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
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3answers
239 views

Is there a synonym for “day” that can go with “at night”, “at dusk”, “at dawn”? [closed]

I need a word (ideally) or phrase that means "daytime" that can be used in a sentence "the event happened at dawn/dusk/night/day" "The event happened at day", and "The event happened at daytime" ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a word or phrase for the concept of “thinking something bad happens more often because it's reported more”

That was probably a horrible title, but those length limits are killer :) An example of what I'm talking about: Statistics show that overall crime rates in the USA have been trending downwards for ...
2
votes
3answers
847 views

Phrase for habitual scoffing at someone & then asking for his help

In our cultural language we say that he always spit & then lick the same spot... at least something like this. However, can I get some convenient phrase for such a person habit.
2
votes
3answers
6k views

Idiom or word for a very heavy thing

There is an idiom in Turkish for describing very heavy things: "Heavy like a dead donkey" (Eşek ölüsü gibi ağır). In English, there is a dead weight but it is not quite similar. Also, it has two ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

How best to use the phrase “on the whole”?

Is the phrase on the whole used correctly in the following sentence? The information, on the whole, was inaccurate. If not, what other ways are there to express it?
2
votes
5answers
145 views

A word or phrase for rigging a request or situation for failure (despite appearances to a third party)?

Imagine we have three individuals: Alice, Bob, and Carol. Bob asks Alice to write a letter to Carol asking for a favor. Alice wants Carol to refuse to do the favor for Bob, but for it to appear to ...
2
votes
2answers
821 views

What is the meaning of 'the food chain'?

The OED confirms my long-held suspicion that the original use of the term 'food chain' is becoming supplanted by an altogether different meaning. The term 'food chain' was used extensively in the ...
2
votes
4answers
11k views

Is there any other word that means “more and more’?

Is there another word for more and more? For example, in this sentence: More and more people use computers Is their a word to replace the More and more at the beginning?
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
1answer
621 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
348 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
3answers
292 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
462 views

How do I phrase “remote work” better?

I am helping my father write a report. The report summarizes the work undertaken during the consultant’s technical assistance missions to Statistical Agency of Kosovo and remote work during the ...
2
votes
4answers
910 views

Word for person always after what he does not have and not cherishing what he has [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Term for “constantly unsatisfied soul” Is there a word for a person who is always after what he does not have and does not cherish what he has? If not, any ...
2
votes
2answers
37 views

Showing repetition with some interval

I want to say that in a plot, not all the points are drawn. Instead we draw some of them with a specific interval (k). For example, with k=3, points 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, etc. are drawn. I think that for ...
2
votes
2answers
98 views

Is there a word or phrase for running away from your wife or family because of their illness?

I'm trying to think if there is a specific word, term or phrase for running away from you wife or family because of their illness. For example, the wife has Alzheimer's, and the husband runs away ...
2
votes
2answers
70 views

Idiom for all at once or none at all

I'm looking for a creative and relatively familiar idiom to describe something that needs to be handled a specific way because an activity comes in waves. Specifically I'm looking to describe ...
2
votes
2answers
98 views

Word or phrase stronger than “most likely”?

Imagine this context: After we replaced the monitor, everything was fixed. Therefor the monitor was most likely the source of the problem. I feel like given the right context, "most likely" ...
2
votes
2answers
62 views

Verb that means “to find the difference of two states”

Context I have two sets of data, dataset1 and dataset2. They may be different from each other, both in content and in structure. I am going to generate the list of these differences. Example ...
2
votes
1answer
98 views

What do you call a word that changed because of everyday usage?

When words are common and they are being used regularly their meanings change. Sometimes they are spelled in a different way than they are supposed to. What do you call this phenomena or what do you ...
2
votes
3answers
857 views

Another way to say “to become a better person”

When I'm asked the generic question, "why do you do community service?" I usually respond by saying "because it makes me a better person," or "because doing community service allows me to develop ...
2
votes
3answers
524 views

Looking for an idiom opposite to “the more the merrier”

I am looking for an idiom or a phrase that expresses the opposite idea of "the more the merrier". Context: Five persons are taking a class in gymnastics with a private coach. Only two show up ...
2
votes
5answers
250 views

Gentle word or phrase meaning ignorantly happy?

You know the phrase ignorance is bliss? I want to tell someone — but nicely — that the reason they're not worried about something is that they just don't know the details. Something like, I hate to ...
2
votes
3answers
47 views

Single word or phrase for 'refinement of shapes'

Is there a word or a phrase, describing the refinement (in the sense of sophisticated and superior good taste) of shapes in the context of some solid artistic works (such as pottery or sculpture)? I ...
2
votes
2answers
316 views

General technical term that uncontroversially encompasses both bacteria and viruses

We can speak of "microbes" or "micro-organisms," and I used to think that these terms clearly included viruses. And they are used this way by at least some other people; here's a website that refers ...
2
votes
3answers
54 views

What is the short for “focusing on the key component of the problem?”

I am writing a research essay which contains something like "a policy that focuses on the key component of the problem." I am struggling to come up with a short name for this policy because I need to ...
2
votes
4answers
85 views

Is there a specific term for treating a system as if it had *motives*?

Imagine some complex system that may have a wide variety of possible actions/outputs, and that to some extent may be responsive to its circumstances. I'm trying to find a suitable term (hopefully a ...
2
votes
3answers
271 views

A novel/book equivalent of the term off-screen

Off-screen can be used to describe events in a movie or tv show. For example, "Harry's father dies off-screen" What term or phrase can I use if I'm talking about events in a book? "Harry's ...
2
votes
5answers
369 views

idiomatic phrases for *the threat to go to the police*

Let's imagine a situation. One dog's master set his pit bull on his neighbour. This dog bared teeth and did not allow the neighbour to get into his car. The dog frightened this man to death. The man ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Expressing sudden interruption in written, narrative speech

Question: What is the lexical technique for expressing sudden interruptions in written, narrative speech? For example: I was walking down the street when— wait! Look at that! In the example ...
2
votes
3answers
277 views

What's a better word for “vegetable food products”

I'm looking at describing the demand in vegetable food products in a project. Using the term "vegetable food products demand" seems a bit heavy. I wonder whether there's a better word or phrase for ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Other ways to say a project is ahead of schedule?

I'm looking for ways to say a business project is (or will be) completed ahead of schedule. Obviously, there are plenty of phrases for delayed or on-time statuses, but what are some phrases for ...
2
votes
7answers
3k views

Alternatives for “I told you so.” [closed]

Sometimes, "I told you so" is expected by the target. What if we want to surprise them with another famous phrase which would deliver the same message, perhaps with more intensity. Sometimes, "I told ...
2
votes
2answers
329 views

Is there a term or adjective to describe this plot device?

Imagine you are watching or reading a work in which a certain amount of suspension of disbelief is required (such a work is typically science fiction or fantasy). And then, out of nowhere, comes this ...
2
votes
2answers
113 views

What do you call a subordinate clause that follows its main clause but is wrongly punctuated as a separate sentence?

“This compelled the chancellor to shut down the whole program. Which was an outcome no one really wanted.” I suspect that what underlies this error is the sense that in spoken English a substantial ...
2
votes
1answer
137 views

Expression for early 20th century industry magnate

I remember reading a very fitting, playful, 2-words expression for for early 20th century industry tycoon who teared their employees bad. Please help reminding me by listing synonyms.
2
votes
4answers
247 views

How to refer on the property of a line which has a sudden change in its direction?

There is sudden (sharp, this means, it's not differentiable at that point) change in the gradient of a line: What is the proper way to refer to it, to not sound too mathematical. For example, "this ...
2
votes
5answers
242 views

The word for “professional system” or “task system”

I work with software engineering and in norwegian (I'm from Norway) we have a word, "fagsystem", which refers to a software system/application that is specialized to handle a certain kind of business ...
2
votes
5answers
448 views

What do you call activities you do to keep your curiosity alive?

Is there a single word for activities which you engage in to keep your curiosity or interest in a certain field alive? I mean is there some word that conveys the idea that the series of activities ...
2
votes
2answers
690 views

Word or phrase for mere coincidence that brings happiness

I wish to state that my exposure to a certain area was a mere coincidence, and I am happy about the area. Moreover, I want to convey the idea that the incident was like a fairytale, something no one ...
2
votes
1answer
542 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 ...
2
votes
6answers
900 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. ...
2
votes
1answer
200 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, ...
2
votes
5answers
179 views

Testing software by giving the output back as input

I want to apply an integrity test to a software by giving it input which is based on its output of a previous calculation. If the new output is then again the same as the previous output, the ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

What is a better way to say “computer person with a lot of experience in multiple parts of computer-related areas”?

I am trying to create a concise 'title' for my experience working in the computer field. I have experience in multiple programming languages and multiple roles (manager, technician, programmer) and ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

A better way to say 'every arrow in his quiver'

Is there a better way to say 'every arrow in his quiver'?
2
votes
1answer
516 views

What is the name of a pick-up-sticks or jackstraws pile?

Is there a specific name (a single word or phrase) for the pile, heap, nest, clump, cluster, configuration, stack or arrangement of sticks or shapes used in pick-up-sticks or jackstraws, when piled up ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

A concise term for staking territorial claims

I'm looking for a word or phrase specifically used to refer to the act of placing a flag to claim new territory. I'm specifically referring to claiming land in the name of some sovereign, though a ...
2
votes
2answers
63 views

The phrase “were strong from”

I want to make a sentence like the following: His arms were strong from lifting weights. I'm not sure if it's grammatically correct though. When I googled "were strong from" only 3 pages came ...
2
votes
4answers
53 views

A term that describes the “shoulder angel/devil” but on a broader scale [closed]

I am attempting to find a phrase or word equivalent to "shoulder angel/devil", but on a broader scale, that does not only refer to the idea of "good" versus "bad". A shoulder angel/devil is a plot ...