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
5answers
490 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
618 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
538 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
102k 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
424 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
138 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
831 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
10k 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
942 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
vote
2answers
183 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
vote
1answer
88 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
272 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 saying/...
-1
votes
1answer
509 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
427 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.
-1
votes
4answers
12k 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
145 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
458 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
143 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.
18
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
142 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
vote
4answers
429 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
10answers
33k 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
684 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
152 views

Term for paying beyond the contract limit

I am looking for one word for situation explained as under: We (My Company) have a contractor. His contract amount is $ XYZ per annum. As the year ended he was already paid an amount "beyond ...
1
vote
3answers
222 views

Word of “let's split ourselves into teams”

"Let's X to play football" can I replace X with a verb (or phrase)? I was thinking of teamup (or is it team-up?) but I think it is used when we are already split and we want to be one team.
3
votes
4answers
301 views

The “process” of long-term excessive use of alcohol

This is the kind of a Winter Holidays related question: How is the "process" of long-term excessive use of alcohol during the holidays called in the US and GB? The Multitran dictionary gives me these ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Word or phrase for a person who is impatient and likes studying new things by example?

Is there a specific word or phrase to describe a person who is impatient learning new things dislikes reading lengthy passages always likes learning by example plus doing experiments in parallel? ...
74
votes
28answers
32k views

Idiom or word for a very crowded place

There is a popular idiom in Russian for describing a really crowded place: "(there's) no room for an apple to fall" ("яблоку негде упасть"). I struggle to think of anything similar in English, and ...
6
votes
6answers
137 views

Is there a specific verb that carries the same effect of the VB “will lead us back to the origin?”

While the Victorian age witnessed great oppression against women, it was, at the same time, or perhaps as a result, the inception of Feminism as we know it today. Tracing the gradual synthesis and ...
2
votes
3answers
776 views

Does English have a name for padded/insulated trousers worn over your regular trousers when outside in extreme cold?

I'm currently travelling in Northern China and Mongolia and about a month ago I spent a few days hitchhiking with some local truck drivers. I've been wearing long johns under my regular jeans because ...
3
votes
5answers
438 views

Is there an English equivalent of this common Maldivian Proverb meaning “to do something carelessly or perfunctorily”?

The proverb is "Amaa buneethee fara-h dhiy-un" which basically translates to "To walk along the shore (the point of which is to collect cowrie shells which were used as currency among seafarers and ...
0
votes
2answers
663 views

Is it correct to say “I studied the book with Mr.XXX as my mentor/tutor/teacher”?

I wonder if it is correct to say the following to mean Mr.XXX was my mentor and helped me in learning the book. Could you suggest a better equivalent for what I am trying to say? To explain it better, ...
1
vote
3answers
4k views

Formal way of saying “when you are in need”

How can I write following in a formal way? It will help you when you are in need. It will help you when it is required. It will help you when needed. It will help you when you required to be helped. ...
1
vote
3answers
640 views

Satisfying Demand

Certain expressions rely on pairs of words. We have some word-pairs as such: Quench Thirst Sate Hunger Satisfy Desire Satisfy Demand It seems strange to me that satisfy would be used ...
6
votes
3answers
747 views

An idiom/phrase for someone whose opinions must be accepted by other people

(As a follow-up to the question,) Suppose there is a group of people, and suppose in this group opinions and ideas of a specific member of the group is always accepted by other members and they obey ...
1
vote
5answers
144 views

A phrase for 'a free, informal space for learning'

What could be a short phrase for 'a free and informal space for learning?'
3
votes
1answer
126 views

What expression are these titles alluding to?

There are two episode titles from two separate shows that are written similarly: From Castle: The mistress always spanks twice From Doc Martin: The GP always rings twice Episode titles are usually ...
3
votes
1answer
810 views

Idiom for “doing something pleasant and useful at the same time” with positive connotation

Is there a phraseme or idiom for "doing something useful (necessary) and pleasant at the same time" with positive connotation? For example - using a bike to get to work and back home is useful (...
2
votes
4answers
588 views

Word for the object of adoration

What would be a word for the object of adoration? E.g., a public speaker, a movie actor or a character in a novel. In short, if I am a fan of X, then X is my __. Please note that the adoration ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

The meaning of “oxymoronic state”

Can the term "oxymoronic state" be paraphrased somehow like "a state of paradoxes?" I know that "paradox" and "oxymoron" are completely different, and I need to translate an article for my thesis, ...
2
votes
4answers
209 views

That 'limp wristed hand thing': how do you write it?

I want the words to describe that gesture in which the forearm is usually held upright, and the hand is allowed to drop-limply(if that clears things up)-at the wrist. The verbal phrase 'wave an airy ...
7
votes
4answers
982 views

Is there a light-hearted word or phrase for a hypochondriac parent?

The title may not be entirely correct.. Is there a word or phrase that describes a mother/father who is overly anxious about their baby's health? Not a word to describe both parents together, a ...
0
votes
3answers
121 views

Expressions similar to “at the expense of”

I'm struggling to expand my vocabulary. Could you please provide expressions alike to "at the expense of"? Words or phrases are all well-appreciated.
1
vote
2answers
699 views

Meaning of “yesterday's papers”

What does this phrase mean? It should be an idiom and I can't find it.
11
votes
2answers
2k views

What is it called when it's snowing with the sun out?

It is currently snowing, but the sun is shining. If it were raining while sunny, I would call that a sun shower. What is the equivalent for snow?