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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

4
votes
2answers
496 views

liking/disliking people or choosing friends. Freedom of …?

I want to tell my old brother that he should give the freedom for his son to be friends with, like or dislike, whoever he wants to. What freedom is that? Is there one word/expression that I could ...
1
vote
2answers
325 views

Listing two opposite opinions in an academic paper [closed]

My spouse is writing an academic paper about artificial intelligence. She wants to list some arguments that support the idea that a certain algorithm is intelligent, and some arguments that resist ...
6
votes
10answers
15k views

What's the word for two people who like/love each other but neither one confesses it?

Two people like each other or are in love but neither one has expressed it openly, so they each wonder about the other and consequently frustrations might begin to build... What's that called? EDIT: ...
4
votes
7answers
255 views

Is there a simpler, more poetic term for “the detritus of animal life”?

Forensic scientists collect DNA from cast-off bits of people such as skin cells, blood, and hair. In many magical traditions, such as Voudoun, bits of a person can be used to direct a spell - blood, ...
1
vote
2answers
297 views

What is a clear and precise way to describe a plan to build a system based on a particular COTS product?

I am writing an experience report about a recent technology consulting engagement. The intended audience is not necessarily familiar with consulting, the bidding process, or even particularly ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Is there a word/phrase/idiom for temporarily satisfying strong feeling of hunger?

Imagine a situation where you've been invited to dinner at a friend's place. You're extremely hungry but you learn that the dinner won't be ready for another half an hour. So you decide to eat an ...
3
votes
3answers
6k views

What does “being skinned alive “mean exactly? Is it a well-established phrase?

There was the following sentence in the article written by Maureen Dowd titled, “Where the boys aren’t,” sketching the life of Dolores Hart in New York Times February 19 issue: “I had no idea that ...
2
votes
9answers
1k views

a word/couple to express eagerness to win

Winning is a thing that is supposed to happen during an event. Before the event, of course, there are many competitors eager to win. I need a nice word or phrase to express eagerness to win — but ...
15
votes
9answers
5k views

Is there a term for simultaneous snow and rain?

I'm from Australia where we don't have so many kinds of precipitation. I'm familiar with these: rain hail snow sleet As I understand it, sleet refers to frozen rain but I'm not totally familiar ...
-1
votes
1answer
628 views

Is the proper phrase “Be Discovered” or “Get Discovered”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why is “to get” sometimes used where “to be” could be used? I am working on a website and I'm having a little difficulty selecting an appropriate ...
1
vote
5answers
6k views

A word or phrase to say something reminds or hints or brings up another idea

I want to tell that something reminds/hint us of another thing. For example, in an application, a sorting method used in it has similarities to bubble sort but not completely the same. In this case, ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Alternative expression to 'free from' meaning to disassociate oneself from something bad

Can anybody provide an alternative expression to the phrase 'free from' meaning to disassociate oneself from something or someone bad? For example, a company manager commits fraud and the deputy ...
1
vote
2answers
503 views

Single word or two or any substitution for “collection of movie titles” [closed]

I am writing software to manage movies and TV shows which contain the list of titles seen by you. I need some name for it resembling something like: "list of movies" "personal movie collection" or ...
-2
votes
3answers
301 views

What's a phrase for abstract / eloquent / euphemistic prose?

I'm looking for a phrase like "transcendental language", but meaning eloquent rather than other-worldly. In particular, I want to refer to a [literary] sketch as "_ language". This sketch is A Gotham ...
25
votes
4answers
1k views

It's so cold that if it rains it'll snow

I want a replacement for rains in my title, as it doesn't really make sense since it won't rain, it will snow. I think I could use precipitates but I wouldn't use that in conversation as it seems ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Idiom about tackling smaller problems instead of tackling the root [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Phrase for focusing on unimportant details I'm trying to find an idiom about tackling smaller problems instead of tackling their root cause. For example, Instead of ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

Ways of expressing the lack of ability to refrain from doing something

What are the ways of expressing the lack of ability to refrain from doing something? The only one I've found is help + ...ing. For example: She can't help singing along when she hears this tune. ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

Is there a synonym for lazy with a positive connotation?

Is there a word or phrase to describe someone who is willing to do extra work in the short term to avoid work in the long run? I have seen "lazy" used for this, but I'd like to know if there's a more ...
1
vote
3answers
214 views

How do you call a “Director's cut/minority report/dissenting opinion” if it regards a report/book?

There is "Director's cut" for movies and "minority report/dissenting opinion" for legal issues. What do you call a (longer) report, where the author states some things a little (or very) different ...
1
vote
3answers
740 views

Two word phrase to refer to community of people who come together to exchange knowledge [closed]

I need a two word phrase to refer to a community of people (academia + non-academia) who come together to share/exchange their knowledge/ideas openly on topics of their interests/ specializations. I ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

An expression with the meaning of “don't care” and “do not make a ceremony of”

I wanted to explain to a seller on online auction to pack the item with care because it can be damaged in transit. I looked for the right expression to say that our postal workers sometimes don't care ...
1
vote
2answers
109 views

“Apply filter” or “apply filters” [closed]

In a search user interface for an application a whole bunch of settings can be used to create a filter. A button with a label is meant to kick off the processing using the filter defined by multiple ...
3
votes
5answers
5k views

Replacement for ‘at the example of ’

I’m currently searching for the title of my research thesis and I can’t find a good phrase. I did a “Systematic Analysis of fruit growth” in a generic way and additionally applied the analysis to ...
2
votes
3answers
301 views

How do you say in English to “Declare something ownerless”?

What is the act of making something ownerless? All I've seen is to "declare something ownerless". However, in this statement one isn't so much as announcing as he is transferring something property. ...
1
vote
1answer
789 views

How to describe the sound of the English language as spoken by someone with Asperger's Syndrome? [closed]

I've heard many people say that individuals with Asperger's Syndrome seem to have a distinctive way of speaking the English language. I've heard descriptions such as "The cadence of the words is ...
13
votes
5answers
581 views

Is there a word or phrase for a choice that ultimately leads to tragedy?

Examples of decisions that ultimately lead to the downfall of the deciders: Troy accepted the gift of the Trojan horse Aladdin doesn't immediately free the Genie when he is told he will become ...
3
votes
3answers
313 views

Phrase choice - phrase to describe exodus of meaningful celebrities from Australia [closed]

Most meaningful socialites seem to leave Australia, leaving us with celebrity cooks and celebrity hairdressers. (eg Elle McPherson and Savage Garden going to London etc). What's the phrase to describe ...
8
votes
8answers
3k views

What kinds of words or phrases would you use to describe this situation?

As a teacher I am obliged to look after children during the recess/break. How would you call this situation in English? Let me elaborate a little bit: Each lesson lasts 45 minutes, then students are ...
3
votes
5answers
6k views

Word for a sudden memory triggered by a sense

Every so often I'll hear a phrase that forms part of a song or phrase that I know. Suddenly I can hear the song playing in my head or my mind finishes off the phrase. What is the correct phrase/word ...
4
votes
3answers
190 views

Is there a name for the feeling “Damn, I already asked this question three years ago”? [closed]

I'll copy from Meta: I admit I'm sometimes too quick with the gun when firing away questions. Does the feeling "Damn, I just asked this now, and I see it's a dup of a question I asked three years ...
82
votes
19answers
7k views

How to say that food is hot (temperature) without the listener thinking that I mean “spicy”?

There is an excellent discussion of spicy vs. hot here: Difference between "spicy" and "hot" However, having read the previous question, I did not see any answer that tells how to ...
1
vote
3answers
317 views

Synonyms for “get off medication”

How would you say "I'd like to get off the medication" not using the colloquial phrasal verb "get off"? I.e., something that you'd hear someone well-versed in the English language say. For example, ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

“Strike gold” but without the implication of searching?

Whenever I hear the phrase I struck gold the fact the person had to have done a certain search is implied to me. Is this correct? For example, if I say: Janet loves sex so much! I've struck gold ...
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 ...
6
votes
5answers
339 views

Can programmers be called code authors?

Can programmers be called code authors or any other term similar in meaning to a book author?
0
votes
2answers
494 views

Word/ phrase for : 'to uplift/ enhance one's mental level/ creativity/ knowledge' [closed]

I'm looking out for a word or a short phrase(<15 chars.) that somewhat conveys : 'to uplift/ enhance one's mental level/ creativity/ knowledge/ skills'. 'To take one's mental level to the next ...
20
votes
11answers
2k views

Colorful term for someone with a long-overdue library book [closed]

I'm trying to find a humorous term for someone who still has an overdue library book after a number of years. I first came up with "delinquent lendee", but I'm sure there's something more apropos or ...
4
votes
5answers
620 views

Commonly understood term or phrase to distinguish an entire hierarchy of employees in an organisation from the direct team

I have a system where manager can toggle between viewing their direct reports and all the employees who ultimately report to them. High level HR users have a third option of being able to view ...
5
votes
8answers
374 views

How to say one has been accepted directly at a competitive examination?

In France, access to some educational institutions is allowed only after a competitive examination. However, for special achievements, some students may be offered a seat directly, bypassing the ...
9
votes
5answers
928 views

Words describing the pat acceptance of a thought or practice simply because “that's how it's done.”

I believe that several words or phrases exist to describe the practice of thinking in a certain way or performing a certain action simply because "that's how it's always been done." Another way of ...
3
votes
2answers
274 views

What phrase is used for computer scan distortion like in funhouse mirrors?

The Google Books computer optical scan of page 92 of With the yacht and camera in eastern waters, by the 9th Earl of Cavan, exhibits some distortion, probably due to page motion during scan. What is ...
10
votes
5answers
248 views

Time given to fix the problem

In a biblical passage I am studying, I noticed that the accused was given a short span of time in order to fix the problem he had caused. This idea (granting time to correct the situation) is ...
2
votes
3answers
909 views

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

Is there a better way to say 'every arrow in his quiver'?
15
votes
4answers
510 views

Is there a name for the assumption that people in past ages were less able to reason?

In arguments involving past decisions or tradition, people frequently blow off a claim to tradition by using the (false) assumption that people in days gone by, or even ancient history were less able ...
2
votes
2answers
407 views

How to express this thought in English?

The words in bold in the quote below are meant to express something that I don't know how to put in English. The main idea is that someone is spending too much energy in many different areas thinking ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

What do you call moving a word to change a sentence's meaning?

Prosodic stress is stressing different words to change meaning: I didn't take the test yesterday. (Somebody else did.) I didn't take the test yesterday. (I did not take it.) I didn't take the test ...
1
vote
5answers
230 views

What is the equivalent of “dead tree copy” for CDs?

The expression "dead tree copy" is a slightly pejorative way of referring to a (physical) printed book, as opposed to an ebook. I was wondering if there is a similar expression that could be ...
14
votes
5answers
9k views

Term for something that appears complex but is actually very simple

The Japanese have a term for something that appears simple but is actually very complex in detail: Shibui. It should be said that this is only one aspect of Shibui, as with many Japanese ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Word for “food only partially eaten”

Is there a single word to refer to a food item which has been partially eaten or tasted by someone? To elaborate, let's say there is a bowl of noodles on the table, and someone took a spoon of ...
1
vote
3answers
166 views

Image in article

What would you call an image in a newspaper article that appears in the flow of the article with text wrapped around it? For example an article with two columns — on the right column there's an image ...