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
452 views

Word/ phrase for : 'to uplift/ enhance one's mental level/ creativity/ knowledge' [closed]

I'm looking out for a word or a short phrase(<15 chars.) that somewhat conveys : 'to uplift/ enhance one's mental level/ creativity/ knowledge/ skills'. 'To take one's mental level to the next ...
20
votes
11answers
2k views

Colorful term for someone with a long-overdue library book [closed]

I'm trying to find a humorous term for someone who still has an overdue library book after a number of years. I first came up with "delinquent lendee", but I'm sure there's something more apropos or ...
4
votes
5answers
583 views

Commonly understood term or phrase to distinguish an entire hierarchy of employees in an organisation from the direct team

I have a system where manager can toggle between viewing their direct reports and all the employees who ultimately report to them. High level HR users have a third option of being able to view ...
5
votes
8answers
361 views

How to say one has been accepted directly at a competitive examination?

In France, access to some educational institutions is allowed only after a competitive examination. However, for special achievements, some students may be offered a seat directly, bypassing the ...
9
votes
5answers
828 views

Words describing the pat acceptance of a thought or practice simply because “that's how it's done.”

I believe that several words or phrases exist to describe the practice of thinking in a certain way or performing a certain action simply because "that's how it's always been done." Another way of ...
3
votes
2answers
261 views

What phrase is used for computer scan distortion like in funhouse mirrors?

The Google Books computer optical scan of page 92 of With the yacht and camera in eastern waters, by the 9th Earl of Cavan, exhibits some distortion, probably due to page motion during scan. What is ...
10
votes
5answers
237 views

Time given to fix the problem

In a biblical passage I am studying, I noticed that the accused was given a short span of time in order to fix the problem he had caused. This idea (granting time to correct the situation) is ...
2
votes
3answers
730 views

A better way to say 'every arrow in his quiver'

Is there a better way to say 'every arrow in his quiver'?
15
votes
4answers
494 views

Is there a name for the assumption that people in past ages were less able to reason?

In arguments involving past decisions or tradition, people frequently blow off a claim to tradition by using the (false) assumption that people in days gone by, or even ancient history were less able ...
2
votes
2answers
385 views

How to express this thought in English?

The words in bold in the quote below are meant to express something that I don't know how to put in English. The main idea is that someone is spending too much energy in many different areas thinking ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What do you call moving a word to change a sentence's meaning?

Prosodic stress is stressing different words to change meaning: I didn't take the test yesterday. (Somebody else did.) I didn't take the test yesterday. (I did not take it.) I didn't take the test ...
1
vote
5answers
228 views

What is the equivalent of “dead tree copy” for CDs?

The expression "dead tree copy" is a slightly pejorative way of referring to a (physical) printed book, as opposed to an ebook. I was wondering if there is a similar expression that could be ...
14
votes
5answers
8k views

Term for something that appears complex but is actually very simple

The Japanese have a term for something that appears simple but is actually very complex in detail: Shibui. It should be said that this is only one aspect of Shibui, as with many Japanese ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Word for “food only partially eaten”

Is there a single word to refer to a food item which has been partially eaten or tasted by someone? To elaborate, let's say there is a bowl of noodles on the table, and someone took a spoon of ...
1
vote
3answers
162 views

Image in article

What would you call an image in a newspaper article that appears in the flow of the article with text wrapped around it? For example an article with two columns — on the right column there's an image ...
6
votes
5answers
378 views

How can I express “sacrificing ease for quality” in a common expression?

I'm really having a hard time to even phrase the sentence I'm looking for, sorry! Examples would include: A programmer telling someone he wrote a small piece of code directly in assembly instead of ...
12
votes
13answers
2k views

Asks a question; never responds to answers/comments

What do we call someone who asks a question and never responds to answers/comments? Think of it more as "a pattern of behavior" (somebody who has asked many questions and never responded). I had ...
11
votes
8answers
28k views

Academic way of saying “On the other hand”

I have two paragraphs in my paper, the previous paragraph ends with This shows that TF-IDF is still an important feature for text analysis task and my next paragraph starts with On the ...
6
votes
8answers
1k views

What would you call a person who is not a student, but takes interest in exploring academic topics?

A person who is not formally enrolled as a student, researcher or faculty in some university or college but who takes interest in exploring academic topics/stuff. For e.g. Such a person could be ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

To put more “weight/power” into a conclusion

I am trying to find an expression which would meet my needs. In the report that I am currently writing I would like to explain that I have done a certain action in order to "put more weight/power" ...
8
votes
7answers
4k views

Is there a phrase to say that someone's hidden intentions are revealed in his/her talk or movements?

Is there an English expression to say "Le jupon dépasse" to express the fact that someone's hidden intentions are revealed in his/her talk or movements?
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Feeling of losing one's love [closed]

Suppose I break up with my girlfriend and I still love her very much. And it is impossible for us to resume our relationship. What's the best word or expression that will describe my feeling? I feel ...
2
votes
4answers
588 views

Word for person always after what he does not have and not cherishing what he has [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Term for “constantly unsatisfied soul” Is there a word for a person who is always after what he does not have and does not cherish what he has? If not, any ...
8
votes
7answers
767 views

What do British and American post boxes say when they don't want any advertising?

Advertising leaflets shoved en masse into mail boxes are one of the banes of modern society. In Germany, putting a note saying "Bitte keine Werbung" ("No advertising please") on your box protects ...
-1
votes
1answer
163 views

I don't want to be repetitive. How can I replace 'I teach English' or 'I give lessons in English'? [closed]

I've tried to find some more expressions in dictionaries but with little success... How many examples can you mention to express this activity? Do you know any informal expressions which can be used? ...
4
votes
3answers
20k views

What is a more formal way to say “Don't get me wrong”?

I think the phrase "Don't get me wrong" in conversation means, "I'm about to say something that you might misunderstand, so don't." I'm looking for a similar phrase that sounds better when speaking ...
0
votes
4answers
835 views

Common expression for “frame conditions” for a working concept/process

In German, the common expression "Rahmenbedingungen" (used both as plural and singular) relates, for example, to a set of conditions necessary for a business idea to work out (e.g. low taxes and wages ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a word or an expression that describes the bad mood caused by bad weather?

"Gloomy" comes to my mind naturally for God knows what reason. I'm not sure it's appropriate or not. Maybe some even better words or expressions?
4
votes
6answers
11k views

Phrases that would be similar to “Tip of the Iceberg” but with a positive connotation

I am looking for phrases that would be similar in meaning to 'tip of the iceberg,' but has a positive connotation. My understanding is that 'tip of the iceberg' has a negative "hidden" connotation. ...
4
votes
5answers
534 views

What's a more formal name for a “third” party?

Two parties are trying to resolve some dispute that involves interest of both. Sometimes it's hard for them to reach an agreement on a fair basis. This is typically when another party who has no ...
10
votes
6answers
946 views

term for “finding correct solution by excluding wrong solutions”

In German we have the pretty common term Ausschlussverfahren for this, especially used as a line of reasoning when solving a puzzle/problem. Linguee gives out several options, but imho no coherent and ...
12
votes
5answers
215 views

Is there a word or phrase for 'shared accountability that leads to collective inaction'?

When a group as opposed to an individual is responsible for a job or task, and as a result the task does not get performed because everyone assumes that someone else will do it. Is there a word or ...
3
votes
4answers
289 views

A rude equivalent to a “TV box” term

I am looking for an American English term for a "TV box" as a source of zombification and brain killing. Maybe "boob tube" is the right one? The shorter, the better.
3
votes
1answer
413 views

Request for an idiom (if any) or an expression that describes the following phenomenon

I've been doing some data mining experiments, and something really weird happened one hour ago in the experiment result, and just now something similarly weird happened again. I'm trying to think of ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Term for pleasure or joy obtained on top of others' misery or unhappiness [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: An idiom for deriving pleasure from another's suffering We often experience the following: We feel happy when our fellow classmates get a bad grade and not ...
1
vote
1answer
655 views

Is “by personal circumstances” correct?

I want to say that I can't help to do something because I have some personal needs. Is this a correct sentence? I can't help you by personal circumstances
3
votes
4answers
1k views

What do you call a person who doesn't pay attention to the principles of ergonomics?

How do you say that a person does not pay attention to ergonomics (like at a computer) in a concise way? Options I've come up with include: He does not use ergonomics. He does not follow ...
7
votes
12answers
854 views

Word, phrase, or idiom for minor, annoying, but ignored breakage

My purpose, if it matters, is to help in creating a "short title" as a metaphor for a policy proposal at work. For reasons of cost or convenience, some people ignore small parts that are broken. For ...
3
votes
5answers
4k views

Any other way of saying “blah blah blah”

You might say "blah blah blah" when you're not interested in what'd be said. I sometimes say "whatever" to convey the same idea, which does not share the nice rhythm effect of "blah blah blah". As a ...
4
votes
5answers
3k views

A word for the feeling of falling

What is the word used to describe that feeling you occasionally get while falling? If you don't know the feeling, it feels like the midsection of your gut is becoming numb and is trying to escape out ...
11
votes
13answers
2k views

Is there a word to describe the situation where you call someone and hang up so they call you back?

Is there a word to describe the situation where you call someone and hang up so they call you back? The purpose of this is usually so that they get the calling charges. I was thinking it's kind of ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Word/phrase for parent whose children have grown up and left home [closed]

Is there a single word or phrase that means a parent whose grown-up children are not living with them?
5
votes
1answer
954 views

What are representative examples of exaggerated simile like “I never in a million years thought I’d see this.”?

I found the expression, “I never in a million years thought I’d see this,” in the New York Times’ article (November 9) commenting on pedophiliac harassment scandals of Penn State under the headline, ...
7
votes
7answers
287 views

Is there a concise word or phrase for the action you perform on an option to remove the others?

Say someone is holding a number of items in front of you. What would you call the action you request that they perform to remove all choices but one so that you can examine the item that is left? It ...
2
votes
1answer
377 views

What is the name of a pick-up-sticks or jackstraws pile?

Is there a specific name (a single word or phrase) for the pile, heap, nest, clump, cluster, configuration, stack or arrangement of sticks or shapes used in pick-up-sticks or jackstraws, when piled up ...
20
votes
9answers
16k views

Antonym of “highlight”

What's the opposite of highlight? I don't mean the verb to highlight or to emphasize something, so downplay isn't an option. Instead I'm looking for the opposite of "the highlight of the movie, ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

Is there a phrase to describe two people who love each other, but are too afraid to show it?

"Unrequited love" is usually when one person loves another, but keeps it a secret because it is not reciprocated. Is there a phrase to describe a two-way unrequited love? For example, where two ...
6
votes
5answers
814 views

Is there a word better than “exotic” to describe languages that are little known and little studied but have many speakers?

I'm looking for a word to describe languages which are not easy to study or find books about in Western Europe or North America. On example language, which I'm currently immersed in, is Georgian, ...
26
votes
17answers
15k views

Word/phrase to mean something that just happens once

What is the word/phrase to mean something that just happens once? For example, I have often been told/expected to do this and not to do that. I become aimless and gradually lose the idea of who ...
12
votes
9answers
192k views

Any other good way of saying “Happy Birthday”?

Quite a few of my friends are having their birthdays in the coming weeks. I feel a little awkward posting plain words like "Happy Birthday" on their Facebook pages. I've decided I should come up with ...