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
votes
1answer
151 views

Word for 'Lacking a subject'

The poet Medbh McGuckian often lacks subjects in her sentences, for example: "From behind the moon boys' graves \ bleed endlessly" ~ From Love Affair with Firearms She doesn't ever define the ...
1
vote
5answers
1k views

What is the English equivalent for the Spanish saying “God gives bread to those who have no teeth”?

There is an interesting popular saying in southern European countries, that in Spanish, for instance, says: "Dios da pan a quien no tiene dientes". Literally, "God gives bread to those who have no ...
2
votes
3answers
367 views

What's a phrase used to describe a “user defined” dream?

I have this strange ability to be able to control the events and environment in my dream. I know the term lucid dreaming means that you are aware of being in a dream, but this goes a step further. Is ...
4
votes
7answers
135 views

Fearing rejection from others and hence hesitant about it

Is there a term for the situation when we falter about making a suggestion or flinch from giving an answer or hesitating to take an action fearing ridicule of others or their rejection? Is there a ...
3
votes
6answers
569 views

Word for lack of comprehension of something easy to comprehend

So, I was watching this Vsauce youtube video, which discusses Déjà vu, Presque vu, and Jamais vu. Now, all three concepts are something I'm aware of and have experienced, but it made me think of ...
1
vote
6answers
1k views

Another idiom that has the same meaning as “mere ink on paper” or “words without actions”

Is there an English idiom that has the same meaning as "words without actions" or "mere ink on paper"? Especially in the field of economics.
1
vote
2answers
403 views

What's it called when one is so familiar with a language that phrases just “sound” right or wrong?

Native speakers, especially those who have read a lot of writing or literature for a given language, acquire the ability to "know" whether something is grammatically correct (or not) just from their ...
1
vote
3answers
119 views

Too much complexity being bad - phrase or common anology for the concept of

Something I've been trying to express concisely recently is the concept that using (or making) something that is too complicated/complex for the user to understand/fix can be a bad thing. Is there a ...
33
votes
15answers
7k views

What's it called when you lose contact with reality when watching a movie?

Sometimes, when I watch a (real good) movie, I feel like the movie "sucks me into the screen". I feel that I am really inside the movie, really watching real persons acting in real situations. I do ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

Someone who doesn't learn from the mistakes he made

Is there a word or phrase that neans someone who doesn't learn from his mistakes or makes the same mistakes again?
1
vote
4answers
457 views

What is the best word or phrase for comments provided by a guide?

What is the word that can be used to describe commentary given by a guide during a tour? For example riding on guided tour of a city where guide tells you about different objects of interests. ...
4
votes
6answers
546 views

What is it called when something is unimportant for several years, and then it becomes important?

I've been writing a paper about a math concept (called "permanent") that, upon its discovery, nobody really cared about it because it has very few useful properties. It was until several years later ...
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vote
5answers
769 views

Word/phrase that means “the sound that is produced when objects are being moved by a stream”

Is there a word/phrase for that? Example: I closed my eyes, and listened to the [...] stones.
-1
votes
2answers
292 views

“Choose a password [that is] at least 6 characters long” - should I include “that is”?

I am not a native English speaker. But I would like to know if the following sentence is correct? "Choose a password at least 6 characters long." Or should it be something like "Choose a password ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Less-technical synonym for “timestamp”

I've already looked at Is there a word for "a point in time"?, but there doesn't seem to be any answers other than "timestamp". While I agree that it is the most technically accurate ...
5
votes
3answers
230 views

Is there a word or phrase for ethical value based on economic value?

I'm not even certain that such an ethics system exists, but I can think of at least a few people who consider economic levity to be a sign of moral absolutism, and that those who are economically ...
3
votes
2answers
763 views

Is there more than a 'double' whammy?

I have three (could grow to be more) bad reasons for a situation and I wondered if there is such a thing as a triple whammy that is an extension of the double whammy. From my research online, a triple ...
2
votes
6answers
2k views

The opposite of “one size fits all”

Is there a neat word or phrase that summarizes the opposite of "one size fits all"? "One size does not fit all" is not an option. What am looking for is something that means "different sizes for ...
4
votes
3answers
163 views

Looking for a word or phrase that conveys the modification of something in a certain way

We have a piece of software that takes client provided data and processes it. A lot of times our client's data will fail because the data in a particular field is either too long or missing ...
12
votes
9answers
7k views

How to describe a guy who is popular with girls?

Perhaps I should make it clear: - He naturally attracts girls. - He doesn't chase girls and have no intention for any relationship. - You just see him often together with girls.
6
votes
6answers
3k views

Who excels under pressure?

I am not looking for phrases that mean to keep your poise or have courage. I am looking for something - word or phrase - the succinctly describes someone who is better under pressure. An example ...
2
votes
5answers
802 views

What word or phrase means 'that which provides a sense of meaning to one's life'?

As in, "driving is my passion and my x". I've been doing my head in looking for some sort of term which denotes such a thing, and I'm also concerned using the term "passion" might render the term ...
12
votes
11answers
3k views

Term for student who was thrown out of university?

Is there a term or even a noun for a student who was thrown out of college/universite etc.? I want to emphasize that he was willing to continue, but was dismissed permanently (e.g. due to severely ...
1
vote
3answers
302 views

Alternatives for “similar to other studies”

When you want to compare the results of a research to other studies, you can use Similar to other studies, the current study indicates that ... What are other alternatives for 'Similar to ...
0
votes
2answers
637 views

A word or phrase meaning the opposite action of embedding

When I want my document to be displayed the same on different devices, I can embed used fonts in the document. But sometimes I want my documents to take less space so I want to remove previously ...
2
votes
5answers
529 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
749 views

Word or phrase for all changes to an employee’s role/position/level?

What is a suitable word or phrase describing all changes to an employee’s role/position/designation/level in a company? These changes would include promotions/demotions (e.g. “Staff” to “Executive”), ...
0
votes
3answers
71 views

Referring to two or more choices [duplicate]

Example: I wasn't sure if it was A, B, or C. [...], I still knew I would fail. I thought of either way but I think is not grammatically correct. What should I chose if I'm referring to two or ...
6
votes
10answers
3k views

How to describe useless conversation?

Is there a word or concise English expression for the kind of discussion that is heated, perhaps a bit contentious or pretentious, but ultimately off-topic, vague, or too abstract to be useful? A ...
1
vote
5answers
923 views

Another way of saying “as if it didn’t even exist”

This will be the opening sentence for a book chapter, so please forgive me for being a little hypercritical here... And it's also an important statement: 'X' may be the most important invention in ...
3
votes
1answer
249 views

What do you call the directions orthogonal to uptown/downtown in Manhattan?

While in many places, the notions of "uptown" and "downtown" can be somewhat fuzzy and vague, in Manhattan, these two words have clear definitions - if you are standing on nth Street, then uptown is ...
4
votes
4answers
220 views

Synonyms for “content” in publishing

A document in a hypertext system (commonly "a web page") consists of navigation elements, advertising elements, and what a lot of authors call "content". The "content" carries the information for ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

Better name for filter condition operators?

I’m developing a data filtering system and am a little confused regarding how to name the condition operators for this system. Which of these cases are preferable (or quite applicable) for filter ...
1
vote
2answers
24 views

term for the review of available technologies

I'm looking for a phrase analogous to "literature review", but referring to the review of technologies available to solve a particular problem. That is, what would I call the process of comparing the ...
2
votes
4answers
130 views

Term for marking stating the date or year something was built or established

An arch might be engraved with "MCMLXII". A company logo might say, "since 1873". A sidewalk might be stamped with "08/2012". What do you call these markings?
4
votes
3answers
468 views

Phrase for pooling funds with others for a purchase

I got an email today from a parent in my son's K class for a party the kids will be hosting for their teacher. Part of the content was this: I'm asking for volunteers for the following: ...
-1
votes
3answers
285 views

humor phrase meaning “I enjoy making my life harder”

How can one make some humour by the following Q/A pair, Q: Cosa fai nella vita? ===> what do you do ? A: Me la complico ===> ? (I enjoy making my life harder)
7
votes
4answers
942 views

Is there an opposite of tightfisted that also contains reference to a hand?

Is there an opposite of tightfisted that also contains reference to a hand? The opposite of 'tightfisted' is always 'generous'. I want a word, idiom, or phrase that means generous but with reference ...
1
vote
4answers
338 views

Laws I created that I must follow?

I have created a set of laws I must follow to enforce self-discipline. One law is I will not steal candy from children. It sounds sort of weird to say "I broke my own law", and sounds sort of ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

If you didn't buy it online then you bought it…? [duplicate]

When you buy something over the Internet, you say you bought it online. And these days a lot of things can be bought online. So, when one of my friends saw my new wrist watch the other day, he asked, ...
7
votes
5answers
923 views

Idiom: to hesitate when something is nearly finished

I have an idiom on the tip of my tongue, or at least I think I do — the meaning I want is roughly “to hesitate or falter on a task, when it’s almost completed”. The phrase that first came to my mind ...
21
votes
8answers
14k views

Alternative to “We'll just have to agree to disagree”

Is there a polite alternative to "We'll just have to agree to disagree" that can be used as an exit strategy from a relatively friendly debate when a person feels they've said all they have to say and ...
18
votes
5answers
1k views

Two kinds of “borrow”

In Hebrew there is a difference, although often overlooked in spoken Hebrew, between the word "to borrow" for something that is intended to be returned "as is" such as a tool or a vehicle, and the ...
5
votes
2answers
300 views

What is is called when you count the letters in an acronym, name or word with an ordinal multiplier?

In English, we frequently look at an acronym and name multiple repeated letters using an ordinal multiplier. For example: Automobile Association of America - AAA is read as Triple-A. Abdominal ...
3
votes
3answers
192 views

A term that describes high-order ordinal numbers

primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary, quinary, senary, septenary, octonary, nonary, denary, duodenary, etc. are ordinal numbers as answered in this question. However, I'm looking for a ...
1
vote
1answer
135 views

Current / Previous / Previous — A term to describe this state other than tense or currency

I'm looking for a term to describe a state. Ordinarily I would use the word "Currency" to describe the state of "Current", "Future", "Previous", however in the context, this would be too easily ...
2
votes
3answers
61k views

How to express “nice to hear from you” on telephone call in business situation?

I am expecting a call from a staff management company who will call me. I want to reply that I am happy that they call me. How do I say this in professional (british) english? Nice to hear from ...
1
vote
6answers
214 views

How should I refer to people who have had something shared with them?

In the application I am developing, I'd like to refer to people who have had something shared with them (link, photo etc.) but I couldn't figure out what word or phrase to use.
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votes
3answers
1k views

Metaphor to describe a person who lacks charisma [closed]

I'm looking for a good metaphor or idiom for a person who is completely uncharismatic. I'm preferably looking for a phrase that compares the person's charisma to something, such that it would fit the ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

Is there any word for a person who ruins magician's trick?

Is there any word for a person who ruins a magician's trick? I remember that I heard that word, but it's now lost somewhere in my brain. Can someone please help me to remember that word? Before ...