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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1
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6answers
2k views

What is an expression, phrase, or word that describes service being fast?

Basically, I want to say this: I went to that place for brunch with my girlfriend last weekend, the service was pretty fast, and the food was good too. I want to say that the service was good in ...
-4
votes
2answers
3k views

Alternative idioms to “to put the whole matter into a nutshell”?

I need some alternatives to introduce summarization on the final paragraph of non-technical chapters or longer blog articles. Known terms like summary often sound a bit technical to me...
2
votes
2answers
630 views

Alternative phrase/term for 'middle men'

I head up a support team. In some situations I refer to some issues where support act as 'middle men' between the clients and the developers. This seems sexist (females in the team), but I cannot ...
2
votes
2answers
915 views

What is the proper name of a “line account”?

I've come across having to translate the Danish word "stregregnskab" to English. The direct translation would be "line account", but I seem to recall there being a proper name for this sort of ...
2
votes
1answer
263 views

Phrase that means “untranslated, in its original language”

I'm looking for a phrase that will allow me to say things like this: Having learned English allowed me to read more books [in their original language].
0
votes
3answers
4k views

Is it 'buy-in to', 'buy into', or 'buy in to' in the following sentence

"I don't understand why people <insert words here> products that have a reputation of hardware failures." What is the correct way to form this sentence?
2
votes
3answers
376 views

To clarify a murky concept without explaining completely

Some concepts are just too difficult to be fully understood. Take for example the multivariate causes of the recent recession: who among us can honestly say that he or she grasps the situation ...
2
votes
3answers
476 views

Word or phrase for the state in the morning after drunkenness

I am looking for the (slang) phrase or equivalent of the word drunkenness which contains the word dog. I mean the state of someone in the morning after the hard drunkenness.
0
votes
4answers
2k views

Equivalent of “Man up” for a female [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Gender-neutral equivalent for “Take it like a man” Does this make sense? For instance: "John, just man up and get on with it". You can't say this to a ...
26
votes
14answers
20k views

What is a word/idiom for 'unable to decide'?

Let's say I have an important decision to make and I can't decide between two competing things (like break up with a girl or not break up with her). What would be a word/idiom to express that?
-2
votes
2answers
441 views

Is there a technical term for what creationists call “macroevolution”? [closed]

The term macroevolution is often abused (see the section "Misuse" in the Wikipedia article) by creationists who are referencing the Biblical concept of immutable "kinds" of animals. Is there a word ...
4
votes
3answers
442 views

What does “it tastes like horspy” mean?

I heard an expression today but I did not know how it is written or what it is. And I could not find it with Google. It's something like: it tastes like horspy Any pointers?
2
votes
4answers
416 views

Synonym or short phrase for 'entablature'

I am not sure if this word has multiple meanings, but I am using it in an architectural context. Classical orders have distinctive columns with distinctive capitals. However, when I say each style ...
2
votes
4answers
4k views

Word, idiom or expression to describe feeling full (after eating)

For example: I like how you conveniently informed us after most of us had eaten already and we are [feeling full]. The phrase in brackets sounds unnatural to me. Would you suggest how to ...
4
votes
3answers
337 views

“The me of the past”

When talking about one's self in the past, is "the me of the past" grammatically correct? I'm trying to make a sentence like this: The me of the past who was popular with girls, I'm jealous of ...
2
votes
2answers
58 views

The phrase “were strong from”

I want to make a sentence like the following: His arms were strong from lifting weights. I'm not sure if it's grammatically correct though. When I googled "were strong from" only 3 pages came ...
3
votes
4answers
543 views

What expression ironically says that something new is better or improved?

In French, we have the Expression X lave plus blanc which translates word for word as X washes whiter. It comes from old TV advertisements where it was the typical argument to show that a new laundry ...
1
vote
5answers
379 views

Is this phrase “now processing..don't terminate this program” correct? [closed]

I'm developing an application in English, but I'm not a native English speaker, so it's hard to put some English phrases in my app. The following message will appear when my program is processing, so ...
2
votes
3answers
96 views

A Semi-Independent Chapter (of an organization)

I have a chapter of an organization that would like to position itself as less strongly affiliated with the parent organization. They want to be under the umbrella but not as consolidated as full ...
3
votes
5answers
330 views

A term for a “clean” win

I'm looking for a sports-related term in English, that means that one side had won without the other side having scored a single point, e.g. 1:0 or 5:0. Is it "a clean win", or does a clean win mean ...
2
votes
1answer
362 views

Need alternative to “brave smile”

I need to describe someone giving "a brave smile" (for the benefit of others) but that phrase is such a cliche. Is there an alternative that means the same? S.
3
votes
5answers
2k views

“What were you thinking…”

I want to ask about what emotion motivated someone to do something. Can the phrase "what were you thinking when you..." be used for this? It seems kind of unnatural to ask, "what were you feeling when ...
15
votes
12answers
25k views

Is there a term to describe speech that has a hidden meaning but is not sarcastic?

I want to describe how someone is saying something but hidden behind their words they are blaming the person they are talking to. It's kind of like sarcasm but not quite as strong. With sarcasm the ...
2
votes
3answers
304 views

Phrase about movie stars

Is there a phrase about those movie stars who are just good-looking but mediocre acting and those maybe not so good-looking (compare with those good-looking ones) but amazing skilled acting movie ...
0
votes
5answers
463 views

What's a short phrase meaning “visited and ascended” (e.g. a tower)?

Is there a short and clear word or phrase, that is not pretentious-sounding, meaning "visited and ascended", as in buildings, e.g. Bert visited the lobby of Empire State Building, but Ernie went up to ...
1
vote
7answers
27k views

What is the expression to suggest a few dates and times to meet?

Let's say a friend of mine tells me the following: Nice! Let’s meet up for a drink this week. And I want to say, "Sure let's do it. I will propose a few ..., and you tell me if either of them ...
0
votes
1answer
160 views

“Had changed destiny”

I want to write something that means the same thing as "had changed destiny." I was going to use those words, but something didn't seem right. I googled that phrase, and came up with only one thing. ...
1
vote
2answers
160 views

word/phrase for initial set of data or givens

I'm searching for a neutral phrase that conveys the concept of the initial condition/situation/position/set of givens or factors impacting an outcome. For example, the idea of a 'headstart' conveys an ...
2
votes
2answers
338 views

A word for “to be completely invisible except to those who have been chosen”

I have searched everywhere, but I cannot find a word or two words that define the following: To be completely invisible except to those who have been chosen. Basically, I am in search of a word ...
7
votes
2answers
503 views

How to convey to someone that food is losing heat?

The story is that I want someone to come earlier to the dining table as food is hot now but in ten minutes it would not be. How in American English can I say to someone to come early, as food on the ...
51
votes
10answers
2k views

Is there an English phrase for an inability to actually *leave* already?

There is a Hungarian expression, küszöbgörcs, which literally means "threshold-cramp", and is used to describe that long conversation you have in the entryway, with all the guests awkwardly holding ...
3
votes
3answers
380 views

What is the word or phrase of the relationship between an account and a bank?

I am looking to describe the relationship between a bank account (such as a checking account, a loan, etc.) to a bank or other financial institution. Right now, I am using is conducted by, as in ...
2
votes
2answers
309 views

what's the phrase for “I don't want to be reliant on someone else”

I remember that there is a phrase with the word whims that goes about like this: "I don't want to be reliant on someone else" Does anyone know what that phrase is?
10
votes
12answers
13k views

What's a more professional term than 'blow your mind'?

I'm looking for a phrase that describes the experience of limits, preconceptions and world-views being challenged, exceeded and revised. I convey this if I say something "blew my mind", but there is a ...
6
votes
5answers
9k views

Phrase for asking the obvious

In my language when a question is asking something really obvious we are using a phrase that if translated means: What is making a "meow meow" sound on the roof/rooftop? Is there an equivalent ...
2
votes
3answers
221 views

What should I call this kind of animation?

On opening this link you will see a car that has a kind of glowing bulb on it. I am talking to my client and we both are not good in English. I have to find this kind of animation from a search ...
7
votes
9answers
3k views

Is there an English word meaning “snacks eaten as an accompaniment while drinking alcohol”?

I'm currently travelling in Korea and Japan and learned that both languages have words specifically for snacks that accompany alcoholic drinks, or at least go with beer and spirits such as sake or ...
12
votes
7answers
1k views

Gender-neutral equivalent for “Take it like a man”

I'd like to find some gender-neutral equivalents of the phrase Take it like a man I'm not looking only for existing phrases -- any interesting ideas for expressing the sentiment "be tough", ...
17
votes
10answers
2k views

What is a synonym for “superstition” but without the negative connotation?

In my native language (Latvian) there is a word that denotes a superstition, but in a more positive way, somehow. It’s hard to explain, so let me give some examples: If you swing on the swings a ...
3
votes
2answers
275 views

What is a concise word or phrasing for “in a context without a user”?

I'm looking for a concise word or phrasing for "in a context without a user"? This is obviously in the context of software. More generally, what is a concise way of saying, "in a context without X ...
5
votes
3answers
618 views

Better phrase for “taking care of one's responsbilities”

I am constantly talking to my kids about taking care of their responsibilities. Sometimes, in the heat of an emotional lecturing, I shorten it to "meet your responsibilites," in the sense that one can ...
2
votes
3answers
508 views

What is a symbol [an expression or idiom] for a word of great length in English?

Is there any symbol [expression, figure of speech, metaphor] for something long in length in English? for example, in Persian we say for a long word: "the letters are set like train" train ...
0
votes
4answers
282 views

“Question and Answers” equivalent when it's not a question

There is a common phrase, "Questions and Answers", also known as Q&A. If you have a viewpoint. opinion, idea, statement, or a thought etc., what phrase would represent it and the response the ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Equivalents for “She's got a lovely singing voice”

She's got a lovely singing voice. I'm sure they're a lot of other ways to say someone's singing voice is good. How do you restate the above sentence? I'm looking for any equivalent sentences ...
3
votes
6answers
861 views

What's earlier than an early bird?

The term early bird is well known. What's a similarly well known thing that is earlier than an early bird? Edit: the worm, of course! But I'm particularly looking for an improvement on the bird, ...
1
vote
6answers
3k views

British and American slang words for immigrants?

What slang words or phrases do British/American English speakers use for (poor) immigrants?
8
votes
6answers
790 views

Is there an aphorism for doing a self-defeating act?

Is there a witty turn of phrase that indicates one's performing an act that, in its doing, undermines, contravenes, or obviates itself? This question relates to a similar idea, but I have it in my ...
19
votes
6answers
7k views

What do you call those divisions of a book bigger than a paragraph but smaller than a chapter?

In printed books, or at least in novels, there are often major breaks within a chapter more important than paragraphs. Often they are separated by a greater amount of whitespace than paragraphs and ...
9
votes
7answers
687 views

What is the word for when members of the same group attack each other?

I've noticed this in a few South Park episodes, so that's what I'd like to give an example from. I'm sure other artists have depicted something similar. Note that I'm not necessarily agreeing with ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Answer to “enjoy your meal”

When you're having lunch and you see someone he can say "enjoy your meal", "bon appétit" or "enjoy". I can answer him by saying "thank you", for instance. But for example in Spanish we usually say a ...