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
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0answers
34 views

What is equivalent of brain drain for skilled labour?

What is the phrase when you say that there is movement of skilled labour from X country to Y country for better opportunities? Is 'leaching of labour'valid usage? Please suggest some other phrase for ...
1
vote
2answers
155 views

What do you call that annoying toddler that whines about everything?

You know that kid you see in a supermarket with his/her mom, and the kid is all like: "I don't like that", and starts to scream? What is a good word or slang term for that?
11
votes
10answers
2k views

Synonym of 'kangaroo court'

From legal-dictionary.com, kangaroo court is defined as such: [Slang of U.S. origin.] An unfair, biased, or hasty judicial proceeding that ends in a harsh punishment; an unauthorized trial ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

Is there a word or phrase for this kind of visitation-oriented room?

Let me give two examples: Bank You are a customer in a bank office making a loan. The room might look like a regular office, but really this part of the office is very limited. This part of the ...
5
votes
5answers
111 views

Is there an English equivalent to the Indian proverb-“If you have the ability, even grass can be your weapon”?

The original Indian saying (in Tamil) is வல்லவனுக்கு புல்லும் ஆயுதம் (Vallavanuku Pullum Aayudham) Translation : For the capable, even grass can be a weapon Meaning: If you have the ability and ...
24
votes
17answers
3k views

Is there any curse/ swear equivalent for this Persian curse? “ May your head be covered by soil!”

There is a curse/ swear in Persian that literally means " May your head be covered by soil" and implies that " you'd better die and be buried /be underground!"( you are not important). We use it in ...
2
votes
3answers
101 views

Succinct phrase for “work well under pressure”?

So I was working on my resume, but it literally took me two hours to come up with a succinct phrase for "work well under pressure". So far I could think of phrases like " pressure performer " or ...
-2
votes
1answer
68 views

How to differentiate meanings of “awesome”? [on hold]

I often use the literal ("old?") meaning of "awesome" in an equivocation: I smell awesome right now. Then they say: No, you smell terrible. And the punchline comes: I'm using the ...
1
vote
0answers
22 views

Lack of time *and* Time is precious [on hold]

I'm certain that there exist a unique phrase that means both "Lack of time" and "Time is precious". When I try to remember what the phrase is, I'm constantly having the association of a precious ...
1
vote
2answers
51 views

What's a word that captures the sentiment of “inside looking outwards”?

I'm attempting to title a paper I'm writing about the traditions of a certain group of people; and my analysis is focused on what these traditions mean to them, and how they see others interpret their ...
4
votes
3answers
205 views

Word/phrase for when someone places a bet which is similar to your own

If you are making a bet or wager with someone, and you are both trying to guess as close to a particular value as you can (for example, date, weight or similar) then one particular strategy is to wait ...
9
votes
10answers
2k views

Synonymous idiom for “more x than you can shake a stick at”

It's very difficult to search the web for synonymous idioms, at least for me. I found Origin of "More X than you can shake a stick at", but I'm really trying to find a similar phrase to it. ...
0
votes
3answers
67 views

Word/phrase to describe a person who always searches to benefit from other people? [duplicate]

What is a formal word/phrase that describes a person who always searches to benefit from other people? It is hard to recall the word in my own language to translate. So I decided to give it a try and ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Understandable word for someone with normal vision

In the process of writing a document relating to an accessibility product I mention people who are blind and people who are visually impaired. However I cannot think of a good word with the average ...
1
vote
2answers
42 views

Term for choosing by not choosing [duplicate]

Is there a term for rejecting a proposal by not actively endorsing/confirming/voting for it? Like a veto, but by abstention, rather than active participation. Alternatively, a term for "A choice ...
3
votes
6answers
121 views

A word/phrase for someone who changes the world

For a fantasy writing project,1 I am looking for a title or epithet for a character that emphasizes that the character has changed the world. Either a single word, or a phrase that could reasonably be ...
-2
votes
1answer
52 views

Opposite of redundant [on hold]

I'm looking for the opposite of redundant in the following context. "The danger is that we have redundant work executed, but as also xxxx work" so in the meaning of "too less", "we are missing ...
27
votes
14answers
5k views

English equivalent for “Don't burn your house to smoke out a rat!” [duplicate]

In my language there's a saying which literally translates to Don't burn your house to smoke out a rat! It advises us to use solutions that are appropriate to the magnitude of the problem. ...
15
votes
13answers
3k views

What are words that describe “the people” in the same way that “the machine” describes the ruling class?

The powerful ruling class has been described as "the machine", "the man", "patricians", "the establishment", and "big brother". I am looking for similar words to describe the 99%, aka the plebeians ...
3
votes
2answers
55 views

Is it valid to say 'in the presence of something' [on hold]

The title I chose for my thesis is: Finding Synapses in Data in the Presence of Artifacts I think this is bad language and am unhappy with it but I am not a native speaker. I want to convey ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Specific term for perception bias of content

People from Rancho Cucamonga are special. If a movie is filmed or set in their town, they unswervingly feel that the movie is better than others. Especially since it is so rare and … special. They ...
3
votes
4answers
67 views

Phrase Request: “electronics for military use”

I am translating a CV into English. One of the mentioned companies is (directly translated): An international company operating in the industry of electronics for military use I could write this ...
1
vote
3answers
46 views

A lot of - but not hard - work

I'm looking for a word or phrase to describe how something takes simple work, but a lot of it. For example, sorting a stack of documents fits the bill as it is not hard if you had a few, but really ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

English equivalent for “Worm that lives in poison.”

In my language, there's a saying which literally translates to Worm that lives in poison. It is used while judging people who keep bad company as being bad themselves. It is used to address ...
0
votes
2answers
61 views

“To jog in stride with someone, particularly in silence.”

Looking for a single word, or short phrase, in any language, that approximates to that concept: "to jog in stride with someone, particularly in silence." This - if our collective wisdom can find it - ...
5
votes
4answers
327 views

English equivalent for “Picking a fight with your mother because you…”

In my language, there's a funny saying which literally translates to Picking a fight with your mother at home because you lost a fight at the marketplace. It means taking out one's frustration ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

Passive version of “process” (verb)

The context is programming, if you're wondering. It's pretty straightforward to tell a Processor to Process something, but I wonder what you would tell the Processee. Is there some verb that means ...
1
vote
3answers
31 views

what is another way to say become a trendsetter?

The field is nursing and the quoted person is a professor of nursing speaking about her students being trendsetters. I need a transitional sentence to lead up to this quote and speaks to the students ...
42
votes
24answers
6k views

Is there a similar English phrase for this Tamil proverb - “Lavish outside home yet starving inside of it”?

In Tamil, a south Indian language, there is a saying which roughly translates into English as: Lavish outside home, starving inside of it. Background : This proverb has a mocking tone and ...
1
vote
6answers
111 views

English equivalent for “An ignorant child learns when it itches”

In my language, there's a saying which literally translates to "An ignorant child learns when it itches." It's a kind of warning that means If people refuse to realise the magnitude of a ...
1
vote
2answers
76 views

What is a positive-language-focused term for an attempted solution that didn't work?

There is a quote: I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. I'd like to use a term that is devoid of negative connotation for those "ways that won't work". Terms like ...
1
vote
2answers
48 views

Idiom for all at once or none at all

I'm looking for a creative and relatively familiar idiom to describe something that needs to be handled a specific way because an activity comes in waves. Specifically I'm looking to describe ...
5
votes
1answer
54 views

Best or technical term for the act of including a *purposeful gaff* in writing?

Although I suspect there are applicable examples in literature and newsprint, the specific context here is the online practice of either including a dud, or excluding an obvious/needed example in a ...
4
votes
4answers
35 views

term or phrase representing a placeholder or variable

How can I express in standard American English that events occur "every X days" or end "after X occurrences" — here, "X" is a placeholder for a variable and unknown quantity — without ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

How to tell someone that they are wrong? [closed]

I'm looking for a phrase which I could use to tell a child (age 10-14) that their answer is wrong, without offending them of course. This would be something I could on a test.... Any suggestions? PS ...
0
votes
0answers
47 views

what is it called when a sentence includes “she hung her pants up” insead of “she hung up her pants”

the sequence is "she hung her pants up". Shouldn't it be "she hung up her pants"? Is this similar to splitting the infinitive?
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Looking for word or phrase

Is there a word for phrase for when you look for something over and over in the same places unsuccessfully then find it there when you look again?
10
votes
11answers
614 views

Things will change: idiom or proverb

Is there an idiom or maybe a proverb stating that things will not be the same or as you want, forever. For example when telling someone that they might be in a good state or status now, but they will ...
17
votes
12answers
3k views

What is the expression for the process of getting over the loss of a loved person?

The term mourning usually refers to the sorrow felt because of the death of a person: Great ​sadness ​felt because someone has ​died: Shops were ​closed as a ​sign of mourning for the ...
2
votes
4answers
88 views

An adjective for a film or book with very long dialogues

Is there a word to describe a film (or book) that features very long dialogues and most of its scenes or passages revolve around dialogues? I came up with the word "dialogue-y" but that obviously ...
1
vote
4answers
71 views

Is there a phrase(or a metaphor) that describes a person who has a restless mind?

I'm looking for a phrase that describes a person who always thinks about too many things at once and, therefore, looks(and acts) sloppy. Something like: "he has a swarm of vasps in his head". I can't ...
14
votes
14answers
2k views

What is the expression to describe that you are surrounded and have few ways to act?

Something like "circle is narrow" (just total random)? For example I'm trapped by circumstances and don't know how to get away with that. Because every way of acting seems not to be good. Thank you ...
3
votes
6answers
155 views

A phrase to describe the external spreading phase of some infection?

I believe that some types of fungal/viral/other infections have a life cycle in which they kill a host entity (possibly plant or animal), and then around that time they also "bloom" or "erupt" from ...
0
votes
4answers
138 views

What official English words describe these activities?

Court man goes to bank, and ask for information about suspect's account. Court man goes to bank, and ask for taking steps to control suspect's account, such as freeze suspect's account or unfreeze ...
1
vote
4answers
85 views

Punching several tons above my weight [duplicate]

Is there a more commonly used phrase or idiom other than I've punched several tons above my weight Of course, I know the original expression is "I've punched above my weight" but I need to ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

How to ask properly how grave a mistake is? [closed]

I google the sentence "how serious is the mistake" and find only 5 hits!!! How do I reformulate my question to make it correct?
5
votes
2answers
59 views

Any phrases like “What makes you tick?”

I'm looking for a phrase or an idiom to describe one's deep-seated passion for something, such as archaeology, Renaissance art, organized charity, Greenpeace, or similar to the following Whatever ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Classic phrase regarding a growing distance from our children

At the end of Miranda July's recent WSJ article, she offers the following melancholic observation: From the moment your kids are born, you’re always losing them. I've occasionally heard ...
1
vote
1answer
123 views

Single word for “make someone cry” [closed]

Is there a single word for "make someone cry"? I checked a translation dictionary, but it just referred me to the word "cry."
2
votes
1answer
63 views

Is there a neutral term for “politically correct”?

Although no one disagrees with making speech impartial and not offensive, some people think that the process of "Political Correctness" has been carried too far, so the phrase is sometimes considered ...