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
3answers
223 views

When we thread a bead, what are we doing to the thread?

What is the word for what we are doing to the thread when we "thread a bead"? Are we "beading" the thread? The closest word that I could find was "extrude" but I think that this is more of a ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there an “opposite” to the idiom “throwing the baby out with the bathwater”?

"Throwing the baby out with the bathwater" means that something essential is lost in the process of getting rid of something unwanted (and relatively minor). I'm looking for a phrase that means that ...
10
votes
10answers
749 views

Equivalent expression to Spanish “cutting by the healthy part”

What would be an equivalent expression to the Spanish "cortar por lo sano", probably something like "cutting by the healthy part", to convey the idea that to solve a problem from spreading, like ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

A word that encompasses buying and selling?

I'm trying to retag some questions (such as this one) on the Board Game Stack Exchange, and the only good tag I can think of is "Selling". But that seems inefficient, and a word that covers both ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

Substitute for “The thought came to my mind” [closed]

I want a substitute for the sentence "The thought came to my mind". It should be a slightly formal substitute as I am writing a formal letter. Can someone help me with that?
17
votes
4answers
1k views

Can I use “US-American” to disambiguate “American”? If not, what can I use?

Based on this question, I wonder: as an alternative to USAian (which is very nonstandard) is it OK to use US-American to more clearly indicate "inhabitant of the USA"? According to Google Ngram, this ...
3
votes
7answers
36k views

Is the expression “see you when I see you” impolite? [closed]

Once, I have received feedback that using "see you when I see you" is not very polite. Do you have the same opinion? What other expression should I use in case I have no clue when I will see the ...
1
vote
2answers
497 views

Trouble coming up with a good starting sentence for an essay [closed]

I am writing an essay for class and I want to write something about my power-lifting regimen. The problem is that I can not come up with a good starting line. Every thing I come up with seems clumsy ...
4
votes
8answers
630 views

What is a less ambiguous word for “confuse” in context of describing two similar things?

What is the most natural way to express "confuse" in the sense of "unable to tell apart" as in following sentence: John always confuses the twins and is never able to tell them apart. I don't ...
2
votes
2answers
108 views

“Renewal meeting”?

What do you call a meeting which has the goal to renew the delegates/members of an association/organization/board? Renewal meeting/re-election meeting? Or is assembly the word I'm looking for? I just ...
-1
votes
2answers
581 views

Usage with “in this” [closed]

I am writing a technical report. I want to link previous sentence with the current sentence, giving the reasons. I used the following wording: In this end, this report discuses a novel ...
3
votes
4answers
658 views

Synonym with positive connotation for “peeping through the door”

She peeped through the door asking for permission to enter. Does peeped through have a negative connotation? If so, is there a better word or phrase to be used in such context?
3
votes
5answers
176 views

Hypernym for “coalition” and “opposition”

I'm looking for a word (or expression) that is a hypernym of coalition and opposition. I want to be able to ask a party whether its "type", for lack of a better word, is coalition or the opposition ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

What's proper English for 'experimentee'? [closed]

What is the English word / phrase for things / persons that are experimented on? I think of experimentee but I believe there may be more common words.
0
votes
3answers
120 views

Expression regarding a periodic task

So, if I have to do a certain task during a whole week but with a 3-week gap. For instance, in a 3-week period I will have to do that task for 1 week, in a 6-week period for 2 weeks, not in a row, of ...
4
votes
5answers
515 views

A case that exhibits all the possible conditions a subject can suffer from?

We have this Hungarian phrase "Állatorvosi ló", which literally translates to "Veterinarian horse". It originated in 19th century Hungarian literature, when someone created an illustration of a horse ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

How to say that the phone is held between shoulder and ear?

What are common phrases an English native speaker would use for the pose of speaking on the phone where you use your shoulder to keep the receiver against your ear (and mouth), so your hands are free? ...
2
votes
6answers
746 views

Simple word/ slang for “Re-share a content”

I need a simple(commonly used/known) word or short slang(2 words max.) which means to re-share a piece of information with your network of friends. Something just like "Share" on social networks. ...
6
votes
3answers
481 views

What is the name of the moment when the detective solves the mystery or realizes who the murderer is?

In many Whodunit mystery stories, there's a scene when the detective (e.g., Hercule Poirot) discovers (or overhears) the final clue (or a phrase another characters says) that makes this detective ...
3
votes
2answers
28k views

How to say “I'm calling to touch base” without using the idiom? [closed]

Is there a common phrase or a word to convey the same meaning?
3
votes
4answers
668 views

Synonym for a pleasurable coming-of-age experience

I’m looking for a word, phrase, or comparison to mean a pleasurable, coming-of-age experience or discovery. Possibly with connotations of surprise or embarrassment. I would really like to be able to ...
7
votes
10answers
6k views

word that means: causing a paradigm shift, new era, revolution

I can't think of the word and it's driving me nuts. I'm looking for a word that can be used when some technology is discovered, way of thinking, or even event happening that causes a big change in ...
8
votes
18answers
39k views

Idiom, word, or expression meaning an easy-to-do task

I am looking for a term, expression, word, or idiom to describe a task as an easy one to do or to go through. What I’d normally say is: Actually it’s not difficult, it’s as easy as drinking a ...
0
votes
5answers
564 views

What is an appropriate word/phrase for the feeling one has when doing something that feels sort of disagreeable, even though it is good

All I can come up with is "it felt so wrong, like using a Coca Cola to take a vitamin" Edit: In that example, it's not so much the idea of "cancelling out" the benefit of the vitamin, it's more doing ...
3
votes
7answers
15k views

Polite phrase to ask for details [closed]

Usually, I send to a client "Cover Letter" with phrase "May I get the details?", if I need to get more information about his project. Suddenly, I have discovered that it is not very polite. And now I ...
0
votes
1answer
4k views

How to express you are quite familiar/a little bit familiar/totally new to a word? [closed]

I'm not a native speaker. I'd like to use three words (or phrases) to describe that somebody is quite familiar with, a little bit familiar with, or totally new to an English word. It will be used in ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Word or phrase for multilingual pun/word play

The question is about multilingual jokes or puns, and if there is a word for them in English. Some examples: A German-English friend sometimes says Senkfuss instead of “thank you.” Senkfuss means ...
5
votes
5answers
362 views

Short description of an accomplishment

Sometime in the near future, I will achieve the (dubious) distinction of being "the person who has cast the most votes on questions and answers on StackExchange." I want to add a short statement ...
2
votes
3answers
161 views

Describing the absence of equality or competitiveness

Situation: talking about a president of a country. Only the incumbent one is okay. All other candidates are either too inexperienced or are simply stupid. Question: How to describe this situation? ...
3
votes
3answers
250 views

Expression to describe error’s way

In the context of a computer system, events that fail to go to their destination are redirected to another one through several steps. I’m looking for an expression to describe the way they take. I ...
1
vote
6answers
12k views

What are other ways to say “virtually impossible”?

What are other ways of saying "virtually impossible"?
-1
votes
1answer
708 views

What is the word for one who refuses to capitulate the status quo? [closed]

What are some alternative words/phrases for one who refuses to capitulate the status quo? Similarly question for the capitulators of the status quo. Alternatives I came up with are progrssionalist ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there a word for a person who is not afraid to point out problems even if that means additional work for them?

I am talking about a developer who doesn't turn a blind eye to bugs found by chance, who doesn't treat them as Somebody Else's Problem, but feels responsible for the product as a whole. ...
-2
votes
2answers
157 views

A word or neologism for doing an action together [closed]

This is for a community initiative. I initially thought of pan-action but this would have more to do with the idea of something global or widespread. Also, con-action doesn't sound right with the ...
28
votes
14answers
3k views

Phrase for observing a rule in a malicious way

I know this phrase, but for some reason it is blocked in my mind. What is the term for observing a rule, but doing so in a way that subverts it? I'm almost certain that malicious is one of the words ...
2
votes
2answers
239 views

Avoiding “time-controlledly” as an adverb

I'm currently translating a web site for scheduling software from German to English. So there are many things that this program can do "time-controlledly" (if I translate literally). But this sounds ...
0
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 ...
8
votes
6answers
235 views

Summarizing what makes a home a home [closed]

Meta: I considered asking this on WritersSE, but I am less familiar with it. I would not object to a migration. Problem: I want to edit the following sentence so that it is as brief and aesthetically ...
0
votes
6answers
703 views

What is the word for a good work?

I am helping a charity and I need to invite my friends to join in. We're not asking for any money or valuables but just their time for some feedback on few questions. I am struggling at the opening ...
1
vote
3answers
286 views

Word for “the action of making something optimistic”

Is there such a word or concise paraphrase that corresponds? Optimize might have the same root but it obviously doesn't have the same meaning. Is there any verbal form that could fit or does optimism ...
7
votes
1answer
979 views

A word or phrase to express “écrivain engagé”, a committed writer?

I'm looking for an English expression as I'd like to form a special interest group on the international level. In French, the expression is écrivain engagé. This is along the lines of "literature of ...
1
vote
3answers
793 views

How to describe the phenomenon of “small” people being ignored on the Internet

I live by Internet, as both a user and a developer. This dual role gives me a chance to observe. Every time I try to ask something in communities like StackOverflow, I always pick words carefully and ...
-2
votes
2answers
157 views

“I really need some moving on here” - is it correct to say like this? [closed]

How correct it is to say "I really need some moving on here"? Say, you are posting a question on an internet forum, or opening a discussion thread, and want people on forum to get involved in ...
2
votes
4answers
425 views

Can I say “I have some apprehensions”?

Can I say "I have some apprehensions"? Or it should always be in singular. For example, "He seems to be able to walk now, but I have some apprehensions that he can faint at any time" Google search ...
1
vote
5answers
689 views

“He had snaggle teeth” — how to say correctly? [closed]

Is it okay to say "He had snaggle teeth"? Or there is a better way of describing that problem with teeth?
5
votes
4answers
721 views

Term for convincing yourself words are spelled incorrectly?

Sometimes I'll look at a word for too long and I become convinced that it's spelled or pronounced incorrectly. This happens most frequently with "spider" (I think that should be pronounced "spih-dur" ...
2
votes
5answers
496 views

Adjective/adverb for “taboo”

I'm looking for a word or phrase that means something along the lines of "the exhilaration of taboo". Here's the context for what I'm looking for: "It was strange and [blank] to walk around and see ...
6
votes
7answers
24k views

What is the synonym/antonym for “feminist”/“feminism”?

I am looking for a word or phrase that are to men's rights as the words feminist/feminism are to women rights. And will the word or phrase be called a synonym or antonym?
1
vote
1answer
506 views

Proverb about the origin of the English language [closed]

Is there a nice proverb that highlights the foreign (e.g. German and French) origins of the English language? I remember that I've once read something like English is the bastard child of a ...
1
vote
4answers
29k views

Other ways of saying “letting me know” or “telling me about”

I want to say “my advisor has been very helpful, from helping me decide which classes to take to letting me know/telling me about the resources available to me”. I think saying “letting me know” or ...