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
2answers
62 views

The phrase “were strong from”

I want to make a sentence like the following: His arms were strong from lifting weights. I'm not sure if it's grammatically correct though. When I googled "were strong from" only 3 pages came ...
3
votes
4answers
678 views

What expression ironically says that something new is better or improved?

In French, we have the Expression X lave plus blanc which translates word for word as X washes whiter. It comes from old TV advertisements where it was the typical argument to show that a new laundry ...
1
vote
5answers
424 views

Is this phrase “now processing..don't terminate this program” correct? [closed]

I'm developing an application in English, but I'm not a native English speaker, so it's hard to put some English phrases in my app. The following message will appear when my program is processing, so ...
2
votes
3answers
97 views

A Semi-Independent Chapter (of an organization)

I have a chapter of an organization that would like to position itself as less strongly affiliated with the parent organization. They want to be under the umbrella but not as consolidated as full ...
3
votes
5answers
381 views

A term for a “clean” win

I'm looking for a sports-related term in English, that means that one side had won without the other side having scored a single point, e.g. 1:0 or 5:0. Is it "a clean win", or does a clean win mean ...
2
votes
1answer
407 views

Need alternative to “brave smile”

I need to describe someone giving "a brave smile" (for the benefit of others) but that phrase is such a cliche. Is there an alternative that means the same? S.
3
votes
5answers
3k views

“What were you thinking…”

I want to ask about what emotion motivated someone to do something. Can the phrase "what were you thinking when you..." be used for this? It seems kind of unnatural to ask, "what were you feeling when ...
16
votes
12answers
36k views

Is there a term to describe speech that has a hidden meaning but is not sarcastic?

I want to describe how someone is saying something but hidden behind their words they are blaming the person they are talking to. It's kind of like sarcasm but not quite as strong. With sarcasm the ...
2
votes
3answers
327 views

Phrase about movie stars

Is there a phrase about those movie stars who are just good-looking but mediocre acting and those maybe not so good-looking (compare with those good-looking ones) but amazing skilled acting movie ...
0
votes
5answers
561 views

What's a short phrase meaning “visited and ascended” (e.g. a tower)?

Is there a short and clear word or phrase, that is not pretentious-sounding, meaning "visited and ascended", as in buildings, e.g. Bert visited the lobby of Empire State Building, but Ernie went up to ...
1
vote
7answers
41k views

What is the expression to suggest a few dates and times to meet?

Let's say a friend of mine tells me the following: Nice! Let’s meet up for a drink this week. And I want to say, "Sure let's do it. I will propose a few ..., and you tell me if either of them ...
0
votes
1answer
163 views

“Had changed destiny”

I want to write something that means the same thing as "had changed destiny." I was going to use those words, but something didn't seem right. I googled that phrase, and came up with only one thing. ...
1
vote
2answers
176 views

word/phrase for initial set of data or givens

I'm searching for a neutral phrase that conveys the concept of the initial condition/situation/position/set of givens or factors impacting an outcome. For example, the idea of a 'headstart' conveys an ...
2
votes
2answers
422 views

A word for “to be completely invisible except to those who have been chosen”

I have searched everywhere, but I cannot find a word or two words that define the following: To be completely invisible except to those who have been chosen. Basically, I am in search of a word ...
7
votes
2answers
515 views

How to convey to someone that food is losing heat?

The story is that I want someone to come earlier to the dining table as food is hot now but in ten minutes it would not be. How in American English can I say to someone to come early, as food on the ...
52
votes
10answers
2k views

Is there an English phrase for an inability to actually *leave* already?

There is a Hungarian expression, küszöbgörcs, which literally means "threshold-cramp", and is used to describe that long conversation you have in the entryway, with all the guests awkwardly holding ...
3
votes
3answers
450 views

What is the word or phrase of the relationship between an account and a bank?

I am looking to describe the relationship between a bank account (such as a checking account, a loan, etc.) to a bank or other financial institution. Right now, I am using is conducted by, as in ...
2
votes
2answers
355 views

what's the phrase for “I don't want to be reliant on someone else”

I remember that there is a phrase with the word whims that goes about like this: "I don't want to be reliant on someone else" Does anyone know what that phrase is?
10
votes
12answers
17k views

What's a more professional term than 'blow your mind'?

I'm looking for a phrase that describes the experience of limits, preconceptions and world-views being challenged, exceeded and revised. I convey this if I say something "blew my mind", but there is a ...
6
votes
5answers
11k views

Phrase for asking the obvious

In my language when a question is asking something really obvious we are using a phrase that if translated means: What is making a "meow meow" sound on the roof/rooftop? Is there an equivalent ...
2
votes
3answers
225 views

What should I call this kind of animation?

On opening this link you will see a car that has a kind of glowing bulb on it. I am talking to my client and we both are not good in English. I have to find this kind of animation from a search ...
7
votes
9answers
3k views

Is there an English word meaning “snacks eaten as an accompaniment while drinking alcohol”?

I'm currently travelling in Korea and Japan and learned that both languages have words specifically for snacks that accompany alcoholic drinks, or at least go with beer and spirits such as sake or ...
13
votes
7answers
1k views

Gender-neutral equivalent for “Take it like a man”

I'd like to find some gender-neutral equivalents of the phrase Take it like a man I'm not looking only for existing phrases -- any interesting ideas for expressing the sentiment "be tough", ...
17
votes
10answers
2k views

What is a synonym for “superstition” but without the negative connotation?

In my native language (Latvian) there is a word that denotes a superstition, but in a more positive way, somehow. It’s hard to explain, so let me give some examples: If you swing on the swings a ...
4
votes
2answers
293 views

What is a concise word or phrasing for “in a context without a user”?

I'm looking for a concise word or phrasing for "in a context without a user"? This is obviously in the context of software. More generally, what is a concise way of saying, "in a context without X ...
5
votes
3answers
676 views

Better phrase for “taking care of one's responsbilities”

I am constantly talking to my kids about taking care of their responsibilities. Sometimes, in the heat of an emotional lecturing, I shorten it to "meet your responsibilites," in the sense that one can ...
2
votes
3answers
597 views

What is a symbol [an expression or idiom] for a word of great length in English?

Is there any symbol [expression, figure of speech, metaphor] for something long in length in English? for example, in Persian we say for a long word: "the letters are set like train" train ...
0
votes
4answers
340 views

“Question and Answers” equivalent when it's not a question

There is a common phrase, "Questions and Answers", also known as Q&A. If you have a viewpoint. opinion, idea, statement, or a thought etc., what phrase would represent it and the response the ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

Equivalents for “She's got a lovely singing voice”

She's got a lovely singing voice. I'm sure they're a lot of other ways to say someone's singing voice is good. How do you restate the above sentence? I'm looking for any equivalent sentences ...
3
votes
6answers
1k views

What's earlier than an early bird?

The term early bird is well known. What's a similarly well known thing that is earlier than an early bird? Edit: the worm, of course! But I'm particularly looking for an improvement on the bird, ...
1
vote
7answers
3k views

British and American slang words for immigrants?

What slang words or phrases do British/American English speakers use for (poor) immigrants?
8
votes
6answers
1k views

Is there an aphorism for doing a self-defeating act?

Is there a witty turn of phrase that indicates one's performing an act that, in its doing, undermines, contravenes, or obviates itself? This question relates to a similar idea, but I have it in my ...
19
votes
6answers
9k views

What do you call those divisions of a book bigger than a paragraph but smaller than a chapter?

In printed books, or at least in novels, there are often major breaks within a chapter more important than paragraphs. Often they are separated by a greater amount of whitespace than paragraphs and ...
10
votes
8answers
841 views

What is the word for when members of the same group attack each other?

I've noticed this in a few South Park episodes, so that's what I'd like to give an example from. I'm sure other artists have depicted something similar. Note that I'm not necessarily agreeing with ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Answer to “enjoy your meal”

When you're having lunch and you see someone he can say "enjoy your meal", "bon appétit" or "enjoy". I can answer him by saying "thank you", for instance. But for example in Spanish we usually say a ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it okay to say “Yes, we do” in answer to “Are you having a good time?”

How to correctly answer the question "Are you having a good time?" Imagine a parent coming into a room, in which his 12-year-old son is having his birthday party with his classmates. Kids are really ...
2
votes
5answers
7k views

A suitable equivalent for the phrase 'give glad tidings'

Can anybody give me any suitable equivalents for the phrase 'Give glad tidings' as in the example ' Give glad tidings to those who strive - they always get the best results.'
5
votes
5answers
4k views

What word or phrase describes pulling a fish out of water?

What would be the fishing word or phrase that describes pulling a fish out of water?
5
votes
7answers
5k views

Words to describe something that does not reach your expectations for it

Which word(s) would you use in a situation such as the one below, to make the sentence sound logical, natural and complete? You told me we were going to a nice park. We've spent almost two hours ...
2
votes
3answers
229 views

Is “revert the damage” possible? If yes, is it too official?

Can "revert damage inflicted" be used in a letter to a friend? Would it sound too official? If yes, what phrase would you use instead of the high-lightened one below? Not only did he type all ...
7
votes
3answers
28k views

Is there a version of brunch for a meal between dinner and lunch?

Brunch has become quite a common word in the English language. Is there a similar word for a meal in place of dinner and lunch? (A phrase will also do).
2
votes
6answers
359 views

How would you name this phenomenon? (about presidents' popularity drop)

Whenever a new president comes, he is always more popular in the beginning than at the end of his term. No matter how good he is and how successful he has been, there will always be more ...
15
votes
12answers
37k views

What is the English word closest to Japanese “Ganbatte,” the word for encouraging people who are in disaster, or challenging a severe ordeal?

In Japan, after experiencing the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake, “Ganbatte” which contains all sense of “Cheer up, Bear up, Keep your chin up, Be courageous, Do your best” became the password of ...
3
votes
10answers
5k views

Better way to indicate “a large amount of ”

A Wikipedia article tells us that: A problem is regarded as inherently difficult if solving the problem requires a large amount of resources, whatever the algorithm used for solving it. What is ...
3
votes
8answers
1k views

What's the more appropriate substitution for “give a f**k/d**n/s**t”

I want a more appropriate phrase that has the same form ("give a **") and meaning as the offensive "give a f**k/d**n/s**t". Is there any?
10
votes
15answers
573 views

Is there a pejorative alternative to “improvise”?

I'm looking for a word or phrase that implies improvisation in a negative context. "Jury rigging" comes to mind, but I'm in need of a term that can't be mistaken as anything but pejorative. The ...
1
vote
2answers
510 views

Is there a phrase for “the first thing I want to see in the morning as I wake up”?

Is there a phrase for "the first thing I want to see in the morning as I wake up"?
4
votes
4answers
122 views

Changing “abroad on permanent accommodation” to sound better

Is it correct to say "to go abroad on permanent accommodation"? It doesn't sound right to me. What's the right way to say that? My pupil has written "some people go abroad on permanent ...
6
votes
5answers
491 views

Short phrase for “things I did (wrote, drew, created, etc) when I was younger”?

What's a one or two word phrase that conveys the meaning "These are some things that I did when I was younger."? The context is a blog that features Writings, Photography, and Artwork. The short ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

What's an adjective to describe the type of writing found in essays?

You might say that writing found in literature is literary; language like that found in poetry is poetic. What do you call writing found in essays, or writing like that found in essays? (Not ...