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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Origin of the slang AmE and BrE usage of “beef”

Beef began its life as an intransitive verb in 1888 and soon took on the noun meaning in 1899 appearing in such expressions as "What's your beef? and "I had a beef with him" (not a steak). Beef ...
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151 views

Meaning of “Mythical Distance”

In this sentence With the break-up of the Roman Empire and the rise of Christianity, Europe saw India recede into a mythical distance Is mythical distance an idiom? What does it mean?
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56 views

“Well-rounded” usage in the United States

What’s the first recorded use of the term well-rounded as it refers to being competent or trained in several fields, e.g., from astronomy to literature to social dancing to cookery?
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109 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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132 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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50 views

A phrase for something that you enjoy, but is quite bad for you

I used to use it, but for some reason, and it's annoying me, I can't remember it. A synonym might be "my sweet poison". Usually used when talking about foods that are bad for you. Thank you guys, it ...
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42 views

Word for turning a situation around on someone

Let me describe the situation: My wife has been having issues with a certain employee at work...long story short, this other employee now goes out of her way to try and exclude/snub/cold shoulder my ...
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53 views

why come ing with verb after preposition

why we use "ing" with verb that comes after preposition? For example: he is accused for breaking a new vase. here breaking is being used after for
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97 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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67 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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242 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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195 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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56 views

What is the role/function and origin of “to” being used in the idiomatic phrases “there's something to him/her/it” & “there's nothing to him/her/it”?

"something to him/her/it" Google Books (to him): Google Books (to her): Google Books (to it): The phrase meaning "there's something (with respect to/about) him/her/it (that is observable/...
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51 views

Origin of the term “fun fact”

Where does the term "fun fact" originate?-- namely, not with the compositional meaning but rather with the idiomatic usage to introduce some sort of unusual, esoteric, absurd or otherwise "...
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41 views

What was the original word used in the expression “studiously avoiding their glance”

Formerly, there was a distinct word that sounded a lot like studiously and meant to pretend not to do or notice something. It hasn't been used much in a long time, but I remember John Fowles used it ...
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53 views

“These kids I tell you” or “kids I tell you” expression meaning

I have read them in few disconnected articles and in conversations but could not understand them completely. "These kids I tell you" or "kids I tell you" expression meaning. What do they mean ?
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49 views

Phrase Synonymous to “Stop at nothing?”

I'm writing a paper describing a fashion designer who creates incredibly complex and EXTRAVAGANT sets for his runway shows. I want to say he "stops at nothing" or "spares no effort" or "leaves no ...
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112 views

What is the meaning when someone say “it doesn't get much weird than Lynda?”

Lynda made a dance performance, it's very weird and many audiences couldn't understand it. Then a guy made a comment "It doesn't get much weird than Lynda?". What does he mean ? Is that "Lynda is ...
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52 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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342 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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113 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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21 views

One could've it mistaken for…?

am currently writing a document that describes a person's behavior. And in one of my paragraphs, I have this three girls laughing so hard at a rooftop and a person from below might've mistaken their ...
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28 views

on the usage of “put hopes…”

I am editing subtitles (for a language I know nearly nothing about). The original subtitlers(sp?) were not native English speakers, and as a result there are many corrections to make. This means that ...
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55 views

Which of these sentences is grammatically correct and convey the right meaning?

a) Never mind working with some really talented people, I guess what I really enjoyed the most was free food! or b) Notwithstanding working with some really talented people, I guess what I really ...
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58 views

“That beats everything”

I'm aware that there is an idiom "That beats everything" which is used to express surprise. My question is whether I can say "That beats everything" about something that is way better than everything ...
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something shouting down the road to something else

What does "to shout down the road to" mean here? Context: To pursue the conversation on triangulated conversations, Creed’s Work No.850 seems also to shout down the road to Gormley’s artwork ...
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49 views

Holding up to an appearance

Can something 'hold up to' an appearance in the Queen's English? That is, can one say 'it appears to be green, but on closer scrutiny it does not necessarily hold up to this appearance'?
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16 views

meaning of “a game of tease”

what does it mean when someone compares something or some act to "a game of tease"? I think it means like indulging in a game of seek and hide or something like that. Am I right? it is like a game ...
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37 views

I break out my fun blazer. what does this mean?

Has he ever said anything nice to you before? No. Not even when I break out my fun blazer. This is what I can see on the script of Modern Family season 6 I know what a blazer is, But I don't ...
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17 views

Can Fair Enough mean quantity enough?

Fair could mean quite large/big or many in quantity or degree, so can fair enough mean it's quite big enough or it's quite much/many(corret me if im wrong) enough?
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20 views

“ever in revolt” and its grammatical role in the sentence

"It freezes the water to prevent it running to the sea; it drives the sap out of the trees till they are frozen to their mighty hearts; and most ferociously and terribly of all does the Wild harry and ...
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48 views

Is it correct to say “must you drive me crazy”?

Is it correct to say "must you drive me crazy"? Does it sound stylistically correct for native speakers? Thanks!
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140 views

Who is Charlie Hustle?

From time to time I hear the expression "he's being Charlie Hustle" or something similar, referring to a person, who, well, hustles. Haven't managed to find any reference to the origin of this phrase, ...
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65 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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55 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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49 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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71 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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74 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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34 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 ...
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41 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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99 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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65 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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2k 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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107 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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151 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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121 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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303 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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365 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 ...