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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1
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3answers
51 views

Confirming one's interest in a project [closed]

Someone asked me if I am interested in doing a project, I want to answer: "yes!" Is it ok to say this: (I am going to learn from him in this project more than really collaborating) "I like to ...
10
votes
8answers
988 views

Word for people who just comment rather than act on something

Is there any word referring to people who sit and comment rather than act. Example: Reading morning newspaper headline, sad news and discuss over tea rather than act and do something toward it.
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Any alternative to “on the one hand, on the other hand”

I'm writing a formal academic article to introduce some facts. For example: On the one hand, the government would like more energy, but on the other hand, it is not prepared to find more extra ...
7
votes
7answers
682 views

Word/phrase for seeing something for the first time and being impressed

I'm looking for a word that can best describe a thing that you see when you first come to a place, a thing so strange or unusual that you didn't think something like that could exist (or you have been ...
15
votes
7answers
1k views

English equivalent of “a**holes don't have horns”

We have this expression in Hindi slang. Situation: A: "I can't believe he treated me like that. I was stupid to trust him" B: "Don't beat yourself up. How were you supposed to know he would ...
0
votes
3answers
38 views

Alternatives to “Such As” [closed]

It will be more difficult for Bobby to behave well if Peggy is aggressive, such as hitting him or teasing him. What is the right clause, expression or phrase to use instead of such as. That ...
1
vote
4answers
107 views

Rephrase “to the best of my knowledge”

In my master thesis I want to state that I did not find any related work except for one paper. In scientific papers the authors often use the phrase "To the best of our knowledge, ...". However since ...
1
vote
3answers
81 views

Both arguments are correct

I wrote a paper about two opposing arguments. My conclusion was that the two arguments may be correct. Is there an idiom or phrase that means two opposite things may be correct, independent of each ...
0
votes
3answers
150 views

What do you call something that doesn't let you sleep?

Especially a thought. Example: Like last night, I couldn't sleep. This time, however, [...] wasn't my upcoming wedding, but the fact that I was going to get fired tomorrow. So like a ...
0
votes
1answer
85 views

What's a good opposite of 'razor-thin'?

I'm looking for a good opposite of 'razor-thin'. It's got to have an analogy to something that's inherently a thick object. A generic adjective that fits into the template "xxx-thick" would be exactly ...
0
votes
4answers
195 views

What's a metaphor/expression for “confirmation”?

Example: I already knew about what she said. Her words were merely a [...]. I checked Thesaurus but none of the synonyms seem like a metaphor/expression. Maybe go ahead?
0
votes
2answers
71 views

alternate phrase for 'satisfying the thirst'? [closed]

I am trying to compose a poetry. There is a line which goes like this - 'you are like a river that'll satisfy the the thirst of the sea/ocean ' . I want to know if there are alternative phrases for ...
-1
votes
3answers
66 views

alternate phrase for “signing acceptance” in an agreement? [closed]

I need alternate words for "signing your acceptance" in an agreement.
8
votes
10answers
1k views

Phrase for criticism/insults concealed with humor

Passive aggressive people will sometimes veil insulting, critical, derogatory or generally aggressive comments with humor. The patina of humor makes the comment seem like a joke, not to be taken ...
0
votes
3answers
73 views

Synonyms or other ways of saying “once there”?

Example: We went to the roof terrace. Once there, we leaned on the railing and gazed the stars. Thesaurus has synonyms for once, but not for once there. I don't know where else to look. I ...
2
votes
3answers
79 views

Formal alternatives for: “There is not a need”

I am writing a formal technical report and I would like some advice about an expression I want to use. I have a sentence which I want to make more formal: The merit of their approach is that ...
1
vote
4answers
129 views

Word or phrase to describe the “overly feminine” stereotype

While writing up a persona, I am trying to describe a woman who (I say) is confidently female, but not "overly feminine". By this I wish to mean the stereotype of a sophisticated woman who ...
8
votes
5answers
311 views

What's a side remark called when it's meant as something sarcastic or secretive?

What do you call the gesture when someone makes a sarcastic or parenthetical side-comment? It's usually something related to the original comment that's said quietly to someone else, sometimes ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

A more elegant way of writing “attempt to replicate them” for Teaching Statement

I'm writing up my Teaching Statement for an Assistant Professor position in the sciences. Because all I do is read and write science, I have no elegance in my writing at all! I'm trying to make the ...
-1
votes
1answer
29 views

Collective Success over Individual Action

Is there a word or phrase that captures the essence of collective success (as a group or team) over the action or accomplishment of individuals? Could be something borrowed in English from other ...
-1
votes
2answers
57 views

When to use “Do you mind…?” and when “Would you mind…?”

I know that "Would you mind… ?" (the Present Conditional) is more polite than "Do you mind…?" (the Simple Present), and also, that they have to be completed this way: "Do you mind if I do sth?/Would ...
-1
votes
2answers
54 views

word for a person who has shared similar experiences? [duplicate]

I am writing a paper on teaching life writing texts, and I have a section that discusses the benefits to a reader who has gone through the same traumatic experiences as the author of the text. My ...
0
votes
2answers
35 views

Word to describe the occurrence of two adjacent anagrams

If you have two words that are anagrams of each other and are used next to each other, what is that occurrence called? (fee free to correct the way I've phrased the question if it is grammatically ...
1
vote
2answers
28 views

“At peak” without implying it'll never improve again?

If something is currently at it's highest state ever achieved (so the right-most point on a graph would be the highest point) I have a tendency to want to say that it's "at its peak", but as far as I ...
3
votes
4answers
142 views

Phrase to describe a place where people write in a language

There is an expression "X-speaking country", where X is any language. How to describe a place (e.g internet forum) where people write in a language? For example, people usually write in English on ...
3
votes
5answers
112 views

Is there an idiom or set phrase for “pretending not to understand an innuendo”?

You understood perfectly what the other person said but preferred to act as if you hadn't. For any reason: it may be that any reply would be embarrassing, it might start an argument, or would make you ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

Lost In Punctuation

Usually, when a piece of text is translated from one language to some other language, and (due to slightly different idioms, phrases, words, etc.) the end meaning is changed, then it is attributed to ...
1
vote
3answers
50 views

A word or succinct descriptor for someone no longer found physically attractive

I am looking for a word or succinct descriptor for a person whose appearance has changed such that they are no longer found to be physically attractive by the speaker/writer. The ideal answer should ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Idiom that means “to understand a story better by listening to it from the beginning?”

Example: "I think I should I start my story from the beginning. That way you can [...]. Is there any idiom for that? Preferably idioms that evoke something physical, imagery.
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Escorting a guest before saying goodbye as a sign of respect or caring

In the two cases below, what is the host doing to the guest? First example: When you go to someone's home for dinner, after the party, the host walks you out and says goodbye in the street rather ...
0
votes
3answers
73 views

Another word for 'audience'

How else can you refer to an audience, beside as audience, when you mean people who are reading a book? I have thought of: audience readership readers/reader etc To clarify: I want ...
2
votes
5answers
542 views

Word or phrase to describe a couple that is perfect?

What is a good word or phrase for a couple that is perfect? Would that be referred to as a good match, or is there a better choice? Also, is there a word or phrase to describe that when the ...
1
vote
4answers
66 views

Is there a specific term for treating a system as if it had *motives*?

Imagine some complex system that may have a wide variety of possible actions/outputs, and that to some extent may be responsive to its circumstances. I'm trying to find a suitable term (hopefully a ...
14
votes
4answers
399 views

What should we call language that intentionally conveys the opposite of the literal meaning?

This seems to me to be a kind of rhetorical figure, but I cannot find a classical term for it in Silva Rhetoricae. Examples include the following from Tristram Shandy (Vol. 2 Chap. 24): I define a ...
-1
votes
3answers
79 views

Is there a politer way of saying 'don't get you panties in a bunch'? [closed]

I'm from India, and here this phrase is likely to offend people, especially women. I'm looking for a phrase that means 'Don't worry' in a similarly colorful, humorous way. EDIT: I'm looking for a ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

“Correct” way to describe “looking at someone with new eyes” or similar?

I'm not a native English-speaker, so I'm not sure how to "correctly" phrase the following... When you learn something new about a person, than makes you look at him "with new eyes" - and perhaps ...
4
votes
11answers
183 views

What is the perfect word/idiom/phrase for a situation when enforcement of a system is futile?

What is the proper English word for a scenario where a valid/lawful/best thing can not be established because other things are not at their best. For example, you are unable to enforce food hygiene ...
1
vote
1answer
104 views

What is the term for the unpleasant placement of the chair or sofa - in a way that you can be approached from behind?

What is the term for the unpleasant placement of the chair of sofa - in a way that you can be apporached from behind ? I've heard several times that you should place all the sofas and tables that ...
13
votes
11answers
3k views

Are doggie bags still asked for?

Is the term "doggie bag" still used in the US and UK, and is it common to take home what you can't finish? What is the most appropriate way to ask for leftovers at restaurants to take home?
-1
votes
2answers
60 views

The most common way to refer to non-immediate family?

Example: When my mother came back from the island, she came back as a newborn Christian. [...] was shocked, especially since none of them belonged to that religion. (In this case, they refer ...
3
votes
3answers
102 views

What is a phrase for movie theaters that show few-month-old movies at discount rates?

These are theaters that charge maybe $3-$5 for tickets and show movies that are 3-6 months old. I don't know of any that are "big chains" like AMC. I've heard them described as "discount theaters", ...
0
votes
3answers
121 views
0
votes
3answers
37 views

Another way of saying “it doesn't always pay to be right”

Someone was wrong about something. I explained to the person very kindly and with "social tact" how they were wrong and why the right answer was, in fact, the right answer. Subsequently this person ...
20
votes
8answers
2k views

What do you call the wooden bridge-like structures that make up a harbor?

I’m referring to this: https://www.portseattle.org/Marinas/Harbor-Island-Marina/Harbor%20Island%20Large%20Image%20Viewer/Harbor%20Island%20Marina%20110706_06.jpg (I added a red arrow.) Example ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

How else can I say “Mary would be well served by…”

I'm giving feedback/advice to an individual and need to express it in a non-directive, non-prescriptive manner. While it may seem a passive approach, the context is very delicate. An example would ...
0
votes
5answers
54 views

A phrase to describe the idea of 'high literature'?

We have terms like 'high culture' and 'high art'. They are used to describe things deemed of a higher quality, or held in higher esteem, than products of popular culture. We also have terms like 'art ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Which one is better (or correct) expression? “go up 5 percent'” or “go up by 5 percent” [duplicate]

I ran into some curiosity on some expression just like, A) It took me a day to go up 5 percent. B) It took me a day to go up by 5 percent. I think the B is right, but someone is sometimes using the ...
4
votes
2answers
83 views

Term for “brain-watering”

A mouth can water, but what does a brain do? I'm looking for a term that implies intellectual thirst, as when one has worked all day at a mindless task and only wants to read a novel, or essay, or ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

Another word for “A relationship of causality/ cause-effect relationship”

I am not sure if "cause-effect relationship" fits in this context. I have looked for better alternatives but I couldn't find one that fits here: So far, this chapter has provided an analysis of ...
0
votes
2answers
53 views

How do I tell my brother that he needs to wake up early tomorrow? [duplicate]

How do I tell my brother that he needs to wake up early tomorrow? Tomorrow we are having breakfast together. Or Tomorrow we are going to have breakfast together.