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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89 views

“Meandered about” or “meandered around”?

Consider a person who slowly wanders through a large room. Would such a person "meander about" or "meander around" the room? John meandered _____ the hall. Since it is customary to write "walked ...
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1answer
82 views

“Caldoniafied” In General Use in the 1980s?

I am curious about the word "Caldoniafied" meaning, roughly, hard headed, and presumably coming from the song entitled "Caldonia" ("Caldonia, Caldonia, what makes your big head so hard?". )Louis ...
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27 views

Doing this also does or causes that type of sentence

I am writing the instructions of a piece of software I am working on and I would like to remind the user that running the specified computer command will also have a secondary effect of installing ...
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1answer
51 views

Looking for a correct word / idiom

Here is a scenario: Suppose X, Y, Z lives together. X and Z had a fight and X decided not to live with Z any more. Seeing this, Y decided to help X to fight Z out. But then X and Z becomes friends ...
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1answer
39 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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44 views

How to refer to something “demanding” which doesn't happen all of a sudden?

Looking for a verb to express something that requires some time and effort to evolve, like collecting. I want to express that collecting requires some time and the collection doesn't just come out ...
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1answer
724 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
71 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 the below sentences is more suitable to express that idea? I ...
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1answer
111 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
260 views

Do I understand this 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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71 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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50 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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24 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 ...
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103 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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58 views

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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121 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 ...
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61 views

What is the difference among “at the outset”, “from the beginning”, and “at the beginning”?

Let me tell you at the outset that <-- sounds right Let me tell you from the beginning that <-- doesn't sound right Let me tell you at the beginning that <-- doesn't sound as right as #1 ...