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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4
votes
0answers
51 views

What's the term for not specifying race or gender when it is the majority?

In one of my English literature courses, my professor talked about how minority writers are often "marked" by a qualifier, while majority writers are unmarked. For example, Langston Hughes is often ...
0
votes
4answers
59 views

Word for Inability to Write

When school's off for more than three or four days, I usually don't write much (I prefer to type at home!) and so when I come back and hold my pen[cil], my fingers refuse to move like they normally ...
16
votes
10answers
1k views

Is there a word or expression for when someone passionately wants something, and then discovers afterwards that it's different from how he imagined?

Is there a word or expression to describe when someone passionately wants something, eventually gets it, and then discovers that it isn't what he thought it was? For example, suppose that John is a ...
0
votes
3answers
74 views

Word to describe ideology of unfettered belief in rational self-interest

I'm looking for a word that captures the ideology of believing everything can be traced back to rational self-interest. I know that this is a form of weak altruism, and that many ideas of economic ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

how can I use “fewer” and “more” with numbers?

I have never heard anyone use words "fewer" and "more" when talking about the fact that a certain number of items is greater than a certain number of other items by a constant. For example if the ...
4
votes
3answers
82 views

What's the opposite of “further down” in “further down the road”?

Suppose that there is a road which is 1000 meters long. I enter the road and after 500 meters I see Matthew. Matthew says: "James is walking somewhere further down the road". Then I drive further and ...
5
votes
6answers
370 views

Alternatives to the expression “poor man's <noun>”

I'm looking for a more politically correct substitute for the expression "poor man's", meaning an inferior improvised or makeshift substitute. Usage examples: "Guncotton is the poor man's TNT" "Poor ...
1
vote
2answers
64 views

Term for Bowing at the End of a Play

I'm looking for the best term (or phrase) to describe the act of bowing to the crowd while onstage at the end of a play or performance. I came by the terms "encore" and "curtain call", but I'm not ...
3
votes
2answers
72 views

What do you call a full monopoly?

What word or phrase is best used to describe a monopoly in all economies - basically having a monopoly in everything. For example, Company X has a monopoly in Food, Technology, Communication, ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

mistakes in set phrases; “…you have to celebrate the victory of your spoils…”

Is there a word for mistaken use of a set phrase? For example, I heard an interview with an athlete in which he said "...you have to celebrate the victory of your spoils." Of course, this is not how ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

equivalent for omni-human perspective [closed]

I would like to ask what there is the best suitable equivalent for the adjective "omni-human". For example "omni-human perspective".
2
votes
2answers
55 views

Word that describes a repeating pattern across orders of magnitude of scale

What word describes the notion of a simple pattern repeating itself across a multitude of scales? For example, consider Gravity. The forces of gravity are present at the quantum scale (atoms attract ...
1
vote
2answers
63 views

Phrase for a guest enforcing their culture/rules on the hosts

Imagine a certain Bob from Somethingistan whose native culture forbids wearing hats. Now Bob immigrates to Somelandia where it is perfectly normal to wear hats. However, not only does Bob not wear ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

When did “phone” become accepted as its own word?

In older print publications, I have come across telephone shortened to 'phone, with an apostrophe to mark where the beginning of the word had been omitted. Now, however, phone does not need an ...
4
votes
2answers
75 views

One (or few) word expression for products you don't know you need

I'd like to find a very simple, preferably one word (or few words) expression for products that you don't know you need until you see them. Examples are: electronic face cleanser sleep enhancing app ...
12
votes
5answers
880 views

Person whose recorded voice announces upcoming content on radio

Is there a word/term for a person whose recorded voice on the radio announces the upcoming content, for example, musical piece, on radio? I am not sure host or narrator would be quite correct, since ...
2
votes
3answers
108 views

Is there a synonym for “day” that can go with “at night”, “at dusk”, “at dawn”? [closed]

I need a word (ideally) or phrase that means "daytime" that can be used in a sentence "the event happened at dawn/dusk/night/day" "The event happened at day", and "The event happened at daytime" ...
0
votes
4answers
55 views

more ways to say “In his druken state”

As I need to use the phrase a lot in a piece of document, I don't want to sound too repetitive ... so anyone with any suggestions as to alternative phrases and/or any phrases that suggest that someone ...
0
votes
3answers
77 views

Word for something so familiar or ubiquitous that it goes unnoticed?

Like water to a fish, this thing is not entirely imperceptible but it is rarely noted, if at all.
4
votes
0answers
163 views

the good guys and the bad guys

So I'm watching a sci-fi flick with my kids and a new character appears on-screen. My son says, "Dad, is she a good guy or a bad guy?" I could have replied, "Well, people are more complicated than ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

“relaxed flying fingers” associated with ergonomic keyboard computer interface?

I want to start an open source software project and call it "relaxed flying fingers". The project is about a better keyboard interface, especially for touch typers (people typing with ten fingers). ...
0
votes
2answers
75 views

Is there a word for “types of nouns”?

I know "parts of speech" is used to mean nouns, adjectives, verbs, etc., but is there a word or phrase for "types of nouns" that would include subject, direct object, indirect object, etc.?
3
votes
3answers
108 views

Is there a concise word or phrase for the feeling of being unsure if someone is kidding?

I'm searching for a word for the feeling of uncertainty as to the sincerity of another person's statements or behavior. Or, the state of being that is to think someone is possibly putting on an act ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

idiomatic phrases for the process of translating

I am looking for idiomatic phrases to speak or write about the process of translating into/from a foreign language. I would like to find phrases that are a good fit for neutral style of communication. ...
0
votes
5answers
68 views

Is there a term for a behavior irrationally linked to an outcome?

Experiments on lab animals have found that they sometimes associate an action with a reward because it coincided with a random food drop. For example, a pigeon looks over its left shoulder, then a ...
14
votes
12answers
2k views

What's the Appropriate Word to Say You're 'Dazzled' by a Nice Smell?

Imagine there's food being cooked on stove and you feel the pleasant smell and it somehow makes you mad! You want to keep smelling or walk to the kitchen and get some of it to eat. What verb would ...
10
votes
12answers
2k views

Is there a word or phrase for the time taken to become productive?

I'm looking for a word of phrase that essentially means the interim between when something has begun and when it is productive. This would be "boot time" on a computer. My specific example would be ...
12
votes
13answers
2k views

What is a word or phrase that means “cut off from the outdoors”?

I'm looking for a word or phrase to describe a place that is cut off from the outdoors. This is the situation: my desk at work is not near any windows, so I can't tell if it's sunny, raining, light ...
5
votes
5answers
747 views

What would be an English equivalent for the Mexican Spanish word tocayo? [duplicate]

In Mexican Spanish (not sure if other Spanish speaking countries use the word too) we call "tocayo" to those people that share the same name as us (but not necessarily the same last name i.e., Juan ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Can a phrase including past participle be put right behind the preposition 'of'?

For all the English grammar my teacher taught me, the element put right behind the preposition 'of' can be: 1. a noun. The leg of the desk 2. gerund leading phrase which acts as a noun: The result ...
7
votes
2answers
414 views

Phrase for being on an island too long

There is a term for it, I forget. Not=[Island mad, Island cramped, Coconut crazy, Bonkers Island] Say, living on Hawaii for a couple years. Plenty of people, but you still might get XXX?
1
vote
4answers
95 views

A phrase for the opposite of “getting over” something [closed]

I was speaking to a friend today. I jokingly told her: "Yes, I should speak Spanish, but I don't. Get over it." She attempted a witty response: "Get over it? I am. It's like I was never under it." ...
4
votes
4answers
540 views

Is there a term for someone performing worse at something because they are being watched?

Is there a term for a person performing worse at something because they are being watched? For example, a person makes more mistakes typing when someone is watching over their shoulder? Attempts to ...
2
votes
3answers
41 views

My interest in 'x' CULTIVATED many years ago…?

Is there anything wrong with saying the following? My interest in Japan cultivated many years ago after taking part in ..... I initially used the verb stemmed as I want to indicate that it began ...
1
vote
6answers
72 views

A general term for standards, legislation, handbooks, etc.?

What is a general word or phrase that could encompass the class of documents called standards (i.e. ISO, ANSI, BS, etc.), legislation, laws, handbooks, style guides, manuals, etc.? Basically, all ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

How do you concisely qualify the direction of viewership?

I'm making a user content driven website where users watch a stream of said content. I'm looking for a way to concisely qualify the direction of viewership in the database. Something more concise ...
2
votes
3answers
49 views

A word or phrase that means the most in the future

I am looking for a word or very short/concise phrase that would mean the furthest in the future given a collection of dates. I am currently using Most Distant, but it feels very esoteric, and ...
10
votes
6answers
4k views

Is there an English word for a woman who has recently given birth?

In some cultures, there are lots of customs about a woman who has recently given birth to a baby, such as feeding special fancy meals to her, taking special care of her, and so on for (a certain ...
1
vote
4answers
68 views

Phrase or idiom for an intentionally unfulfillable request

In some situations, someone may make a request or ask a favor while fully knowing that the other party is highly unlikely to agree. This is often done to shift the blame or to justify oneself. For ...
0
votes
3answers
26 views

Term for surveys to confirm pre-determined outcomes

I've just finished responding to an alleged "survey" conducted as part of a PhD student's work in pursuit of that award. The document itself was little more than a "vegan" propaganda rant, dismissing ...
3
votes
4answers
240 views

What do you call someone who is addicted to a Q&A website?

I was looking for a term for someone who is addicted to a Q&A website but I came up with general terms like nethead, cybernaut, netizen, internet addict etc. You can think of adjectives like ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

A word for “untranslatable” words from other languages [duplicate]

Speakers of many languages treat as a cultural good that their language possesses words which are "untranslatable". Of course, that can be challenged or qualified, but this phenomenon is common enough ...
1
vote
2answers
69 views

Phrase for the elder of my younger sisters?

If i have two sisters younger than me, how can i refer to the elder one of them? "Younger sister" is ambiguous, but "older sister" is inaccurate. "Elder one of my younger sisters" is long and clumsy. ...
0
votes
3answers
74 views

Native English [Brit./N.Amer.] ways to greet someone after the event?

Suppose you forgot to wish someone an occasion, and you're wise after the event, how do you go about offering your wishes given that a couple days have gone by since? "[Wish you a] Happy ...
1
vote
2answers
46 views

A word that means the study of the human in relation to the animal and vice versa

I am looking for a word/adjective that can fit to describe the human and the animal in relation to each other. A word like 'zoology'does not quite work, because it means the study of animals ...
0
votes
2answers
32 views

can an order [as a document] state something?

For example, a head of any department in a company gives instructions for personnel. These instructions are subject to formal procedures, i.e. documentation, approval, an internal newsletter. So these ...
2
votes
6answers
328 views

Something as an “antechamber” for something else

In Italian there is the expression "something as an antechamber for something else", meaning something can precede and somehow cause something else. For example: Data show prisons are far from ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

the phrase “from now on” to be used in similar phrases

All of us know that "from now on" means starting from now, for example: From now on, all of us have to turn our mobiles off. But is this term assignable to such phrase? From lesson three on... (I ...
12
votes
11answers
5k views

What do you call a woman who's feeling “emotional”?

It's that time of the month, your female partner has begun to fault pick you, for no explicable reason she becomes weepy, and anything you say or do will be criticized or misinterpreted. Is there a ...
1
vote
2answers
100 views

What we call the next consecutive question in series of problem

on stack overflow we can edit the questions and this problem is based on that. Scenario I was asking problem A and got the solution of A but face a new problem B. How do I mention (reference ...