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
2answers
567 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Word to describe an attribute one would either love or hate

He has an audacity that those who know him either adore or despise. His audacity is _____ . There's only two kinds of people: those who love olives and those who hate it. Olives have a _____ ...
3
votes
6answers
151 views

Oxymoronic soundtrack — mismatch audio to visuals

I am looking for a word or a turn of phrase to describe a situation whereby the music or a soundtrack does not go with the visuals of a film at all. This is to perhaps make it more poignant and create ...
1
vote
6answers
3k views

An alternative, less casual phrase for 'been there, done that'?

Meaning: To have experienced the topic under discussion, to the point of boredom or complacency. Origin: This phrase began life in the early 1970s, in the short form 'been there', ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

How to describe strength of keeping things simple and beautiful

I'm writing performance review of one of my colleagues that includes describing his strengths. For example, one of his strengths is Communication. He can quickly resolve conflicts with co-workers, ...
3
votes
5answers
328 views

What is an inverse phrase for “topping-off”?

I’m looking for a term or phrase that is the inverse equivalent to the action of “topping-off”, like a gas tank, but meaning “to completely empty.” Not a steady state (empty, depleted), but more a ...
21
votes
15answers
7k views

What do you call someone who exploits people and their confidence using ‘clever speech’? [closed]

I am referring to someone who makes people ‘buy’ what he says and gets things done by them through nothing but clever speech – something one can describe as crafty or beguiling, but not fraudulent. I ...
4
votes
3answers
413 views

What would be a good idiom for this?

In Hebrew there is an idiom that translates to English like this: "To go without and to feel with". The usual meaning is that one doesn't have some object or ability but is nevertheless is able to act ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Idiom for “The solution for the problem is the cause itself”

Is there an idiom or phrase which means: The solution for the problem is the cause itself. I was thinking of Use the snake to suck out the venom which, I'm unsure, is a valid phrase.
2
votes
3answers
771 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
676 views

Alternate ways to say someone is grumpy

My manager is a pretty moody woman. Whenever she feels annoyed or doesn't like what you are doing, she would show her displeasure on her face right away. By reading her face, you would know ...
4
votes
3answers
863 views

Word meaning: “to make one reconsider”

I am looking for a one-word synonym (or short phrase) meaning "to make one reconsider" or "to make one rethink". This would be used in the context of explaining how an event makes one step back and ...
0
votes
2answers
537 views

“Become acquainted”, “be connected” with the connotation of “take the initiative”

Would the following sentence be idiomatic and correct? At the conference, she became acquainted with more than 20 scholars, exhibiting excellent networking skills. I was thinking saying ...
3
votes
0answers
181 views

How is she to describe how she likes him, when he doesn't know? [closed]

There's a friend of mine—let's call her Lily—and a guy—David. Lily told me that she feels very happy each time she meets, talks, plays games, dines (and so on) with David. I guess she's falling in ...
6
votes
2answers
204 views

More accurate synonyms than “Mayan apocalypse”

When describing this announcement by Australia's Prime Minister on an language learning website, the best term I could come up with was "Mayan apocalypse". It felt a little inaccurate, as it's neither ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Phrase which describes falsely improving something

Is there an aphorism or proverb in English which describes attempting to improve something fundamentally flawed by dressing it with a lot of ornament?
-1
votes
2answers
2k views

What are words that use to mean due date and cut date of a credit card? [closed]

Let's say my due date is on 15 of every month and the bank summarize my spending I made on 1 of everyone. For example, I have to pay all expense I made from January 2, 2012 to February 1 2012 on ...
7
votes
7answers
435 views

What's the best term for “geographical level”?

I'm creating an interface where users can choose which geographical level to report on. I.e., they're choosing between "Country", "State", and "City". Is there a better term than "level" to describe ...
6
votes
7answers
914 views

Does the idiom “stop shooting the ball to my opponent” make sense?

Getting into a fight with someone, I think the other person is accusing me of being the wrong one and is trying to show that everything that has happened is my fault. Stop shooting the ball to my ...
2
votes
3answers
146 views

What is a good word to mean the inverse of debounce

The word debounce can be used in a metaphorical sense to take a series of signals, take action on the first one and then ignore any subsequent ones within a certain period of time. What I'm looking ...
2
votes
4answers
2k 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.)
8
votes
2answers
189 views

Non-union-affiliated shop steward

I'm looking for an English word or short phrase to convey a meaning which is similar to “union representative” or “shop steward”, except that the person in question is not (necessarily) associated ...
-1
votes
3answers
11k views

Correct way of saying a decision has been made [closed]

What is the correct way of saying "decision has been made on a paper"? I review papers submitted by officials. Is it OK to say it like this? This paper has already been decision by Sam Rick. I ...
1
vote
4answers
352 views

Phrase Request: Bank account statement, name for payee/charger

I'm trying to think of the appropriate word for someone that charges you or that you pay. If you have a bank statement, what would you name the column that contains the name of people you paid money ...
1
vote
4answers
649 views

phrase to mean “giving the exact answer” [closed]

I was having a coversation and part of the conversation, the person asked me which part of the world I was from, and I answered him exactly "the western hemisphere". Then I asked him the same question ...
-1
votes
2answers
493 views

What could be the correct idiom for expressing that someone is baking up false allegations without evidence?

Are "barking up the wrong bush" or "sailing on the wings of imagination" close?
2
votes
1answer
140 views

Name for title used before a name for phonetic or rhythmic reasons

Often, when people are announced or mentioned in the news, their name is prefixed by a title that gives rhythm and balance to the sound of their name. For example, we sometimes hear "Libyan strongman ...
4
votes
3answers
164 views

Correct words for transitional and non-transitional

I'm trying to explain two different ways of doing something and can't remember the correct words. I have a stock room full of items Way 1: Every week count how many of each item there are, ...
3
votes
3answers
235 views

How do you describe a test that puts you in one of a number of grades (specifying the grade)?

If a test puts you in a particular grade (result), how is it described? For example, "Five tier graded test"? The test might be a language test and the results might be A, B, C, D, E. Please note ...
2
votes
7answers
1k views

Opposite of “blaming people”

My girlfriend is currently writing an appraisal for work but I was wondering if there was a word/phrase that convey what she is thinking better. She wants to say that while some people like to ...
3
votes
2answers
807 views

Word or a phrase that means your results could be biased toward what you predicted them to be

In psychology I recall we used a phrase or a word that meant that because you predicted the outcome of an experiment, then your results could be biased towards your prediction. Either subconsciously ...
3
votes
3answers
226 views

What word could I use to confront a friend who defends the behavior of a gossip?

I would like a word or a phrase to use to confront a "friend" who glosses over the harmful gossip of another "friend." I think she defends the gossip because the gossip is influential in town. My ...
1
vote
5answers
29k 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
77k 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
435 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
426 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
710 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
342 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
409 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
4k 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
213 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
351 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
187 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
1k 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
437 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
66k 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 ...