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

0
votes
2answers
110 views

Is “song spoiler” a correct word?

There is a friend of mine who sings the song, she isn't a professional singer. It's just that she likes singing. But she ruins the lyrics, comes up with her own, she sings one stanza correctly but, ...
2
votes
5answers
481 views

Someone sociable who prefers a quiet environment when outside

Someone I know who is fairly sociable, prefers unbusy (i.e no crowds) environments when they're outside. They prefer to go, say shopping, in the late hours in order to avoid other shoppers. Or they ...
50
votes
25answers
23k views

Is there a secular, non vulgar alternative to “for heaven's sake”?

I know for heaven's sake, for Pete's sake, for God's sake and for Christ's sake. All of those, however are religious references. The only non-religious equivalent phrases I know are for fuck's sake ...
0
votes
3answers
429 views

Phrasal Verb request for cover in a cursory manner

Can someone suggest a phrasal verb which means "not covering something in full detail" or treating the subject in a "cursory manner". Something which implies that the details have been omitted ...
4
votes
6answers
228 views

Word for relative movement of inner and outer

I want to describe the movement or position of an inner material inside an outer sheath, as the inner moves through the outer. Can anyone think of some kind of verb, spatial preposition or any other ...
9
votes
5answers
715 views

Term for “[Idiom], [Rhyme]”

Browsing the web, I came across this image of the cast of the television show Community using a type of structure familiar to me, and I wondered if there's a name for it. The most familiar instance ...
2
votes
6answers
394 views

What's a good word for a category of non-technical blog posts?

I have a website mostly devoted to technical blog posts. In the main navigation there are links for JavaScript and CSS, which take you to a list of posts about those topics. My question is, what ...
0
votes
1answer
156 views

Set of Preference

I want to send a formal email to describe my order of preference of some courses that I want to study. Is it correct to say : With the following set of preference: course a course b course c
5
votes
8answers
507 views

What are some alternatives for “nurturing bosom”?

Consider this sentence: "Are you prepared to leave the nurturing bosom of [business-name]'s help and support staff?" I'm looking for something that is a little more professional yet still ...
0
votes
2answers
267 views

Need a little help with rephrasing

So, this is the sentence: Faustus’s annihilation is a sobering reminder of our own human shortcomings; the parable resonates throughout the ages, encouraging even us, as a modern audience, to ...
29
votes
10answers
20k views

Opposite of “literal”

I was listening to the radio today, and someone said, "The couple came across a literal 'pot of gold.'" It made me think: how do you say the opposite of that? I'm looking for a statement or phrase ...
0
votes
3answers
377 views

Term for a person who conducts practice lessons

Is there a word in English for a person who conducts practice lessons in a university? In Russia, we call these kinds of lessons "семинар", and people who conduct them "семинарист". Unfortunately, ...
0
votes
3answers
388 views

Need native expressions for “something happened but no one wants to undertake the responsibility”

Are there native expressions in oral and formal writing English about something happened - mostly negative incidents or events, but those, who should be responsible for it , don't want to undertake ...
0
votes
2answers
68 views

Something like “ragtag group”

I'm looking for a word/phrase that means "a team quickly put together from miscellaneous people". It is NOT "ragtag group"/"motley crew". I think it is "[something] team"
-1
votes
4answers
741 views

convert this sentence to “not only but also” [closed]

The sheepdog did not allow the tigers to lay their paw on sheep and tied them in a daisy chain.
49
votes
12answers
43k views

What is the term for when you become more aware of something?

For example, when you buy a car, you start becoming more aware of cars with a similar make and model. The number of that type of car hasn't increased, but your awareness of it has. Similarly, when ...
17
votes
15answers
5k views

Phrase to describe person who seeks 100% achievements in game

After completing a mission or beating a game, an achievement or trophy will pop up. How do I describe such a person who sticks with it, to unlocking all the achievements of a game, no matter what ...
18
votes
14answers
10k views

What is a phrase or a word for someone who says “I knew that would happen” after the fact?

Is there a word or phrase that describes someone who claims to have known something all along, but only proclaim this after the incident has occurred?
0
votes
6answers
239 views

A word for a book or list of people that you need to contact

I have to remember to contact Sarah sometime this week about the party, so I add her to my person-listy-thing. I think there may be a (somewhat archaic?) concise term for this along the lines of ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

What is a possible name of a course that teaches parity?

(I know, it sounds weird). So "parity," in Maths, is the fact of being even or odd. Let's say if there was an academic course that teaches you about parity, what should be its (one-word) name? ...
-1
votes
2answers
726 views

Word for “a person so bad that people use him for negative publicity of something”

I am looking for terse phrase/word that describes a person who has such a bad reputation that to do negative publicity of any product, the competitor pays this person to speak praise of it.
1
vote
1answer
683 views

Is there a pejorative term or phrase that lesbians use to refer to straight women?

Is there a pejorative term or phrase that lesbians use to refer to straight women? There seems to be a wealth of terms (both offensive and inoffensive) that are used in the other direction. I ask ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Another way to say “is not best addressed”

I need to write a text for programmers around the central idea that "performance is not best addressed at the code level". This is a somewhat polemic issue, and I'd like to make my point as clearly ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Ancient greek philosophy - looking for a quotation of the kind: “I am scared for the future, I don't trust the youth of today”

I am looking for a famous quotation that was written by an ancient greek philosopher and that basically convey the following idea: I am scared for the future, I don't trust the youth of today Do ...
4
votes
4answers
698 views

What's an accurate easy-to-understand way of referring to the brown outer part of a fried egg?

The outer brown part. What's a good/easy-to-understand to refer to it?
2
votes
6answers
1k views

What word would I use for things that are bad for you?

I need a single or double word for a category name for my blog that means: Things that are bad for you, such as smoking, drinking, etc. when you have diabetes. The word must be for all things that can ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Another way to say “a measure of how easy it is” to do something?

I'm faced with the task of writing a slightly informal technical paper, where I'd define more than a dozen terms, all ending in "-bility". Examples: portability, maintainability, comprehensibility, ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

“Call off” somebody from his post?

I am looking for a term that I could use to say that the new Minister of Health removed the present holder of the given post from his position. My first idea was call off, but then I looked up the ...
0
votes
2answers
930 views

How to express an appointment “has happened”?

Let's say there is an appointment between John and Peter, scheduled for yesterday at 7am. An appointment might be "cancelled", which means that it didn't happen. But, what word(s) would you use to ...
3
votes
5answers
599 views

English idiom similar to “grab one, hit the other”

In my native language there is an idiom which literally says "grab one, hit the other". It is used to express that a group of people possesses the same negative personal traits, habits, vice, etc. and ...
2
votes
3answers
173 views

A request for a word similar to 'stumble in speech'

I am looking for a rather formal verb(phrase) to mean "involuntarily inserting a word from one's mother tongue in a speech made in one's foreign language because the person in question is in a very ...
1
vote
5answers
22k views

How can I politely express that “I have understood”?

When my professor instructs me during his/her office hour, I may simply show my understanding by "Got it" or "I see". But I wonder how to say that politely and professionally in written English, ...
3
votes
4answers
583 views

Idiom for: a not-challenging environment spoils a good worker gradually

I want an idiom for the situation where a non-challenging environment gradually spoils a good worker. If a brilliant programmer worked with a group of mediocre programmers for quite a long time, he ...
1
vote
1answer
137 views

local knowledge of the territory

In business language, how could you say: local knowledge of the territory? As in: The company has a deep knowledge of the territory, i.e., logistics, suppliers, clients and people knowledge, etc. ...
3
votes
3answers
6k views

Is there any other idiom for “Hundred blows of goldsmith is comparable to one blow of iron-smith”?

The idiom Hundred blows of goldsmith is comparable to one blow of iron-smith comes from a hindi idiom "Sau sunar ki, ek lohar ki". Literal meaning is One powerful blow is comparable to a hundred ...
1
vote
5answers
711 views

Great (?) personality/character(?)

I'm looking for the appropriate English term for what I'd call a "große Persönlichkeit" in German. This is not about someone who is famous, neither about someone who tries to appear superior than ...
1
vote
5answers
355 views

In terms of betting, how would you say “You will get 5× in return if you win”?

In terms of betting, how would you say "You will get 5× in return if you win"?
0
votes
3answers
89 views

Term for the link a seller sends to a buyer to make payment

Oftentimes when buying stuff online, the buyer receives a URL (like a PayPal link) from the seller, which the buyer then clicks to make a payment. Is there a concise name for such a link? "URL that ...
7
votes
1answer
501 views

Term for “Phrase that Ends List”

In an episode of Fawlty Towers, Basil Fawlty uses the phrase "And Bob's your uncle". Unfamiliar with it, I looked the phrase up on Wikipedia, which described it this way: Typically, someone says ...
1
vote
1answer
135 views

It there a literary technique for when authors create a language within their novel? [closed]

Like in 1984 when Orwell creates newspeak? I'm trying to find techniques to analyse his decision to do this...
3
votes
5answers
27k views

Another unique way to say “other end of the spectrum” [closed]

Something like "on the other hand" but unique or with an interesting twist.
-2
votes
1answer
312 views

Choose the proper variant to complete the sentence:

... misses the kisses, ... kisses the misses. A) An rejected lover, a accepted lover B) An accepted lover, a rejected lover C) A rejected lover, an accepted lover
235
votes
38answers
91k views

Is there a non-sexual phrase for sleeping with someone?

The phrase "sleeping with someone" often means "having sex." What is the origin of this sexual connotation? Is there a non-sexual equivalent of this phrase to express sleeping with someone without ...
1
vote
2answers
113 views

Describing contrary idiom usage

I periodically get emails inviting me to a "free" lunch for the purpose of hearing a sales pitch. Multiple times these invitations have included some quip such as "See? There is such thing as a free ...
3
votes
5answers
734 views

a phrase to describe a greedy scoundrel, or to name that behaviour

Imagine the following conversation: B: What's the price? A: It's fifteen each. B: Okay, I'll buy it. A: Too late, now it's twenty each. B: Why? Because I can afford fifteen? A: Exactly. How would ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Are/were these strings of decorative colourful triangles known as “dags”?

There is an English word "dag" with various senses divided up into various etymologies. This question is about just one particular sense having this definition on Wiktionary: A hanging end or ...
1
vote
2answers
432 views

A word for a collection of collections of video content?

If I were to put together collections of scientific lectures either by speaker or topic, what might I call them as a whole, if all the collections too were grouped into one item? I am looking for a ...
3
votes
5answers
474 views

How can I rephrase “the best tool that reaches every corner of the world”

I'm doing some proofreading of a text written by a non-native English speaker regarding a project. This text is in the project's mission statement, saying they want to create a tool that will be used ...
34
votes
18answers
10k views

Is there a word for being so polite as to appear insincere?

I'm looking for a term in English to describe being so polite that one appears to be insincere.
0
votes
2answers
564 views

In-house vs out-of-house

What word or expression would you use to describe an employee who is contracted by a company on a project-by-project basis but who cannot be considered a freelancer as he or she works exclusively for ...