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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3answers
2k 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
42 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
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2answers
958 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
605 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
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3answers
178 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
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5answers
23k 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
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4answers
594 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
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6answers
9k views

Word or phrase for someone who annoys you as soon as they walk in and start talking

Looking for both a journalistic and perhaps playful term. In a journalistic sense, how would I describe a CEO figure who holds a company meeting and the employees are either annoyed, bored, or rolling ...
1
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1answer
143 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
7k 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
737 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
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5answers
362 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
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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
508 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
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1answer
137 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
29k 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
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1answer
317 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
236
votes
38answers
92k 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
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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
753 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
454 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
482 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
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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
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2answers
590 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
525 views

Is this a Grill door? how do you narrate if some one opens or closes it?

Is this a grill door? if not what do you call this type of doors? Old elevator systems uses this door. If a hinged door is opened, we use "push open", "pull open", "heave open", "dash open", "bang ...
6
votes
3answers
98k views

“thank you for the kind words”

I have seen and/or heard the sentence "thank you for the kind words" more than once. The context is usually that the speaker is responding to an appreciative comment in a discussion whose overall ...
2
votes
1answer
416 views

Expression for a frustrated, annoyed double-take

Let us take a specific situation. You are facing a person you find extremely annoying. The person is finding faults in your ways and pointing them out in a rather blunt manner. They are making ...
6
votes
5answers
4k views

What's the equivalent of “what the hell are you doing?” in a negative sentence?

I want to use the equivalent of "hell" as in "what the hell are you doing?" in a negative sentence. I want to address someone with something like this: You can not do anything the hell! By that ...
2
votes
7answers
12k views

What do you call someone who is obsessed with video games?

I need a slang word which means someone addicted to playing video or computer games. Could gameaholic work? It can't be nerd or geek because although those expressions denote someone who is ...
0
votes
3answers
136 views

Phrase for correcting text in a particular manner

If someone writes in a manner such as "U hve to run daily ... only then U will lose weight" and you correct it to "You have to run daily, only then you will lose weight." I suppose you can't say you ...
2
votes
2answers
820 views

What is the meaning of 'the food chain'?

The OED confirms my long-held suspicion that the original use of the term 'food chain' is becoming supplanted by an altogether different meaning. The term 'food chain' was used extensively in the ...
0
votes
3answers
9k views

“On the other end / side” of the phone line

What's the proper way to reference somebody who're you talking with by a peer-to-peer phone line, usually if you don't know who's there exactly? Russian language, for example, has the idiom (они) на ...
3
votes
2answers
926 views

Word for phrases that are examples of what they describe

Is there a word (or phrase) for phrases that are examples of what they describe? For example, "You the verb" to tell someone they forgot a verb in an online posting, or "spacesmakethingseasiertoread". ...
1
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2answers
180 views

The penny dropped slowly

In Germany we have the saying "der Groschen ist gefallen", which exists in the English language, too: The penny dropped. But there is also a variation for slower thinking, "der Groschen fällt ...
1
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1answer
87 views

Noun of What a Straight Shooter Gives

A straight shooter gives information in an honest way. One could say, "He (the straight shooter) gives me the ...".
3
votes
2answers
268 views

Is there a saying in English that basically means “adapting to your target audience”?

There is a saying commonly used in Turkish, which goes something like: "serving the syrup according to the arteries" (quite literally translated). The meaning behind it is to adapt what you are ...
-1
votes
1answer
498 views

One word/phrase describing hostel and mess management

I am currently involved in a project, where the system is required by an educational institute for managing students' hostel fees, hostel stay and mess charges. I am looking a suitable title for the ...
6
votes
5answers
420 views

Is there a word for the ideas you get while showering?

Is there a word for the ideas you get while showering? Doubtful there's an English word for that, but I'd be open to words from other languages as well.
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votes
4answers
11k views

What's the most neutral reply to “Can you do me a favor?” [closed]

While the answer to my question may be considered highly subjective, I can't help but feel like there's an extremely neutral way to reply to the phrase I'm inspecting. The question normally ...
0
votes
2answers
143 views

A term needed for mixed pharmaceutical compounds

Anyone could help me to provide a term for compounds mixed by pharmacy then served as a medicine? Could I still just use materia medica nowadays? Thanks.
1
vote
1answer
2k views

What does “sense of community” mean?

Currently, I'm living in HK. But I am Chinese and I know nothing about Cantonese which is the mother tongue of Hongkongers. So, I feel lonely here and I don't think I belong here. So, can I say I ...
0
votes
3answers
445 views

A word for discrimination based on education or area of expertise

I was wondering if there is a word for "discrimination on the basis of education / area of expertise". What I mean is a word to describe someones attitude toward geeks of some kind. Example: I want ...
3
votes
3answers
142 views

Inanimate life companion

This is gonna be pretty vague, but hopefully by listing examples, someone will understand what I'm grasping for. I'm searching for a metaphor to describe a tool, weapon, vehicle, set of techniques, ...
30
votes
8answers
6k views

An idiom meaning “sticking fingers in your ears does not change the fact”

I am looking for an idiom which means sticking fingers in your ears does not change the fact; the fact remains so, even if you don't listen to the one who is mentioning it.
17
votes
8answers
4k views

Is there an English idiom for Bengali idiom “সবজান্তা গামছাওয়ালা”(wise towelsman)?

In the Bengali language there is an idiom, "sobjanta gamchawala" (wise towelsman), meaning a man whose occupation is merely to sell towels, but claims to know everything and gives valuable advice on ...
1
vote
1answer
140 views

What is the correct way to phrase this

Which is correct way to say: We request the account to be closed. we request the account is closed.
1
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4answers
419 views

Idiom or phrase meaning “satisfactory in all abilities”?

Is there a possible idiom or phrase in the following context that means satisfactory in all abilities? For example, lets say someone knows three languages: English, Spanish, and Korean; however, ...
6
votes
11answers
31k views

Phrase for something that is always out or reach/you almost have but never can get

I believe there is a two-word phrase for something that is always just out of reach for you and which you cannot ever seem to get. (It is not Tantalus or anything having to do with Tantalus, please). ...
2
votes
3answers
665 views

Word meaning “to convert into a numerical form”?

Let's say that one possesses some data or information that one wishes to map to some kind of numerical representation. I can't seem to come up with a word or phrase that describes it well. As an ...