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
56 views

other ways of saying 'to want something bad enough'

I've been surfing the web looking for an alternative to 'want sth bad enough' but I haven't found anything useful. I've got a dialogue between two characters who are a couple. They're facing ...
4
votes
1answer
70 views

A word to describe “political buyer's remorse”

Recent numbers show over 3.5 million people in the UK have signed a petition to “do over” the Brexit Referendum. Interestingly, since the Referendum the Google question “What is the EU?” showed more ...
0
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2answers
49 views

How do you call components that make up a car's engine? [closed]

I'm looking for the common way to call components like oil filter or fuel pump. I thought about car parts or auto parts but I don't know which one is correct.
4
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0answers
64 views

Holding your hands in a specific position [duplicate]

How do you tell someone to put their hands in the position shown in the image?
0
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0answers
21 views

What is the name of the construct [adjective][noun]

Is there a special name for an adjective-noun phrase that denotes a specific type of thing and for which further modifiers cannot be inserted between the two? For example, "emerging technology" ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

Are there any phrases expressing the meaning “won't do/finish something until the last minute of deadline/due time”

Some people prefer to finish their tasks one day or even one hour before the deadline. I wonder how native speakers of English say this. Specifically, how to complete the following sentences: The ...
1
vote
2answers
58 views

What do you call it when doctors or therapists give the same prescriptions or solutions to everyone that has similar illnesses or problems?

As in, they do not attempt to give individualized prescriptions. What's a phrase or word that characterizes this tendency?
1
vote
3answers
84 views

Word for having a gentle joy for being diligent?

I'm looking for a word that describe a person for having a gentle joy for being diligent. For example, a person spends their time and effort to learn a new word every morning. He does that because he ...
2
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2answers
80 views

Alternative for “all for one, one for all”

Looking for an alternative idiom/phrase, etc. for the titular term. Any idea?
27
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12answers
6k views

Idiom for a person who is above any question

I read somewhere a sentence which said about a political leader that he is the "holy something" whose actions cannot be questioned. The context was to describe that even though this man does bad ...
18
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6answers
5k views

Word for “a way of choosing the guy to do the horrible job.”

In the aftermath of a party, a few friends are to decide the guy who will have to do the cleaning. They play a game, any game, like rock paper scissors, to decide who has to do the cleaning. The one ...
26
votes
19answers
6k views

What is the problem that gets worse after you try to solve it?

Example sentence - This problem is a _____ which gets complicated every time you try to solve it. Is there such a word that represents a problem which will become worse if/when one tries to solve it?...
5
votes
2answers
262 views

What's a good phrase for a “collection of the places someone wants to visit”?

The context here is a personal collection of such things. 15 years ago I'd have called this a travel file. For a digital collection, that name doesn't feel right. Travel diary would feel appropriate ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

Word/Phrase when you've identified a grand, but sort of irrelevant, injustice/tragedy?

I was trying to tweet about some cosmic injustices and wanted to describe it better than just saying "unduly sad", or "unfair". Any suggestions? Examples of the emotional state I'm trying to ...
1
vote
2answers
57 views

Using improbable premise(s) to reach a conclusion

Is there a name for a fallacy that involves using an improbable premise or premises to reach a desired conclusion? For example saying (exaggerated to better convey what is meant): "You should always ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

Single word/phase for “if they can do it, why can't I?”

Is there a single word/phrase to describe the personality attribute of "If they can do it, why can't I?" nature. Need this for grounded theory analysis of interviews for my PG. Thanks a lot
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Word/phrase meaning “prepare ahead of time”

Is there a word or phrase meaning "to prepare ahead of time" that is shorter / more cohesive? For example, if I'm working on a recipe, let's say it takes 30 minutes to prepare the ingredients and 20 ...
3
votes
1answer
44 views

What is a word or phrase for a sort of “de facto bias”?

I'm struggling to find the words to convey the concept even now, but perhaps it would make more sense to illustrate by example. Certain communities like Reddit and Quora tend to be liberal-leaning ...
1
vote
2answers
108 views

Nuance of accordingly and request for its equivalent phrase

I'll arrange the schedule accordingly. The situation is I was asked to arrange a schedule to welcome a guest to our office from a US branch and I just got his preferred date and time to visit. I was ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

Variant of the phrase “broad brush strokes”

I'm looking for a phrase that captures the idea that one is dividing material up crudely. The context is a claim that in discussing a certain issue, we only need to make rather crude divisions (or ...
8
votes
5answers
182 views

Word for a person who is challenged to a bet [duplicate]

When I want to challenge my friend to do something (like a bet), what would you call such a person? Challenged person? Challengee? For example: I challenge my friend to kiss a girl and he'll ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

A word for the jealousy and fighting among siblings.

Is thera a word for the fighting among brothers/sisters for attention, importance or whatever. I want to describe the 15-20 years of relationship with my brother as a competition.
2
votes
6answers
102 views

Word for “Deconstructing Something Past Recognition”

Is there a word or term for deconstructing something so much that it becomes unrecognizable? or breaking something down so far that it cannot be built back up again? To give an example, I sometimes ...
1
vote
2answers
83 views

Is there an English equivalent to the Syrian proverb: “Throw meat to the dog, and he'll forget the bread and salt”?

When they throw meat to the dog, he forgets the bread and salt (companionship one had with someone else). This Syrian phrase is said to someone who throws away years of friendship and gregarious ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

What is it called when people use words like ur and u in place of your, and you? [duplicate]

And why do people say it's lazy and bad? Why do people call others stupid for it, when it's intentional and I don't really think its wrong in casual conversations through text (obviously not speech) ...
1
vote
0answers
37 views

What's an expression for “it doesn't matter where you start so long as you end up in the same place”?

Is there an expression for "it doesn't matter where you start so long as you end up in the same place"? The specific context I wish to use this in is in education: saying that it ultimately doesn't ...
5
votes
4answers
111 views

A more mainstream English word for “invoking Poe's Law”

I'm thinking of a definition like this: v. Insincerely acting out or pretending at a set of actions and/or beliefs, often for comedic effect, with such vigor and frequency that the actions or beliefs ...
1
vote
0answers
40 views

The tendency to try to find the answer to questions in one's own mind

What is the tendency of humans to try to find in their own minds the answer to questions they do not know the answer to, called? The tendency that fuels belief in conspiracy theories, and as some ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

Phrase for repeatedly passing something from one person to another? [closed]

Is there a phrase that describes: I got it from him, who got it from another person, who got it from another. I have been discussing such a situation with a friend and am wondering whether ...
3
votes
5answers
139 views

What word describes when a presenter gives unhelpful advice?

I often attend software development conferences where the presenter will instruct the audience 'what' to do, without giving any explanation of 'why', or 'how' they should do it. For example, the ...
5
votes
2answers
130 views

A word or expression to describe photographers, film makers

Hello good people of the English stackexachange, Non-native English speaker here. I'm looking for a category name for people that use cameras (photo or video), drones, different kind of equipment, to ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

“would like to ask” or “would like to invite”? [closed]

When trying to ask someone to write me a recommendation letter politely, shall I use I would like to ask you to... or I would like to invite you to ... ?
0
votes
3answers
92 views

A word or phrase roughly meaning “you are the cause of the problem you try to cure”

I've heard it used in a religious contexts along the lines of They invent the problem which they claim to solve. I know it's also common in marketing, where if I try to sell you a pen, I ask you ...
2
votes
2answers
36 views

It works at the mechanic's [duplicate]

In a common experience, an intermittent issue will frustrate someone for a long time, and then when s/he gets frustrated enough to spend the money and hire a professional, the symptoms of the issue ...
3
votes
1answer
98 views

Is there a term for the people who walk around with their phones in their hand?

Everyday I see them and probably you do too. People, generally under thirty, walking with their phone in hand, quite often with no other visible burden, no wallet, no purse. Presumably they're ready ...
4
votes
2answers
118 views

What are the leading or trailing days on a monthly calendar called?

Example sentence: When looking at the month view of an online calendar, users can toggle visibility of [whatchamacallit] days from adjacent months. When you look at a monthly calendar, and the ...
1
vote
4answers
137 views

What's a word or phrase that means 'take advantage of someone's psychological weaknesses'?

I'm looking for something that's catchy and succinct. 'Exploit' is a good word for 'take advantage of' but it doesn't take into account someone's psychological weaknesses. example sentences: "By ...
6
votes
7answers
2k views

Word or phrase for “Walking by and ignoring someone”?

I am looking if there is any single word or phrase. The context is It’s not the first time when he had duty at gate and someone had ignored him while going their way to the station.
4
votes
3answers
129 views

Single word to describe a single planet and all its moons?

I have a collection of planets around a sun in my game, and each planet can have a set of moons. I'd like to know how to call such a single planet and moons system. This is in distinction to all the ...
8
votes
3answers
584 views

What's the AmE and BrE for “tartaruga”

In Italian the the term "tartaruga" (turtle) is used also to refer to well defined abdominal muscles on the notion that they look like a turtle shell: Is there a slang/colloquial term or short ...
2
votes
4answers
54 views

Idiom to express that there is no more hope for something to happen

Example situation : I have been waiting for the admission results. The result is declared and I don't have my name in it. Still I check every other hour if it has changed to include my name. Then my ...
1
vote
2answers
71 views

A word/phrase for an action, which creates an equal and opposite reaction in another person

I have written the following piece (part fiction, part true story) and need to find a particular word to end the section in a way that makes the meaning clear: I recently witnessed an incident in ...
2
votes
2answers
65 views

The name of this “incredulous” face expression?

A very similar expression to the one I mean can be seen here (the girl at 1:38). Mouth slightly open (upper teeth showing), eyes almost or at least slightly closed, head also slightly tilted to one ...
5
votes
1answer
95 views

Translation of German “Es wird nichts so heiß gegessen, wie es gekocht wird”

A German speaker wrote: As the German saying goes: You never eat the food as hot as it is cooked. This is a literal translation of the proverb, "Es wird nichts so heiß gegessen, wie es gekocht ...
24
votes
14answers
3k views

An idiomatic phrase meaning that you are aware of a coming change based on minor signals you've observed over time

I feel like there's a phrase that people sometimes use in order to indicate that they have been aware of an impending change or event. The phrase draws on the metaphor of a soldier placing his ear to ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

A word for a period covering two years

Specifically the phrase "two years". Just like how you can say two moons for “two months”. I've thought of: "two periods" but that doesn't seem right, and "two seasons" but not quite sure if it is ...
3
votes
5answers
255 views

Phrase similar to pull one's weight

I need a phrase to express gratitude for the additional work on a specific topic someone did while I was busy. I was thinking Thanks to X for pulling a lot of weight doing Y while I was busy but ...
4
votes
3answers
408 views

**The** word for the military action of shooting several targets at once

In the Maersk Alabama hijacking, the seals took three shots at once, killing all three pirates simultaneously. I was watching the reproduction and I remember the analyst naming a specific term. What ...
3
votes
1answer
48 views

politically correct term for “poor man's ___” [duplicate]

I used the term "poor man's ____" to talk about a less expensive but less useful alternative. One of my colleagues called me out that some people might find it offensive. Is there another term I could ...
1
vote
4answers
70 views

How can I write this in a more formal way? [closed]

Is there a formal way to say "from the horse's mouth"?