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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2
votes
1answer
4k views

A dream come true - is it correct

I was confused by a company slogan I saw, and that made me wonder: Is it correct to write "a dream come true"? If I was the one writing it I would use "a dream comes true" but is the initial form ...
2
votes
3answers
28k views

What is another word for “likes to try new things” [duplicate]

I'm looking for a word to describe someone who likes to try new things. Any suggestions?
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Better wording for “Among other [stuff]”

I have the following problem. I need to say Among other information, [the message] will contain information about the following... I don't like the repetition of "information" here. I thought ...
2
votes
2answers
752 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 ...
2
votes
6answers
47k views

What do you call a person who always has a pleasant smile on his face?

What do you call a person who always has a pleasant smile on his face. Is there anything better than calling him a "Pleasing personality"?
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Word or phrase to describe an activity that is “used to pass time”

Aside from pastime, what is a word or phrase that can be used to describe an activity that is not pleasurable and used only as a diversion while letting time pass?
2
votes
4answers
4k views

Is there an idiom about wasting money and a window?

Is there an equivalent to the french idiom Jeter l'argent par la fenêtre which means throwing money through a window? (I'm not sure about the translation, especially through.)
2
votes
5answers
11k views

A word or phrase to say something reminds or hints or brings up another idea

I want to tell that something reminds/hint us of another thing. For example, in an application, a sorting method used in it has similarities to bubble sort but not completely the same. In this case, ...
2
votes
4answers
170 views

“Seek his benefit at the expense of yours”. How to say that properly?

I want to say that if someone truly loved you, he would not seek his benefit at the expense of yours. How can I say that better than I did in the title of this question?
2
votes
2answers
1k 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
3answers
456 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
4answers
9k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
352 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
974 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
36 views

Term or Phrase for evidence converging or overlapping on one possibility?

I'm trying to find a term or phrase that will be widely understood to refer to a range of evidence and possibilities when all put together pointing to one or a few specific options. Imagine twenty ...
2
votes
6answers
158 views

Idiom or slang to show you're scared and/or sorry

Is there any idiom, phrase or slang you use when you have done something wrong and you want to show you are really sorry? Whether you are deeply sorry or you're just saying that because you are ...
2
votes
2answers
63 views

Describing a relationship that is related via a third party?

How do you describe something where A does not cause B, but C causes A and B. What would you call the relationship between C and A/B and the relationship between A and B? I'm sure there's some ...
2
votes
3answers
149 views

Phrase for “a strong reason for wanting something to happen …”

I have a problem with a phrase that can describe the following: a strong reason for wanting something to happen because you will get advantage from it. I need the phrase for a formal essay.
2
votes
1answer
84 views

Word/phrase for belief in, but dislike of, a god

Is there an appropriate word that describes both the nature of a believer's belief and attitude towards the object of their belief. For example: "John left his church because, although his belief in ...
2
votes
6answers
281 views

One-word or a phrase for 'Time changes perspectives'

There were certain things or people of whom you assumed the worst, and yet in hindsight, you look at them differently, probably realize what they had gone through, and why they acted so. So I am ...
2
votes
3answers
209 views

Friendship with only one topic

I think everybody has such a friend: you are not really close friends, you mainly talk about one topic. This topic is the reason why you text/message your friend and mostly not things like "how are ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Formal word/phrase conveying the meaning of “top of your game”

In a story I'm writing, two of my characters have the following dialogue: "We've both made mistakes in our approach." "I share your sentiment, brother. It seems we're not at the top of our game ...
2
votes
5answers
169 views

Word for a certain type of “quiet agreement”

I'm looking for a word which means a particular kind of feeling, of "quiet agreement". Not being a poet, this feeling is difficult to describe in general. But I can give an example where this has ...
2
votes
2answers
571 views

A formal way of saying 'rub it in'.

I am trying to find a formal phrase equivalent to the colloquial expression'rub it it.' rub it in (informal) if someone rubs it in, they keep talking about something that makes you feel ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

How to say “I met someone”, but not in the romantic way [closed]

I sometimes start stories with "I met someone who (...)" or "I met a man who (...)". Being a woman, people often seem to think there is something romantic about the meeting even though that was not ...
2
votes
4answers
3k views

What do you call a person who doesn't believe in something but still saying things about it? [closed]

What do you call a person who doesn't believe in something but still saying things about it? For example let's say Mario doesn't believe in God (he is an atheist) and something bad happens to Mario ...
2
votes
4answers
921 views

What's a word for someone who just gets other people to deal with problems

What's a word for someone who, whenever there's a problem that needs to be solved, doesn't solve it and either pretends it isn't there, or gets someone else to deal with it?
2
votes
6answers
865 views

Is there a word for making something or someone confess?

I am seeking after a single word for describing "make something or someone confess". Apart from a single word, welcomed are also idioms.
2
votes
3answers
451 views

What are some words I could use to call someone who is not good at work? [closed]

I asked this question because the other question on workplace.se. I realized that "enemy" is not the right word to express my idea. I was working with that person for about a year. He was bad at ...
2
votes
5answers
137 views

What do you call devices which passed the test successfully?

Say we have two lists (or two buckets. whatever is easier for you to imagine) List of the devices under testing. List of the ones which passed the test successfully and moved from list (1) to list (...
2
votes
3answers
481 views

Best Word for “Loyalty to an Alma Mater”

What word or phrase best describes a sense of loyalty to and/or support of an educational institution from which one graduated? Used in a sentence: Alice received her PhD from Foo State ...
2
votes
5answers
698 views

Idiom for “don't put me with somebody together in the same sentence”

I am looking for an idiom used when people say that you are as good/bad as somebody, but you don't agree with it because you think you are not on the same level as them, or that you are way better ...
2
votes
4answers
903 views

Other words or phrases for “Little Black Book”

I'm trying to find if there are any other words or phrases that have a similar meaning to Little Black Book. More looking along the lines of a word or phrase to mean a list or book where you keep ...
2
votes
5answers
511 views

Someone sociable who prefers a quiet environment when outside

Someone I know who is fairly sociable, prefers unbusy (i.e no crowds) environments when they're outside. They prefer to go, say shopping, in the late hours in order to avoid other shoppers. Or they ...
2
votes
4answers
217 views

That 'limp wristed hand thing': how do you write it?

I want the words to describe that gesture in which the forearm is usually held upright, and the hand is allowed to drop-limply(if that clears things up)-at the wrist. The verbal phrase 'wave an airy ...
2
votes
1answer
129 views

Is there a better name for this than “emphatic and”?

In semi-poetic writing, I have had occasion to deviate from the standard prose list practice (interpose commas or semicolons between items, with an "and" preceding the final item), by utilizing a ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Idiom for random/arbitatry decision making [duplicate]

Sometimes an entity's (be it a person, company, or a government) predictions/choices/decisions seem to be completely arbitrary (based on no evidence or observation). A very colorful example of this ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Word for describing the emotion of helping someone

I am looking for a word which describes the emotion that one experiences on helping someone (friend, colleague, family, stranger). This helping out is not in the context of charity, but more of as ...
2
votes
5answers
538 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" ...
2
votes
2answers
2k 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
4answers
1k views

How to describe the various ways in which one can experience something?

I'm looking for a word that means "The various manners in which one is able to enjoy, gain fulfillment from, and/or experience a given activity." For example, you could say "The <filler noun> ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

More concise words for “Ask for help and learn from others”

I’m looking to summarize an idea into as few words as possible — to make it as concise as possible. The idea is to ask others for help (putting ego aside), value others’ input, listen to others, learn ...
2
votes
2answers
115 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

What is another phrase for “start here”?

I am looking for words and phrases with similar meaning to "start here" or "get started". The thesaurus is not helping because I'm not looking specifically for synonyms of "start". I want a phrase ...
2
votes
3answers
560 views

Is “at a time” correct?

I would like to find a way to express the meaning of "at some time". For example: I think everyone has his study or working rhythm at a time. This rhythm varies for different person, and may be ...
2
votes
4answers
53 views

Idiom to express that there is no more hope for something to happen

Example situation : I have been waiting for the admission results. The result is declared and I don't have my name in it. Still I check every other hour if it has changed to include my name. Then my ...
2
votes
3answers
74 views

What's it called when someone does his work at client's home

People of some occupations usually do their work at the specifically equipped facilities. For example, you go to the barbershop to get a haircut or you go to the dentist, when you have a tooth pain. ...
2
votes
4answers
248 views

Single word/idiom for a changed man

Here is my story. 10 years ago today, my dad said to me, "I want you to become a better person." before he passed away. I was a bad boy hanging around with bad boys damaging things and fighting with ...
2
votes
2answers
589 views

Is the expression “in seek of” acceptable?

Is this sentence correct, or are there better ways to express it: In seek of an ideal start for my career, I am applying for the PhD program at your school. Am I using the wrong verb here, ...
2
votes
2answers
76 views

Opposite of “reach a settlement” in a lawsuit?

Is there a common phrase for the opposite of reaching a settlement in a lawsuit? That is, is there a common phrase for going to court and having a judge reach a decision?