This tag is for questions seeking a phrase that fits a meaning. If you're specifically seeking only a single word, see the "single word requests" tag too.

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0
votes
0answers
29 views

A phrase/word which refers to a childhood “urban legend”

What is a phrase (or word) that refers to a childhood misconception, which he has adapted to a form of urban legend? The tale has potential to do damage, and was constructed by the child to create ...
0
votes
3answers
25 views

Having the best of both worlds (i.e. methods)

I want a phrase for the main title of my academic poster for a general audience. Context: "In microbiology, our proposed [method Z] combines the [advantages] of [established methods X and Y]." Some ...
1
vote
1answer
22 views

Word or Phrase for events that don't fall into other categories

We have regular events that happen every week or month. Storytime or Movie Night. We have other events that might be a one off. Most events fall into this later category, however I'd like to have a ...
6
votes
3answers
79 views

Looking for an English word or expression for not having a real boss in charge

There is a Hungarian word fejetlenség, literally, having no head, in the state of having no head, meaning a situation where a state or an organisation is an unruly mess. Is there an English ...
2
votes
3answers
79 views

What do you call a person who asks a question but leaves you in the dark as to what its about?

I have a friend who is forever asking questions but always seems to give out vague information about the question until he's pressed for it. I would like to know if there is a title that you can give ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

How to describe “diluted” words, whose meaning has become too ambiguous

How to concisely and accurately describe the effect many words (usually adjectives/adverbs) are suffering from, where: they have a clear primary meaning but end up being used merely for emphasis, or ...
9
votes
11answers
1k views

Phrase for being indecisive/hesitant

I am looking for a phrase that would fit this (kind of) pattern: "You know how my friends are, they always XXXXXX so I can't expect an immediate answer." "At the restaurant, when I was ...
0
votes
2answers
29 views

More general term than “uncanny valley”

I'm looking for a shorter way to convey the meaning of The phenomenon of something being found saliently disturbing due to its imperfect similarity to (but little compatibility with) something ...
-4
votes
2answers
35 views

What is an alternate name for “Graduate Student”?

To me, Graduate Student sounds like a contradiction in terms. What is another commonly used word or phrase? I have been in the US my whole life and never heard one. Looking at definitions, I don't see ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there a word or phrase for “taking the long way around a square”?

A new apartment building is going up on our block, and the sidewalks are closed on that side of the block. "Oh well," I told my wife, "we'll just have to...wait, I swear there's a phrase for ...
-1
votes
0answers
20 views

Please let me know [on hold]

What is the difference between and are they both correct? 1.That has got to be the smallest foot I have ever seen. 2.That is the smallest foot I have ever seen. Thanks.
8
votes
2answers
909 views

What's a the word for people who make fun of themselves?

I don't mean people with low self esteem. But there are people who feel happy at being able to make other people laugh at their own expense. I remember someone telling me there is a word for them, I ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

Replacement word/words for “safety” [on hold]

I'm looking to find a more accurate word/term for "safety" in the context of sharing ideas, without fear of rebuttal in environments that acknowledge its ok if you have a question Which at times will ...
2
votes
1answer
30 views

Is there a word/phrase for when something makes you uncomfortably self-aware? [on hold]

Is there a word or phrase for when something makes you think about an aspect of yourself that you would rather not think about or something you're guilty of and makes you feel very uncomfortable/...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

Phrase or word for doing something as a learning experience before doing it for real?

If I want to say 'I regard my first year for this bachelor degree as a try out year or a "pre-learning" year before starting again as a first year elsewhere'. What word or phrase would I use for 'try ...
-1
votes
0answers
50 views

'passive' vs 'active' dietary therapy

How do I explain that my questionnaire included range levels of active dietary therapy and passive dietary therapy? is it even correct to say "passive dietary therapy"? if not, how do I say it ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

More eloquent idiom/expression for the phrase “cut it at the roots/source to prevent the problem from growing/escalating ”

There's nothing particularly wrong with the phrase that's in the title except I figure there may be some better sounding alternative or something more pleasing to the ears. Example usage: We have to ...
-2
votes
1answer
90 views

What is a woman with no unwanted hair (or unwanted hair removed) called? [closed]

Women used to be very conscious about their looks. They used to remove unwanted hair in order to look good. What is a woman with no unwanted hair (or unwanted hair removed) called? Is there a single-...
2
votes
2answers
94 views

Positive word describing something that is not high-tech?

The company where I work has developed a product that is very easy to use and that doesn't need a computer or electricity to run (in contrast to competing products). Now we are looking for a word or ...
0
votes
3answers
86 views

What word or phrase is like a more negative version of “astonished”?

Is there a better word for the following example than astonished? I was astonished at the lack of respect Joe showed to his parents. I’m trying to use the word astonished in a sentence, but I ...
3
votes
1answer
54 views

What do you call the tendency to oversimplify an issue?

I have noticed that there is a tendency in many people, and certainly in groups as a whole, to avoid, ignore, or trivialize complex and difficult issues by placing focus on issues that are similar and ...
25
votes
8answers
5k views

What's the English equivalent for the Italian slang expression “magna magna”

"Magna magna" is a typical Italian slang expression used by common people to give vent to their frustrations and disappointment with politicians when cases of corruption and personal interest in ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

Is there a word or phrase in English referring to a government branch that controls prices? [closed]

During World War II, there was a governmental department tasked with controlling the prices and preventing inflation. I t was called Office of Price Administration. Is there a similar word or phrase ...
4
votes
2answers
66 views

Idiom/saying for “there was no possible better solution at the time”

Context: "We did the best we could. There wasn't much else we could have done because there was no possible better solution at the time" The problem I have with what's already written is that it ...
4
votes
3answers
140 views

Cheering for a race

When it comes to cheering from the spectator's stand for a friend who is participating in a race, where I live has this phrase which means "add oil" if translated directly into English. Thus, for ...
2
votes
5answers
50 views

What are other ways of saying “to keep moving forward in times of hardship?” [duplicate]

I'm looking for another way to describe the act of forcing yourself through a s*** week
0
votes
0answers
30 views

how to express event dates [closed]

which is correct: "the event will be held from August 5-10 in X" OR "the event will be held between August 5-10 in X" or any other suggestion. Thanks in advance. mericb
6
votes
2answers
809 views

What do you call a person or action who provides information irrelevant to the subject? [closed]

What do you call someone or the action of a person who in an argument says one thing, but provides information to something that has nothing to do with what he was trying to prove?
3
votes
4answers
144 views

What is an idiom for better than “textbook case”, “by the book” or “best practices” [closed]

Something indicating above and beyond the standard best practices, superior to by-the-book-experience. For instance, I would like to use it in a blog title The non-textbook / non-standard / beyond ...
9
votes
9answers
1k views

Word which encompasses both “logs” and “notes”

I'm building a software component which will allow users to view both automatically-generated log entries and human-created notes in the same list. Both are time-stamped and will be displayed in the ...
3
votes
1answer
59 views

What is the general name for these articles which feature lists?

Well, recently the internet has been taken by storm by articles such as: "20 Ways To Subtly...", "5 Things to Watch...", "15 things only a Pakistani..." etc,. So, what do you call such features?
2
votes
6answers
66 views

Word for non-humanoid characters with artificial intelligence?

I am writing an essay on a book that I read where many of the characters are not human and have artificial intelligence instead. When I try to describe these characters, though, I find myself using "...
-1
votes
3answers
70 views

Word for someone who dismisses contrary opinions as irrational?

I'm looking for a phrase or (ideally) a single word to describe someone who dismisses any opposing opinion as being wrong and a result of being unable to think correctly. Ideally it would also imply ...
2
votes
1answer
30 views

Word/phrase for something that perpetuates/sustains/exacerbates something else? [duplicate]

Looking for a word/phrase with negative or neutral connotations to describe policies that perpetuate/sustain/protract/exacerbate the problem they are attempting to resolve. Not necessarily the ...
27
votes
8answers
3k views

A word for “the shelves of candies or mints next to the checkout desk of a supermarket”

I need a word or a fixed phrase, something short that describes the following: the shelves of candies or mints next to the checkout desk of a supermarket Is there a one-word name for it? I can't ...
3
votes
2answers
138 views

A verb that means “to die of a broken heart”

Is there any one-word verb, a phrasal verb, or an idiom that means "to die of a broken heart" or "to die of grief/sadness"? Example: She went through a lot of adversities and grief in the past ...
3
votes
1answer
119 views

An expression for “Lying on your stomach, kicking your legs and feet up in the air”

What is a concise way to describe the following action? Someone lying on their stomach, kicking their legs and feet up into the air behind them, looking sexy. The description should be pretty ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

What is the word or phrase for doing a Ponzi scheme by accident?

A Ponzi scheme is a fraudster uses money from new investors to pay old investors, so that it looks like he is doing something profitable. At some point, when all the investors want their money, he ...
29
votes
17answers
3k views

Opposite idiom for putting my foot down

I got stumped when trying to write the opposite of "putting my foot down". As an example i'll give some context. I said: "In these instances I always put my foot down, but you make me X", where X ...
1
vote
3answers
64 views

Is “for perpetuity” a synonym of “permanently”? [closed]

I am looking for another way to say permanently ("not temporarily"), like in: Starting from today, the rule 'A' will hold _______. and was wondering if for perpetuity is a grammatically correct ...
2
votes
2answers
55 views

Synonym for “from the trenches” [closed]

The expression "from the trenches" implies a down-to-reality focus as in "a view from the trenches". Is there any other english expression implying the same meaning ?
1
vote
0answers
34 views

English term for describing certain features of a robot [closed]

What is a good term to state that a robot vehicle can function in various artificial environments that imitate real word conditions and applications?
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Audio equivalent for “Computer Vision” [closed]

Is there a simple phrase/word for audio that is analogous to "computer vision"? I'm drawing a blank and it's a hard phrase to google for. related Edit: For clarification, I mean in the context of ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the word for individuals who unwittingly post very similar questions asking for the same words, without doing any previous research?

Many newcomers on EL&U post very similar single-word-requests, all asking for more or less the same words. The two main categories appear to be asking about verbosity and thriftiness. What is ...
1
vote
2answers
77 views

Night owl AND early bird

Is there a term that means you are both a night and a morning person in the same spirit as night owl and early bird? I've seen the joke 'permanently exhausted pigeon', which I like.
1
vote
2answers
43 views

How to say that you wish and make efforts to do something?

I am looking for a short way to say that I wish and (simultaneously) make efforts / prepare to achieve something, however, so far I have come up only with candidate phrases which express just one of ...
10
votes
6answers
3k views

Is there a word for something hidden in pants/trousers pocket but its shape is visible?

How do I describe the shape that is visible from the exterior of a pocket? For example, when we put a cell in our pants pocket, we can ‘see’ it is a cell phone. How do I express this in a sentence? ...
1
vote
4answers
61 views

How can I express the idea of CSS floats to ordinary people?

Let me first explain what CSS floats are. Normally, without any floats, text and image look like this: If the image is floated left, it looks like this: If the image is floated right, it looks ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

A word or phrase that means to swallow people

ln some parts of the world, violent earthquakes sometimes make the ground open up and swallow people. My question is: is there a word or phrase to describe this appalling scene?
6
votes
2answers
79 views

What word best describes wronging someone who you had previously done positive things towards?

I am looking for a word which can be used to describe the situation where someone has previously done good deeds towards another and then subsequently wrongs them in some way. This is NOT betrayal. ...