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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3answers
3k views

Formal way of saying “when you are in need”

How can I write following in a formal way? It will help you when you are in need. It will help you when it is required. It will help you when needed. It will help you when you required to be helped. ...
1
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3answers
333 views

Satisfying Demand

Certain expressions rely on pairs of words. We have some word-pairs as such: Quench Thirst Sate Hunger Satisfy Desire Satisfy Demand It seems strange to me that satisfy would be used ...
6
votes
3answers
518 views

An idiom/phrase for someone whose opinions must be accepted by other people

(As a follow-up to the question,) Suppose there is a group of people, and suppose in this group opinions and ideas of a specific member of the group is always accepted by other members and they obey ...
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5answers
128 views

A phrase for 'a free, informal space for learning'

What could be a short phrase for 'a free and informal space for learning?'
3
votes
1answer
111 views

What expression are these titles alluding to?

There are two episode titles from two separate shows that are written similarly: From Castle: The mistress always spanks twice From Doc Martin: The GP always rings twice Episode titles are usually ...
3
votes
1answer
569 views

Idiom for “doing something pleasant and useful at the same time” with positive connotation

Is there a phraseme or idiom for "doing something useful (necessary) and pleasant at the same time" with positive connotation? For example - using a bike to get to work and back home is useful ...
2
votes
4answers
335 views

Word for the object of adoration

What would be a word for the object of adoration? E.g., a public speaker, a movie actor or a character in a novel. In short, if I am a fan of X, then X is my __. Please note that the adoration ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

The meaning of “oxymoronic state”

Can the term "oxymoronic state" be paraphrased somehow like "a state of paradoxes?" I know that "paradox" and "oxymoron" are completely different, and I need to translate an article for my thesis, ...
2
votes
3answers
140 views

That 'limp wristed hand thing': how do you write it?

I want the words to describe that gesture in which the forearm is usually held upright, and the hand is allowed to drop-limply(if that clears things up)-at the wrist. The verbal phrase 'wave an airy ...
7
votes
4answers
761 views

Is there a light-hearted word or phrase for a hypochondriac parent?

The title may not be entirely correct.. Is there a word or phrase that describes a mother/father who is overly anxious about their baby's health? Not a word to describe both parents together, a ...
0
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3answers
100 views

Expressions similar to “at the expense of”

I'm struggling to expand my vocabulary. Could you please provide expressions alike to "at the expense of"? Words or phrases are all well-appreciated.
1
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2answers
479 views

Meaning of “yesterday's papers”

What does this phrase mean? It should be an idiom and I can't find it.
10
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1answer
1k views

What is it called when it's snowing with the sun out?

It is currently snowing, but the sun is shining. If it were raining while sunny, I would call that a sun shower. What is the equivalent for snow?
3
votes
3answers
689 views

Is there a word or phrase for giving something to a highly respected person?

I am looking for a better word choice for give when we give something to a highly respected person (or an entity, such as an organization, a government, or a country). The basic sense of the word ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

Statement complementarily reverse to given

Person A stated some noble motives behind actions person B found suspicious. [Person B] answered with very measured words, her smile not quite reaching to her eyes. "If what you claim is true, ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

Conjunction when one element contains another

I write a paper that defines a certain algorithm on geometric shapes. I have a sentence similar to the following: If the input to the algorithm is connected, convex or rectangular, then its output ...
3
votes
1answer
227 views

Term for the state of a deciduous tree during winter?

Normally I live in Australia where winters are quite mild. But right now I've been travelling in Asia and seeing all the trees which look dead but are not, due to it being winter, have got me ...
1
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6answers
1k views

Expression for an 'end-to-end product development process'

I am looking for a single word or a phrase that can effectively describe: the start to end, from-the-ground-up, development of something new. That is, the process of coming up with the idea, ...
0
votes
6answers
2k views

Word for a person who acts like you [closed]

What is the proper word for someone who acts like you, or is doing the same thing you are doing? I was thinking about role playing, but it sounded very out of place.
1
vote
3answers
96 views

Term for providing a rationale for why a concept applies

I am using a concept that was developed for one subject area and applying it to a different area. However, there is a one-to-one correspondence between the objects in the original concept and the ...
1
vote
1answer
913 views

I need a word or a phrase to call someone an idiot, but with good humor [duplicate]

It's so easy to do in a chat room. I just do this: click here. I want to capture that same benign, eye rolling, gently mocking disdain - but I have to stick to small words. An example of an actual ...
2
votes
1answer
115 views

Is there a better name for this than “emphatic and”?

In semi-poetic writing, I have had occasion to deviate from the standard prose list practice (interpose commas or semicolons between items, with an "and" preceding the final item), by utilizing a ...
0
votes
2answers
450 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
170 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
354 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
285 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
525 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
378 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
130 views

Who is watching the watchdog?

I am looking for an expression that conveys the meaning Who is watching the watchdog?
5
votes
8answers
576 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
133 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
92 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
580 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
165 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
167 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
206 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
170 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
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3answers
125 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
172 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
85 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
197 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
507 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" ...
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votes
1answer
75 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
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8answers
9k 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 ...