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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1answer
97 views

When adverbs like “sure” are used to mean the opposite of their typical meaning [closed]

Is there a term or phrase to describe the phenomenon in English where sometimes a statement is qualified with an adverb, which normally would make the claim stronger but native English speakers tend ...
0
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1answer
51 views

Which word order produces the more suitable sentence? [closed]

Which of the following is an appropriate sentence? Only he could see through the trick. Only he could see the trick through. According to me, the first one is right. Can you explain which one is ...
7
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10answers
1k views

Is there a word or an idiom for barging in a room with anger?

Opening a door frustrated and rushing in like you are about to scold someone inside... Barging in a room with anger. Is there a word or idiom for that, other than storm in?
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2answers
90 views

Origin of “blew his brains out” [closed]

I was thinking to myself, when suddenly a thought occurred to me: When was the first usage of "blew his brains out"? Example as used in sentence: He put the shotgun in his mouth with one shell in ...
1
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2answers
383 views

Origins and meaning of, “Ham and Egg it”?

This term was used by a MLB sports announcer yesterday (5/10/2015 - Padres vs. Diamondbacks @ 2:10:41) talking about relying on relief pitchers. “Diamondbacks today trying to ham and egg it with ...
3
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4answers
434 views

Is there a word for someone who is not aware of how pretty or handsome he/she is? [closed]

Is there a word or an idiom that describes someone who is beautiful but unaware of it?
5
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5answers
176 views

Is there a specific term for when you get offended by a criticism which wasn't meant for you?

For example, person A says something not directed towards anyone in particular, but it was a criticism nonetheless, and it was intentionally meant to indirectly tell off some people. Person B takes ...
0
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1answer
67 views

Word for an additional period of time allowed for something

I don't know what word, idiom or phrase to use if I want to say "I want to be allowed to use some specific offers for additional period of time." For example I am allowed to use software for one month ...
4
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4answers
916 views

Is there a word for lying on the bed peacefully, all your muscles relaxed?

Is there a word or an idiom for lying on the bed peacefully and happy? Throwing yourself down on bed arms wide open, all your muscles relaxed and staring at the ceiling with a happy smile like ...
4
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2answers
75 views

Idiom or quote that means “Decided to be the opposite of [a person]”

I'm looking for an idiom (or pithy quote) that is equivalent to saying; Having met that person, I decided that I would absolutely do the opposite of what they would do. Any ideas?
2
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3answers
172 views

What is the hand gesture called when you knock down your opponent in a fight?

Is there a word or an idiom for the hand gesture, done after finishing a task successfully or after knocking down the opponent in a fight? The one like wiping off the dust from your hands, which ...
1
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2answers
103 views

“be on holiday” and “be on camping”

A private student's story contained the cited line below, which sounded awkward and strange. “I was on camping with my family” I know you can “go on holiday”, but you can't “go on camping”. ...
0
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1answer
103 views

idiom for proceeding slowly and with difficulty

Is there an idiom I could use if I wanted to say that someone is doing something with a lot difficulty and slowly? I cannot think of anything. Thanks Edit from comment: For example: You have learnt ...
2
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1answer
198 views

“I better not ask,” vs “I had better not ask.” [duplicate]

Example: Speaker A: Thanks for the fish, I'll feed it to my crocodile. Speaker B: Your crocodile? I (had) better not ask. I better not ask sounds better to me (2,480 results on Google ...
0
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0answers
43 views

“It's like with” as replacement of “I'm in the same situation as…”

Is this a valid replacement? Example: Speaker A: I'm planning to quit. Speaker B: Why? Speaker A: It's like with Mrs. Anderson. I'm tired of not making any progress. (Speaker A is ...
1
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2answers
103 views

Euphemisms for rejection (man-women and vice versa)

Example: The more time passed, the more sure I became she’d [...] me. The most common word in this case is reject. I'm wondering, though, what euphemisms I can use aside from turn down?
0
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1answer
88 views

Avoiding Ignorance

Is the phrase "avoid ignorance" idiomatic? In my mind something is wrong about the combination of the verb "avoid" and the noun "ignorance".
6
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1answer
290 views

'Not feeling clever' - how far does this extend?

The other day, when my wife was unwell, I happened to mention to a relative in Norfolk that she wasn't 'feeling too clever'. He instantly knew what I meant. But it made me wonder how far this idiom ...
0
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2answers
47 views

What is the correct method to make a commonly repeated project name stand out?

I have a project titled "Around the World." I refer to this project often in text. I have been instructed not to use quotes, but I am unsure of the best way to identify this phrase as the project ...
0
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4answers
360 views

“on the back of” meaning and implications

A The Independent of London article, The rise and rise of Sudoku, reads: [...] sales of pencils in Britain are reported to have risen 700 per cent on the back of the Sudoku boom. Question: Does ...
4
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8answers
222 views

Is there an idiom to describe someone who grew from less than average to influential?

Is there a idiom or common expression to describe someone who used to be shy, unsocial, unskilled, or even perceived to be useless, who somehow transformed himself or herself to be influential and ...
1
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3answers
110 views

Both arguments are correct

I wrote a paper about two opposing arguments. My conclusion was that the two arguments may be correct. Is there an idiom or phrase that means two opposite things may be correct, independent of each ...
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2answers
88 views

Can I use the phrase, “open and shut” for other subjects than legal cases?

There was the following passage in New York Times (April 28) under the title, “In Baltimore, we’re all Freddie Gray.”: “We’ve watched as Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, in conjunction with ...
35
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14answers
6k views

Is there a word or an idiom for people who only spend their families' money and fool around?

Is there a word or an idiom for rich people who spend only their families' money and do not bother to work, just fool around?
8
votes
10answers
2k views

Phrase for criticism/insults concealed with humor

Passive aggressive people will sometimes veil insulting, critical, derogatory or generally aggressive comments with humor. The patina of humor makes the comment seem like a joke, not to be taken ...
0
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2answers
162 views

Is “I wish I had one of those …” correctly used in the following sentence?

Sex Education Club? I wish I had one of those when I was a student. The bolded part actually means, I wish my university had had one of those so I could have joined . . . But I picked I wish I ...
2
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2answers
105 views

Where did the term “Square Meal” come from?

In several older TV shows (think Andy Griffith) I've heard the term "Square Meal" used to describe an ideal hardy and nutritious meal. The term can be applied to breakfast, lunch and dinner. Where ...
3
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1answer
78 views

Vice and Vice President [closed]

The word "vice" is usually used in a negative sense in the meaning of "immoral or wicked behavior". On the other hand we have a commonly used term "vice president" as the second person in a presidency ...
3
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2answers
46 views

Some idioms for “psychotherapist” and the meaning of “therapist” in the US

Some Russian-English dictionaries like Multitran suggest that the word "therapist" has a meaning of "psychotherapist" in the US slang. Is it generally true? Can you please suggest me some compact ...
1
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5answers
123 views

What is the word that describes a demanding look?

Is there an idiom or a single verb for a patronizing stare or a demanding look? As if someone can speak with his looks and says something like "No!", "Stop!", "Do it now!" and makes people obey no ...
1
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9answers
454 views

What is the word that defines walking confidently, coldly and calmly?

Is there a word for walking confidently, coldly and calmly...but not angrily, frustrated or in a rush. And not a fake self-confident walk to make people believe you are an important person.
17
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3answers
2k views

What is the action called when a grumpy old man shows that he is annoyed, by making a 'throat-clearing' sound?

Sometimes when a grumpy old man gets annoyed, he makes noises like clearing his throat. Does grumbling or grunting define that action? Is there a more appropriate word or an idiom for that?
0
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8answers
259 views

Is there a word or an idiom for respecting someone because you are afraid of him?

I am looking for a word or an idiom about showing respect to someone superior in work because you are afraid of him. I'm not talking about real respect or showing respect to him or his works, just ...
0
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2answers
219 views

A word for an amused surprise?

You tell your friend about a person's funny habit and that person shows it right away without knowing. You tell your friend "See!". You are surprised but you were right. What is the verb for that kind ...
0
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1answer
117 views

Meaning of “near tears” idiom

What is the meaning of "near tears" idiom? Example: When I was 18, while hiking with a friend in Colorado, I tried to impress him by climbing up a rock. A minute later, realizing I was stuck, ...
2
votes
3answers
624 views

Made my heart sink

How would you explain in other words this phrase: Made my heart sink I picked it up in one article and can't find its explanation as idiom. Although I suppose it means 'this makes me sorry about ...
0
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1answer
62 views

Idiom that means “to understand a story better by listening to it from the beginning?”

Example: "I think I should I start my story from the beginning. That way you can [...]. Is there any idiom for that? Preferably idioms that evoke something physical, imagery.
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2answers
102 views

“Patch up holes along the way.” Is this idiom common?

I'm not a native English speaker so I have no idea. Example: "I think I should I start my story from the beginning. That way you don't have to patch up holes along the way." I worry that the ...
1
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1answer
74 views

What does “no frame of graft” mean in this context?

Young Ethan: All right, look. I've gotta tell you something. I'm not 17. I only said so that you'd think I was cute and vunerable. I'm actually 30, I have a wife, I have a job, I'm your ...
3
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1answer
74 views

What is it called when you change the nouns in an idiom

What is it called when you change the nouns in an idiom. As an example if I were an artic explorer I might say "Tent Sweet Tent," after comming in from a long day in the cold. The idiom is "Home Sweet ...
0
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1answer
32 views

On the use of “is not so […] but” [closed]

Is it proper English to say: "With method A, the goal is not so to perform task B but (rather) to address problem C." Are there other more appropriate/elegant ways to convey the same meaning?
0
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1answer
94 views

Is “be my guests” correctly used in the following case?

Speaker A: We want to ask you some questions. If you don't mind, of course. Speaker B: [He opens the door of his house] Sure, be my guests. Is the idiom being used correctly? If not, what ...
1
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2answers
1k views

as best I can vs as well as I can [duplicate]

I have to say I have an issue with the phrase "as best I can". After all, "best" is the superlative form of "well" and does not belong in the comparative construction "as... as" - not to mention that ...
1
vote
1answer
115 views

Why do programmers say: “Did you meet the Spartans?” [closed]

English is not my maternal language and on development/IT forums, I've found the expressions "Did you meet the spartans?" or "I've met the spartans?". To set the context, they are speaking about a new ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Why does “footing the bill” mean “to pay”?

I hear people using the term footing the bill used to describe paying for something. Why is the verb foot used to describe the meaning of paying?
5
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1answer
228 views

Are the cats and dogs of the idiom “it's raining cats and dogs” plural in usage?

I recently heard someone say the following: It's cats and dogs out there! As in "it's raining cats and dogs out there." I then thought that person should have said Those are cats and dogs ...
0
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1answer
57 views

What's the difference between “zero in” and “home in”?

According to Oxford dictionary, both seem to mean "focus on" or "aim at" zero in: Take aim with a gun or missile/Focus one’s attention. home in: Move or be aimed toward (a target or destination) with ...
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2answers
117 views

the meaning of the phrase 'a bit of a bust'

I came across this phrase 'a bit of a bust' in an article. Here is the context: Reddit was a bit of a bust for us, as rather than using my own Reddit account, I created an XDStudios account. This ...
0
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2answers
60 views

“Down in my boots”

May Sarton, an early 20th century poet, wrote in a letter: "Politically I am down in my boots." What could she mean? Angry? Frustrated? Disheartened?
0
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1answer
68 views

How much is idiom “chew the fat” acceptable and neutral?

Does the idiom have strictly negative meaning or is it neutral? Can it be used to talk not only about close people so that not to insult anybody?