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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2answers
154 views

How to express “some place for children to play in restaurant or other public”?

I found some translations but am not sure if there are better and shorter alternatives: "children playground" — I am thinking about a small place inside, not a large playground; "corner for ...
0
votes
4answers
415 views

A word to express “removing some parts of history from history books by authorities”

In some countries some parts of history books of students have been removed by authorities of the time. For example, it has happened for Achaemenid Empire (a part of ancient Iran history) 2 years ago ...
1
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4answers
1k views

Is there a word which describes the experience of not being able to comprehend new sensory input?

Is there a word which describes the experience of not being able to comprehend new sensory input? Specifically, I am trying to find a word which describes my experience whenever I listen to a new ...
-1
votes
1answer
229 views

Is “I need to deposit my checks” correct? [closed]

I haves a few checks and I want put them into my bank account. What's the approriate and natural sentence to describe my intention at a counter? Is "I need to deposit my checks" correct? What is ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

“Trust arrives walking and departs riding.”

That is the translation (provided by Wikiquote) of the Dutch proverb "Vertrouwen komt te voet en vertrekt te paard." I don't like this translation very much for conversational use. It doesn't "feel" ...
2
votes
1answer
496 views

Does a truism need to be true to be a truism?

I frequently hear people quoting widely-used idioms or proverbs as if they are fact, simply because they are used frequently by many people. For example, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." Can ...
1
vote
2answers
44 views

A term for non-player targetted information

I'm looking for a term that would describe the information that is not supposed to be known by players, not essential for their gaming experience. Like a game object (or feature) that isn't actually ...
2
votes
6answers
241 views

What is a term that means “to force into a particular form”?

I'm looking for a term that describes "forcing into a particular form", "forcing into looking like something else", or even "forcefully fitting into a category" Ex: "We (word) the ...
1
vote
6answers
5k views

Polite/professional alternative to 'It turns out'

I have been tasked with coming up with a nicer phrase to use than 'It turns out'. It is to be used in situations like the below: 'It turns out' that we cannot... 'It turns out' that we ...
-1
votes
3answers
864 views

Phrase similar to “friend or foe”. I want to the reader to ask themselves the question [closed]

I am looking for a phrase similar to the phrase "friend or foe". I have come up with "help or hindrance" but I am hoping you might come up with something else. edit - I am writing an article on ...
2
votes
5answers
471 views

Expression for “resource paralysis” - can't do anything because you have too much?

Is there any word, expression or proverb for the condition or state where you can't do anything because you have too much? I have heard a professor of English refer to this as "resource paralysis" ...
5
votes
1answer
550 views

An event that occurs only once

What do you call an event that occurs only once in its environment? For instance, birth and death are two events that occur only once in the lifetime of a living thing. I am looking for a word or ...
-1
votes
1answer
183 views

Can I say 'I feel connected' when I think a movie tells my story?

Recently I saw a movie that tells a story very similar to mine. I wanted to tell my friends about it and said 'I felt connected'. They doubted if that is the right word to use, since the word ...
-2
votes
2answers
261 views

Is there a word for the desire to care for an injured or vulnerable person or animal? [closed]

Specifically, I'm looking for a word or phrase that captures the feeling of wanting someone to need you to care for them, and feeling guilty that the desire implies that you want the other person to ...
2
votes
4answers
222 views

Is there a word for when a problem's understood complexity grows exponentially as you work on it?

Example: Hey Joe, can you fix simple problem A? Sure, Sally, no problem! After all it's simple, right? But A is then found to have dependent sub-problems B and C; B to have dependent ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there a word/expression that would correspond to something like “self-distance”?

In Swedish there is a term called självdistans, which would be directly translated to "self-distance", which means possessing a certain objectivity towards yourself, to be ego-less or not taking ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there an English equivalent for the Swedish expression “the droplet that caused the beaker to overflow”?

In Swedish, the expression "det var droppen som fick bägaren att rinna över", directly translated to "the droplet that caused the beaker to overflow", is used to express that enough is enough. Is ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

alternate phrases for “Not well thought out”

I need a phrase or word that with the same meaning as the phrase "not well thought out." I am writing a major term paper on war. I am currently just creating a mindmap (I use them in the same way as ...
10
votes
6answers
930 views

What is the English equivalent to the Japanese word 学者バカ, “Scholar’s fool”?

I’m interested in the words “instant omniscience,” which Calvin Trillin, a former editor for Time magazine, used in a New Yorker magazine article (March 20) entitled "Time Edit": “There were some ...
1
vote
2answers
269 views

What term best describes the “mentality” with which an API is designed?

As someone whose mother tongue is not English, I'm sometimes having a hard time having the correct feeling towards the meaning of some words. This is one of those situations. I'm looking for a term ...
2
votes
2answers
440 views

Is there a single word or a phrase that can be used to denote either Before or After? [duplicate]

I am looking for a word that does not refer to now, but can refer to either before or after. In case of phrases, the lesser the words, the better is. It is to name a Java class file whose basic task ...
1
vote
7answers
1k views

Is there a familiar phrase for spending too much time on something?

We all know that "a stitch in time saves nine" and "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure", but sometimes the opposite is true. A stitch before its time is a waste of time and thread. If ...
3
votes
0answers
1k views

Any alternative phrase for “piece of cake” [duplicate]

Are there other phrases to express easiness of the situation like the above mentioned phrase?
1
vote
3answers
674 views

Looking for an English word to explain a certain business situation

I am looking for an English word to explain the following business situation. A new product or service is offered to the market. There are many small companies that start to provide this service or ...
2
votes
1answer
284 views

English equivalent for a Portuguese saying on “bad company”

In Brazilian Portuguese, we have: "The bird who goes around with a bat wakes up hanging upside down" Original: "Passarinho que anda com morcego amanhece de cabeça pra baixo" The literal meaning ...
2
votes
5answers
2k views

A phrase that means “to finally select (or decide) something”

I am looking for a phrase or an idiom that means that i have selected the one object from a group or settled on some solution out of many others. Let me provide some examples: I went to the travel ...
2
votes
8answers
5k views

Is there a non-idiomatic word or phrase meaning the same as “on the fly”

I want to say that someone is quick at thinking on the fly, but need to communicate with non-English speakers. Is there an equivalent non-idiomatic word or phrase? edit: I want it to imply ...
6
votes
2answers
515 views

“The more chickens in a farm the more crap and the fewer eggs”

Consider: The more chickens in a farm the more crap and the fewer eggs. This is a proverb I hear often in Spanish (Cuba). I think it is pretty much self-explained: it is related to productivity ...
1
vote
3answers
4k views

Is there an idiom beginning “when a dog is cornered”?

Is there any saying in a complete sentence including “a dog which is cornered”? I have tried to find a complete one, but there seems to be no one. Actually, what I want to know is how to explain the ...
0
votes
1answer
520 views

What do you say when you wish someone to do well the next time they run?

A friend of mine was leaving to start running as an exercise and I said "Have a good run!". Then I found out it is an idiom with a different meaning. What is the right thing to say in that case?
6
votes
3answers
7k views

“expecting a baby”

Can I say "we are expecting a baby" when my wife is pregnant or does that sound funny to native English speakers, saying it as a man? (In German, the phrase has become somewhat common, but it stills ...
1
vote
8answers
11k views

What is a word that means “created out of nothing”

I am writing an article and I am having trouble finding a word for "to create out of nothing." The following are slightly different forms to show you the general 'feel' of the word that I am looking ...
5
votes
3answers
538 views

Covering cars or vans with advertisement images, what is this called?

I have been working as a graphic designer for a while and we design and print advertisement material and cover cars / vans with it. What do we call this in English? I am preparing my CV and I don't ...
1
vote
4answers
423 views

An alternative to “serious business”

I am writing an article about a fancy cocktail bar and I am looking for an alternative to the phrase "drinking here is a serious business". Normally I am pretty good at this but, I just have the same ...
1
vote
4answers
2k views

What is the proper phrase for being in one's official limits, probably when quoting something?

While quoting something, the consideration of the fact that it does not offend the sentiments of a community or culture one belongs to. How do we ask that in one sentence e.g Did I remain in my ...
10
votes
4answers
926 views

People who sell their virginity for money

I'm Vietnamese and I'm writing an essay about prostitution. I want to ask the word to express properly the people who sell their virginity for money. In Vietnamese, we use a phrase literally means ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Phrase synonymous to “a general understanding”?

I am writing a goal where I would like to replace the phrase "a general understanding" with something synonymous. The whole line reads: Writes clean and concise code that reflects a general ...
3
votes
1answer
390 views

Word/phrase meaning: during debate, telling opposing party to read 1000s of pages

I'm currently engaged in a debate where the opposing party has said: "I'm right because I've written 1000 blog posts on this issue. Go read them before replying" Is there a name for this ...
9
votes
2answers
155 views

Is there a name for uncertain memories?

I only know of confabulation, which is a related but distinct process of bringing together fact with misremembered things. Is there an accepted name for memories of which, for example, the person ...
1
vote
3answers
277 views

What category name covers things that are designed to stand on the floor?

How to name a category of tall objects that are designed to stand on the floor as opposed to standing on a table? The tabletop objects are shorter than the freestanding objects and I cannot use ...
4
votes
4answers
139 views

Expression choice for the error of being too exact? [closed]

For example, stating a street address with millimetric precision would be too exact and is therefore not applicable and not done. So you can be too exact. Is there an expression for this error or a ...
-1
votes
3answers
223 views

Alternative to “take X into account” [closed]

I would like to use a simpler, more direct phrase than "take X into account". I consider this a "Word choice and usage" question as directed by the community. Here is my original sentence: The ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

First appearance of a ghost after a person's death

In the ballet Giselle, the title character dies at the end of Act 1. One wouldn't generally describe her ghostly presence in Act 2 as the result of a resurrection, because that implies that her ...
3
votes
1answer
187 views

Does English possess a term for the study of all aspects of language in primary/secondary schools

Does academic English employ a concise/idiomatic term corresponding to the Russian term словесные дисциплины (literally, "verbal subjects")? The Russian term is from 19th century academic circles ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Is there a term for a word inside another word?

Is there a term for a word that occurs unbroken within another word? For example, the word "fun" in "funeral", or "drag" in "hydragog". The closest thing I could find from my search was the term ...
2
votes
2answers
139 views

Denying own statement

Is there a word of phrase for someone who denies their own statement? It’s like when somebody snitches and then denies having done so.
1
vote
1answer
359 views

What do you call a statement like “How to perform a change of ownership” [closed]

What do you call a statement similar to the following? "How to perform a change of ownership" I wish to request user input by asking a question such as: "Please enter your title in the ...
6
votes
7answers
915 views

Idiom/word/saying request: Accepting a situation out of desperation

How can I say for example: Individual retailers run out of business when a big fish came to town. So they had accepted that they cannot compete and closed their stores. In the novel To Kill A ...
0
votes
1answer
566 views

What's the word for a word that suddenly becomes famous?

What's the right word for a word that suddenly becomes famous? I know buzzword. Are there any similar words or common phrases, like shot up word? My specific context is that I am looking for some ...
3
votes
8answers
2k views

A word or phrase for “temporarily not working”

Is there a word or phrase for temporarily not working since one has gone on vacation? I thought out of work could be used but that means unemployed or having lost one's job EDIT I am looking for a ...