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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3
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there a word or a special phrase in English to describe the curvy upper lip that some people like Rio Ferdinand have?

I don't think many have people have that kind of upper lip (probably 10% of the population). To me personally, that kind of upper lip definitely makes a person more attractive regardless of gender. ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

Which kind of logical fallacy is this?

A blogger writes of the artisanal movement that it is born out of a preference for things that are hand made. He points out (presumably as a criticism of this) that in the 16th century a gentleman ...
85
votes
13answers
6k views

Is there English counterpart(s) to Japanese old saying, “Present salt to your enemy.”?

We have a popular Japanese saying, “敵に塩を送る” — literally, “present (supply) salt to one's enemy”, meaning ‘play fair and square, not taking advantage of the weak point of your rival.’ It’s different ...
1
vote
6answers
26k views

What is a polite substitute for badass (used as a noun)? [closed]

Badass and BAMF are both modern words with approximately the same meaning: "Someone who is awesome to an extreme level, thereby leveraging unquestionable authority." Is there another noun or title ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Better wording for “Among other [stuff]”

I have the following problem. I need to say Among other information, [the message] will contain information about the following... I don't like the repetition of "information" here. I thought ...
2
votes
4answers
397 views

Use of “permission” in technical writing

In a request for proposal (RFP) I am attempting to edit the following sentence-fragment which isn't grammatically correct: "...except for staff permissioned to update..." My problem is with the ...
0
votes
4answers
5k views

How do you properly say “missing each other” (that's SO the wrong word!)?

Imagine I sent a message to someone over Instant Messaging, and then went offline. 5 minutes later, they come online, send me a message and go offline. 10 minutes later, I come online, find their ...
3
votes
1answer
8k views

To exact revenge or vengeance?

We are in the midst of a family disagreement about whether the correct phrase is to exact revenge or to exact vengeance. We could use a definitive answer (if one exists) or, at ...
2
votes
4answers
563 views

Phrase for experiencing a negative conclusion to a positive experience [closed]

Suppose I read a book and really enjoy reading it until I reach a certain point where I am suddenly not enjoying the experience anymore. I was trying to come up with a good phrase to describe this ...
0
votes
2answers
427 views

Expression to justify choice of user interface

Is it correct to say "for optimal user experience" when referring to how web interface has to be designed? I just need to explain why I chose specific colour scheme.
4
votes
3answers
602 views

English word for a decorated opening letter

What is the English name for a highly decorated letter at the beginning of a paragraph, mostly found in ancient texts? For example, in the following Opening folio of the Hengwrt manuscript of the ...
3
votes
2answers
531 views

Is there a way to describe a problem that you don't currently know the answer to?

This is easiest described via example. I develop websites for a living and often I'll have a client point out a feature on their website. I can break these situations into two groups: 1) Point out ...
-1
votes
1answer
1k views

A formal phrasal verb for “continue to stick to their belief”

How do I rewrite the following sentence so it is more formal, using a phrasal verb in place of the part in bold? Despite mounting evidence, they continue to stick to their belief.
6
votes
1answer
6k views

What other words can be used instead of “hideable”? [closed]

I'm trying to name a class representing objects that can be hidden and reshown. I'm wondering if there's a better term than "hideable object".
7
votes
1answer
5k views

What is the relationship name of my sibling-in-law's sibling to me?

For example: I have a sister named Charlotte. Charlotte is married to Martin. Martin has a brother named William. Martin is my brother-in-law, but what is William to me?
0
votes
3answers
365 views

What phrase or word can I use to describe a bad mix of action?

This is in a Saudi YouTube series that I'm subtitling; I came across a colloquial word which means literally 'a mixture of melon juice, mango juice and corn', and figuratively expresses a bad course ...
2
votes
3answers
356 views

Wording for threshold description (greater than or equal to)

I have a parameter for a program that is a threshold (T). I need to document it, and what I want its meaning to be is this: If N >= T then Do Action I don't want its meaning to be this: If N > T ...
1
vote
1answer
190 views

Word for unverified confidence without ambition

I'm looking for a word or phrase to describe the condition of someone who is fairly certain he could do _______ if he were to set his mind to it, but who has absolutely no intention of ever doing so. ...
0
votes
3answers
5k views

Word meaning “to choose or take something as one's own”

I was having a conversation with an agent of an Internet service provider and the reason I called them was because I'm confused about a plan they have that is very similar to the one I currently have ...
0
votes
3answers
8k views

What's the better wording: “Please assign this to the person responsible for the job”

I'm trying to come up with a better wording for this sentence: Please assign this to the person responsible for the job. I want to say "Please assign this to the appropriate person", but that ...
-1
votes
1answer
2k views

Why would you want to do that? [closed]

I recently shared with several coworkers that I wanted to go to a particular class. My coworker responded to me with the following question: "Why would you want to do that?" I responded with a ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Single word for “inhale using your mouth with force or power”

I want to express the following: "Inhale using your mouth with force or power". It does not sound good to me. Is there any single word or a good phrase to express this?
0
votes
3answers
489 views

Non-financial costs

I am interviewing someone about the newly proposed bike paths in our city. I want to ask them not only how much the paths will cost financially, but also find out what other costs (such as the ...
-2
votes
2answers
234 views

How would you concisely express 'the range of dates in which something is expected to happen'?

I need a conside expression for "the range of dates in which someone expects something might happen". For instance, I called John to ask him for a more precise period in which he estimated he ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Word for describing the emotion of helping someone

I am looking for a word which describes the emotion that one experiences on helping someone (friend, colleague, family, stranger). This helping out is not in the context of charity, but more of as ...
1
vote
2answers
174 views

How to express “some place for children to play in restaurant or other public”?

I found some translations but am not sure if there are better and shorter alternatives: "children playground" — I am thinking about a small place inside, not a large playground; "corner for ...
1
vote
5answers
482 views

A word to express “removing some parts of history from history books by authorities”

In some countries some parts of history books of students have been removed by authorities of the time. For example, it has happened for Achaemenid Empire (a part of ancient Iran history) 2 years ago ...
1
vote
4answers
1k views

Is there a word which describes the experience of not being able to comprehend new sensory input?

Is there a word which describes the experience of not being able to comprehend new sensory input? Specifically, I am trying to find a word which describes my experience whenever I listen to a new ...
-1
votes
1answer
325 views

Is “I need to deposit my checks” correct? [closed]

I haves a few checks and I want put them into my bank account. What's the approriate and natural sentence to describe my intention at a counter? Is "I need to deposit my checks" correct? What is ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

“Trust arrives walking and departs riding.”

That is the translation (provided by Wikiquote) of the Dutch proverb "Vertrouwen komt te voet en vertrekt te paard." I don't like this translation very much for conversational use. It doesn't "feel" ...
2
votes
1answer
576 views

Does a truism need to be true to be a truism?

I frequently hear people quoting widely-used idioms or proverbs as if they are fact, simply because they are used frequently by many people. For example, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." Can ...
1
vote
2answers
45 views

A term for non-player targetted information

I'm looking for a term that would describe the information that is not supposed to be known by players, not essential for their gaming experience. Like a game object (or feature) that isn't actually ...
2
votes
6answers
380 views

What is a term that means “to force into a particular form”?

I'm looking for a term that describes "forcing into a particular form", "forcing into looking like something else", or even "forcefully fitting into a category" Ex: "We (word) the ...
1
vote
6answers
8k views

Polite/professional alternative to 'It turns out'

I have been tasked with coming up with a nicer phrase to use than 'It turns out'. It is to be used in situations like this one: 'It turns out' that we cannot... 'It turns out' that we ...
-1
votes
3answers
1k views

Phrase similar to “friend or foe”. I want to the reader to ask themselves the question [closed]

I am looking for a phrase similar to the phrase "friend or foe". I have come up with "help or hindrance" but I am hoping you might come up with something else. edit - I am writing an article on ...
2
votes
5answers
520 views

Expression for “resource paralysis” - can't do anything because you have too much?

Is there any word, expression or proverb for the condition or state where you can't do anything because you have too much? I have heard a professor of English refer to this as "resource paralysis" ...
5
votes
1answer
754 views

An event that occurs only once

What do you call an event that occurs only once in its environment? For instance, birth and death are two events that occur only once in the lifetime of a living thing. I am looking for a word or ...
-1
votes
1answer
208 views

Can I say 'I feel connected' when I think a movie tells my story?

Recently I saw a movie that tells a story very similar to mine. I wanted to tell my friends about it and said 'I felt connected'. They doubted if that is the right word to use, since the word ...
-2
votes
2answers
317 views

Is there a word for the desire to care for an injured or vulnerable person or animal? [closed]

Specifically, I'm looking for a word or phrase that captures the feeling of wanting someone to need you to care for them, and feeling guilty that the desire implies that you want the other person to ...
2
votes
4answers
237 views

Is there a word for when a problem's understood complexity grows exponentially as you work on it?

Example: Hey Joe, can you fix simple problem A? Sure, Sally, no problem! After all it's simple, right? But A is then found to have dependent sub-problems B and C; B to have dependent ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

Is there a word/expression that would correspond to something like “self-distance”?

In Swedish there is a term called självdistans, which would be directly translated to "self-distance", which means possessing a certain objectivity towards yourself, to be ego-less or not taking ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there an English equivalent for the Swedish expression “the droplet that caused the beaker to overflow”?

In Swedish, the expression "det var droppen som fick bägaren att rinna över", directly translated to "the droplet that caused the beaker to overflow", is used to express that enough is enough. Is ...
1
vote
2answers
4k views

alternate phrases for “Not well thought out”

I need a phrase or word that with the same meaning as the phrase "not well thought out." I am writing a major term paper on war. I am currently just creating a mindmap (I use them in the same way as ...
10
votes
7answers
1k views

What is the English equivalent to the Japanese word 学者バカ, “Scholar’s fool”?

I’m interested in the words “instant omniscience,” which Calvin Trillin, a former editor for Time magazine, used in a New Yorker magazine article (March 20) entitled "Time Edit": “There were some ...
1
vote
2answers
333 views

What term best describes the “mentality” with which an API is designed?

As someone whose mother tongue is not English, I'm sometimes having a hard time having the correct feeling towards the meaning of some words. This is one of those situations. I'm looking for a term ...
2
votes
2answers
613 views

Is there a single word or a phrase that can be used to denote either Before or After? [duplicate]

I am looking for a word that does not refer to now, but can refer to either before or after. In case of phrases, the lesser the words, the better is. It is to name a Java class file whose basic task ...
2
votes
7answers
1k views

Is there a familiar phrase for spending too much time on something?

We all know that "a stitch in time saves nine" and "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure", but sometimes the opposite is true. A stitch before its time is a waste of time and thread. If ...
3
votes
0answers
1k views

Any alternative phrase for “piece of cake” [duplicate]

Are there other phrases to express easiness of the situation like the above mentioned phrase?
1
vote
3answers
719 views

Looking for an English word to explain a certain business situation

I am looking for an English word to explain the following business situation. A new product or service is offered to the market. There are many small companies that start to provide this service or ...
2
votes
1answer
326 views

English equivalent for a Portuguese saying on “bad company”

In Brazilian Portuguese, we have: "The bird who goes around with a bat wakes up hanging upside down" Original: "Passarinho que anda com morcego amanhece de cabeça pra baixo" The literal meaning ...