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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5answers
27k views

How to say “I'm sorry” to express sympathy for misfortune without inviting “It's not your fault” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Does apologizing entail recognizing being at fault? Often, in conversation, something like this will happen: A: I didn't sleep well last night; My dog ran away; or A ...
5
votes
4answers
71k views

What is natural way of saying I am/was suffering from fever? [closed]

I know that the expression I have written is completely correct, but It does not feel very natural and I have never seen it being used in movies etc. Is it like I picked up fever or something like ...
2
votes
1answer
422 views

How can I describe the age difference between myself and my sibling?

I'm having trouble trying to find a way to convey that I am x years older or younger than one of my siblings. For example, if I had a sister that's four years older than me, the first thing that ...
6
votes
3answers
417 views

Hypernym of 'deposit' and 'withdraw'

I am looking for a hypernym of to deposit and to withdraw (money to and from a bank account). I thought about several options like "to perform a financial transaction", however I need something more ...
4
votes
5answers
703 views

Better way of saying “two people have worked on their stories together”

What is a better way of saying "two people have worked on their stories together"? Here's an example of a situation in which this phrase would come up: A witness in a trial is suspected to have ...
1
vote
2answers
328 views

What is a friendly way to say ' Now processing'? [closed]

I'm developing software something like iPhone's 'Siri'. If I call its name, it will answer, What can I help you with? If I say "Turn on the TV", it will answer, Now Processing ... But, I ...
5
votes
6answers
403 views

Is there an expression that sums up “improperly conflating two ideas that are really separate issues”? [closed]

I'm intrigued by a local sign-holder who was improperly labeled "atheist" for carrying a sign that asserted that there was no after-life for a person's consciousness. The person expressed a belief in ...
7
votes
2answers
237 views

Term for written paralanguage?

Is there a term for words filling in for body language (*sigh*) and/or for typography being used to express tone or intonation (THIS IS SHOUTING)?
3
votes
6answers
3k views

Is there a word or short phrase to indicate the opposite extreme of “racism”?

For example, a person fights (or claims to fight) against racism in the manner of believing a group/ethnicity/etc. (in a culture where this group is often disliked) to be morally superior, and if a ...
2
votes
3answers
212 views

Better English equivalent for “set of methods”

In the philosophy of science, there are three terms which are used to describe three different related notions. In both Polish (pl) and German (de), these three terms are unique such that there is no ...
3
votes
2answers
336 views

The solution to all problems

I used to use deus ex machina but recently found out that it's an unexpected solution to a problem (used in movie plots when someone swoops in and saves the day when all was supposedly lost). I'm ...
1
vote
1answer
185 views

A phrase that describes each member of a group

There are small units and each unit has its own clear mission. Each unit has only one mission. "Only one clear mission" is important and I need to emphasize it. I'd like to express the situation with ...
0
votes
2answers
997 views

A noun for “someone who pays/compensates a part of a bill”? [closed]

I'm developing a web application that will be used by medical clinics. Clients get an invoice for the treatment(s) they got. However, sometimes a part of the costs will be paid by a third party, like ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Idiom to describe something that has little to no effect?

I'm looking for an idiom to describe something that has a negligible effect. The only similar question I found here was: An idiom meaning someone's doing something useless and has no result at ...
3
votes
3answers
431 views

What is the best way to idiomatically translate this pun into English?

I'm trying to translate some text from Russian to English. The text discusses both chairs and power over people (it is a fantasy work discussing a Chair of Power for a Lord). At one point, it has a ...
12
votes
5answers
63k views

Popular alternatives to “thank you”

The context for my question might be a bit strange. I have stuttering and therefore I have some difficulties pronouncing some words starting with particular phonetics. And I've found that if a ...
-1
votes
4answers
1k views

“Twin brothers” and “cousin brothers” [closed]

Is "twin brothers" correct? Or is it also incorrect like "cousin brother"?
8
votes
4answers
275 views

Word or phrase for wanting hidden parts of construction to be orderly

My mother used to do a lot of needlepoint. The front of the needlepoint is what people look at, so how the reverse looks is usually not very important. However, she told me that some needlepointers ...
2
votes
3answers
215 views

When we thread a bead, what are we doing to the thread?

What is the word for what we are doing to the thread when we "thread a bead"? Are we "beading" the thread? The closest word that I could find was "extrude" but I think that this is more of a ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there an “opposite” to the idiom “throwing the baby out with the bathwater”?

"Throwing the baby out with the bathwater" means that something essential is lost in the process of getting rid of something unwanted (and relatively minor). I'm looking for a phrase that means that ...
10
votes
10answers
735 views

Equivalent expression to Spanish “cutting by the healthy part”

What would be an equivalent expression to the Spanish "cortar por lo sano", probably something like "cutting by the healthy part", to convey the idea that to solve a problem from spreading, like ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

A word that encompasses buying and selling?

I'm trying to retag some questions (such as this one) on the Board Game Stack Exchange, and the only good tag I can think of is "Selling". But that seems inefficient, and a word that covers both ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

Substitute for “The thought came to my mind” [closed]

I want a substitute for the sentence "The thought came to my mind". It should be a slightly formal substitute as I am writing a formal letter. Can someone help me with that?
16
votes
4answers
1k views

Can I use “US-American” to disambiguate “American”? If not, what can I use?

Based on this question, I wonder: as an alternative to USAian (which is very nonstandard) is it OK to use US-American to more clearly indicate "inhabitant of the USA"? According to Google Ngram, this ...
3
votes
7answers
34k views

Is the expression “see you when I see you” impolite? [closed]

Once, I have received feedback that using "see you when I see you" is not very polite. Do you have the same opinion? What other expression should I use in case I have no clue when I will see the ...
1
vote
2answers
485 views

Trouble coming up with a good starting sentence for an essay [closed]

I am writing an essay for class and I want to write something about my power-lifting regimen. The problem is that I can not come up with a good starting line. Every thing I come up with seems clumsy ...
4
votes
8answers
607 views

What is a less ambiguous word for “confuse” in context of describing two similar things?

What is the most natural way to express "confuse" in the sense of "unable to tell apart" as in following sentence: John always confuses the twins and is never able to tell them apart. I don't ...
2
votes
2answers
107 views

“Renewal meeting”?

What do you call a meeting which has the goal to renew the delegates/members of an association/organization/board? Renewal meeting/re-election meeting? Or is assembly the word I'm looking for? I just ...
-1
votes
2answers
575 views

Usage with “in this” [closed]

I am writing a technical report. I want to link previous sentence with the current sentence, giving the reasons. I used the following wording: In this end, this report discuses a novel ...
3
votes
3answers
633 views

Synonym with positive connotation for “peeping through the door”

She peeped through the door asking for permission to enter. Does peeped through have a negative connotation? If so, is there a better word or phrase to be used in such context?
3
votes
5answers
176 views

Hypernym for “coalition” and “opposition”

I'm looking for a word (or expression) that is a hypernym of coalition and opposition. I want to be able to ask a party whether its "type", for lack of a better word, is coalition or the opposition ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

What's proper English for 'experimentee'? [closed]

What is the English word / phrase for things / persons that are experimented on? I think of experimentee but I believe there may be more common words.
0
votes
3answers
119 views

Expression regarding a periodic task

So, if I have to do a certain task during a whole week but with a 3-week gap. For instance, in a 3-week period I will have to do that task for 1 week, in a 6-week period for 2 weeks, not in a row, of ...
4
votes
5answers
495 views

A case that exhibits all the possible conditions a subject can suffer from?

We have this Hungarian phrase "Állatorvosi ló", which literally translates to "Veterinarian horse". It originated in 19th century Hungarian literature, when someone created an illustration of a horse ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

How to say that the phone is held between shoulder and ear?

What are common phrases an English native speaker would use for the pose of speaking on the phone where you use your shoulder to keep the receiver against your ear (and mouth), so your hands are free? ...
2
votes
6answers
722 views

Simple word/ slang for “Re-share a content”

I need a simple(commonly used/known) word or short slang(2 words max.) which means to re-share a piece of information with your network of friends. Something just like "Share" on social networks. ...
6
votes
3answers
467 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
26k 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
648 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
6k 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
37k 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
533 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
14k 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
1k 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
358 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
157 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
244 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
683 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 ...