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
88 views

More formal phrase for “throw someone off”

Is there a more formal phrase with the same meaning of "throw someone off"? I want to use the phrase exactly how I am sure everyone is used to it being used. I want to say that something unexpected ...
0
votes
0answers
16 views

meaning of “a game of tease”

what does it mean when someone compares something or some act to "a game of tease"? I think it means like indulging in a game of seek and hide or something like that. Am I right? it is like a game ...
0
votes
0answers
37 views

I break out my fun blazer. what does this mean?

Has he ever said anything nice to you before? No. Not even when I break out my fun blazer. This is what I can see on the script of Modern Family season 6 I know what a blazer is, But I don't ...
1
vote
4answers
71 views

Synonyms for “walking on thin ice”

It's tough to find synonyms for whole phrases as opposed to single words. I'm trying to think of at least a couple for "walking on thin ice." So far the only one I've come up with is "playing a ...
0
votes
2answers
49 views

Converting direct speech to indirect speech

Please tell me what will be the indirect-speech form of this sentence: The boys shouted, "Don Bosco Public School well played?" The question mark confuses me. Here is the original question:     ...
3
votes
4answers
90 views

Word describing the one flaw in an otherwise perfect crime, plot or plan

I am wondering if there is a noun or phrase that articulates how a crime, plot or plan was foiled. I am interested in a noun or phrase that relates to crime in particular. For example, They two ...
1
vote
2answers
77 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
votes
1answer
44 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
votes
1answer
119 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 ...
0
votes
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
votes
2answers
101 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
votes
1answer
34 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
vote
2answers
77 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
votes
1answer
35 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
votes
1answer
137 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
votes
2answers
61 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
109 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.
12
votes
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
votes
3answers
139 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
170 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
103 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
-1
votes
2answers
27 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
votes
2answers
52 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, ...
1
vote
3answers
133 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
votes
1answer
40 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?
0
votes
1answer
63 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
votes
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
167 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
43 views

Synonym for Idioms [closed]

I need to know one or more synonyms of this idiom: beating around the bush Thank you.
-1
votes
1answer
45 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
775 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
votes
1answer
37 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
55 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
votes
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 ...
1
vote
0answers
49 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
votes
4answers
218 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
302 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
votes
1answer
128 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
votes
2answers
90 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
votes
2answers
120 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
72 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
vote
4answers
127 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
76 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
51 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
vote
1answer
63 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
votes
0answers
20 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
votes
2answers
51 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
vote
3answers
142 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
votes
1answer
41 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 ...