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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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 ...
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4answers
204 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 ...
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3answers
296 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 ...
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1answer
116 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 ...
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2answers
74 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 ...
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118 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 ...
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1answer
63 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 ...
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110 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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66 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 ...
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1answer
48 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 ...
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1answer
55 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 ...
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19 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
139 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 ...
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1answer
38 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 ...
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9answers
369 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 ...
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2answers
100 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 ...
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1answer
58 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
100 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 ‘...
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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 ...
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3answers
91 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 ...
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1answer
142 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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92 views

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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“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
47 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 tone-...
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140 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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“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
46 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) https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/...
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119 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
79 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
64 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
38 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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674 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
73 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
66 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
39 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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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
28 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
64 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
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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
271 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
56 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
324 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
168 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
188 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
80 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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35 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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116 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 me?...
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2answers
68 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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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 ...