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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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 ...
3
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1answer
134 views

Meaning of “Mythical Distance”

In this sentence With the break-up of the Roman Empire and the rise of Christianity, Europe saw India recede into a mythical distance Is mythical distance an idiom? What does it mean?
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What is the meaning when someone say “it doesn't get much weird than Lynda?”

Lynda made a dance performance, it's very weird and many audiences couldn't understand it. Then a guy made a comment "It doesn't get much weird than Lynda?". What does he mean ? Is that "Lynda is ...
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0answers
50 views

“To walk on the rocks for somebody” meaning + 100 stiches [closed]

I'm working on subtitles translation and I encountered the following phrase: Dear god, I walked on the rocks for you today. I hope you're taking good care of Don... I've tried to find out what ...
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1answer
43 views

What's the meaning of the “rather as though” in this example?

As I was reading on the Internet, I came across this: Even if they want to have it, they can't. It is rather as though, over an immense range of intellectual experience, a whole group was ...
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4answers
112 views

Idioms for people who are tight with money [closed]

Is there an idiom which describes a person who is tight with his/her money, never wants to chip in or treat themselves or others and worries too much about money.
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0answers
44 views

“Set of the day” and “this is my line” [closed]

For those who watched Point Break , I fished out two idioms I haven't met before. The set of the day. Context: two guys are surfing, one of them points out a big wave and says: 'It is the set ...
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2answers
45 views

What does being back to something mean?

What does the phrase "Now it's back to all the brightness, and everything I hate" mean? (Riddicks s dialogue in The Chronicles of Riddicks movie) ...
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2answers
118 views

'one's chest has straitened, yet he doth not utter'

This is a rough translation of a line in Arabic poetry and I can't seem to find a good equivalent to it. 'Ones chest/bosom has straitened/has narrowed so much/distressed/heavied (no more room in his ...
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2answers
74 views

Is the following a well-known idiom? “The legal team buried them in paper” [closed]

Slang Legal Terms I have heard the expression in movies but it is not represented as an idiom in computer searches. I want to use it in a legal case in which I am involved A similar question occurs ...
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1answer
62 views

English idiom for keeping a lousy employee on the payroll because of his connections? [duplicate]

You know (hypothetical) Larry, the CEO's third cousin, who was hired on an important and well paid position even though he totally sucks at it, dragging the entire department down, but the CEO keeps ...
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1answer
36 views

The correct preposition with “Google play store” and “Google” [closed]

I'm a bit confused about using the correct preposition in the following sentences. Which one sounds correct? On the Google play store In the Google play store What about the ...
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11answers
658 views

Phrase or idiom for someone that is overspecialized

If I have a friend that spreads their interests too thin, gathering a large body of superficial knowledge related to many topics, I'd probably use the phrase "jack of all trades, master of none" to ...
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1answer
67 views

Does “killed the dog” mean flatulence?

I have been using this idiom as a synonym for "passing gas" ever since I heard it in the cult comedy classic, Kung Pow: Enter the Fist. Here's the usage: Kung Pow: Killed the Dog I happened to say ...
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1answer
64 views

“To cover the waterfront” usage

There is an idiom to cover the waterfront: to deal with every detail concerning a specific topic [McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs via TFD] Could you say thank you ...
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1answer
36 views

Use of 'common' as 'likewise'

In the poem "Reflections in a Forest", Auden writes To move about seems underbred / and common any taste for words We can paraphrase it as "It seems rude to move and likewise to speak." My ...
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11answers
3k views

Are there any similar phrases that are popular in the US to express “penny dropped”?

I met the phrase penny dropped today and learned that it is mainly used in UK. The Cambridge Idioms Dictionary via TheFreeDictionary.com defines it as if you say the penny drops, you mean that ...
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1answer
26 views

How to use the expression “loser hands”? [closed]

I heard sentences which involved the expression "loser hands", e.g. "this is one of the loser hands" (with reference to some concept which someone had expressed perplexity about). Which is the ...
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1answer
59 views

A phrase meaning that something became not so important compared to something else [closed]

I'm working on the translation of the article from Polish to English. It literally says "The discussion on the origin of the languages pales/blanches compared to the basic debate the linguists are ...
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2answers
62 views

Idiom to refer to something necessary but harmful [closed]

I want to know whether there is any phrase that corresponds to the following situation: I have to use computer in order to finish my day to day work. And it is affecting my health. But the catch is I ...
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1answer
218 views

Where does the phrase “wild horses won't keep me away” come from

I've heard the phrase "wild horses won't keep me away", as is if wild horses were dragging me away, I wouldn't be kept from going where I was going. Where does this come from?
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1answer
51 views

what does “showing the fly the way out of the fly-bottle” literally means?

I saw this expression: "the aim of the activity is "to show the fly the way out of the fly-bottle". " (It is connected with this other expression: "I don't know my way about".) I grasped the ...
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1answer
206 views

What does “go on floors” really mean?

When reading movie magazines or news I come across lines like the below: Mr. A's new film goes on floors next month. The actors 2 movies are going on floors later this year. One can ...
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1answer
130 views

“roll the tape”

I need to translate this sentence : "I am going to roll the tape of what she is talking." However, I don't get what does it indicate? what is the meaning of "roll the tape"? Does it mean to ignore ...
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2answers
159 views

What is the origin of “smell a rat”? [closed]

So an idiom, "to smell a rat," means to suspect trickery or deception. Where does that come from?
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2answers
75 views

“ Water under the fridge ”

I was watching dumb and dumber ,and Lloyd said "Water under the fridge" instead of "Water under the bridge" ( That's all water under the fridge now, Har. Think of the bright side. You're finally ...
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1answer
32 views

Stake a claim in / on / to?

Which preposition should I use with the idiom "stake a claim"? I thought it was "in," but apparently "on" also exists and some online dictionaries have "to" too. For example: Many homesteaders ...
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4answers
109 views

Questions on “Like father, like son” [duplicate]

I have a few questions on this phrase "Like father, like son". Is it an idiom or a proverb? Or both? Can it be analysed grammatically? If the answer is "Yes", can you analyse it grammatically for ...
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2answers
64 views

What makes cliche a useful distinct term as compared to idiom

Some context: I wondered about the distinction between cliche and idiom as seen by EL&U.SE and posted a question on meta (Where does EnglishLanguage.SE draw the line between cliche and idiom) ...
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18answers
1k views

Idiom: Unknown, hidden problems

We're programmers. Overheard snatch of conversation between co-worker and boss (cleaned up): Yes, we can certainly look into this new technology, but who knows what reefs await us? After the ...
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1answer
68 views

What does the idiom “this is in hand” mean? [closed]

I saw this as a reply to someone's enquiry of a work status. "This is in hand and will be completed prior to the move rest assured." What is the meaning of 'in hand' here?
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2answers
39 views

informal word for a money manager

Imagine there's a group of friends and they're on a trip or on vacation. They're not going to chip in for every single spending; instead, a certain person shells out for everything throughout and when ...
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1answer
50 views

Regarding “glue on” [closed]

Somebody makes a minion using eggs, eyeballs and paints. They then say, "Then glue on one or two eyeballs". What is this saying? Is there a difference between "Glue on one or two eyeballs" and "Glue ...
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1answer
55 views

What does “fall into history” mean in this context?

I couldn't figure this sentences out, because of the "falls into history" expression. It's an academic article, I thought maybe it doesn't me "to be forgotten" like in the song. Would someone please ...
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6answers
2k views

An idiom for taking advantage of something which gave you the right to take advantage in the first place

Can someone suggest an idiom which means - taking advantage of something, which gave you the right to take advantage in the first place? I know this isn't clear, but it's something like - Shooting a ...
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4answers
2k views

What does “she was deploying her famous pipes” mean?

I'm stuck with the precise meaning of the following phrase I read on the Web: "When she took the stage at the Grammy Awards this year, things were no different — except that she was deploying her ...
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0answers
32 views

Is it “We consider A and B as equal” or “We consider A and B to be equal”? [duplicate]

In usage such as "we consider a label and a tag (as / to be) equal", or "we consider a 'yes' or a 'nod' (as / to be) equal", should we say: We consider A and B as equal. A and B are considered as ...
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2answers
170 views

I have a bodyguard in order to protect myself

I have a bodyguard in order to protect myself. I was told that I cannot have a stative verb in the required condition: I have a bodyguard But I don't understand how "I need to study in ...
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2answers
95 views

Comforting/encouraging English idiom meaning 'it's not that bad'/'it's not all bad'

I have been told this by an unknown man on the street a few years ago, when I was looking particularly sad. It was something that meant to say 'it's not all bad, cheer up', and it either contained ...
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1answer
2k views

Meaning of “Carrots aren't that great” in the sentence

I was reading "10 hurdles to Windows 10 adoption". In slide 12, there's this paragraph: I still think it’s smartest for Windows 7 customers to stand pat, unless they see something in Windows 10 ...
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1answer
95 views

Subtle version of “Curtains match the carpet” [closed]

The idiom "the curtains match the carpet" -- also heard the other way around and, in American English, swapping in "drapes" and "rug", respectively; I think I've also heard it with "collar" and ...
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1answer
105 views

Tip of the iceberg

Did I use this idiom incorrectly? I'll never forget seeing your beautiful face, but that's just the tip of the iceberg of what makes you a one-of-a-kind beauty. It's for an English paper. ...
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0answers
44 views

Is it correct to say “must you drive me crazy”?

Is it correct to say "must you drive me crazy"? Does it sound stylistically correct for native speakers? Thanks!
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3answers
131 views

The meaning of the idiom “pin one's hat on something”

HINOJOSA: And how they got there is the reason why the Kohn family is now part of a national scientific study to locate a gene for longevity. DR. TOM PERLS, CENTAGENETIX: We started off ...
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1answer
36 views

“tracked up” verbal phrase meaning

I am getting difficulty in deducing the meaning of idiom tracked up in the given diction below, ( paragraph below is taken from the NYTimes editorials ) : ...the Boston Global to do more than ...
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5answers
176 views

What does the idiom “That's the way it crumbles, cookie-wise” mean?

I just watched the movie The apartment (by Billy Wilder, 1960) and hear the main character say: That's the way it crumbles, cookie-wise I kind of understand it as "that's life", as someone would ...
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0answers
97 views

Who is Charlie Hustle?

From time to time I hear the expression "he's being Charlie Hustle" or something similar, referring to a person, who, well, hustles. Haven't managed to find any reference to the origin of this phrase, ...
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3answers
476 views

Does “Hang a Shingle” refer only to lawyers starting their own business?

I guess I've only heard it used to refer to lawyers. Is the term exclusive to lawyers?
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1answer
88 views

Does the idiom “in check” come from chess? [closed]

I was recently arguing with a friend that the idiom "in check" comes from chess. With the meaning that keeping someone or something "in check" restrains its choices and limits its actions, this seems ...
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1answer
53 views

Origin of phrase “passing the trash”

In broadest terms, the phrase Passing the Trash describes dealing with corrupt individuals by giving them transfers, new job titles or even promotions. However, a quick search with Google suggests ...