Idioms are a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (3)

1
vote
1answer
61 views

Can common prepositions following a verb be dropped freely?

Specifically, within the sentence "to sing along to/with", can to/with be dropped freely? While searching for information I found out this seems to be an idiom, so possibly my question should be ...
1
vote
1answer
31 views

Difference between be settled down and settle down?

He has finally settled down. He is finally settled down. Does second one mean that the guy has married and started a good life? What about the first one? Which one would you prefer most?
1
vote
3answers
146 views

Meaning of 'get down with' something? [duplicate]

I was watching a movie 21, and I saw this interesting expression. Check this out,please. Mike and Tom, two best buddies, are playing basketball when a gorgeous girl passes by. Mike takes quite a ...
14
votes
23answers
3k views

Suitable saying for “different people like/dislike different things”?

Suppose I have some problem when someone takes an action 'X' on me which I find highly offensive and which makes me feel bad but it may/may not effect other individuals if used on them. A friend of ...
0
votes
2answers
56 views

Word to describe an action that divide groups

Greeting, I am looking for a word that I can use to describe a method that divides a single group into similar smaller groups (not opposing groups). Something like "schismatic", but without the ...
2
votes
3answers
82 views

verb, idiom or proverb equivalent for bringing two person to fight

I am looking for a verb, idiom or proverb that describes a situation that somebody tries to make two parties angry from each other. I found that mischief-maker means a person who create troubles for ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Is “At which he was really shocked” grammatical?

Last month Qziz was told that he had been laid off. At which he was really shocked Is the second sentence grammatical? Is the preposition at used appropriately here, or should I use a different ...
2
votes
2answers
76 views

Origin and meaning of “money isn't money isn't money”

I have recently encountered the expression "money isn't money isn't money" twice. Though I can guess at what it implies, it still seems to me a bit convoluted. One recent instance was by Chris Sacca ...
9
votes
4answers
613 views

“He's unarguably the best” or “He's arguably the best”

I keep hearing the phrases unarguably the best and arguably the best. Some people say one, some people say the other when they mean he's the best. However which one is actually correct? If he's ...
1
vote
2answers
63 views

Meaning of “ace up your sleeve” in business context

I know that "an ace up your sleeve " is an idiom . However , I don't understand the meaning of the term when our manager says to our data scientist : "You produced what you always produce - a ...
-1
votes
1answer
78 views

Idioms similar to “crocodile tears” [duplicate]

What idiom would one use to show fake sympathy other than crocodile tears
3
votes
5answers
120 views

Idioms for fake sadness other than crocodile tears? [closed]

Is there another saying/idiom similar to crocodile tears?
0
votes
0answers
23 views

Difference between Collocational Dictionary and Idiomatic Dictionary and Expressions Dictionary

I am happen to be a hard seeker of different expressions and/or word combinations meanings. so I came across collocation dictionary and idiomatic and expressions dictionaries. is there a difference ...
19
votes
13answers
5k views

English idiom or proverb equivalent for “if everybody is doing it, I will also do it”

Can somebody please help me by giving an English idiom or proverb equivalent for: If everybody is doing it, I will also do it.
-1
votes
1answer
104 views

What does “neither fish nor fowl” mean? [closed]

I read this once somewhere in a story and I want to be sure about the meaning and the usage of it. Can you provide some examples, please?
0
votes
1answer
41 views

Implied Negations

For the idiomatic phrase, "There, but for the grace of God, go I", I take it literally to mean "There I would go, but because of God's grace, I don't." If I'm correct, I'm confused as to where this ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Proper word for “civil claim won”?

Proper word for "civil claim won"? What is the English idiom if any? I am translating a legal text and the sentence is literally "state fees are awarded for the civil claim won"
0
votes
1answer
32 views

some help with an excerpt from my reading material [closed]

I am reading a book for my church group, and in the book Jesus is saying to St. Faustina the following: "During this hour, I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of me in virtue of my ...
2
votes
2answers
306 views

“Don't S**t Where You Eat”

The idiom "Don't shit/defecate where you eat" means: One should not cause trouble in a place, group, or situation in which one regularly finds oneself. [Wiktionary] I always understood what ...
8
votes
14answers
1k views

Idiomatic expression meaning to not reveal emotions

In Swedish - which is my native tongue - there's an expression "hålla färgen" (literally: "hold color") which means to not reveal oneself or to not reveal ones emotions or thoughts about something. ...
2
votes
2answers
50 views

“That's just part of it” vs “that's just a part of it”

Which version is more correct/common? Example: Speaker A: Why did you leave the party? Because some guys made fun of you? Speaker B: Just (a) part of it. Speaker A: What's the other? ...
8
votes
3answers
706 views

Why do we talk of 'spoiling for a fight'?

According to the OED the sense of spoiling for a fight/argument etc is of US origin. Does anyone know the provenance of this use? OED to be spoiling for (a fight, etc.), to long for, to desire ...
16
votes
8answers
3k views

Why do we 'cut' a deal?

I hired a private detective to see if I could cut a deal In the above sentence, why do we cut a deal? Should I replace it with make a deal? Is it a popular idiom in the native English world?
0
votes
2answers
132 views

“putting money in the bank” = idiom?

I came across the following text and I don’t understand what the second sentence means. "Chanda-Leah does a trick we all wish our dog could perform. It puts money in the bank." Is "putting money in ...
2
votes
4answers
108 views

Break the awkwardness

I was wondering if it is okay to use "break the awkwardness" in place of "break the silence" or "break the ice" to describe an action leading to a social interchange/conversation. If not, then what ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What does “Give a chicken in every pot” mean?

There was the following statement in October 29 New Yorker’s article that came under the title, “Why the G.O.P. Candidates Don’t Do Substance”: Did any of the candidates detail how they would pay ...
1
vote
4answers
73 views

How do I describe a match between two parties that are more or less equal in strength?

As far as I know, there's an idiom 'David vs Goliath', so what is the opposite called? Say, how do I describe a war between two equally strong players?
0
votes
2answers
48 views

‘disambiguate’ something unto something?

If x is initially ambiguous between y and z, can one disambiguate x unto y? or is there a semantically and syntactically similar, more idiomatic, expression?
2
votes
2answers
114 views

What is an English analogous expression to “as practice shows”?

In my native language there's an idiom "as practice shows" which means that your statement is based on some experience (practice). Sometimes it's used to emphasize the difference between theoretical ...
-1
votes
4answers
172 views

When did “I could care less” (rather than “I couldn't care less”) become popular?

What decade? Any particular reason? This is an etymological/historical question, not a grammar question.
56
votes
11answers
5k views

English proverb for “They danced, but didn't take a bow”, as for failing good work on a final step

There is proverb in Ukrainian, "They danced and danced, but didn't take a bow" (Танцювали, танцювали, та не вклонилися). It is used to point out that someone has put a significant amount of time and ...
3
votes
2answers
78 views

Is this an expression: “Talk to you during the week”

Like a good son, I call my mother every week on Sunday. When we're finishing our conversation, she closes with Talk to you during the week. She uses this phrase like most people would use Talk to you ...
3
votes
2answers
228 views

“Quite” American vs British English

In looking at the answers for this question, Using "quite" with a noun, it occurred to me that "quite," although having a dictionary definition, might be used differently by AmE and BrE ...
3
votes
5answers
98 views

John's quite a hero versus John's quite the hero

I am a native British English speaker. I know how and when to use the following expressions. However I am finding it difficult to explain the difference. John's quite a hero. John's quite the ...
-2
votes
1answer
116 views

An idiom or an expression to describe a worthwhile investment [closed]

Let's say we have a single mom with three kids (aged 6 to 8), who all want bikes. Our mom loves her kids, but she also has to be frugal. She doesn't think it's smart to get them brand-new bikes as ...
3
votes
1answer
216 views

Do the nights 'draw in' or 'pull in'?

In Norfolk, in my youth, people would always talk about the nights pulling in in the months running up to Christmas, when daylight would be reduced to approx. 7.5 hours a day. In the spring the ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

To give somebody the jiffies [closed]

I heard this expression from somewhere (possibly from a movie or tv series), in a form like "this thing gives me the jiffies!" and I understood it to mean "it disturbs/scares me", similar to "gives me ...
0
votes
4answers
74 views

What's the meaning of “strike out on an odd tangent”? [closed]

In his blustery speech to parliament, Prime Minister Yusuf struck out on an odd tangent to praise China as an "all-weather friend". What's the meaning of a phrase "strike out an odd tangent"? ...
0
votes
1answer
142 views

draw my attention/ catches my eye/ attracts my attention

Can I use the three phrases in the title interchangeably? For example: The woman in the tight black dress definitely draws my attention/ catches my eye/ attracts my attention.
4
votes
1answer
87 views

Can verbally female-concerned idioms be used for male cases, (and vice versa)?

The idiom like Caesar's wife is mentioned in the book 1100 words you need to know (Murray Bromberg and Melvin Gordon, 4th edition), and used in the following sentence as an example: Mrs. Drake ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

Something caught my eye [duplicate]

A student asked me tonight why we say "something caught my eye," and not "something caught my eyes." This is not just limited to eyes but also: "lend me your ear." "Can I give you a hand?" or "an ...
0
votes
3answers
67 views

How do I emphasize his superiority?

A boy(3 years) I saw in a fun-fair was trying to play in mickey mouse bounce house(precisely speaking clambering a steep slope) suitable for kids older than him, say more than 5 years. I am trying to ...
2
votes
2answers
108 views

When and how did we start getting “off the dime”?

In American English, for a long time we've had the idiom "to stop on a dime." It means to stop abruptly and completely. It came to be used as a description for something agile or nimble. Etymonline ...
0
votes
2answers
63 views

go a little crazy [closed]

I saw these sentences but I could not understand what does "go a little crazy" mean!? "the material can assume a lot of formats. And then you go a little crazy, and so you do various optical ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Mother Brown's Kitchen

My British mother used to say "all round Mother Brown's kitchen" to indicate pretty much everywhere, usually in the context of hunting for something. Is this a regional expression?
17
votes
6answers
3k views

What is the origin of the idiom “with all the bells and whistles”?

No major dictionary website carries the origin of this proverb. Some blogs speculate that it comes from a locomotive usage. In the days of the steam engine, engines would be equipped with bells and ...
1
vote
2answers
142 views

origin of the idiom “hair-raising” [closed]

What is the origin of the idiom in “A hair-raising story”? hair-raising: causing excitement, terror, or thrills American Heritage® Dictionary
1
vote
2answers
74 views

What is the word or idiom for a system which is not well maintained and has become useless?

In Finnish we say rämettyä, where räme is a kind of swamp or marsh, so it literally means become a swamp. I guess that is understandable English, but it sounds quite informal. Especially, I am looking ...
2
votes
1answer
274 views

The origin of: “It takes two to tango”

According to the American Heritage Dictionary 'it takes two to tango' means: The active cooperation of both parties is needed for some enterprises, as in We'll never pass this bill unless ...