Idioms are a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (3)

0
votes
3answers
86 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
58 views

The quality of things you stick with

I was wondering if there is a word in English to describe the quality of things we stick with. For example, if a training is well designed, people will tend to keep using it. Meanwhile, if it's not, ...
1
vote
1answer
79 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
32 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".
0
votes
1answer
54 views

What is the word for an amused surprise?

You tell your friend about a person's funny habit and that person shows it right away without knowing. You tell your friend "See!". You are surprised but you were right. What is the verb for that kind ...
0
votes
1answer
634 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?
-1
votes
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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
107 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 % ...
-2
votes
1answer
235 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
4
votes
0answers
237 views

Looking for an Equivalent to the AWL for Academic Idioms

Coxhead developed and evaluated something called the "Academic Word List" for English Language Learners. This is a list of (supposedly) the most common "academic" terms to be used by students from ...
1
vote
0answers
69 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

What's the difference between “zero in” and “home in”?

According to Oxford dictionary, both seem to mean "focus on" or "aim at" zero in: Take aim with a gun or missile/Focus one’s attention. home in: Move or be aimed toward (a target or destination) with ...
0
votes
0answers
39 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

“In the cards”, “on the cards” origin(s)

In another question in EL&U "Positives changes on the cards" — meaning? , it came up that at least one of us AmE speakers had always heard this idiom as "in the cards" and never as "on ...
0
votes
0answers
88 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
53 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
107 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
59 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 ...
-2
votes
0answers
50 views

Sir, it's just pots and kettles

What does the phrase "it's just pots and kettles" mean? Source: http://scriptline.livejournal.com/19834.html . MONTGOMERY We can hold him on the gun, but there's no match with ballistics on ...