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
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6answers
774 views

Is there a general word/phrase for bias against a group? [closed]

I think prejudice is too general. The definition Google gives me for prejudice is: "preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience." - it doesn't specify that this preconceived ...
2
votes
3answers
352 views

An idiom for “seen clearly” or “plainly”

I'm looking for a way to convey how multiple things are very well seen from a certain vantage point. In my native language there is a very appealing expression for that, that can be translated as "...
13
votes
9answers
3k views

What's an item called that was required to progress in a video game, but now isn't?

This question was inspired by an Arqade question: How do I save a Destiny warp drive?. The premise is this: In order to progress to mission 3 (or 4 etc.) you must complete the second mission. The ...
1
vote
2answers
56 views

Phrasing the main point as a parenthetical

In a blog comment I found myself responding to (what I considered) a foolish point using this format: “‹quotation of the original›” ‹sarcastic over-the-top agreement with the statement› (...
1
vote
1answer
172 views

Name for the behavior of inappropiately hiding or misplacing objects

People with dementia may hide objects, or put objects in strange places, such as keys in the sugar. Is there a name for such erratic behaviour? The lexical field could include verbs such as "wandering"...
3
votes
2answers
149 views

Is there a word like segue for tying together two topics post hoc?

A segue is the transition from one topic to another, but I am thinking of a word for tying together two things that have previously been talked about. For example, we're discussing whether cats or ...
2
votes
1answer
187 views

Opposite of 'eyes only'

In secret organisations (at least on TV) there are documents which are marked EYES ONLY meaning that they shouldn't be recorded in any way except for authorised officers to look at them directly. ...
3
votes
3answers
760 views

Single word for profit or loss

I need a single word or short phrase (2 or 3 words at most) that describes revenue minus expenses, that is the net financial gain or loss. It is unknown when applying this term whether the amount is a ...
0
votes
3answers
189 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 ...
0
votes
5answers
178 views

Name for the relationship between a person and a person's ancestor?

I feel like there must be a word for this. Like the relationship between me and my grandpa. We are related. But I would like to be more specific. We are related in such a way that he is my ancestor. ...
6
votes
2answers
167 views

What do you call fake interviews that have been scripted

What do you call those fake interviews which are conducted according to a specific script, perhaps, against your honest beliefs?
2
votes
2answers
87 views

another phrase for 'far from business and politics'

Is there any idiomatic expression to convey the meaning such as 'far from a specific topic or an area of activities' in English? These survey conclusions summarize opinions of ordinary users that ...
4
votes
2answers
325 views

How to describe a weird situation?

I had just complimented my cousin on her hair when my mom told me that my cousin's mom was very upset because her daughter's hair was falling out. I was shocked and it seemed weird. What would you ...
1
vote
1answer
137 views

Specific word or psychological term?

What is the word or psychological term used for - "Start liking someone whom you hate as time passes, due to being forced to stay with them for long duration of time (say about 10 to 15 days)" - [Some ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a word or phrase to describe someone sitting with their legs tucked?

Is there a word or phrase (would prefer word) to describe someone sitting with their legs tucked. I'm not sure if this makes sense, but what I'm attempting to convey is that they are not outstretched ...
2
votes
2answers
121 views

“Like X but a little less Y and a little more Z”

Like X but a (little/lot) less Y and a (little/lot) more Z. Is there a name for this type of comparison? It's not really an analogy (or is it?) It's not a simile or a dissimile. Examples of ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

What does a cat's tail do?

A friendly dog will wag its tail, especially when it's happy to see his owner. Cats can communicate their approval and appreciation too, but I don't remember ever hearing a cat wagging its tail for ...
1
vote
1answer
261 views

Is there a term for coining a phrase for a word that already exists?

Usually a new term emerges and it becomes necessary to add a qualification to an old word for disambiguation. examples: "mono sound" versus "stereo sound" "analog watch" versus "digital ...
1
vote
1answer
121 views

Technical Term Specifically for Multi-Example Rhetoric

I'm looking for a technical term to describe a rhetorical device. The device I have in mind is when multiple examples are used to support a claim. (See the addendum for specific instances.) My ...
3
votes
4answers
503 views

generic name for deli counter machine

Facial tissues are the generic term for Kleenex; cola is the generic term for Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Is there a generic term for a deli-counter numbering machine?
2
votes
3answers
284 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 it....
18
votes
13answers
12k views

What do you call a sick person who is lying in bed?

Some conditions require that a person lie in bed all the time until recovered. Is there a name for such conditions or people experiencing them at the moment? For example, I am currently <bed ...
2
votes
2answers
983 views

Field Name for “positive, negative or neutral”

I have a Web form which allows users to give feedback, as a hazard, incident, comment or suggestions. I'm trying to work out what the best descriptive name for the "Feedback Type" would be, whose ...
3
votes
5answers
760 views

A word/phrase meaning “to ask about a person's feelings”?

Example: Speaker A: "Are you feeling well?" Speaker B: This is the first time you [...] since morning. You're not thinking about your business anymore?
12
votes
3answers
7k views

What do you call someone who specialises in tea?

Someone who is qualified at wine is a sommelier and someone who is qualified at coffee is a barista. What do you call the equivalent of someone for tea? Also, I'm thinking there might be a word ...
4
votes
4answers
422 views

What's a less profane alternative to “as f**k”?

As fuck is a common way to end sentences in slang language — for example, "I'm drunk as fuck." What is the formal (appropriate) equivalent phrase that gives the exact same meaning and sounds ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

What's a less obscure word for “sinecure”?

I'm writing a message which will go out to a global community, so I want to keep the vocabulary relatively straightforward. I'm describing a job which previously has been a little vaguely-defined, but ...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

Another way to say “Worked On” [closed]

Does anyone know a way to say "Worked on"? I'm wanting to say that I worked on a certain project on my resume but I have drawn a blank.
0
votes
5answers
186 views

One word for “Besides knowing my advantages, I also know my drawbacks”?

I wish to point out some drawbacks on my own research work after I have praised it. As a _____, I am aware of my work's drawbacks, which could be fixed if I had more time. Is there an ...
7
votes
5answers
181 views

A term for the object of insincere justification

Sometimes people make insincere arguments to justify an action (or inaction), based upon the impact to a particular group. For example, a person might say "Building that sports arena near my house ...
4
votes
6answers
1k views

Are there figurative or idiomatic English expressions to mean hindering a person in achieving work / attempt?

When I said “Don’t pull my legs,” in English as a literal translation of Japanese idiom, “足を引っ張る-ashi o hipparu - pull one’s leg” meaning “trip a person up with a mistake” to my English enthusiast ...
1
vote
3answers
479 views

What's a word that means intentionally gullible? [duplicate]

I'm looking for a word to describe someone that is easily persuaded to believe things that they are aware is likely to be too good to be true. Something along the lines of an optimistic cynic, perhaps?...
15
votes
12answers
7k views

A word that means suffering great loss if failed but highly profitable if successful?

This is a task that'll bring you back a great profit if successful but may also end you up with heavy loss even your life. I have been thinking whether there is one word or a phrase or some self ...
1
vote
4answers
1k views

Is there a pejorative/offensive slang word or phrase for a man who suffers from erectile dysfunction?

Erectile Dysfunction is defined as the consistent or recurrent inability to acquire or sustain an erection of sufficient rigidity and duration for sexual intercourse. Clinic 45 I'm a non-...
4
votes
5answers
471 views

How do you refer to an item that you already mentioned in a previous example?

This is a bit hard to explain so here's an example: Colors are interesting. They stimulate organisms in inexplicable ways. Like, why does red infuriate bulls? Or why does blue tranquilize humans?...
3
votes
7answers
653 views

A word or phrase for “going past a deadline”

I'm translating a document from a business meeting into English . Participants are often being implored to finish their tasks by November, as planned, and in no way to December. I'll give some more ...
3
votes
8answers
1k views

What is a word for the most basic form of a term? [closed]

The English language contains very descriptive and "involved" words, I was wondering what we would call the opposite of those. For example, words like "push" or "hot" can't be simplified further ...
10
votes
4answers
231 views

Term for inefficiency inherent in hierarchical allocation

Background Some observations: The internet has just about exhausted the IPv4 address space. When I was ten years old, or so, I had to start dialing the area code for all outbound phone calls, even ...
2
votes
5answers
568 views

What is a word or expression to describe a person as entertainment to pass the time?

If someone is being used or employed as entertainment to help someone else pass their time at work, but only in this capacity, what word or expression can be used to describe this? This other (...
24
votes
11answers
3k views

Expression for losing something that you never really had

A friend keeps whining about "losing n reputation points" on Stack Exchange. My instinctive interpretation is that some of the votes he had earned were reversed due to vote fraud. What he really ...
0
votes
1answer
186 views

Is there a short term for a banner ad displayed on all pages of a website?

I'm translating a media kit table with banner ad rates, and in one of the cells of said table there's a pithy short expression in Russian saying that the banner is to be displayed in its exact ...
2
votes
4answers
472 views

What would be the modern equivalent for “a curtain lecture”?

I chanced on this expression while reading a book by David Crystal. In a chapter dedicated to words that have disappeared from the English language, he mentions this gem in Samuel Johnson's Dictionary:...
1
vote
6answers
393 views

Is there a single word or phrase to describe a context-less option for “manual” or “automatic”?

Is there a word (or a short sentence) that can describe category which includes Automatic or Manual as mutually exclusive options? Of course I mean without more context (if used, for example, to ...
8
votes
6answers
7k views

Word/phrase for “the one that brings bad luck” (e.g. to a group)

Example: I've always considered myself a/as [...]. I thought of black cat. But I think it's a little ambiguous and weird to use it in this situation.
1
vote
3answers
142 views

A word for “the act of driving something into a success”

Suppose that a major achievement for a company has been done thanks to me. Now then, let's have me saying this: The last project was a success. Now there is a new project, and I am eager to [...
0
votes
1answer
95 views

Word/phrase for “staring at two things alternately”

Example: When Liza and Josh told me their crazy plan, I did nothing; just [...]. I thought about glance, but I think glancing is more like looking briefly, rather than staring in bewilderment.
0
votes
2answers
319 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
518 views

What's a word/phrase to describe a personality with seemingly random or disconnected interests? [closed]

I'm looking for a word that describes a person's personality. That person has many seemingly disconnected interests from the point of view of most onlookers, but to that individual he/she is able to ...
-1
votes
1answer
80 views

How do I translate this italian locution? [closed]

Often in Italian we use this locution: venire meno Now I wanted to translate it and I didn't come with an 'immediate' translation. Somebody knows the English equivalent?
0
votes
2answers
119 views

More General term for “appliance operator”

In the HAM radio community the term "appliance operator" is used to describe people who use radio equipment but don't understand how the equipment works. In IT these people are disparagingly called ...