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
3answers
126 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
574 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
40 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
63 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
59 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
83 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
246 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
405 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
46 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
67 views

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

Is there a formal way to say "from the horse's mouth"?
0
votes
2answers
86 views

Phrase for “able to concentrate for long periods of time”

I am looking for a word or phrase that describes someone who is able to concentrate and work for long periods of time without taking a break. An example would be a computer programmer who can sit in ...
-1
votes
2answers
41 views

How to paraphrase a 3 step process in one sentence? [closed]

Good day everyone, I have the following sentence: Receive qualified developers, screen by more experienced developers. I want to ensure that the meaning is well understood. This sentence is ...
1
vote
2answers
41 views

How to say that “not watching a movie continuously”?

I feel awkward when I am trying to express this. Sometimes when we watch a movie on a computer, we don't watch it from the beginning to the end. In this case, is there a verb or phrase that native ...
5
votes
4answers
96 views

Idiom for expressing feeling of not willing to talk to a person who always replies in a disrespectful manner?

Is there an idiom for expressing the feeling of not willing to talk to a person who always replies in disdain or have such attitude or replies back in a disrespectful manner?
0
votes
6answers
192 views

A word for stripping someone of something hard-earned [closed]

It is like taking away the fame, wealth or influence of a celebrity. The police ____ Alan Turing. Alan Turing was unfortunately ____.
1
vote
7answers
58 views

Simple phrasing of “free and without restriction”

I'm making a deck-building card game that has a player acquire cards. These cards have costs and requirements for acquiring them, so if the player does not meet the card's requirements or does not ...
0
votes
2answers
131 views

A term for thinking that something will happen in the future because it hasn't happened yet

It can be called a false belief I guess. An example situation would be rolling a die five times and getting every number except six and then believing that the next one will be a six. But in reality ...
5
votes
2answers
51 views

Idioms to say If there is something needed to be done, then do it today?

My friend try to use idioms/parse to express that "If there is something has to be done, then let's do it right now, not postpone to other day." She was trying to use "One of these days is none of ...
0
votes
2answers
37 views

The term for when it is easy to remember things that happened at the start or beginning but not the middle

It is like remembering how we started a thing and finishing it but not those in the middle. An example is a trip taken long ago about which you only remember the start and end or things near to the ...
3
votes
1answer
52 views

A phrase that means “feigning being violated”

There was a recent phrase I can't remember for feigning being violated. I know the word perfidy is sometimes used, but that is not what I am looking for. I remember seeing something on the media and ...
1
vote
4answers
88 views

What do you call “Leave Work” for people regardless of location (in-office vs. from home)

I need to communicate the fact that a co-worker is no longer engaged on a task, normally communicated as below: [Customer], [Coworker] had to leave the office early today, so I'm taking over for ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

Is there a word for weekend/weekday split?

I am trying to present a bunch of data using a number of time period splits. For instance, I can present the data by: Day of Week (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, ...) Month (January, February, ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

Which is more suitable/correct usage: “forget your password?” or “forgot your password?” [duplicate]

As a web developer, this is a question that has bugged me for some time: when providing a way for users to reset their password, which link wording is more suitable or is the "proper" use? "Forget ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

Is it okay to say “two persons in the room”? [closed]

The right way would be "two people in the room" but is that phrase okay too? Thanks and have a great day.
2
votes
1answer
25 views

A result that follows from and is consistent with a theory or logical system

Something that seems not likely to be true because it wasn't justified by deriving it from the axioms and theorems of a logical system is called ad hoc1 Then a statement that isn't ad hoc is ...
5
votes
6answers
95 views

Word or phrase for the act of defending someone who is generally despised

This is my first post in StackExchange. Please do tell if I made any mistakes. I'm looking for a phrase or word that fits this situation: A person (referred as X below) in a community, presumably ...
1
vote
1answer
25 views

Word or phrase that is used to deconstruct another word

I am looking for a word for phrase for when a word (usually a noun) is broken down into "simpler" words. It might also have derogatory undertones but that is not necessary. Example 1: Soccer is just ...
9
votes
8answers
874 views

Word/short phrase for “timespan has not yet started”

Is there a word or short phrase for telling that a timespan has not yet started? In this case, I want to apply it to licenses, which have a timespan within which they are valid. If the current time ...
3
votes
2answers
78 views

Word referring to all letters with the long ē sound [closed]

I read something a while back that defined all letters pronounced- and phonetically ending-with a long /ē/, i.e.: Bee Cee Dee Ee Gee Pee Tee Vee Zee I can no longer find the aforementioned ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

What is the opposite of 'brand new'? [closed]

Is there a phrase that means "very old" but using another adverb instead of "very"? like "brand" in "brand new".
43
votes
16answers
6k views

Is there an expression to indicate the strategy of wearing someone down with numerous small irritations?

I would use rope-a-dope, but it's got connotations of pretending to lose that I don't need. I'm trying to describe the behavior of someone who sends twenty detailed emails a day about various projects,...
2
votes
3answers
69 views

What's it called when someone does his work at client's home

People of some occupations usually do their work at the specifically equipped facilities. For example, you go to the barbershop to get a haircut or you go to the dentist, when you have a tooth pain. ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

Application of this phrase [closed]

Where is this phrase generally used : "in arrears to" meaning indebted to . I am eager to know its usage . Is it just used in context with Banking or in common use also.please provide reference ...
5
votes
4answers
147 views

Is there an English equivalent of the Portuguese saying “Seven dogs to a bone”?

Is there an English equivalent of the Portuguese saying “Seven dogs to a single bone”? Sorry for not including the detailed meaning of the expression. “Seven dogs to a single bone” is the literal ...
27
votes
7answers
3k views

English equivalent to “a small fruit in an elephant's mouth”

In the Indian language of Malayalam, there's a saying "Aana vayil ambazhanga", which literally translates to: A small fruit in an elephant's mouth. It means: Having too small an amount for ...
1
vote
0answers
28 views

How to communicate two elements of different syntactic/semantic type in the same sentence?

I have the following sentence, NAME is a community that helps each other code better by rating each other's efforts and helps managers pair with other fellow developers I was suggested by the ...
1
vote
2answers
29 views

A word for pushing/pulling something long down like pulling a level (down)? [on hold]

A silly example: A stick sticks up on an apple. I pull it down like pulling a lever, splitting the apple in half. What word or phrase should I use to describe that action?
1
vote
2answers
33 views

Bring someone back (down) to earth?

I thought that the idiom, "bring someone back/down to earth", meant taking someone off a pedestal, and seeing them for who they really are. For example: She needs to bring him down to earth and ...
1
vote
4answers
53 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 ...
17
votes
6answers
3k 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
70 views

Word for non-community college [closed]

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?
17
votes
18answers
4k 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
65 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
58 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
50 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, ...
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
vote
3answers
128 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
67 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 thing/...