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
votes
2answers
425 views

What's an expression that means bringing something to where it can be seen or used?

I'm specifically thinking of in a public service context. Say there is a resource that exists but no one knows about it or makes use of it, so instead of waiting for the people to come to the ...
1
vote
1answer
161 views

Is the expression “moderator's set” used in English? What would you call it?

We are talking about a small suitcase which contains different presentation materials like markers, felt pens, post-its, paper in different shapes, laser pointers etc. for convention organization. ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

a better expression for 'percentage divided by 100'

The function f(a,x) returns the value in the array a specified by x, where x is a percentage of the length of the array, divided by 100. (i.e. x can be any number between 0 and 1, corresponding ...
0
votes
2answers
343 views

A word for teasing someone with information they desire

Is there a word (or a better sentence) to describe the following concept: Enticing someone by letting them know you have the information they seek, yet smugly refuse to divulge it.
1
vote
1answer
281 views

How to correctly express an intention to work on a certain day instead of working on another day?

How to say "I will work on Saturday instead of working on Tuesday" in a more natural fashion? I guess the verb will be constructed like "work or make" + "out or off or ?", but what is the exact ...
8
votes
2answers
513 views

Is there a Latin term for the concept of “ad infinitum”, but in reverse?

When someone says that a process happens ad infinitum, it tends to imply that the process happens again and again, carrying on into the future. But how do you talk about something that has been ...
0
votes
2answers
372 views

facial expression of sympathetic pain?

How would you call a facial expression displayed at sight of someone hurting - the kind of involuntary grimace when you imagine just how much it hurt?
0
votes
1answer
127 views

Who is watching the watchdog?

I am looking for an expression that conveys the meaning Who is watching the watchdog?
5
votes
8answers
540 views

A word/phrase to describe implicit expectations between people

I was talking with a chinese friend about the concept of renqing (人情) and the idea that when two people know each other they may develop implicit expectations that they are obligated to help each ...
0
votes
2answers
130 views

Searching for a synonym or an alternate Phrase

I am looking for a synonym or a phrase that means, that after reading a particular thought my perspective / way to look at life has changed in a good manner. Basically this is for my new blog ...
0
votes
3answers
90 views

Expression for some special SQL queries

While I'm not native English speaker, I often need to express myself in English. For a week, I have been searching for a term which represents a kind of SQL query: SELECT something FROM somewhere ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

Synonym for “call bulls--t”

I am writing a column for publication in a widely circulated newspaper, and would like to use a phrase meaning something like "call bullshit". I can't think of one that captures the meaning so ...
2
votes
1answer
525 views

Single name to cover “drawing”, “painting”, “sketching” etc

Is there a single name (word or short phrase) to cover the art of creation of images — drawing, painting, sketching etc. — and specifically excluding sculpture, crafting and other arts that ...
1
vote
1answer
159 views

What's a term for a motivational phrase?

What is a term for a motivational or inspirational phrase that one repeats to oneself? For example, in the movie Cars, Lightning McQueen psychs himself up by saying to himself: "I am speed...I eat ...
0
votes
4answers
165 views

'Someone who hops from idea to idea'

Is there a word or a term used for someone who hops from idea to idea? More specifically, for someone who jumps from idea to idea without ever really completing any of them.
2
votes
4answers
199 views

How to refer on the property of a line which has a sudden change in its direction?

There is sudden (sharp, this means, it's not differentiable at that point) change in the gradient of a line: What is the proper way to refer to it, to not sound too mathematical. For example, "this ...
2
votes
2answers
163 views

Good Job Yourself

Ray: Good Job, Ken! Ken: Good Job, Yourself! "Good Job, Yourself" - is this one of ways to say "you too"?
1
vote
3answers
123 views

Expression for “things we are responsible to share and work out together”?

Is there a word or phrase for "things we are responsible to share and work out together"? For example, we are in a team, so we have to work together and responsibility for every member is the same. ...
0
votes
4answers
163 views

What's a good way to describe “everything”, when that “everything” is very little?

I thought about describing it this way: ...which led to his loss of the little of everything he had. It doesn't sound very nice, and it also sounds like I'm saying that the loss was a "little of ...
1
vote
2answers
82 views

Word for “make a master of”?

I work in Software, and we use "master/slave" as terms. We had one task where we needed to make one software component the "master" of another "slave". The task's name was "Mastering Component X". ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

An American English idiom for “die of happiness”

Is there an American English idiom for Russian "die of/from happiness"? I thought I would die of happiness when I heard this wonderful song!
2
votes
2answers
185 views

Idiom for or more colorful phrasing of “without having their lack of trivia exposed”

I am writing a children's book (8–12) and am looking for an idiom or more colorful language to be used in place of the highlighted section. Now that she’d stumped me, Ms. Sanders, my favorite of ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

another way of saying “being of”

I am looking for a way to replace the word "being" in the phrase "being of poor character". My instructor is very adamant that we not use being unless it is used as a noun. In this particular case, ...
1
vote
2answers
4k views

Words for “a bit sad” and “a bit happy”?

Are there words or other phrases for "a bit sad" and "a bit happy"? Thank you! Edit: I'm sorry for the confusion. I wanted at least two words: one for "a bit sad" and one for "a bit happy". Thanks ...
4
votes
3answers
489 views

A phrase whose meaning is different from a combination of its constituents?

The are phrases whose meaning is not what you would get from combining its constituent words (i.e., they violate the Principle of compositionality). Some are entity names, e.g., "weird science" ...
-1
votes
1answer
73 views

Equality among multiple items?

When I have two items and they are the same, we can say that they possess "equality". Let's say I have three or four items and they are all the same. What do we call the quality that they possess? ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Word meaning you accept someones beliefs without believing in them yourself?

What is a word for when you accept someone else's beliefs, but do not believe in them yourself?
8
votes
8answers
8k views

Word meaning crying, but not crying?

You know when you see something touching and moving and you feel like tears are about to come out of your eyes, yet you're able to barely control it; how do you describe this feeling or state? i.e. I ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

Word to mean “then-current”

I'm searching for a word to indicate something that was current at some time in the past, but not necessarily now. For example: The doctor's report of June 2008 set forth the patient's ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

Single word for “Where are you guys?”

What slang expressions can I use to express "Where are you guys?" in a single word? I am looking for a very short, informal phrase or a single word I could use to ask this question that would still be ...
0
votes
1answer
729 views

Other way of saying “with his/her back facing me.”

Is there another common way of saying: with his/her back facing me? For example: The person was standing in the middle of the clearing, [...back...] me. I don't want to use his/her because I ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

Hanging Bats type of phrase [duplicate]

what kind of phrase is hanging bats in this sentence Hanging Bats populate most of the caves.
4
votes
6answers
696 views

What to call a person with whom you spend time just because?

What to call a person with whom you spend time not because you like them but because you haven't found anyone better? EDIT: I am asking more about a romantic kind of relationship than mere ...
0
votes
2answers
85 views

The right way to talk about my thesis?

Is either of these grammatically and semantically correct? As part of my undergraduate thesis, I undertook a project under ... or I undertook a thesis research project under ... If not, ...
-2
votes
1answer
1k views

A phrase for critically important [closed]

Can you please help me to find an idiom/phrase that would describe something as being of high importance. e.g. These files are ... (critically important).
0
votes
1answer
561 views

How do I say that I am certified in something in a personal statement?

In my personal statement, under the hobbies section, I am highlighting web development. I wrote something like this: Among my hobbies, I find web development to be the most interesting and I ...
2
votes
2answers
272 views

A term for someone who demotivates

What do we call a person who constantly demotivates others? For context: someone who thinks he is so brilliant in English, keeps discouraging me about the questions/answers I post.
10
votes
7answers
2k views

Word or phrase for “seeing meaning where none exists”

Is there a word or a phrase to describe an instance where meaning is ascribed to something where there is no such meaning or where the interpretation is particularly fanciful? For example, when ...
2
votes
4answers
341 views

Alternative to the idiomatic phrase “highway robbery”

I was wondering whether there were any other alternatives to the phrase "highway robbery". I am trying to say the same thing in a light-hearted, but not too casual way.
1
vote
2answers
290 views

What's the phrase for food burning and sticking to the pan?

When cooking neglectfully, food sometimes burns and sticks to the pan (or pot, or whatever one is cooking in). What is this phenomenon called in English? Darn it! The spaghetti <stuck to the ...
2
votes
2answers
448 views

Is “knocking on” an idea an idiom for dismissing the idea? [closed]

For years, I thought I'd heard others say, "I don't mean to knock on your idea, but..."—and it was definitely on, not down, although I've heard knock down as well—but now that I'm looking ...
5
votes
4answers
565 views

What's a good idiom to describe someone who is included in a group only because they have something the group needs

I want a one or two word title for a character who is included in a group only because he is their "ticket" to get where they want to go. "Ticket" is what I'm thinking now but would love another ...
1
vote
1answer
205 views

Word/phrase for when an incorrect approach leads to an unexpectedly great result

Related question on Chinese.SE There is a phrase ("歪打正着" in Chinese and "怪我の功名" in Japanese) which roughly means "do the wrong thing but achieve the right result anyway". Is there a similar ...
0
votes
2answers
70 views

Word for when a date is changed in retelling to a 'more significant' date

I am looking for a word or phrase to describe when a date (or other factual information, but especially dates) is changed in later retelling so that it aligns with some other date that is considered ...
0
votes
1answer
4k views

What is an alternative to the phrase “what you don't know won't hurt you”? [closed]

I am looking for an alternative phrase to replace "what you don't know can't hurt you."
2
votes
6answers
151 views

The word for “professional system” or “task system”

I work with software engineering and in norwegian (I'm from Norway) we have a word, "fagsystem", which refers to a software system/application that is specialized to handle a certain kind of business ...
1
vote
3answers
239 views

If I measure myself am I only measuring my size?

In Italy when people say they measure themselves, they are not only measuring their height, or their waistlines. Instead they are measuring how well they do something in a challenging or difficult ...
0
votes
4answers
4k views

Word or Phrase for the beginning or end of an event or period of time?

I'm looking for a single word to indicate a point in time which is either the beginning or end of an event. Edit, for a better example: A bell rings at the start a round of boxing. A bell rings at ...
5
votes
1answer
171 views

Good expressions to signify extensive analysis

I am looking for a way to communicate in a business context that I am carrying out extensive analysis to get to the bottom of something by synthesizing info and insights from various sources to come ...
0
votes
2answers
115 views

Is the word “radial” in proper usage if I want to describe a star-like structure?

I want to describe a star-like structure as shown in the following figure. In the figure, the center object is surrounded by a number of other objects, and there are rays pointing from the center ...