Tagged Questions

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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2
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2answers
557 views

What's meaning of “get to the meat of”?

For example, "let's get to the meat of the problem"? When could I use this phrase? Does this mean "let's get to the most important part of the problem"?
0
votes
1answer
699 views

Idiom origins: “Piece of cake” and “Walk in the park” and “Close, no cigar”? [closed]

Anyone know the origins/etymology of the following idioms: "Piece of cake" "Walk in the park" "Close but no cigar"
0
votes
1answer
127 views

Why does “all to the mustard” mean excellent?

While reading P.G. Wodehouse's The Inimitable Jeeves I came across a fascinating expression of "all to the mustard!" It is defined as meaning excellent. Why? Can anyone please help me understand this ...
1
vote
2answers
92 views

Priscilla--a girl who prefers to stay home? Who could this term be resultant of?

From Flappers to Rappers, a book of American youth slang, records "Priscilla" as a 1920s slang word for a girl who prefers to stay home. I'm curious to know why they've chosen that name. Is there any ...
1
vote
1answer
89 views

Why does pine feather period signify the period in a woman's life when she blossoms?

In a book titled From Flappers to Rappers it lists youth slang from the 1920s and one of the terms it lists is pine feather period. Pine feather period is defined as a period in a woman's life when ...
0
votes
3answers
179 views

Do I say: “Hook me up to this nice party!” or “Hook me up on this nice party!”

Do I say: Hook me up to this nice party! OR Hook me up on this nice party! I am trying to give a connotation that the party sounds good and I want my friend to give me an invitation to go ...
3
votes
3answers
305 views

“If it ain't in writing it don't exist” - why the broken grammar?

In the idiom "If it ain't ... it don't exist.", why is "don't" used instead of "doesn't"? I'm thinking the intentional error might serve to draw the attention of the listener to the word ...
3
votes
1answer
100 views

“This is Figure 7 on page 777” or “This is Figure 7 on the page 777”? Why not “the”?

I cannot understand what is wrong with "on the page 8"? My instructor claims that it is "on page 8". It is a specific page to which I referring to on a particular book. What is wrong with "the" in ...
0
votes
2answers
72 views

Does “shall no longer be” imply “forever not?”

Can "no longer" refer to a finite, forseeable time period, or does it indicate a long-term finality? For example, if someone says, in anticipation of a large meal, "I shall no longer be hungry," does ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

“Chief Cook and Bottle Washer” meaning and etymology

In my experience, referring to someone in an organization as "chief cook and bottle washer" has multiple possible meanings: person has a wide variety of duties in the organization person is very, ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Are “the fact of the matter” and “as a matter of fact” the same?

For a long time, I had only known the phrase "matter of fact" to be used in "as a matter of fact..." However, for quite a few days, I have also been hearing, "the fact of the matter is..." in news ...
-5
votes
1answer
390 views
-1
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2answers
924 views

“Same old, same old” [closed]

"It is the same old, same old style." In this sentence, what kind of phrase is same old same old? Is it a adjective?
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Streamer/Ribbon Difference Question

Just a different question but it's bugging me, I need an answer. I used to come from France to the USA when i was a boy to visit my family, and to my great annoyance (they thought it would suit my ...
4
votes
3answers
400 views

What is the origin of the word 'mug up'?

What is the origin of the expression mug up? How did it originate? Does it give any meaning to its actual definition?
3
votes
2answers
401 views

Does the expression “to go under the knife” carry a negative connotation?

Is there a difference in connotation between these two phrases? I asked my student whether her mother was scheduled to GO UNDER THE KNIFE this morning. I asked my student whether her mother was ...
2
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the oldest trick in the book?

Is there one trick that is the oldest? I understand the Oxford definition of the idiom but when was it first used and what did it refer to?
3
votes
1answer
9k views

Reservation “under the name”, “in the name”, or “by the name” of Ms. X

Which idiom of "by the name", "under the name", and "in the name" is appropriate for reservations? e.g. There's a reservation by the name of Cullen... She made the reservation in the name of Jordan ...
0
votes
2answers
119 views

“Bar none (the most/the best…)” for “without exceptions or by far (the most/the best…)”

I once came across the idiom "bar none" for "by far/with no exceptions" as in "He's bar none the best player on the team", after what (for some reason unbeknownst to my forty three year old self) it ...
-1
votes
2answers
574 views

Does “none the more…” mean “far from (being)…” in American English?

I'm familiar with the somewhat colloquial turn of phrase "nowhere near as ... as" / "not anywhere near as ... as" to say "far from being as ... as". However, I'm a little less familiar with the ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

When is it appropriate to use the idiom “various and sundry”

To my ears the term "various and sundry" sounds redundant. What is the proper use of this idiom?
1
vote
1answer
5k views

Which is correct: “as good as possible” or “as best as possible”?

Which one is the correct expression: as good as possible as best as possible Both were suggested to be used in the following sentence: The activity has been performed as good/best as ...
0
votes
2answers
274 views

Bunch of girls/Buncha girls

as English isn't my first language, I don't really 'feel' whether bunch of girls/buncha girls is offensive, friendly, etc.? Could you tell me what's the proper meaning of the phrase? I hear it in ...
0
votes
3answers
218 views

What are you having?

When we are at the restaurant is more correct for the waitress to ask '' what are you having madam?'' or ''what will you have?''
5
votes
4answers
855 views

Where does the Irish idiom “at all at all” come from?

It's a common stereotype of Irish-English speakers that they end sentences with "at all, at all" as in You want a drink at all, at all? You have any money at all, at all? My question is ...
2
votes
1answer
69 views

Ban vs Suspend (e.g. I banned a user from my site) [closed]

Is it correct to say We will suspend you from our website Or We will ban you from our website Both seem acceptable, but which is the best?
3
votes
5answers
279 views

English idiom similar to “grab one, hit the other”

In my native language there is an idiom which literally says "grab one, hit the other". It is used to express that a group of people possesses the same negative personal traits, habits, vice, etc. and ...
2
votes
1answer
166 views

What does “I had every last one of them” mean?

I heard this quote from a Channel 4 sitcom the IT crowd I'm gonna go, I may not come back but I want to say this. That accounts team, I had every last one of them. It is said by Douglas ...
0
votes
2answers
143 views

alternatives for 'finding your feet'

I need alternatives for the expression finding your feet or getting used to something / doing something Can anyone help?
3
votes
5answers
496 views

Idiom for people complaining excessively

What is an idiom applicable when someone is voluntarily participating in an action, and complaining excessively? I thought of using "don't let the door hit you on the way out", but I don't want to ...
1
vote
2answers
154 views

Is this correct English or is it slang from a particular region?

Is it correct to ask "Are you in area?" when you are asking if someone is from that city or township?
1
vote
2answers
997 views

Clearing the air about taking the cake

I've read conflicting information regarding the meaning of the idiomatic phrase "take the cake". I am quite confused, because based on one source it means something is exceedingly good and according ...
2
votes
3answers
141 views

Years in the galleys

I'm reading a biography of Giuseppe Verdi, and there's a decade and a half long part of his life that is referred to as his "years in the galleys". I've tried to find the exact meaning and history of ...
0
votes
5answers
1k views

Word or phrase for someone who annoys you as soon as they walk in and start talking

Looking for both a journalistic and perhaps playful term. In a journalistic sense, how would I describe a CEO figure who holds a company meeting and the employees are either annoyed, bored, or rolling ...
-1
votes
1answer
69 views

Seat of My Pants [duplicate]

I was told that I live my life by the seat of my pants, and though it doesn't sound like a compliment, I'm not sure that it is an insult either. What is the derivation of "seat of my pants"?
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Origin of “eat my hat”

I recently came across this expression: eat my hat I googled and found some results. I agree that eating a hat is not easy. But why hat? They could have chosen shoes, gloves, shirt, to name a ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

Sink like a stone

Sinking like a stone I have seen this idiom for the first time today. thefreedictionary says it means "To fail completely"; is it common to use it in daily conversation and why in the example below ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

“his or her head in the clouds” meaning [closed]

Horoscope: You'll make a risqué comment to a boss who lately has had his or her head in the clouds… From the above sentence I can understand that a person is going to make an indecent comment to ...
4
votes
1answer
312 views

'Complete a confusion' — expression or confusion?

Is complete someone's confusion a popular expression that makes sense? This expression pops up so often I wonder I am missing something here. Does complete here mean to 'resolve'/ 'clarify'? ...
1
vote
1answer
128 views

What's another way to say “Is this on your horizon?”

What's another way to say, "Is X on your agenda?" or "Is X on your horizon?"
0
votes
2answers
502 views

How did the phrase “hear you out” or “hear me out” come about?

How did the phrase "hear you out" or "hear me out" come about? The phrase means "listen to whatever I have to say before you pass judgment on me," or "tell me whatever you want; I don't mind and ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

“Butt in line” vs “cut in line” vs “bud in line”?

What's the proper term to use if you want to talk about trying to move up in the lineup or switch up?
2
votes
3answers
155 views

“Who doors wins”

What does this expression mean? Who doors wins Is it an idiom? Or is it a typo? Apparently, it makes no sense.
3
votes
5answers
2k views

What does “pave the path for” mean?

what does pave the idiom "pave the path for sth/sb" actually means? and if possible, please provide some alternatives with the same meaning as well.
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Displaying two things scaled differently - ratio?

If got a picture that displays things. As thing A is alot bigger than thing B, I have downsized A. Not mentioning this size adjustment may confuse viewers and transport a wrong message. How can I tell ...
-2
votes
1answer
170 views

Choose the proper variant to complete the sentence:

... misses the kisses, ... kisses the misses. A) An rejected lover, a accepted lover B) An accepted lover, a rejected lover C) A rejected lover, an accepted lover
1
vote
2answers
89 views

Describing contrary idiom usage

I periodically get emails inviting me to a "free" lunch for the purpose of hearing a sales pitch. Multiple times these invitations have included some quip such as "See? There is such thing as a free ...
1
vote
2answers
182 views

Looking for an idiom similar to sink or swim

I'm looking for an idiom - if one exists - similar to "sink or swim", but describes when someone must learn quickly (say a new job) because they are being faced with the actual experience
2
votes
1answer
438 views

The exact sense and origin of “to stick it to someone”

From a blogpost at BBC, Did internet kill the radio star? David Lowery, lead singer for the bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven, tells the BBC that illegal sharing of music files is ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Does “shake his booty” mean “shake his butt”? And does it make it more attractive?

I seem to see the phrase "shake his booty" being used to say something is good and attractive. But does it mean "shake his butt"? And if they are the same, why does "shake his butt" seem a somewhat ...