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

5
votes
2answers
2k views

How do you describe this particular way of sitting?

In Japanese, there's this thing called 横座り (yokozuwari, lit. "side-sitting") that looks like this: Basically, you sit on your knees, but then partially swing your legs out to one side. Is there a ...
3
votes
8answers
2k views

Alternative term to 'Uncle Tom' for a black or colored person who is subservient to whites?

In Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel, the eponymous character was meant to be a sort of model of resistance against slavery, a man who whose "devotion to his fellow slaves is so unshakable that he ...
6
votes
5answers
620 views

Is there a word or phrase for these specific types of memories?

I once told my mother about a specific incident that occurred in my highschool French class. Eight years later, she mentions this incident again and this is one of those things that I would have ...
-1
votes
2answers
357 views

What's the meaning of “as your concern allows”

What is the meaning of "as your concern allows" in this context: Keep in touch as your concerns allow. The above sentence was preceded by the sentence: We seem to be out of sync in reading ...
2
votes
4answers
914 views

A word for someone who does not keep up with popular culture

Person A does not keep up with celebrities or popular entertainment. A knows that they exist, so I don't think sheltered is the right word. Also, would it be a different word if A tried to forced ...
2
votes
1answer
508 views

Individually meaningful building block of a complex word

If there is a complex word that consists of two simpler words, what would you call each component, or individually meaningful building block, that the big word consists of, relative to the big word? ...
5
votes
4answers
100 views

Does “digital crafting agency” sound good and is it meaningful for a company's description?

There are some web development studios who call themselves a "digital agency". For our small team we're going to take a similar tagline, "digital crafting agency". Does this sound okay to native ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

What do you call someone who always talks a situation in their favor?

What do you call someone who always talks a situation in their favor? For example, Tom tells Mary that she has a piece of meat stuck in between her teeth. Mary replies "Oh I purposely left it there". ...
3
votes
6answers
386 views

How can I refer to a period of day when people are awake/active?

The context is comparing air travel vs overnight train travel. In this case, air travel takes 1 hour, plus time required to travel from city to airport, arrive early for check-in & security, then ...
18
votes
11answers
3k views

What is a person who never leaves a tip called?

Ever wonder why the waiter at the restaurant you went to last week is now giving you dirty looks. Well, perhaps you didn't leave them a tip! Then, the question is: What is a person who never leaves a ...
0
votes
0answers
224 views

Ways to refers to two people who were about to marry or just married [closed]

I wrote the following: A bright red carpet ran all the way from the entrance to right beneath the altar. Enclosing it on both sides, were two rows of long benches—each of them with a tiny ...
-1
votes
2answers
331 views

Is this sentence a valid construction? [closed]

I received this in my email. Please be reminded in accordance with the below email. Is something wrong with this sentence?
5
votes
1answer
211 views

coffee flights in a six-seat bar

What do coffee flights and six-seat bar mean in the following post? The Orange County Register is now reporting that 39-year-old Duggan plans to open a slow bar adjacent to Portola, offering ...
4
votes
6answers
5k views

How do you describe a young woman who, while pretty when seen from behind, is ugly when seen from the front?

Is there a term, a phrase or an idiomatic expression to describe a young woman who, while pretty when seen from behind, is ugly, if not repulsive, when seen from the front? After some searches I ...
21
votes
15answers
45k views

What is a term for someone who doesn't know what they haven't experienced?

I'm struggling to find a word or short term for a person or group of people who do not experience jealousy/remorse/etc. due to a lack of something. For example, people from the middle ages could not ...
1
vote
6answers
582 views

What's the phrase to imply random jobs?

What's a phrase that can convey the idea of "a variety of different jobs with no central theme"? "Various odds and ends" was the one that occurred to me, but it didn't feel exactly right and ...
1
vote
3answers
89 views

How to explain the name of the author of a work which is a base for a performance

Could you please help me with the following: The context is a printed information about a play. For example: name of the play: ......... playwright: ............... ...
7
votes
4answers
831 views

What is the English counterpart to 'Binboyusuri' - keep jiggling one’s legs during conversation sitting on the chair?

There are persons who keep jiggling their legs sitting on the chair during conversation or being interviewed. This motion is annoying and seen as the indication of the speaker’s tension, weakness to ...
2
votes
4answers
11k views

Is there any other word that means “more and more’?

Is there another word for more and more? For example, in this sentence: More and more people use computers Is their a word to replace the More and more at the beginning?
3
votes
10answers
2k views

Term for choosing to believe a falsehood

I was wondering if there is a term when you choose to believe something even when you know it is likely untrue? The concept I'm thinking of would differ from cognitive dissonance in that you're ...
2
votes
1answer
161 views

What is the proper expression for 'putting down the hood' (of a sweatshirt)?

Alright, super simple question I guess, but I'm no native speaker and google doesn't seem to be helpful here... What do you call it when you go from wearing your hoodie 'hood up' to 'hood down ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Replacements for that

I've recently become aware that I use the word "that" way too much, especially in more academic writing. I've noted in particular that I use "that" almost exclusively after words like "implies" (I've ...
0
votes
3answers
321 views

Simpler and more common way of asking “Where could he/she had gone?”

I'm not a native English speaker, and I though asking "Where could he/she had gone?" was very common. But when I searched that phrase in Google I got only 6 results. Is there a more simpler, more ...
3
votes
8answers
7k views

Word/phrase for “treating the problem rather than the symptom”?

Is there a word that means the equivalent (or close to) the expression "treat the problem rather than the symptom" ? If not, is there a concise way to say this? For example, in discussing ...
1
vote
2answers
239 views

Forms of strict reporting — what do Americans call them?

I had to deal with typographically printed sheets with some generic text and fields to fill in information by hand (dates, signatures etc.) or through printing (if you are lucky to hit the fields). ...
4
votes
6answers
833 views

What is a word or a phrase that means “interactive and amusing stuff?”

I am redesigning my website to have fewer categories, but I am running into problems with the "Games" category. I have a few things that are interactive, and fun, but not necessarily games. For ...
3
votes
5answers
190 views

When backward compatibility is bad

Sometimes, making a poor design choice in the past prohibits the programmers from providing neat solutions in the future. You want to abandon the wrong route and start from scratch. Which word or ...
3
votes
2answers
164 views

General term for punctuation that surrounds a word or phrase?

Is there a general term for punctuation that surrounds a word or phrase? Something that includes brackets and quotes, but there may be other types of punctuation, formal or otherwise, that have the ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Idiom for random/arbitatry decision making [duplicate]

Sometimes an entity's (be it a person, company, or a government) predictions/choices/decisions seem to be completely arbitrary (based on no evidence or observation). A very colorful example of this ...
0
votes
3answers
206 views

What would something be which fails to provide traceability?

If something fails to provide security it is said to be insecure. So what would something be which fails to provide traceability?
15
votes
18answers
2k views

Term for “will consume time and almost certainly yield nothing”

Can anyone point to an eloquent word or term that means "will consume time and almost certainly yield nothing"? Could be used in response to: I'm going to have one of the developers contact ...
1
vote
3answers
306 views

fashion or clothing industry jargon for a pattern’s age range: toddler, child, adult

In a database of clothing items, I need to distinguish between those cut for 'girls' and those cut for 'women'. There are no offerings for 'toddler' or 'children', but this category would encompass ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

A word or phrase that defines “Preconceived opinions based on experience or reason?”

If Prejudice is defined as Preconceived opinion not based on reason or experience. then what, if any, is the word that defines "Preconceived opinions that are based on experience or reason?"
14
votes
13answers
748 views

Word for false, self-perpetuating “cure”?

There are situations where a short-term remedy actually perpetuates the underlying long term problem. For example, drinking more coffee is a kind of false cure for a caffeine withdrawal headache. ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

I “go by” this name

Often times when I go to fill forms and apply for programs at government agencies or other places, they often ask me whether I have another name that people call me. I'm Chinese and I use my native ...
1
vote
4answers
161 views

“Rent income” or “Rental income”

My understanding is that "rental" is a word implying that income is being received from a property one owns and leases to a tenant. "Rent" is used more in the sense of what a tenant pays a landlord. ...
4
votes
4answers
383 views

Is there a concise term for being over-aware of bad news happening?

That was probably a terrible title, but I'm looking for a word or phrase to describe this concept. We all probably have a relative like this, they feel that the world is "going to hell" around them - ...
-3
votes
1answer
219 views

Feel support - what does it mean [closed]

I'm looking for short phrases which include "support" word in such a way that I can prepend a company name before it and it will make sense. But i'm not a native speaker so I would like to check my ...
0
votes
5answers
554 views

Order of universal and existential quantifier

In mathematics we use the universal and existential quantifiers (represented symbolically by ∀ and ∃, respectively) to make our lives easier. We can also use them in English. From a logical ...
46
votes
9answers
5k views

What is the opposite of the Devil's Advocate?

If I am arguing against a proposal that I may actually agree with, then I am playing Devil's Advocate. However, what if I do not necessarily agree with the proposal but am arguing for it, with the ...
3
votes
10answers
14k views

Do we have a term for knowing-oneself?

In many psychological, religious, and ethical theories it's been suggested that you know yourself, through contemplation, cognition, etc. It's like trying to recognize who you really are deep inside, ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Can we say that X is “indifferent between” two possible courses of action?

It strikes me as odd to use "indifferent between" rather than "indifferent to", but am having a hard time rephrasing the sentence so that it includes both options. The structure of the sentence I'm ...
49
votes
24answers
8k views

Are there counterpart English expressions to Japanese proverb, "the nail that pops up is always hammered down?

I was once reminded by Robusto-san of a Japanese popular saying, ‘出る釘は打たれる - the nail that pops up is always hammered down,’ when I complained about sequential down-votes that I received. I wondered ...
-3
votes
1answer
48 views

Does the “and” demand both parts to be in place to require a PFD to be worn? [closed]

A personal flotation device (PFD) required by 14 CFR 91 shall be worn by each individual on board the helicopter when conducting operations beyond power-off gliding distance to shore, and during ...
33
votes
2answers
2k views

Revealing that someone else is gay — counterpart to “come out”

If I reveal to my friend that I am gay, I'd say I came out to my friend. How would I say that my friend told his friend (without asking me for permission) that I am gay? My friend [insert ...
6
votes
4answers
558 views

Term for security checkpoints separated by sex

In some places, a security checkpoint has two areas, one for checking men, and another for checking women. I'm looking for the term which describes this segregation by sex. This would be the opposite ...
4
votes
3answers
148 views

Single word for “to fund the totality (of)” [closed]

What is a one- or two-word phrase that means "to fund the totality of a program: staff, office space, supplies, and program funding" that is often used in grant applications?
0
votes
7answers
388 views

Word or phrase for remoteness, great distance from human habitat

I am looking for a word or phrase denoting remoteness and great distance from human habitat, for the purpose of naming a cabin in the wilderness. I have already thought of "far cry" and "back of ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Idiom Meaning “Ready to Correct One's Mistake”

I'm looking for a concise way to describe this situation: Person A compliments B's team at a competition. But B does not respond to this compliment gracefully, even though it means a lot to him. B ...
1
vote
1answer
252 views

School students are instructed, self-taught students [self-study?]

"You will be instructed" "I have been taught for 4 years" To "You will [self-study?]" "I have been [self-learning?] for 4 years" Both seem kind of clumsy. Is there a better word ...