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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3
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4answers
441 views

Relationship Questions

What is it called when you're living with your boyfriend/girlfriend but you are not married yet? What is it called when a couple decides they don't want to get married but plays the role of a married ...
35
votes
15answers
5k views

What is the equivalent of Persian idiom “When the reed blooms”?

In Persian, we say "When the reed blooms" when we want to express that an event: Never happens. (This is only the opinion of the speaker so it's not a fact) It's very unlikely to happen. It's going ...
3
votes
3answers
69 views

Is there a term for when an illness itself prevents the patient from obtaining a cure?

A challenge to curing patients is that sometimes the illness itself prevents a patient from taking a cure. Some examples: Depression - lack of motivation and negative thinking prevent the patient ...
11
votes
10answers
1k views

Looking for a word to describe ineffectual people who would like to be effective

I need to create names for four categories of people - people who score either high or low on measures of environmental concern and pro-environmental behaviour. I have three sorted so far: High ...
1
vote
5answers
151 views

To win by a lot

The Football players were magnanimous enough to compliment their opponents, even though they won _______. Is there a word or phrase that falls along the lines of "windfall", or shows that the ...
1
vote
1answer
32 views

A phrase for selecting multiple options with mouse button down

In a desktop application or a website we may have a UI element called multiple select. The user may select multiple options by holding the mouse button down, like so: Is there a word or a phrase ...
4
votes
9answers
504 views

Word or Phrase for someone who pushes others to their full potential

I'm looking for a positive word/phrase, preferably something in common usage, that can be used to compliment someone (a professor in this instance) who pushes others (students) to achieve their full ...
5
votes
7answers
1k views

What is it called when you end up preparing for something and then it doesn't happen because you prepared?

For example, if you bring your umbrella with you 6/7 days of the week, and it does not rain - and then on the 7th day, you end up not bringing it with you, and it rains because you did not have your ...
58
votes
10answers
7k views

What do you call a minor flaw in a work that makes you realize how perfect/flawless it is otherwise?

For example, I was listening to an audio book the other day and the author mispronounced a word which got the audience laughing. Until that point, I didn't even know that there was an audience and ...
3
votes
2answers
78 views

Saying for “don't talk about things you don't understand”

Is there a (relatively) common phrase, preferably using a metaphor, which means one should not talk about things one does not really understand? I have the impression of some such phrase floating ...
0
votes
2answers
66 views

Phrase for inventory movement [closed]

I'm looking for a phrase that describes the in-and-outs (purchase and sale) of inventory items, kind of like an account statement for bank accounts. Some phrases that I thought about are 'inventory ...
6
votes
6answers
75 views

A non-geographically connotated phrase to express “too localized”

Background (may be skipped): Over on Crypto.SE we're currently reforming our custom close reasons and as a result of this, we want to create a close reason that captures both "request to analyze a ...
0
votes
0answers
52 views

Using -rich suffix

I have to following example phrase: A movie, rich with effects Now I'd like transform it using the "-rich" suffix: Effect-rich movie At first, does such phrase sound natural? If no, is ...
0
votes
2answers
46 views

Colloquial term for a scam business

There are many disreputable businesses that operate on the idea that you pay them for the privilege of trying to sell their product(s). Is there a common term for this kind of scam; one that could be ...
1
vote
5answers
90 views

Phrase to describe the state of horror/fear within a country

I am writing a paper on terrorism throughout social media, yet I cannot find a way to phrase the state of horror within a country. My sentence is as follows, "Terrorist attacks are detrimental to ...
0
votes
0answers
62 views

Common name for rear and front [duplicate]

A car has two sides, left side and right side. Is there a similar term that can be used for rear and front together, if I'm not particularly interested which one is talked about?
59
votes
21answers
22k views

What is the word for always YES (100%) or always NO (0%), never in-between

For example: 1) In statistics, this attribute will always either be 0% or 100%, never in-between. 2) The boundary is either safe or destroyed, because there is never a state where it is only ...
-3
votes
2answers
97 views

If I'm a sophomore in high school, what Year would I be? [closed]

I'm trying to sign up for UCAS, but I don't know what to put for the Year (Year One, Year Two, all through to "Post 19".) What do you call the years for high school students?
1
vote
1answer
72 views

What do you call the second chunk of an address?

Say I have an address like: 123 Main St., Bldg. #456 Schenectady, NY, 12345 I know the chunk I put on first line is called the "Street Address", but what is the chunk I put on the second line ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

Word/term for tutorial materials

We're working on some type of e-learning system in which users will be provided with tutorials and exercises. To title the tutorial materials, I was looking for an appropriate term/word but I could ...
5
votes
3answers
124 views

Xylophone-like, piano-like, and violin-like

Is there a word or expression for a musical instrument which, like a xylophone or a set of bells, has set pitches (fixed frequencies) that no one can change or adjust (except by some extraordinary ...
2
votes
4answers
122 views

Which english phrase means to work very hard for a short time, and then coast on the results? [closed]

There is a two-word or three-word English phrase, whose third word may be "coast", that means a style of work / living in which one works very hard and then lives off the efforts of the work for a ...
4
votes
5answers
124 views

Phrase to describe the “act of sharing an opinion”

I am writing a research paper on the use of social media for the purpose of terrorism. For one of my supporting statements, I am attempting to describe how social media connects users with similar ...
0
votes
4answers
78 views

How to answer back properly [closed]

I would like to reply to a message that says, "I hope you are doing well," and I want to return the acknowledgement.  Is it acceptable to reply, "I hope you are doing well, as well?"
7
votes
10answers
1k views

Colorful idiom/phrase equivalent to French “s'en fourrer jusque là/plein la panse”

Is there an expression/idiom in English that comes anywhere close in flavor to the colorful French expression, s'en mettre (or fourrer or foutre) jusque là s'en mettre (or fourrer or foutre) ...
52
votes
11answers
7k views

What is this method of joking about a morbid situation called?

What word or phrase could be used to describe a joke about something serious or bad? It isn't meant as humor in the typical sense, but as sort of a brave, different flavor of humor between two ...
13
votes
11answers
637 views

Word for stealing an item then returning it without the owner's knowledge?

Does there exists a specific word to describe the action of stealing an item, keeping it for few days then returning it from where it was taken? An example: A friend of mine "lost" his personal diary ...
-2
votes
1answer
66 views

What is the right way to say: “I like this author's writing style” [closed]

I am not a native English speaker and have a difficult time putting this idea into one sentence. I read one research paper and I really enjoy his writing style. How can I say that in one sentence? ...
1
vote
2answers
71 views

A simple word or phrase that describes a non-conflict “day in the life” story introduction

I tell my students that I want their stories to start out as normal "day in the life" explorations of the world they're writing about. I'd like to find a better way of saying that. I'm not looking for ...
2
votes
3answers
85 views

Word for feeling for movie characters

I watch many movies these days, and I often feel happy when the main character gets what they want in the end or sad otherwise. Is there an adjective to describe this? It appears to me that vicarious ...
6
votes
3answers
109 views

Ironic phrase for something becoming more complicated specifically because of efforts to 'simplify' it?

My linguistic skills fail me and I'd like some advice. I have a project that currently works exactly as intended, short and sweet, yet a higher up has changed their mind and are asking for it to be ...
10
votes
10answers
3k views

Is there an idiom like the Russian's “Untilled field”?

"Непаханое поле" - a [big] amount of undone work. Updated example: a kid is leisurely watching TV while there a lot of undone homework (which he hasn't even started). Note: the example below is ...
1
vote
2answers
59 views

How do I describe a person who is consistently attentive?

I was trying to compare two coworkers work habits. One is a sprinter, he works hard for months at a time but eventually gets bored with projects that go longer than a few months. The other is a ...
4
votes
4answers
138 views

Word/phrase for a non-secret secret identity

I've been following the TV-show "Lucifer", a show about The Devil leaving Hell and opening a nightclub i LA. Here he starts working with a detective. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4bF_quwNtw He ...
6
votes
3answers
61 views

How can we say “I see my dreams not happening”

I want to say that I can see my dreams falling apart. Is it correct? I mean to say that the things I want to do (or happen) in the future seem to be impossible.. How can I say it?
1
vote
0answers
36 views

How to reformulate 'honor the data'

I have written sentence like this The resulting property models from cooperative inversion honor the geophysical data My Professor wants me to reformulate the sentence, in particular he raised a ...
4
votes
3answers
104 views

English equivalent of Polish saying “The truth is like an ass, each has its own”

I'm looking for English equivalent of coloqiual but popular Polish saying "Racja jest jak dupa, każdy ma własną" that literally means "The truth is like an ass, each has its own". Explanation This ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

Word or phrase to describe a sense of (living) community?

The word or phrase should bring the idea of living community to mind. It should be able to be applied to computer systems, as well. In my head, it should be something like ecosystem, which is ...
3
votes
2answers
41 views

Short phrase for providing and taking care of technical aspects of an event

I'm translating a local company site into English and I'm struggling to find a nice and compact way to describe one of the company's services. Basically, if you are an organizer of an event of some ...
24
votes
9answers
2k views

How do you describe these animals' action/ state before attacking their prey?

Some animals like tigers, lions, cats, etc do this action before attacking their prey suddenly and unexpectedly. In fact they seem waiting insidiously (?) until the appropriate moment for attacking ...
15
votes
11answers
2k views

An idiomatic alternative to “familiar with the matter”

The common expression "familiar with the matter" is generally used to refer to people who have information that is not yet available to the public and is to be confirmed. Google Books For ...
8
votes
3answers
73 views

Word for a non-politician who commits crimes against humanity

I am looking for a word or phrase to communicate someone who has committed what amounts to crimes against humanity, but who is not a politician or a soldier or military leader. I want to describe ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

A word or phrase to describe the act of annoying someone by staying close to them and repeating something [closed]

How do you describe it when someone annoys you by repeating something (a favor, question, etc.) over and over and standing near you all the time? I thought of "to breath down one's neck", which means ...
4
votes
7answers
139 views

Is there an idiom/proverb in English to denote unfair discrimination?

In Tamil, we have a proverb that roughly translates into English as If the mother-in-law breaks the pot, it is just clay . But if the daughter-in-law breaks the pot, it is made of gold! ...
22
votes
13answers
3k views

Name for “having no concern about the truthfulness of one’s own remarks”

Take the following statement: I hate the ease with which X makes disparaging remarks about their rivals without the least concern as to whether they are truthful or fair. Now I would like a word ...
2
votes
2answers
36 views

Showing repetition with some interval

I want to say that in a plot, not all the points are drawn. Instead we draw some of them with a specific interval (k). For example, with k=3, points 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, etc. are drawn. I think that for ...
0
votes
1answer
85 views

English equivalent of Polish saying “Uncle replaced hatchet with stick”

Consider another nice Polish saying "Zamienił stryjek siekierkę na kijek" that literally means "Uncle replaced hatchet with stick" but I managed to form it into a little rhyme just like in Polish (I ...
1
vote
2answers
146 views

Word for blaming all problems on one cause?

I'm not quite sure what the word I'm looking for is, but I think it would be something along the lines of stupid and unoriginal. For example, let's say a man frequently gets into arguments with his ...
8
votes
4answers
734 views

What is the expression for rules that are typically flouted?

I seem to remember that it involves the word "observe", but I can neither recall it nor find it in a thesaurus.
5
votes
5answers
642 views

What is the word for working hard to “take the concerns of someone away”?

I have someone who is concerned about my lack of experience on the job I might be hired to do. How can I reply back saying that I will work hard to "get rid of their concerns" or "make these concerns ...