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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6answers
95 views

A word or phrase to describe quick thinking in the moment

Let me describe the situation where I want to use word or phrase: I was reading a particularly interesting book that I happened upon somewhere deep inside my university library. The book had a ...
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3answers
150 views

What do you call something that doesn't let you sleep?

Especially a thought. Example: Like last night, I couldn't sleep. This time, however, [...] wasn't my upcoming wedding, but the fact that I was going to get fired tomorrow. So like a ...
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2answers
35 views

Word to describe the occurrence of two adjacent anagrams

If you have two words that are anagrams of each other and are used next to each other, what is that occurrence called? (fee free to correct the way I've phrased the question if it is grammatically ...
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4answers
118 views

Word to describe a question with multiple exact correct answers

Not completely sure, but I don't believe ambiguous would qualify for the exact situation I am thinking of, though perhaps I am over thinking this in general. I have a question in a short story I am ...
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4answers
126 views

Exhortation to “be successful”? [closed]

I just bought a smoothie and the barista wrote the Spanish phrase "Éxitos" on my cup. My Spanish-speaking colleagues tell me this is wishing me success. I'm trying to think of an analogous English ...
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3answers
57 views

Phrase for “putting one's plans into action”

I am looking for a phrase, metaphor, or cliche to mean "putting one's plans into action". I am using it in the following sentence. As the events of the play proceed, however, Hamlet becomes ...
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votes
3answers
93 views

How to describe an unsmooth hill?

I have a really quick and dumb question here. I need to describe a distribution. I have difficulty with explaining an unsmooth hill. If you see the picture, after the peak there is a hill but it ...
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3answers
83 views

What do you call those little explosions you see in barbecues and bonfires?

I'm not talking about the one caused by grease, but the one that occurs spontaneously. A little puff that sends thousands of sparks around.
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5answers
71 views

Is there a term for a behavior irrationally linked to an outcome?

Experiments on lab animals have found that they sometimes associate an action with a reward because it coincided with a random food drop. For example, a pigeon looks over its left shoulder, then a ...
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2answers
45 views

can an order [as a document] state something?

For example, a head of any department in a company gives instructions for personnel. These instructions are subject to formal procedures, i.e. documentation, approval, an internal newsletter. So these ...
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2answers
65 views

You are trying to make me emotional

In the course of asking person B to do something (which that person resists, for various reasons) person A is evoking imagery, using flattery or making sentimental appeals with the intention of ...
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3answers
105 views

Idiom meaning 'a shambles' sounds like /pass potch/?

I'm looking for an idiom that means 'a shambles' or 'a whole mess of various things', and any other reverse definitions of 'a whole mess of various things'. Perhaps "a mare's nest", which I've ...
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2answers
74 views

More general version of “finger on the pulse”

From my understanding when someone is "keeping a finger on the pulse of x" that person is keeping a close watch on and has a detailed understanding of the subject or situation. What would be an ...
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votes
7answers
239 views

Is there a word or phrase for someone who displays excessive prudishness in speech and behaviour?

Perhaps an endangered species in the 21st century, such person will tend to use euphemisms for bodily functions and sex, instead of what they consider "indelicate words". I'm looking for a noun or ...
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2answers
114 views

How would you say e.g. creativity isn't something that only belongs to graphic designers?

Can't think of the word or phrase to use, can anyone help me? Creativity isn't solely the domain of graphic designers? Something to do with prerogative?
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votes
1answer
189 views

Is there a word or phrase for borders being respected

Is there a word or phrase that means a "condition in which the borders of each nation are respected by all other nations"?
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3answers
88 views

Expression for some special SQL queries

While I'm not native English speaker, I often need to express myself in English. For a week, I have been searching for a term which represents a kind of SQL query: SELECT something FROM somewhere ...
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votes
2answers
67 views

Word for when a date is changed in retelling to a 'more significant' date

I am looking for a word or phrase to describe when a date (or other factual information, but especially dates) is changed in later retelling so that it aligns with some other date that is considered ...
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votes
3answers
253 views

Word or phrase for remoteness, great distance from human habitat

I am looking for a word or phrase denoting remoteness and great distance from human habitat, for the purpose of naming a cabin in the wilderness. I have already thought of "far cry" and "back of ...
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votes
3answers
3k views

Word meaning “to choose or take something as one's own”

I was having a conversation with an agent of an Internet service provider and the reason I called them was because I'm confused about a plan they have that is very similar to the one I currently have ...
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votes
2answers
1k views

Phrase for expressing victory and teasing the opponent [closed]

I'm looking for a slang term that can be used when someone has defeated their opponent and the opponent is speechless and gave up the challenge. So he might want to to brag about how weak the opponent ...
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votes
3answers
850 views

Is this slogan proper English? [closed]

We are a group of web developers, creating our online presence ... We chose this slogan, "Web passionate young powers at your service" Is this proper English? Does this hold any "contempt" ...
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votes
2answers
192 views

Can I say “Draw a triangle around the strawberry”?

Can I say "Draw a triangle around the strawberry" when I want someone who is reading a book, in which there is a picture of a strawberry, to draw a triangle in that book in such a way that the ...
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3answers
5k views

Is it 'buy-in to', 'buy into', or 'buy in to' in the following sentence

"I don't understand why people <insert words here> products that have a reputation of hardware failures." What is the correct way to form this sentence?
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votes
2answers
78 views

Phrase for arranging a meeting - 'anytime you can' [closed]

I want to arrange an interview, pointing out that I am available at any time convenient to him. I don't know the correct form for saying this. And although he has not asked for my contact information ...
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votes
1answer
33 views

Name for inexhaustive “or”, which doesn't cover all the cases?

Is there a name for a use of "or" that doesn't cover all the cases, such as We could go to the beach, or go climbing ... Where there are more activities than are listed.
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4answers
144 views

Is there a term to describe a woman that looks at men purely as objects of sex

The term "pig" is colloquially used to describe a man that looks at women purely as objects of sex. Is there such a term that describes a woman that looks at men purely as objects of sex?
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4answers
76 views

Need another phrase for fit in (as in a group) [closed]

What other word or words can be used to replace "fit in"? E.g. "I believe I will fit in with your organization."
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2answers
90 views

Word for the fear of getting a haircut?

The other day I met someone who was scared of getting a haircut. I was trying to think of a word to describe, but I couldn't think of anything. I couldn't find anything online either, so I decided to ...
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votes
3answers
82 views

Need a term for major water forms or states (e.g. sea, freshwater, glaciers, dams, etc.)

I'm writing an article about the hydrosphere for my website GeoWorld. I'm dividing the hydrosphere into the following seven categories: 1) the sea 2) surface freshwater bodies 3) underground aquifers ...
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votes
1answer
109 views

Word for liking and not liking something at the same time? [duplicate]

What's a word for the feeling of liking something, but not liking it at the same time? I love the way the Spanish speak, but it bothers me at the same time. I've looked through and dictionaries asked ...
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votes
2answers
256 views

“I like to” vs. “I'd like to”

When making a polite request, people often use the phrase, "I'd like to [SOME REQUEST]". But I also see the form, "I like to [SOME REQUEST]". For example, a former boss would arbitrarily interchange ...
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votes
2answers
65 views

Phrase “In my spare time” [closed]

In an office environment answering a customer with the response "I will work on your project in my spare time". I feel there is a more professional way to answer. Suggestions?
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3answers
76 views

Verbs or phrases to buy something which are specifically for sale later?

what is the verbs or phares stating that shop owners buy something which are specifically to be sold in future, chefs buy some ingredients which are specifically used to make foods to sell, or ...
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votes
2answers
94 views

WWI Equivalent of “Gotcha!”

I am looking for an equivalent of "Gotcha!", "Made it!" or other exclamatory phrases a World War One Airplane Pilot may use. The specific name is Frank Luke, an airplane ace. He just got out after ...
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votes
2answers
65 views

Word or Phrase for Indirect Verbal Deception

Is there an English word or phrase which describes conversations intended to be overheard by others, which primarily contains misinformation meant to be believed by those who overhear? Example: ...
0
votes
3answers
256 views

How to call someone that acts only by instinct without being rude?

I know there's the phrase "You are an animal", but depending on the context, cultural background, etc. the recipient of the saying may not end very happy. Is there another way to describe someone that ...
0
votes
7answers
113 views

Word or phrase for “make someone see dreams”

Is there a better way to say "make somebody see dreams", e.g. in the sentence Don't make me see dreams when I know they won't come to be true.
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votes
1answer
693 views

Where did the phrase “Holy Toledo” come from?

I was reading online and noticed this phrase in the comments. What is the origin of this phrase?
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votes
1answer
6k views

Another word/phrase for “In addition to”

What is an alternative phrase or word for "in addition to"? Here's an example sentence: In addition to the tasks listed above, we ask that you complete the following tasks as time permits. Is ...
0
votes
1answer
122 views

Colloquial alternatives to questions regarding the ordinals

I'm very well aware that this question is asked a myriad of times before but I want to know how one would phrase a question in every-day language to get the answer "n-th". What ordinal number ...
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votes
1answer
59 views

Set of Preference

I want to send a formal email to describe my order of preference of some courses that I want to study. Is it correct to say : With the following set of preference: course a course b course c
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votes
2answers
317 views

Word for “a person so bad that people use him for negative publicity of something”

I am looking for terse phrase/word that describes a person who has such a bad reputation that to do negative publicity of any product, the competitor pays this person to speak praise of it.
0
votes
2answers
834 views

Another way to say “is not best addressed”

I need to write a text for programmers around the central idea that "performance is not best addressed at the code level". This is a somewhat polemic issue, and I'd like to make my point as clearly ...
0
votes
3answers
4k views

“On the other end / side” of the phone line

What's the proper way to reference somebody who're you talking with by a peer-to-peer phone line, usually if you don't know who's there exactly? Russian language, for example, has the idiom (они) на ...
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votes
4answers
819 views

Word or phrase for a person who is impatient and likes studying new things by example?

Is there a specific word or phrase to describe a person who is impatient learning new things dislikes reading lengthy passages always likes learning by example plus doing experiments in parallel? ...
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votes
2answers
531 views

Is it correct to say “I studied the book with Mr.XXX as my mentor/tutor/teacher”?

I wonder if it is correct to say the following to mean Mr.XXX was my mentor and helped me in learning the book. Could you suggest a better equivalent for what I am trying to say? To explain it better, ...
0
votes
2answers
307 views

A word for teasing someone with information they desire

Is there a word (or a better sentence) to describe the following concept: Enticing someone by letting them know you have the information they seek, yet smugly refuse to divulge it.
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votes
1answer
118 views

Who is watching the watchdog?

I am looking for an expression that conveys the meaning Who is watching the watchdog?
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3answers
189 views

Simpler and more common way of asking “Where could he/she had gone?”

I'm not a native English speaker, and I though asking "Where could he/she had gone?" was very common. But when I searched that phrase in Google I got only 6 results. Is there a more simpler, more ...