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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6
votes
3answers
459 views

What is the name of the moment when the detective solves the mystery or realizes who the murderer is?

In many Whodunit mystery stories, there's a scene when the detective (e.g., Hercule Poirot) discovers (or overhears) the final clue (or a phrase another characters says) that makes this detective ...
2
votes
2answers
23k views

How to say “I'm calling to touch base” without using the idiom? [closed]

Is there a common phrase or a word to convey the same meaning?
3
votes
4answers
620 views

Synonym for a pleasurable coming-of-age experience

I’m looking for a word, phrase, or comparison to mean a pleasurable, coming-of-age experience or discovery. Possibly with connotations of surprise or embarrassment. I would really like to be able to ...
7
votes
8answers
5k views

word that means: causing a paradigm shift, new era, revolution

I can't think of the word and it's driving me nuts. I'm looking for a word that can be used when some technology is discovered, way of thinking, or even event happening that causes a big change in ...
8
votes
18answers
34k views

Idiom, word, or expression meaning an easy-to-do task

I am looking for a term, expression, word, or idiom to describe a task as an easy one to do or to go through. What I’d normally say is: Actually it’s not difficult, it’s as easy as drinking a ...
0
votes
4answers
507 views

What is an appropriate word/phrase for the feeling one has when doing something that feels sort of disagreeable, even though it is good

All I can come up with is "it felt so wrong, like using a Coca Cola to take a vitamin" Edit: In that example, it's not so much the idea of "cancelling out" the benefit of the vitamin, it's more doing ...
3
votes
7answers
13k views

Polite phrase to ask for details [closed]

Usually, I send to a client "Cover Letter" with phrase "May I get the details?", if I need to get more information about his project. Suddenly, I have discovered that it is not very polite. And now I ...
0
votes
1answer
4k views

How to express you are quite familiar/a little bit familiar/totally new to a word? [closed]

I'm not a native speaker. I'd like to use three words (or phrases) to describe that somebody is quite familiar with, a little bit familiar with, or totally new to an English word. It will be used in ...
3
votes
1answer
982 views

Word or phrase for multilingual pun/word play

The question is about multilingual jokes or puns, and if there is a word for them in English. Some examples: A German-English friend sometimes says Senkfuss instead of “thank you.” Senkfuss means ...
5
votes
5answers
350 views

Short description of an accomplishment

Sometime in the near future, I will achieve the (dubious) distinction of being "the person who has cast the most votes on questions and answers on StackExchange." I want to add a short statement ...
2
votes
3answers
147 views

Describing the absence of equality or competitiveness

Situation: talking about a president of a country. Only the incumbent one is okay. All other candidates are either too inexperienced or are simply stupid. Question: How to describe this situation? ...
3
votes
3answers
235 views

Expression to describe error’s way

In the context of a computer system, events that fail to go to their destination are redirected to another one through several steps. I’m looking for an expression to describe the way they take. I ...
1
vote
6answers
11k views

What are other ways to say “virtually impossible”?

What are other ways of saying "virtually impossible"?
-1
votes
1answer
657 views

What is the word for one who refuses to capitulate the status quo? [closed]

What are some alternative words/phrases for one who refuses to capitulate the status quo? Similarly question for the capitulators of the status quo. Alternatives I came up with are progrssionalist ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there a word for a person who is not afraid to point out problems even if that means additional work for them?

I am talking about a developer who doesn't turn a blind eye to bugs found by chance, who doesn't treat them as Somebody Else's Problem, but feels responsible for the product as a whole. ...
-2
votes
2answers
145 views

A word or neologism for doing an action together [closed]

This is for a community initiative. I initially thought of pan-action but this would have more to do with the idea of something global or widespread. Also, con-action doesn't sound right with the ...
27
votes
14answers
3k views

Phrase for observing a rule in a malicious way

I know this phrase, but for some reason it is blocked in my mind. What is the term for observing a rule, but doing so in a way that subverts it? I'm almost certain that malicious is one of the words ...
2
votes
2answers
233 views

Avoiding “time-controlledly” as an adverb

I'm currently translating a web site for scheduling software from German to English. So there are many things that this program can do "time-controlledly" (if I translate literally). But this sounds ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Phrase for expressing victory and teasing the opponent [closed]

I'm looking for a slang term that can be used when someone has defeated their opponent and the opponent is speechless and gave up the challenge. So he might want to to brag about how weak the opponent ...
8
votes
6answers
231 views

Summarizing what makes a home a home [closed]

Meta: I considered asking this on WritersSE, but I am less familiar with it. I would not object to a migration. Problem: I want to edit the following sentence so that it is as brief and aesthetically ...
0
votes
6answers
648 views

What is the word for a good work?

I am helping a charity and I need to invite my friends to join in. We're not asking for any money or valuables but just their time for some feedback on few questions. I am struggling at the opening ...
1
vote
3answers
273 views

Word for “the action of making something optimistic”

Is there such a word or concise paraphrase that corresponds? Optimize might have the same root but it obviously doesn't have the same meaning. Is there any verbal form that could fit or does optimism ...
7
votes
1answer
915 views

A word or phrase to express “écrivain engagé”, a committed writer?

I'm looking for an English expression as I'd like to form a special interest group on the international level. In French, the expression is écrivain engagé. This is along the lines of "literature of ...
1
vote
3answers
768 views

How to describe the phenomenon of “small” people being ignored on the Internet

I live by Internet, as both a user and a developer. This dual role gives me a chance to observe. Every time I try to ask something in communities like StackOverflow, I always pick words carefully and ...
-2
votes
2answers
156 views

“I really need some moving on here” - is it correct to say like this? [closed]

How correct it is to say "I really need some moving on here"? Say, you are posting a question on an internet forum, or opening a discussion thread, and want people on forum to get involved in ...
2
votes
4answers
392 views

Can I say “I have some apprehensions”?

Can I say "I have some apprehensions"? Or it should always be in singular. For example, "He seems to be able to walk now, but I have some apprehensions that he can faint at any time" Google search ...
1
vote
5answers
661 views

“He had snaggle teeth” — how to say correctly? [closed]

Is it okay to say "He had snaggle teeth"? Or there is a better way of describing that problem with teeth?
5
votes
4answers
690 views

Term for convincing yourself words are spelled incorrectly?

Sometimes I'll look at a word for too long and I become convinced that it's spelled or pronounced incorrectly. This happens most frequently with "spider" (I think that should be pronounced "spih-dur" ...
2
votes
5answers
471 views

Adjective/adverb for “taboo”

I'm looking for a word or phrase that means something along the lines of "the exhilaration of taboo". Here's the context for what I'm looking for: "It was strange and [blank] to walk around and see ...
6
votes
7answers
22k views

What is the synonym/antonym for “feminist”/“feminism”?

I am looking for a word or phrase that are to men's rights as the words feminist/feminism are to women rights. And will the word or phrase be called a synonym or antonym?
1
vote
1answer
477 views

Proverb about the origin of the English language [closed]

Is there a nice proverb that highlights the foreign (e.g. German and French) origins of the English language? I remember that I've once read something like English is the bastard child of a ...
1
vote
4answers
24k views

Other ways of saying “letting me know” or “telling me about”

I want to say “my advisor has been very helpful, from helping me decide which classes to take to letting me know/telling me about the resources available to me”. I think saying “letting me know” or ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there any alternative expression to “Brace Yourself ”

I have translated an article into English. The author of the original article uses a “Bumpy ride on a plane in a hazardous weather” as an analogy to predict an unfavourable political development in a ...
5
votes
7answers
6k views

Something simple and yet complex…

Is there a phrase or word for a problem that appears simple but is in fact full of complexities? A few situations come to mind: Painting a room Breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend Eating a ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Word or phrase that means to ascertain whether someone is alive or dead

Diagnose comes close to this meaning, but the result of a diagnosis is not usually a binary classification. I'd like a word or phrase that means to determine whether someone is alive or dead, or ...
1
vote
1answer
171 views

Does one say “to ring stupid” or what are appropriate alternatives?

If you want to express that something is true even if it is actually dumb, in German we can say something along So blöd es auch klingt, aber es ist wahr. Literally it's As stupid it also rings, ...
1
vote
3answers
235 views

Is it correct to say “quantitative zeal” to mean an enthusiasm for maths?

If one was wanting to say that someone had a passion/enthusiasm for something like mathematics, can it be said that "they have [a] quantitative zeal" or "they are full of quantitative zeal"? I ...
4
votes
2answers
514 views

Words that define a type of word and also obey that definition [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is a catchy word that means (non-)self-descriptive There are plenty of names for word sets: synonyms: words that have the same meaning palindromes: words that ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

How to say “the project that we are working on” in a short phrase?

I want a short phrase for "the project that we are working on". Could it be "our working-on project"?
2
votes
1answer
240 views

Inverse proportions, but the other way around [closed]

The title sucks, I know... Anyway: As part of a game I'm making, one of the buildings decreases the time it takes to build other things. Like so: At level 0: Full time At level 1: Full time / 2 At ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the adjective of “daughter-in-law” if she is “the wife of my younger son”?

Here, I am confused. I cannot say "younger daughter-in-law" as the order of sons is defined by their age but we can't say that about their wives. So shall I say "my second daughter-in-law"?
2
votes
4answers
120 views

Word usage: Date before

How one can say that a date must happen before other date, for intance: The X starting date should be prior to the Y starting date. Is this sentence idiomatic or there is another way of stating ...
7
votes
8answers
10k views

What is an alternative (more positive) analogy to “beating a dead horse”?

I'm looking for an analogy for my repeated attempts to revive interest in a project. The phrase beating a dead horse almost fits the bill, but a dead horse refers to a subject that is no longer ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

How to suggest contrary solution politely?

Theoretical case: client suggests some non-optimal solution. How to offer another, better solution politely with indirect question? Is it ok to say "Don't you think doing it this way would be more ...
0
votes
1answer
464 views

How to express taking paid time-off in a sentence

I would like to have a sentence to indicate a person is on two days of paid time-off. Could I form a sentence like, "He is on two days paid time off." "He is on paid time off for two days". ...
7
votes
5answers
506 views

How can I properly indicate a “day off” in a tournament using “sports terms”?

When showing a tournament calendar with an odd number of teams, how can I say (in sport terms) to indicate the team that is not playing on a given match day? For example a tournament with five teams ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Expression that means “as soon as something is finished”

I am looking for an expression that means "right after finishing something, start something". For some reason, the words "fresh off the heels" keep springing up but I googled them and it's not an ...
0
votes
2answers
59 views

Everything going on with somebody

If you're continuously posting news about what someone is doing, including their latest projects, is it correct to say (in the description of a fansite, for example): updates on everything going ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

A word for 'something more' or 'missing from life'

I am trying to think of a word, or phrase to describe this feeling. There is something more to my life, something meaning to happen or occur, and I don't know what it is. There is an anticipation of ...
4
votes
2answers
112k views

Can you say “see you then/there” when arranging a meeting?

I am sending an e-mail to a colleague to arrange a meeting. In my e-mail I inform her where and when we can meet, and I would like to end the e-mail by saying something like "See you there" or "See ...