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

9
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
94 views

Another way to say “Worked On”

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.
6
votes
5answers
94 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
5answers
548 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
139 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, ...
14
votes
12answers
6k 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
3answers
253 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
178 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 ...
2
votes
7answers
155 views

A word or phrase for “going past a deadline.”

I'm translating a document into English from a business meeting. Participants are often being implored to finish their tasks by November, as planned, and in no way ??? to December. I'll give some ...
3
votes
9answers
529 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
49 views

Name on Grave Marker [closed]

I hope someone might have a suggestion for better wording of this sentence: "A grave marker was placed that honored his name." Is there a better word than "honored", or a smoother wording of the ...
8
votes
4answers
194 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
167 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 ...
22
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
80 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
132 views

What would be a 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 ...
0
votes
6answers
92 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
1k 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
2answers
34 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
46 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
54 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
101 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
43 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
34 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 ...
-2
votes
3answers
54 views

How can I ask for a user's contact information? [closed]

We have an app in which users will win prizes, and we will be contacting them by email to send them their prizes. In the dialog requesting the user's email address, I've written this text: Please ...
4
votes
12answers
2k views

What is the better way to say, “I will wait until you ask me to start off”?

I am completely missing a simple word which means "an indication from someone that you can go ahead". Something like giving a green signal.
0
votes
2answers
174 views

What is the word used to describe a forced choice

I am looking for a word to describe a certain situation where you must choose one option or the other, as in it's either me or her. For example: If you stay friends with her we can't be in a ...
3
votes
3answers
125 views

A phrase or neologism which describes obsolete technology-related neologisms

Neologisms and slang that are inspired by technology are increasingly commonplace, e.g.: 'Why don't you just google it?' or 'Text me.' Some of these neologisms leave our lexicon as quickly as ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Idioms/phrases for “I won't get in the way?”

Example: "Me and Jake? Don't worry I'm a lesbian. You have [...]." (Meaning she's not going to get in the way). I can only thing of having a clear track. Not sure if it's common, though, since ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

How can/should tell a person to not overuse the essays they're using for support?

We have a homework assignment in which we are supposed to critique other people's essays. One person seems to have overused their supporting essays in their rough draft. My question is, what do I ...
3
votes
3answers
122 views

Opposite of buyer's remorse

Buyer's remorse is when you have a sense of regret after purchasing something. You may have been coerced into first purchasing the item out of fear or guilt. What would the opposite of this be? ...
0
votes
0answers
69 views

Formal English - Phrase request

Please help me phrase the sentence below in a more formal manner. "Follow up on Purchase Orders to get the goods on time"
1
vote
4answers
166 views

Alternative to “old-fashioned”, with a distinct and positive meaning?

Is there an alternative way to say "old-fashioned" but with a distinct positive meaning? It could be used as a compliment in the following scenario: Woman: I want a man who can write sentences ...
3
votes
2answers
203 views

What would be another way to phrase “the moral of the story is…”? [closed]

What would be another way to phrase "the moral of the story is..." ?
6
votes
3answers
820 views

Word for “the entire back part of the body”?

When we lie down, the "back part of the body" is in contact with the bed. It includes the heels, the calves, the backside, the back, and the back of the neck, and the back of the head etc. How do we ...
0
votes
7answers
158 views

Is there a word or phrase for someone who displays excessive prudishness in speech and behaviour?

Perhaps an endangered species in the 21st century, such person will tend to use euphemisms for bodily functions and sex, instead of what they consider "indelicate words". I'm looking for a noun or ...
0
votes
0answers
47 views

Quotes on interest for SOP

I am writing SOP for my graduation applications and I am not able to find proper Quotes or idioms to begin my sop. Basically I want to convey that if someone set their goal in life close to their ...
0
votes
1answer
101 views

Word(s) to describe the direction of a threshold

Two types of thresholds exist. Type One Values below the threshold are good, and values above the threshold are bad. Type Two Values above the threshold are good, and values below the threshold ...
10
votes
6answers
3k views

What's the opposite of “pro bono”?

The Latin pro bono is used to describe performance of (often professional or specialized) services for free or for reduced compensation. Is there a corresponding (hopefully Latin, perhaps ...
1
vote
2answers
97 views

I want to say that something is “expensive” in terms of time and resources

I'm writing an academic article (physics) and I want to say that a procedure is necessary but very expensive (in terms of resources like time, infrastructure, ...) Can I say: Since A is sacred we ...
4
votes
6answers
244 views

Word/ phrase for satisfaction derived from helping others?

I am in search of a noun or concise, descriptive phrase for the satisfaction and joy one gets from helping others. I do a lot of community service and very much enjoy it, and I get an almost cathartic ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Subject line for farewell email

I want to send farewell message via group email to all my colleagues. I am uncertain what to put in subject line. I've considered: Bis wir uns wiedersehen : Until We Meet Again Adios Amigos Adieu ...
0
votes
4answers
155 views

What do you call those roofs you usually find at the entrance of buildings?

Here are some pictures (see the red arrow): In the second picture is the platform with the little trees growing on top. What are they called?
8
votes
3answers
531 views

What is the phrase to describe the problem of mass participation?

What is the phrase used to describe the problem where a solution does not work unless all stakeholders volunteer to participate in the solution and individual stakeholders are de-incentivized to ...
0
votes
4answers
202 views

what is it called when someone talks about something they dont know about [closed]

What is it called when someone says something inaccurate about something they know nothing about??
0
votes
2answers
38 views

Word or Phrase for Indirect Verbal Deception

Is there an English word or phrase which describes conversations intended to be overheard by others, which primarily contains misinformation meant to be believed by those who overhear? Example: ...
8
votes
8answers
931 views

Term for situation where alternative choice is not really one [duplicate]

What would you call a situation where the current one sucks but you have a 'choice' to an alternative, however the alternative is not really one. Such as, "Sure living in an area under a ...
1
vote
3answers
37 views

Phrase that means a sequence of projects, each of which builds on the previous project.

I'm writing a proposal in which I describe a series of small projects/experiments. The projects start out small and basic, then the subsequent project builds on the results from the prior project. I ...
5
votes
7answers
707 views

A phrase or a word for not practising what you are preaching [closed]

Can you please tell me the word, term or phrase for not practising what you are preaching. Also, if possible, the word, term or phrase for someone who does so. I am not looking for hypocrisy or ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

Is there a word or phrase that combines the meanings of 'inlet' and 'outlet'?

I wanted to tell a friend that I've discovered a new social outlet, but then I realized it was also an inlet. I was wondering if there's a word or phrase that combines those two meanings. Something ...