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
1answer
96 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
3k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
495 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
15k 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
85 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
655 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
2k 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
630 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 re-...
4
votes
11answers
599 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
200 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 ...
14
votes
11answers
4k 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
602 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
375 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
559 views
0
votes
4answers
171 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
5k 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
2answers
451 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
1k 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
30 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
142 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
208 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
87 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.
0
votes
2answers
148 views

Make someone run out of patience

If you keep trying someone's patience, eventually they will run out of patience and do something to punish you. What is your "negative achievement" called at this stage? You have managed to make some ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

Name for inexhaustive “or”, which doesn't cover all the cases?

Is there a name for a use of "or" that doesn't cover all the cases, such as We could go to the beach, or go climbing ... Where there are more activities than are listed.
0
votes
4answers
377 views

Is there a term to describe a woman that looks at men purely as objects of sex

The term "pig" is colloquially used to describe a man that looks at women purely as objects of sex. Is there such a term that describes a woman that looks at men purely as objects of sex?
-1
votes
1answer
576 views

formal way of asking help & information [closed]

i want to write an email to professor to get an information about result of shortlisted candidates in university. what is formal way to ask him to "let me know".
3
votes
6answers
744 views

A more appropriate phrase regarding a thesis than “putting forward”?

Do I... "put forward a thesis"? "propose a thesis"? "put a thesis forward"? "promote a thesis"? "promote the thesis of X"? "present a thesis"? "raise a thesis"? "postulate"/"theorize"/"speculate"/"...
38
votes
15answers
6k views

Are there English equivalents for “as beautiful as butt inside out”?

There is an old saying in Ukrainian folklore, which literally sounds like “[someone is] as beautiful as ass inside out” (“Гарна як срака навиворіт”). It is used when one wants to point a person's ...
0
votes
4answers
2k views

Need another phrase for fit in (as in a group) [closed]

What other word or words can be used to replace "fit in"? E.g. "I believe I will fit in with your organization."
0
votes
1answer
172 views

Word/phrase like Schadenfreude, but a feeling of comfort or satisfaction?

I am looking for a word or excellent, catchy description for a situation in which a person (A) feels a sense of satisfaction at another (B) having to obey the same rules as them, and the suffering ...
0
votes
1answer
102 views

Looking for concise and precise terms for feedback rating options

I am designing a user reputation system that will be an essential piece of an online marketplace for peer-to-peer item rentals. The user reputation system is based on the collection of feedbacks given ...
0
votes
2answers
185 views

Looking for a shorter term for “Preferred places to meet”

I am working on an online platform (mobile and web apps) that enable item lending/renting between peers. When a user posts an item for rent, he needs to put down his preferred places to meet for item ...
0
votes
3answers
227 views

what will be a good artistic world or phrase for close cooperation for mutual success

what will be a good artistic word or phrase for close cooperation for mutual success.The cooperation of two parties (one with stronger power, second with weaker power, but huge dedication) where each ...
2
votes
3answers
286 views

A novel/book equivalent of the term off-screen

Off-screen can be used to describe events in a movie or tv show. For example, "Harry's father dies off-screen" What term or phrase can I use if I'm talking about events in a book? "Harry's ...
3
votes
4answers
262 views

A linking word that expresses contrast but in a positive context

Is there a linking word that expresses contrast but in a positive way in this sentence, I have thought of ( Fortunately) but am looking for something more formal This fact raises questions as to how ...
-3
votes
1answer
26k views

Is the phrase “Thank you for your effort” is the best way to praise someone for the help he giving me? [closed]

Let's say that I'm doing my daily labor, and it's a pretty hard work in general. And someone offer to help me, without I that asked for it, and surprisingly that person invested in that job a lot more ...
18
votes
9answers
1k views

Giving false information in good faith

Kayla and Rob are good friends, and they also happen to be taking a class together at a community college. The class is very small, so the professor knows all of the students by name. One day, Rob ...
0
votes
1answer
106 views

What words would complete this thought on religion? [closed]

...by the color of his skin or the _____ of his _____. What words would go in the blanks to mean his religion, while still using of his in the phrase to maintain the flow? God of his faith or ...
-1
votes
2answers
171 views

Is there a word in English that essentially means “I” or “we” in formal context?

In Swedish there is a word, "undertecknad", which would refer the author of a piece of text. It is an expression used in formal context when you try to objectify yourself (and avoid saying "I") out of ...
0
votes
4answers
232 views

Another expression for “drinking behavior” or “drinking habits”?

In other words, a member’s drinking behavior is influenced by observing his peers’ drinking behavior. To avoid repetition of drinking in this sentence, I need either one word for ...
0
votes
5answers
4k views

Word that includes laptop, tablet, smartphone etc

What's a word (or phrase) that includes laptops, tablets and cellphones (or similar portable electronic devices that resemble a computer)? I would prefer it to be a short (and intuitive) term. For ...
6
votes
10answers
1k views

To forcefully do something you're not supposed to do

What's the correct verb to say to forcefully do something you are not supposed to do or to attempt acts in the attitude of 'just go for it'? Here, "forcefully" does not necessarily mean physical force....
1
vote
2answers
173 views

Alternatives to “says quickly”? [closed]

What are some alternatives to "says quickly"?
6
votes
6answers
2k views

Is there a simpler or better way of saying “promises that hold no meaning”? [closed]

Is there a simpler or better way of saying "promises that hold no meaning" or "promises without meaning"?
0
votes
3answers
110 views

An alternative way to say “shifting perspectives”?

What would be a good alternative way to say "shifting perspectives", as in the meaning of looking at things in a new way?
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there a word or phrase for walking into a room to get something but then forgetting what you went in there to get?

I'm fairly certain this has happened to all of us at some point: You go into a room to get something, but once you're there, you can't remember what you intended to get. It seems like a specific, ...
22
votes
6answers
4k views

What do we call 'Shakespearean trash-talk'?

A classic example: In the opening scene of Richard II, Henry Bolingbroke and Mowbray seeks the adjudication of the king. They hurl accusations of treachery and cowardliness at each other. They ...
1
vote
3answers
326 views

Opposite of “dive deeper”

"Rise/Ascend shallower" doesn't have quite a nice ring to it. Optimally using two words! Also, I don't necessarily mean by swimming. One should be able to apply the phrase to both swimming creatures ...
13
votes
9answers
2k views

What is an appointment with friends called?

Suppose that my wife and I talk to another couple and set a time to go to the beach with them and spend some with that couple over there. What is this arrangement and its time called? Can it be called ...
1
vote
2answers
100 views

How do describe items where one action was done one more time compared to another action

I have items that can be installed and uninstalled. I have a list that contains all the items that were installed one more time than they were uninstalled. My first guess to describe the list is: "...