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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“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 ...
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2answers
3k 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?
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4answers
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What's the origin of the idiom “miss the boat”?

What is the origin of the idiom miss the boat? This is the definition of the idiom from Dictionary.com: a. to fail to take advantage of an opportunity: He missed the boat when he applied too late ...
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“To [put a] boot in the ass to do something” — uncertain meaning

Could someone explain the meaning of the "to [put a] boot in the ass to do something" idiom? Cambridge Idioms Dictionary only mentions put the boot in as "to make a bad situation worse" and I'm not ...
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1answer
116 views

Use of sequences like “In modern's US” [closed]

Is it correct to use possessive case for referring to the time in consideration, like in in today's US in modern's US in last century's England etc?
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1answer
485 views

To cut capers in the street [closed]

I understand that the phrase in the title means "to behave frivolously". E.g.: A bereaved person does not cut capers in the street, and neither does a failed pupil. Google gives around 3 links ...
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2answers
251 views

“Money transfer” or “Wire transfer”

Which one is more correct? Money transfer or Wire transfer EDIT: the context is the typical web form where a user can choose the type of payment. "Credit card", rather than "Paypal", ...
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3answers
3k views

Idiom about tackling smaller problems instead of tackling the root [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Phrase for focusing on unimportant details I'm trying to find an idiom about tackling smaller problems instead of tackling their root cause. For example, Instead of ...
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Horse of a different color

I recently heard someone use the expression "Now that's a whole different bag of dog food". While highly unusualy, the meaning was well understood by the audience. I know there is an actual ...
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“It’s the height of the season”?

The question is from the transcript of a podcast: Mmmm, blueberries. It’s the height of the season, and I’ve been tossing a handful onto cereal, into pancakes or just straight into my mouth. I ...
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3answers
14k views

Why do we talk a blue streak?

We might say that someone who is exceptionally chatty can "talk a blue streak." What is the origin and meaning of this phrase? Is it generally insulting, or a nice way of saying someone is a ...
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4answers
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What did “your mom did a number on you” mean in Seinfeld?

I remember one episode on Seinfeld, a girl said "did your mother do a number on you" when they were talking about breaking up or not. This is the sentence reported from the transcript: LISI: ...
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4answers
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Is the phrase “move over” an official English idiom? And if so, is it only in American English?

Is the phrase "move over" an official English idiom known worldwide? I would like to know: Is it an official English idiom (not slang or colloquial)? Is it known outside of the US (e.g. in the UK, ...
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8answers
8k views

Could you name some numbers that have a special meaning in English, like 666? [closed]

The question "What does the term “86'd” relate to?" made me wonder what similar cases we have in English. I'd like to know some other numbers that have a commonly understood meaning beyond their use ...
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1answer
710 views

On being golden

Saying that [someone] is golden means that person is in a desirable situation that will likely lead to some sort of success. I am trying to find out the origin of this phrase. So far, I have found ...
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1answer
2k views

What does “Fight through the pain” mean?

What does sentence "Fight through the pain" mean? I heard this sentence in XBox360 game Gears of War. Can the sentence be also used with other verbs - can it be simply expressed as pattern "Do ...
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5answers
9k views

Does “bend over backwards” have bad meaning?

If my boss asks me if I can help him to do something, I reply: I'll bend over backwards to do it. Does this reply literally have a meaning of flattery?
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1answer
85 views

Is there any authoritative source from where we can find out if a phrase or figure of speech is American English or British English? [closed]

For example the figure of speech " One swallow doesn't make a summer" is British English. Similarly the figure of speech 'All hat and no cattle" is American English. Is there any source from where ...
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2answers
95 views

Words confuse- prefecture, county and shire.

How could I distinguish the usage between the prefecture and county? In my opinion, I think "shire" is smaller than a county or prefecture. Is there any problem with my concept?
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1answer
702 views

“Paper never refused ink” - has any one heard a more modern/online version?

I'd imagine most of us have heard of the phrase "paper never refused ink", roughly meaning "they'll" print anything. Can anybody think of a more modern/online version?
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1answer
136 views

“Contribution” correct Usage

What is the correct idiom? 1) His contributions to the field of medicine? 2) His contributions in the field of medicine? Please elaborate
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2answers
1k views

What does “throw a wrinkle” mean?

What does "throw a wrinkle" mean? Example: I’ve got a conversation with Jacob later today that may throw a wrinkle in…
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1answer
274 views

Phraseme “THROW THE BOOK AT”. [duplicate]

I'm looking for info on how this idioms origin was documented to the USA? Can I grammatically eliminate any tie to the german book listed below. Could a latin spanish or Russian form translate well ...
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1answer
2k views

Why do we “shed” blood, sweat or tears but not other things?

I found the following definition of shed (the verb): chiefly dialect : to set apart : segregate to cause to be dispersed without penetrating a. to cause (blood) to flow by cutting or ...
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2answers
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“two kinds of” or “two kind of”

In the sentence: The two methods require two different kinds of prior information a colleague of mine suggests that it should be "kind of" instead. I was quite certain that the first form was ...
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1answer
99 views

lying down and then sit up/down? [closed]

If your child is lying down and you want them to get in the sitting position, how do you ask them to in an informal/everyday language? If you could provide more than one way, it would be appreciated.
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0answers
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What does “grandfathered in” mean? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “I'm only grandfathering you in because of Serena.” Over here, Jeff says something using the expression "grandfathered in." What does that mean and how ...
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2answers
223 views

And lead raptivity captive

What do raptivity and "And lead raptivity captive" mean?
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5answers
4k views

Pairs in common idioms/phrases

There are phrases which pair things up. For example, "checks and balances", "bells and whistles", What is the rational behind this construct? Any more examples?
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3answers
314 views

Can someone explain the meaning of this sentence and what “but for ” implies? [closed]

I would not have worked in London in the summer but for being on holiday.
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2answers
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“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?
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5answers
992 views

What highway exit does “Next Exit” refer to?

Example: If you have not yet reached exit number 5 is the "next exit" referring to exit 5 or exit 6? "This exit" is clearly exit 5. Similar to the "next Tuesday" question Which day does "next ...
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1answer
8k views

Meaning of “as it was” in context

What does it mean "as it was" in this context? She was awakened by a shock, so sudden and severe that if Dorothy had not been lying on the soft bed she might have been hurt. As it was, the jar ...
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1answer
744 views

Why is the noun 'sex' uncountable? [closed]

According to the definition of the noun 'sex' in dictionaries, it means 'the PHYSICAL ACTIVITY that two people do together in order to produce babies or for pleasure.' If so, why isn't it countable? ...