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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5
votes
5answers
2k views

What word or phrase describes pulling a fish out of water?

What would be the fishing word or phrase that describes pulling a fish out of water?
5
votes
7answers
4k views

Words to describe something that does not reach your expectations for it

Which word(s) would you use in a situation such as the one below, to make the sentence sound logical, natural and complete? You told me we were going to a nice park. We've spent almost two hours ...
2
votes
3answers
213 views

Is “revert the damage” possible? If yes, is it too official?

Can "revert damage inflicted" be used in a letter to a friend? Would it sound too official? If yes, what phrase would you use instead of the high-lightened one below? Not only did he type all ...
7
votes
3answers
20k views

Is there a version of brunch for a meal between dinner and lunch?

Brunch has become quite a common word in the English language. Is there a similar word for a meal in place of dinner and lunch? (A phrase will also do).
2
votes
6answers
316 views

How would you name this phenomenon? (about presidents' popularity drop)

Whenever a new president comes, he is always more popular in the beginning than at the end of his term. No matter how good he is and how successful he has been, there will always be more ...
12
votes
12answers
27k views

What is the English word closest to Japanese “Ganbatte,” the word for encouraging people who are in disaster, or challenging a severe ordeal?

In Japan, after experiencing the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake, “Ganbatte” which contains all sense of “Cheer up, Bear up, Keep your chin up, Be courageous, Do your best” became the password of ...
3
votes
10answers
3k views

Better way to indicate “a large amount of ”

A Wikipedia article tells us that: A problem is regarded as inherently difficult if solving the problem requires a large amount of resources, whatever the algorithm used for solving it. What is ...
3
votes
8answers
1k views

What's the more appropriate substitution for “give a f**k/d**n/s**t”

I want a more appropriate phrase that has the same form ("give a **") and meaning as the offensive "give a f**k/d**n/s**t". Is there any?
10
votes
15answers
545 views

Is there a pejorative alternative to “improvise”?

I'm looking for a word or phrase that implies improvisation in a negative context. "Jury rigging" comes to mind, but I'm in need of a term that can't be mistaken as anything but pejorative. The ...
1
vote
2answers
440 views

Is there a phrase for “the first thing I want to see in the morning as I wake up”?

Is there a phrase for "the first thing I want to see in the morning as I wake up"?
4
votes
4answers
116 views

Changing “abroad on permanent accommodation” to sound better

Is it correct to say "to go abroad on permanent accommodation"? It doesn't sound right to me. What's the right way to say that? My pupil has written "some people go abroad on permanent ...
6
votes
5answers
486 views

Short phrase for “things I did (wrote, drew, created, etc) when I was younger”?

What's a one or two word phrase that conveys the meaning "These are some things that I did when I was younger."? The context is a blog that features Writings, Photography, and Artwork. The short ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

What's an adjective to describe the type of writing found in essays?

You might say that writing found in literature is literary; language like that found in poetry is poetic. What do you call writing found in essays, or writing like that found in essays? (Not ...
8
votes
8answers
20k views

What are the metaphorical ways to say that someone has died? [closed]

What are the metaphorical ways to say that someone has died? For example "He has gone to the far country where he will be happy for ages". P.S. There is this question, but it focuses on mentioning ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

How to say I may mislead you again?

How to say I may mislead you again: because of my poor English, in a good manner the responsibility is mine (no need to speak out, just let she surely know this). i.e., I'm afraid of my poor ...
7
votes
7answers
4k views

Another phrase for “dealing with people you wouldn't normally want to deal with but you do”

Has anyone got a nice phrase for "dealing with people you wouldn't normally want to deal with but you do because they perform a function that you would not want to do or are not able to do"? I have ...
5
votes
13answers
10k views

Synonym for “pissed off”

Can anyone help me find a little bit more polite way to say "I am pissed off at you"? I know this is used to show anger or irritation, but this is bit harsh. So, do you have any other option?
3
votes
3answers
2k views

“Passed all exams in the first term”?

How can I say in English that students have passed all of their exams in the shortest period, that is, the first time exams were scheduled (only the first examination term was used)?
2
votes
5answers
2k views

What's the opposite of “Rest In Peace”? [closed]

If you want to express hate about someone that passed away, how would you say that?
1
vote
3answers
1k views

More eloquent word or phrase [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is a less offensive synonym for “retarded”? Can anyone please furnish me with a word, or short phrase, that would eloquently describe a person who has ...
5
votes
6answers
1k views

Can anyone tell me the word or phrase that means 'someone who things are done to'? [closed]

I am looking for a word or phrase for someone who has things done to them and someone who does things to people. I.e. someone with no power and someone who has all the power. Would be really ...
1
vote
2answers
228 views

Names for automatic machines' programs

A machine can be programmed, and different programs can be chosen for different tasks. One such task may be to initialise the machine, while the main purpose of the machine is to manufacture ...
1
vote
4answers
545 views

Expression for “medium difficult”?

In my game, I have three levels of difficulty, each represented by an icon. Of course, each level is also indicated by a word; the icons are there just to spice things up, and as a visual pun. Easy ...
6
votes
10answers
2k views

What would you (negatively) call a person who insists on repaying even a small amount of money?

Let's say you paid for a friend's bus ride, and he insists on paying you back rather than just let it be and stop worrying about it. You even find it rude on his part that he won't just forget about ...
9
votes
8answers
1k views

How to name a 15-minute period?

In Dutch, we have the word "kwartier" to denote a 15-minute period. It is derived from the word "kwart", which means quarter. It is very common to use this word in both spoken and written language. ...
3
votes
4answers
10k views

“Up until that time” sounds awkward — is there a better way to say it?

Maybe I'm having a bad day, but I've just written a sentence similar to this one, and it doesn't read well for me, but I can't think of anything better right now: The task was to build a new ...
4
votes
6answers
2k views

Word to describe an object in continuous cycle that is eventually ejected when it matures

I'm trying to find a word or phrase that best describes the process of an object or entity that enters a continuous cycle until it grows large enough or matures to a point of self-sustainability. ...
-1
votes
2answers
288 views

“Password Reset Mail” or “Reset Password Mail”?

We are working on a web project that has a password reset feature. Now the problem is, between "Password Reset Mail" and "Reset Password Mail", which is better?
0
votes
3answers
599 views

Formulation: “I like to see the beauty in ugly things” [closed]

What would be a good way to express the following: "I like to see the beauty in ugly things"? (This is related to drawings, paintings and photography.)
1
vote
3answers
180 views

High School learning address

I must insert in my curriculum my high school studies. Well, nothing bad with this,unless for a small thing. I attended High School in Italy, My school was not a technical school but what we call a ...
0
votes
3answers
876 views

Enquiry about the bus route

Is this correct? Asking the driver or the another person: Does this bus go (or goes) to X? Do you go to X?
1
vote
3answers
257 views

Asking about the university courses

What is the correct way to ask another person about the course he is doing/pursuing at a college or university? What course are you doing?
11
votes
11answers
1k views

Word or phrase for writing that “reads fast”

Is there a word or phrase to describe technical writing that is quick to read? Some technical writing is so clear and concise, even a novice at the material will find himself flying through it. For ...
5
votes
8answers
2k views

Idiom for saying “You are making someone go mad/angry.”

First, a bit of context. Richard Stallman, father of the free software movement, has struggled all his life trying to explain that the "free" in "free software" is a "free" as in "freedom", not as ...
135
votes
9answers
21k views

Is there a word or phrase for the feeling you get after looking at a word for too long?

(Perhaps this only happens to me, but I doubt it.) Sometimes after looking at a word for a while, I become convinced that it can't possibly be spelled correctly. Even after looking it up, sounding ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How should I phrase “Not only but also..”?

I am writing a sentence like so: "I bought the Dell laptop because not only did I find the price appealing but I also liked the the fact that the laptop had an integrated webcam." Is my use of ...
17
votes
9answers
1k views

Is there any idiomatic expression with the meaning “show all the hidden stuff”?

Which idiomatic phrase can be used to express 'showing all the hidden stuff' (it's supposed that nobody should find that out, some scandal things)?
4
votes
5answers
5k views

Alternatives to “computationally expensive”?

The current version of a sentence I'm writing has the structure: Computing [such and such] is the most computationally expensive part of [algorithm]. At the moment, I cannot think of a better ...
3
votes
3answers
192 views

Better phrasing for “year we started working with [them]”?

I'm making a database, establishing the fields where data is entered. The database stores a list of school systems that our company has worked with. So there's a field for the year we started working ...
3
votes
1answer
310 views

Which of the following two sentences is more correct?

Please help me with next: Which kind of sentence is more correct: a. We decided to present you Jim, Department Manager of Sam, as a contact person for ... b. We decided to present you Jim, ...