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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44 views

Is there a single word for people/ consultants who partner with our health? [closed]

We made a card for hospitals which introduces the doctors to its patients. We named the card Meet Your Healers, but we need a new word to replace Healers now.
14
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11answers
38k views

“The point is moot”

I was recently called out for using the phrase "the point is moot" incorrectly. My intent was to indicate that I felt that the point wasn't really worth debating or discussing. I was then shown that ...
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2answers
102 views

What is opposite of “Love”? [closed]

In a argument with my friend who lost her love, I came across her experience of life and what she said is : Opposite of love is NOT Hate. why, Because in love people have feeling and think about ...
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1answer
58 views

Meaning of the idiom: Put down to experience [closed]

'Don't be so hard on yourself. Just put it down to experience.' What does the idiom in this sentence means?
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3answers
2k views

What proof is there in pudding?

Yesterday I heard an English baker on a cooking show say that "the proof is in the pudding." I've heard the expression before but I can't imagine how pudding would prove anything. How did the idiom ...
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5answers
1k views

How to describe gesture to shut up?

I want to use a word/phrase/idiom etc. to describe someone action by which they try to stop another person talk or sharing their plans. I want specifically to use it in following situation: ...
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5answers
10k views

Why do we say “last night” and not “yesterday night”?

As from object, is there a rational reason for saying "last night" rather than "yesterday night", though you would say "yesterday morning" and "yesterday afternoon"?
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2answers
4k views

Full of (piss|pith) and vinegar

Re: the expression: "Full of (piss|pith) and vinegar" Are both correct/acceptable? Is one preferred?
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1answer
97 views

“Go ahead” vs. “Carry on” in AE usage

Back when I was a student, I can recall my nonnative English teachers -- after discussing a certain word, or phrase, or passage from a text with the class -- saying for me or some other guy to please ...
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4answers
595 views

What's the origin of “water under the bridge”?

What's the origin/background of the phrase "water under the bridge"? To what does it allude? I understand it means to let bygones be bygones--to move on from the past. But I don't think I understand ...
12
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2answers
20k views

What's the origin of the idiom “to cut your teeth on something”?

I understand that it means to acquire a new skill, but what does it refer to? It makes me cringe every time I read it!
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6answers
934 views

Does use of the term “Gordian knot” imply a heavy-handed solution?

I’m a PhD student currently struggling with the section of my thesis where I’m praising my supervisors. It is not that I’m having trouble summoning up the willpower to do so, but rather that I’m ...
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4answers
1k views

What does “stuff one's nose into another's orifices” mean?

According to Maureen Dowd's article in New York Times (May 20) under the headline, “Remember to forget,” the European Court of Justice ruled last week that Google and other search engines can be ...
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2answers
73 views

What does “pleasant to a fault” mean? [closed]

Googling didn't help. Thanks in advance for your help.
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3answers
976 views

Does the phrase “don't even pass the laugh test” pass as an idiomatic expression, or only a set of words?

I was intrigued to the phrase, ‘the argument doesn’t pass even the laugh test’ in the following statement of Bruce Schneier, a security technologist on the debate about whether Edward J. Snowden who ...
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3answers
52 views

Is “Everyone tends to get the best of my worst” a valid sentence?

Is there any alternatives to the above sentence? I just needed to know how to say : "everyone tends to find my worst qualities easily" in a subtle way. And i really had no what to tag it with :)
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11answers
2k views

Idiom for the phrase “someone who gets what he deserved”

Is there an idiom for someone who gets what he deserved? Like someone receiving punishment for his evil deeds or someone getting awarded for his good deeds?
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3answers
342 views

Can “the chickens have come home to roost” have positive as well as negative connotations?

In answering a recent EL&U question (Idiom for the phrase "someone who gets what he deserved"), I cited the phrase "The chickens have come home to roost," and said that it "applies ...
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3answers
344 views

It's all I can do

It's all I can do to stop myself from checking the website every 5 seconds! I know what this phrase means, but does anybody know where it came from? On the face of it, it doesn't make any sense. ...
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3answers
767 views

If you say in English: wear the pants in a relationship, then can you also say wear the skirt in a relationship?

What I mean is: if the person wearing the pants assumes a masculine/dominant role, then can we say someone assumes a feminine/submissive role by saying they wear a skirt in a relationship? Especially ...
2
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3answers
8k views

What is the meaning of “six ways from Sunday”? [closed]

This is a line from the book Test Driven Development by Kent Beck: Fortunately, we are well rested and relaxed and unlikely to make mistakes, which is why we will go in teeny-tiny steps, ...
12
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7answers
58k views

What does “Suit yourself” mean?

I found this on SO and googled the idiom "suit yourself", but I couldn't find a matching translation. The context was that the questioner was nitpicking and the answerer lost his patience.
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3answers
249 views

Which is correct: “not less than” or “no less than”? [closed]

Which is the correct idiom: "not less than" or "no less than"? Example (edited): There were no less than fifty people at the meeting. There were not less than fifty people at the meeting.
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22answers
5k views

Are there metaphoric English expressions meaning “keeping composure at a fatal moment, never panicky”?

We have a Japanese old saying, “俎板の上の鯉-manaita no ueno koi, a carp laid on a chopping block” for describing (1) a critical situation you cannot avoid, and (2) a person who is self-poised at such a ...
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3answers
5k views

Where does “on one's last legs” come from?

To be on one's last legs means to be worn out, tired, run down, and ready to die or otherwise cease working. Some examples I've found are Grandfather is on his last legs. He'll be on his way to ...
8
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3answers
235 views

Is there a term for a word that serves as its own antonym? [duplicate]

For example: "transparent" can mean both "obvious" and "hidden" "aught" can mean both "all" and "nothing" Is there a term for a word which has multiple definitions that are antonyms?
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4answers
71 views

What are alternative terms/words for “cognitive dissonance?”

I grasp the meaning completely, I'm just looking for alternatives ways to express it.
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6answers
321 views

Another idiom or phrase (in English) that has the same meaning as 'the fruits of our/your labour'?

I was wondering if anyone knew any other phrases or idiom's for 'the fruit's of our/your labour'? I wanted to use it in the context, of a graduation speech, on how hard they've worked and how far ...
4
votes
1answer
40 views

Who was Buggins of 'Buggins' turn'?

'Buggins' turn' refers to the practice of assigning appointments to persons in rotation, rather than on merit. The OED records this and gives examples of its use from 1901. As regards etymology it ...
0
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1answer
60 views

Is it ever correct to say “turn down the building”?

I'm a non-native speaker of English, and so is my wife. We were talking to a native speaker when at one point, my wife commented, "They should turn down the building." I've never heard of the phrase ...
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8answers
4k views

Does “all in” mean… “tired”?

When I used to play video games, "all in" meant that you were devoting your army to a "do or die" effort. In other words, you were either going to win or lose in the next battle. The "all in" meant ...
0
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1answer
89 views

What is the origin of 'common or garden'?

Why do we speak, for example, of a 'common or garden' bicycle, meaning one that simply does the job of a bicycle without alloy wheels, Sir Bradley Wiggins pedals or any other bells and whistles. ...
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2answers
116 views

Is there more than a 'double' whammy?

I have three (could grow to be more) bad reasons for a situation and I wondered if there is such a thing as a triple whammy that is an extension of the double whammy. From my research online, a triple ...
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1answer
110 views

What does “keeping someone in shoe leather” means?

In the following sentence: Unless your work is pro-bono, you should make sure that your customers keep you in shoe leather. What does "keeping someone in shoe leather" means?
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1answer
91 views

Is “down the years” a common idiom?

Is it possible to say that "something horrible will happen down the years"?
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5answers
45k views

“Thank you very much” vs. “Thank you so much”

Some people used to say: Thank you very much. Where others say: Thank you so much. Could anybody please explain what differences there may be between those, whether of correctness or ...
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6answers
6k views

What does the phrase “take tea” mean?

I've come across the phrase "take tea" in some sentences, and reckoned it is used as an idiom and not meant literally. For instance, "Children to compete for chance to take tea with the Mad Hatter." ...
2
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2answers
82 views

Meaning of the idiom “here falls the shadow”

What does the expression "here falls the shadow" mean? The context is a list describing how to teach your kids to become entrepreneurs:  6. Teach the mental nexus. Here falls the shadow. ...
6
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4answers
438 views

What is the role of “every” in idioms like “every so often”?

There are a couple of idioms whose meaning is from time to time or occasionally. Every so often (Every) once in a while (Every) now and then/again Every actually is a determiner (or, broadly ...
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1answer
72 views

Idiom for “nothing bad will happen” or“ nothing bad will not happen”?

I just was talking with my Enlish friend and I wanted to use a construction: If yes - ok, if not - nothing bad will happen, right? I am Russian and I am unsure if there is such idiom in English. ...
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6answers
8k views

Phrases that would be similar to “Tip of the Iceberg” but with a positive connotation

I am looking for phrases that would be similar in meaning to 'tip of the iceberg,' but has a positive connotation. My understanding is that 'tip of the iceberg' has a negative "hidden" connotation. ...
2
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4answers
315 views

Is there an alternative word/phrase to “ignorance is bliss?” [edited]

It's a classic phrase, but is there a word that encapsulates the sentiment of this idiom? Edit: Single word isn't a requirement, I'm just looking for a concise and eloquent alternative. I don't ...
2
votes
2answers
308 views

Meaning of “top” in “to sleep as sound as a top”

From "The Early Bird", by George MacDonald. A little bird sat on the edge of her nest; Her yellow-beaks slept as sound as tops; Day-long she had worked almost without rest, And had ...
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3answers
327 views

Better than the next?

I've heard people using this idiom, such as "each day is better than the next", or "you hope that each experience you have is better than the next" (heard this one on a TV show not long ago), ...
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12answers
4k views

Are there English equivalents to the Japanese saying, “There’s a god who puts you down as well as a god who picks you up”?

There is an old Japanese saying, “捨てる神あれば、拾う神あり-Suterukami areba hirou kami ari,” meaning “There’s a god who puts you down as well as a god who picks up you.” In other words, “In this world, some ...
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1answer
64 views

Is the term 'put on his parts' used everywhere, or only in some dialects?

In Norfolk, when a child misbehaves in a demanding, or sulking way, they are often said to 'put on their parts'. 'She is putting on her parts again', means that she is following a pattern, typical ...
2
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3answers
86 views

Can you say “which goes in a downward direction” in English?

The inventory check conducted by a private contractor (name-of-the contract) has revealed a 20 percent discrepancy which goes in a downward direction. The warehouse ledger shows the total inventory ...
2
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5answers
9k views

What's the origin and reasoning behind the phrase, “I've got a monkey on my back”?

900lb Gorilla I can appreciate, but "I've got a monkey on my back" - two opposable thumbs down...
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2answers
50 views

Meaning of “we're rather flat” in context

From Yellow Slugs by H.C. Bailey: He went to the room where Eddie lay. The doctor was there, and turned from the bedside to confer with him. “Not too bad. We’ve put in a long sleep. Quite quiet ...
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3answers
2k views

Don't mind if I do!

Jim: Have a donut. Steve: Don't mind if I do! [grabs honey cruller] What exactly is Steve telling Jim here: Steve doesn't mind if he has a donut Steve warns Jim, lightly, not to mind if ...