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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What is another way of saying “No more likely?”

A No more likely than B B No less likely than A What is a good way of saying "No more likely?"
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80 views

“For most” vs “of many” Idiomatic Language

For example, which choice of idiomatic language would best serve the meaning of this particular sentence? My friend Allan is typical for most / of many programmers today in that he ponders for ...
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1answer
30 views

The “wrought /wreaked havoc” misunderstanding

According to the American Heritage Dictionary:. the past tense and past participle of the verb to wreak is wreaked, not wrought, which is an alternative past tense and past participle of work. ...
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1answer
41 views

Walls closing in

An old couple who are my friends, are so lonely that the walls are closing in/on them. Is my phrase correct to say that they start to behave oddly?
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1answer
159 views

Two left thumbs / Two left hands / two left feet

I know there is an idiom 'all thumbs' and 'to have two left feet', but is there an idiom with the same meaning as 'all thumbs'? As in 'to have two left thumbs'? There is a similar idiom in Polish, ...
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1answer
69 views

Meaning of “high in reach” regarding a training session

If an educational company described their session methodology as "high in reach" does it mean: the size of the audience the effectiveness of the training other? The original sentence in a press ...
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1answer
91 views

What vs Where …is the common ground/basis

According to Merriam-Webster the common ground is a basis of mutual interest or agreement and the basis is the principal component of something Both are often used in the context of ...
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1answer
51 views

help to find a taboo equivalent

Excuse me for what you are going to read now. If you don't accept the taboo lexics, please don't read this. There is a taboo phrase in Russian: "ебись оно всё конём" /jebis ono vsjo konjom/ which ...
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78 views

Is it “I'm new to NYC” or “I'm new in NYC”?

As the title suggests, can we say both are correct or if one of them is wrong? Which phrase is "wrong" and why? I'm new to NYC I'm new in NYC I'm not a native speaker but I tended to ...
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2k views

Is “or so they say” idiomatic?

Icame across a long sentence followed by elipses and the phrase "or so they say", is it idiomatic?
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1answer
58 views

Is the expression “we have to… follow the quick step” idiomatic?

In recent years, our country has a fast development, and we have to try hard to follow the quick step." I find the first phrase in bold type awkward, is it? Normally, I think it would be ‘our ...
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1answer
194 views

Common word for two people who want to meet but are not acquaintances

I'm looking for a word to describe two people (instructor and student), who are trying to find time to met each other. Preferably one or two word expression.
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1answer
100 views

on the order of somebody

if the idiom "on the order of" does mean "approximately" can we write something like this? "Everyone, who left that bunker and other ones on the order of Bandera followers, died." Would it mean "at ...
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1answer
152 views

Is “And this X?” a common English expression?

In Spanish we say, "And this X?" as a short form for "And who is X?" Example: When I entered the room with Billy, Tom looked up and said, "And this high school brat?" Is this also a common ...
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1answer
129 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".
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1answer
74 views

Without vs before

In order to answer a question I have to take a look at a document that is not with me by the time that question was raised. Which of these sentences is more suitable to express that idea? I ...
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1answer
168 views

Is “In any case, with 99.9% probability, …” correct?

I'm wondering whether the meaning of the idiom "in any case" still has a hint of "in every single case". I would like to say We expect an R² of 0.79 (in any case within 0.75 ± 0.15, with 99.9 % ...
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1answer
390 views

Do I understand the phrase “due time pal” correctly?

I thanked someone really important for following me on Instagram. his reply: due time pal Does it mean that it was time to do so? thanks
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47 views

Is “face-off” a misnomer?

In ice hockey, the face-off is the method of starting play. The two teams line up in opposition to each other, and two opposing skaters try to gain control of the puck after it is dropped between ...
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56 views

What is the etymology and the context of calling an unrelated woman “sister”?

For specific context, the question arose out of discussing Han Solo calling Princess Leia "sister" in "Star Wars" Episode IV. What is the etymology and context of using the term "sister" in this way? ...
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118 views

What's the meaning of the idiom “to lie flat” when applied to a document or project?

I'm encountering this idiom in a government/business context. For example, someone will say that changes to Document A affect Person X's workload, so we'd like to get that document "lying flat" for a ...
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105 views

Origin of “kill the ghost”, “killing the ghost”

A British friend of mine who used to work with us came back from London for a short visit to the town.Before going back home again he showed me photographs of the town beach and hotel saying he came ...
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44 views

appropriate phrase for expressing close distances toward a person

Imagine this scenario: You are having a conversation with someone about a tropical fruit which you have seen the picture of it(on the internet or something) and you do know the name of it, but you ...
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43 views

the night before last

"It was the dog he'd heard the night before last." How should I change "the night before last" in reported speech? He said it had been the dog that he had heard...
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43 views

what is the hidden meaning of “flow into the gaps”

Could anyone please interpret it for me, "flow into the gap" in this sentence: "Few cultures just keep going all by themselves, they steal rivals' ideas, they flow into the gaps that others leave ...
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53 views

If you have to ask yourself whether you're too drunk to drive, you probably are

I've encountered the phrase "If you have to ask, ..." many times; sometimes as a dangling sentence. I wonder if it is always a disdainful, idiomatic remark meaning: for some reason, your question ...
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66 views

Pretty specific, but is “with your plate in your lap” a common expression in English?

In Dutch we use it to refer to (the airtime of) tv-shows that start around dinner. Is there an equivalent to it? I suppose it's sort of an idiom, but probably too specific to be considered so.
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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 ...
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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?
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86 views

What is this mother doing?

I would write a dialogue piece between a mother and a son who are having a heated argument over something. The son is very angry at his mother because he is suffering from disease and frustrated with ...
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56 views

How would this sentence be correct in English

I would like to know how a sentence, "We are looking for a suitable taxi for you" be correct, a native speaker told me it is not. I guess "for you" and "suitable" could be left out, any other ...
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641 views

What is the meaning of “how did you fare out”?

I was in a conversation with a person and I told them that I'm doing a wild guess (on something) to which the person replied, 'How did you fare out?' What is the meaning of this? Is this specific to ...
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86 views

Bernie Taupin's “Voyeur” lyric

I cannot understand the meaning of the folowing excerpt from Bernie Taupin's lyrics to Elton Johns "Voyeur" (the bold lines): I’m looking, I’m looking back I’m trying to imagine this and that ...
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108 views

Proper ways of saying “just had” or “expecting” a child for future guardians that aren't the birth mother

If a person is the spouse of or is adopting a newborn from a currently or recently pregnant person, what phrase describes their relationship with the unborn or recently born child? Are there clearer ...
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82 views

Origin of the phrase “because of course it does”

I've been hearing "because of course it/he/she does" a lot recently. I'm assuming this is internet-speak, but maybe it's older? Grateful to anyone who can help pinpoint its origin.
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“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 ...
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232 views

Is *to see something through* a productive phrasal verb?

Some verbs in English make the use of additional particles, often called prepositions, due to the fact that they are always homophonous. I do not call them adverbs because I claim they are not always ...
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Idiom for “even if we can't be together, I'd like us to do this at the same time”

For example, in a long distance relationship one might say "I am headed to bed and you are welcome to join me, if only (what to say here? 'In spirit'?)" The implication being he wishes the two of ...
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261 views

When/where/why did “Look who it ain't/isn't” appear?

It seems to me that... "Well! Look who it ain't!" ...is/was normally used quite dismissively, referring to a newly-arrived person of low social status, who the speaker would often then proceed ...