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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
4answers
48 views

A phrase or word meaning “thin rationale”

I'm looking for a word or phrase to fill in the blank. I feel like the president of the university had a ________ for demoting Mr. X. The meaning I want to convey is "thin rationale". This might be ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

What do you call this problem in the knee area of the jeans?

What do you call this problem when your pants, especially jeans, look like sticking out in the front and look as if there is a pillow on their knee part? (As if it has taken the shape of the knee.) I ...
1
vote
3answers
64 views

Word for non-community college [on hold]

I am working on a persuasive paper about free college. I am trying to find the opposite of community college. Does anybody know a good word or phrase for this?
14
votes
18answers
2k views

Word for “not putting thought into something”

I'm writing a letter to someone and I want to describe the way a woman talked to me the whole night. Every time I told her something, I got short answers which had zero thought put into them. Like ...
2
votes
1answer
35 views

A word for the sentiment: “You're the most beautiful man/woman I've ever seen” (but in reality I've seen others)

It is common and flattering to tell a man/woman You're the most beautiful man/woman I've ever seen. The thing is, this is never true. It's just like calling someone a "best friend". In most ...
2
votes
1answer
32 views

Generic term to describe how the lack of a normal limiting factor will allow an undesirable overuse of another resource

I'm looking for a word or phrase to describe the natural forces or factors that would normally either encourage or discourage a particular course of action if that factor is either present or not ...
5
votes
1answer
44 views

Is there a verb or phrase for “good-morninging” someone?

The situation I'm asking about is to use a great amount of fake politeness to get rid of someone, as in the following example from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit: “Sorry! I don’t want any adventures, ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Email Subject Line for cancelling the meeting with boss [on hold]

"Cancelling the meeting" subject line looks impolite to use in email for manager. which subject line should I use to sound polite? (I have requested for the meeting)
0
votes
0answers
20 views

may you enjoy your celebration [on hold]

My aunt and uncle are writing a letter to their in-laws declining an invitation to their daughter's graduation. they want it to be formal. they are Italian and have asked me to look over the letter. ...
14
votes
19answers
3k views

Chasing something that doesn't exist

I'm trying to find a word or short phrase that would describe chasing something that doesn't exist. My restriction is that it can't be referencing something that would only make sense in our world ...
-1
votes
0answers
18 views

Best way to express “Fredrik wins”

I'm making an iOS game. After the match I want to write something like: "Fredrik won" "Fredrik wins" "Victory by Fredrik" etc What's the best short phrase to express that someone has won a match? ...
1
vote
3answers
111 views

What do you call someone who is easily influenced?

I am looking for a term with bad connotation. I am aware of the popular terms like "he/she has no personality", pliable, malleable, weak-minded but i couldn't find any more on the insulting side. It ...
1
vote
3answers
62 views

Is there an English idiom that is equivalent to “ calls seem to be getting ever more louder”? [closed]

Are there any phrases that I can use instead of this? context: In this case it is to show something whose importance is increasing and therefore the number of people supporting this particular ...
0
votes
3answers
28 views

Phrase similar to “in the offing”

The meaning of "in the offing" I guess is "something that is likely to happen in the (distant) future" Is there any phrase that describes something that is likely to happen soon?
0
votes
2answers
49 views

Word or phrase that refers to whom I report to and who reports to me

I'm working on an application that allows a user to search through a directory of employees and display them within an org chart. One way to view an employee is within the context of their whole ...
13
votes
9answers
2k views

Words or phrases that describe a person who knows the answer to a problem but is not believed

I'm trying to find either a word or a phrase that describes a person who knows the answer to a problem or problems but is never believed. Or ignored. The nearest I can come up with is maybe the story ...
1
vote
2answers
74 views

If something with no specific time associated with it is called timeless, what would you call something with no specific place associated with it?

I would, quite simply, like to know what the word is for something that could happen in any place; similar to the word "timeless", though that refers to something that could happen during any time. I ...
1
vote
2answers
46 views

Making a sentence feel more welcoming and less stressful

I have the following sentence: Increase your rating as you develop your coding skills while you evaluate the skills of other developers. However, I now realize that this sentence is a bit off ...
29
votes
27answers
6k views

Idiom or expression that would imply “someone is a habitual liar”

I'm looking for an idiom or expression for describing people who tell lies out of habit (so you cannot trust them at all). I know that these people are called "compulsive liars", but I'm not looking ...
8
votes
4answers
94 views

A phrase for when one is reduced to quibbling on unimportant details having had to give up significant ground

Is there a popular phrase or idiom to capture the following very particular scenario? Person A and person B are arguing over something. Person A repeatedly gives ground to B until the argument becomes ...
15
votes
15answers
498 views

Synonym for “Blind Spot”

I'm looking for a term or an idiom to point to the weakness of something, specifically a computer program. Something similar to "Achilles Heel" but not that! I just found blind spot : "an area in ...
1
vote
2answers
30 views

A word/term that means “the fitting, correct or appropriate word.” [duplicate]

I often find myself wanting the right word for something that pops up in my mind. Today I was wondering if there is a word that means "the correct word or phrase." Example : I am not looking for a ...
0
votes
2answers
25 views

Phrase that refers to the period from 60 days ago to 30 days ago

If someone says "in the last month", it refers to the past 30~ days, but I would love to learn if there are phrases or words describing the period of 60 to 30 days before today? For example, today ...
2
votes
2answers
26 views

A word for a 3 D image that moves or changes depending on view

I know it is not a trompe l'oeil. Something else maybe, because 3D image seems ambiguous.
0
votes
0answers
24 views

What's an interesting way to denote “secret sender” — usually of a great gift?

I am starting a website for surprise gift-giving where the name of the sender will not be mentioned and will be open to guessing. The gifts are very dignified, so only loved ones will be sending, ...
4
votes
1answer
38 views

What's the word for something that's shaped through a hole?

Scenario: I am pushing clay through a hole, and on the other side it is coming out as a cylinder. What is the correct term to describe it coming out of that hole?
7
votes
5answers
392 views

The last small thing that messes up all the (previous) effort

For example: In the immortal Tom and Jerry cartoons, Tom tries to balance himself in delicate situations like walking a rope, balancing a tower of flatwares or lifting a ton of weight above his head, ...
1
vote
2answers
41 views

What is a specific name for this type of shirt? [closed]

I'm basically talking about the shirts that we usually wear to play sports like tennis and soccer
17
votes
13answers
2k views

Problem that causes progress to come to a complete halt

There are some problems that are minor and do not affect the overall operation at hand enough to stop it. For example, a broken radio is not a significant enough problem for driving a car. However, an ...
0
votes
2answers
25 views

Expression that means naked dress/garb (see description)

People play strip poker and get naked through the game but what about when they start playing poker without any clothes on. I want ro say "they are wearing/putting on _____ before playing poker." ...
5
votes
7answers
248 views

Idiom for making up a false story as an excuse to get out of something

An idiom that means to make up stories or excuses, especially those that are not true, and are just false excuses you give when you try to justify/save yourself. Maybe similar to feeding ...
1
vote
4answers
31 views

Word to describe people in internet thinking very same, using same websites, reading same resources [duplicate]

Is there a term or word to describe people in internet feeling very same, like if they were doing absolutely same things using internet? Here in the web we have too many apps and websites, but many ...
1
vote
3answers
35 views

What are the formal English words for “compensated public holiday”?

As per the title, what are the formal English words for "compensated public holiday"? As in when a public holiday falls on a Sunday, normally the next day (Monday) will be a day off. How should I ...
4
votes
3answers
79 views

What is a word or phrase that means “both achievable and challenging?”

The adjective "achievable" places an upper-bound on difficulty, whereas "challenging" is a lower-bound. I would love a word or phrase that binds difficulty in the sweet spot between these two. In ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Word indicating that the authority of the speaker changes the meaning

Is there a phrase or word that indicates that the authority of the speaker changes the literal meaning of what was spoken? Something like: Me: I finished cleaning the bathroom Golf buddy: You ...
13
votes
15answers
1k views

Is there a phrase to indicate the other party said something obvious [duplicate]

My first language is Spanish. In Spanish, we have a phrase to indicate when someone has said something so obvious or basic that everyone knows and so there's no need to say it. Is kind of sarcasm. Not ...
10
votes
9answers
1k views

A word or term to describe someone who likes to make people look stupid [duplicate]

Is there a word for someone who tries to trip you up during conversation almost so you muddle your words and sound confused to the point where they appear to have have won a debate? Someone who uses ...
4
votes
1answer
38 views

What is the name of this rhetorical device involving the use of One. Word. Sentences. For. Effect

I am trying to find the name for the rather recent, I think, rhetorical device of one-word sentences used for emphasis and effect. For example: Columnist Ruth Marcus, writing for the Washington ...
2
votes
2answers
45 views

How to refer to someone without specialist knowledge in an academic journal paper

I'm writing a journal paper and I want to find a suitable way to refer to someone who lacks formal training in a specialist field or specialist knowledge. The only example I can think of so far is ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Term for both utopias and dystopias?

I am writing a comparative analysis paper of Walden Two and Brave New World from a political theory perspective. What I was wondering is if there is a term for these kinds of work which bridges the ...
3
votes
5answers
62 views

Is there an idiom or word that describes something exciting or unsettled till the end

Suppose I watch a movie or event, do a task or listen to a story. All these events are exciting and they keep this excitement up throughout until the end. It keeps us engaged and exhilarated till the ...
7
votes
8answers
128 views

Requesting a word or idiom for “impressive failure.”

I'm looking for a more formal expression or word that indicates failure to the extent that one would have to work very hard to achieve it. I'm aware of the idiom "epic fail" but I'm looking for ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

“I just noticed it” vs “I barely noticed it”

Are "I just noticed it" and "I barely noticed it" the same? Let's say somebody tells me something about something/somebody and I didn't know about it until the person told me and the person asks, ...
1
vote
2answers
28 views

adjectives to distinguish between one-off attributes and multiply-defined attributes

I need a pair of adjectives (or adjectival phrase) to distinguish between two types of data associated with a thing. On the one hand are attributes that occur only once, and can be defined as a 1:1 ...
10
votes
5answers
152 views

English equivalent of Polish “An ox forgot [how it was] when it was a calf”

"An ox forgot [how it was] when it was a calf" is used to describe a person that has no mercy/is severe for someone younger when he makes a mistake. Generally speaking, the older one pretends to be ...
4
votes
2answers
74 views

English word that describes the doer of uncompleted work? [closed]

I am looking for a word that describes someone who does all the work that is unfinished by others once they do their work.
7
votes
5answers
740 views

The phenomenon of having given or receiving a thing that gives you a reason to keep trying after you have failed or slowed down

I guess something like a second motivation. A situation : Let us suppose that I am working on a project. I started it with enthusiasm and worked hard at it for a while. But after a plodding for a ...
1
vote
1answer
16 views

A particular time when someone will/may/is supposed to be tried/executed/punished

A time/date/something like that when someone is supposed to be tried/punished/executed or will be tried/punished/executed for something evil that he has done (people may or may not be aware of it)
3
votes
4answers
155 views

Word for someone who wants to know everything about everything

With Youtube, I find myself learning about everything - in depth! Is there a word for someone who is a visual learner, who desires to learn everything about anything and everything? I am not a ...
2
votes
0answers
85 views

Equivalent English word for the concept of “Särskrivning” in Swedish

In Swedish the word "Särskrivning" describes the incorrect splitting apart of compound words into individual words and the resulting change in meaning. An English example I can think of: groundhog vs. ...