...
0
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0answers
18 views

“ever in revolt” and its grammatical role in the sentence

"It freezes the water to prevent it running to the sea; it drives the sap out of the trees till they are frozen to their mighty hearts; and most ferociously and terribly of all does the Wild harry and ...
2
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2answers
50 views

Sentence phrasing 'Please don't punish/scold/penalize' [closed]

Situation: I technician came to my house for installation/demo or Refrigerator. He was good but forgot to install a 'rat mesh' ( protect machine from rats). I called customer care to inform the ...
1
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3answers
136 views

Idiom Question: “And no money is spent by the dead.”

I'm actually a native English speaker that can't seem to figure this one out, nor can I find it online. Unfortunately, I can't really give context: it's in pretty convoluted academic writing in a very ...
0
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1answer
36 views

What's the meaning of the idiom “on such accounts”? [closed]

Example usage in https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meaning_(psychology) A similar understanding developed in Cultural Studies of Science: "Cultural studies thereby articulate dynamic, expressive ...
6
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9answers
354 views

Idiom or Expression related to Nepotism

I'm looking for an idiom or expression that relates to someone who is promoted to get them out of a department because they can't be fired due to politics, possibly nepotism. The promotion is not ...
1
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2answers
92 views

What does it mean “ticket puncher” in this sentence?

Mature ticket-punchers are more "adult" or specialized in their interests; Tend to do OK academically but socially they subsist outside the mainstream (they ask less and add less). Here is the link ...
0
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1answer
53 views

What means “wolf-call” in context of dating? [closed]

On Hacker News user bertil wrote interesting comment (bold mine): The idea that a meeting is a date or not has to be clarified. You can’t just have a drink with a colleague, and let the romantic ...
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4answers
92 views

Slang or idiom for someone who wants to gain weight or bulk up

What is a more colourful way of saying someone who wants to gain weight, increase their muscle size by going to the gym? He has been regularly visiting the gym in hopes of ___ Can I say ...
9
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18answers
1k views

Idioms for a 'obvious' or 'needs no explanation'

I need to find an idiom for the following situation. I am talking to the HR department about a particular policy. I did not know about the policy beforehand and HR had never explained it to me. For ...
1
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3answers
85 views

What to say to express mild sympathy? [closed]

A friend says "I got the flu so I can't hang out". I want to express sympathy that they're sick, rather than disappointment about not hanging out. Do I say... "I'm sorry" (but I didn't do anything ...