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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5
votes
5answers
719 views

Word for someone or something deeper than most would assume

I was looking for a word to describe someone and I'm certain it exists... to describe a person is usually assumed to be one-dimensional but is in fact not, or even something more literal like a ...
4
votes
3answers
200 views

What do I call doing something complex without writing/visual help?

What do I call the process of doing something without any visual help or writing? Example sentence: "He's such a brilliant student! He can calculate derivatives ____ whereas his classmates have to ...
0
votes
2answers
34 views

Term for 'wounded (Callus-bearing) knuckles'

I have often observed the knuckles of some people bearing weird bruises. Googling tells me a 'callus' fits the description of the bruise. Is there a term for these knuckles?
2
votes
6answers
409 views

What is another way to say “in my opinion”? [closed]

What phrase should I use to prevent the redundancy of saying "In my opinion..."? Oftentimes, I always say this phrase whenever my teacher asks for my opinion about certain subject or topic and it ...
1
vote
4answers
94 views

Another term for oxymorons

What is the term for an incongruous phrase like domestic violence, where the word "domestic" softens or alters the meaning of "violence", or Big Brother, which is not literally an oxymoron but is so ...
35
votes
17answers
5k views

Word for dismissing someone's opinions as racist, sexist, etc, instead of debating back

I'm looking for either a single word or phrase that would describe either someone or the action of dismissing someone's opinions as something "socially unpopular", without giving any reasoning why, ...
6
votes
6answers
750 views

non-condecending term that has the meaning that is usually associated to 'first world'

I've always thought of the 'first world' as countries with modern technology and science, proper education, viable economies, and freedom from other social issues which allows individuals to enjoy a ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

Phrase for 'grey literature' in context of data

Grey literature, in a nutshell, are all kinds of publications that - as far as I understand - are not properly published. This includes mainly reports of institutions or companies, or manuals, ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Word/phrase that means a series of problems of increasing severity caused by a small error

Something small goes wrong, and this triggers something slightly bigger, which triggers something slightly bigger, and so on and so forth until you end up with a chain of problems of increasing ...
0
votes
2answers
84 views

Word/phrase that can be used to say that a particular word doesn't describe something

John says he's swimming, when he is treading water. By definition, swimming involves voluntary movement of the body. What word or phrase can we use to tell John that he can't be swimming because ...
2
votes
3answers
46 views

What is the short for “focusing on the key component of the problem?”

I am writing a research essay which contains something like "a policy that focuses on the key component of the problem." I am struggling to come up with a short name for this policy because I need to ...
2
votes
4answers
107 views

A word for people that have the same characteristics

Is there any word or combination of two words that describes two persons with the same characteristics.
1
vote
6answers
140 views

What's a word or phrase for someone who has worked hard all their life

Someone who has been worn down by a harsh working-life?
2
votes
1answer
113 views

Term when a brand name become synonymous of the product it produces [duplicate]

For example most of the people hearing "I really like my BMW" will understand than he is referring to a car whereas someone saying "I do enjoy my Lacoste" will leave doubts about what kind of ...
3
votes
4answers
143 views

Word or expression for when a person not under pressure is able to see an issue easier than the person under pressure?

Is there a word or expression for how it is easier for someone not under pressure to make a decision versus someone that is under pressure. One example is how a person looking over someone's ...
1
vote
3answers
89 views

expressions meaning to risk death [closed]

I am looking for expressions roughly synynymous wtih 'to risk death'. The following are some examples. Can you think of others? to risk one's life to put one's life on the line to flirt with ...
1
vote
3answers
76 views

What is the job title of these municipal officers?

In some countries,( specially Asia) some vendors spread their stuffs for sale on the ground ( upper picture), and thereby cause trouble for the pedestrians comeing and going. For preventing this , ...
0
votes
0answers
63 views

What does a quantum mechanics magician do?

Thousands of years ago a coppersmith was a magician doing stuff most couldn't fathom, a few decades ago a computer programmer was a magician doing stuff most couldn't fathom. If a quantum mechanical ...
7
votes
4answers
270 views

A term for someone denying an accusation but appearing guilty as a result

The situation being when you are accused of something, and provide a logical reason why you wouldn't (not couldn't) do such a thing, and such an explanation only makes you sound more guilty. For ...
9
votes
7answers
317 views

Words to describe a strategic choice that is also a lie?

I'm looking for a way to describe expressing an opinion that isn't true because there is a strategic motive. For example: If I ask someone to name their least favorite 2016 GOP presidential ...
0
votes
1answer
74 views

How to request someone to start a process?

I am an engineer dealing with other companies(vendors). Our company has to sign a Non-Disclosure agreement(NDA) with the vendor before we start any discussion. Now, the NDA signing is a process that ...
-1
votes
3answers
336 views

What is the polite way to ask a client what he wants?

If I answer a phone call from an english speaking client of my company, what is the polite way to ask why he is calling/what he wants? It seems impolite to me to just ask "what do you want?". Is there ...
1
vote
2answers
75 views

Word/phrase asserting authority, knowledge, or dominance

I apologize if this is a duplicate. On Facebook, a friend posted this up: What's a word or phrase used to denote a person who says what's convenient when it's convenient, regardless of ...
28
votes
15answers
5k views

What would you call a person who is self-righteous, brags about her/his moral values and is imposing when it comes to her/his ideas?

I want to describe, in a phrase, a number of traits in a person. I'm looking to describe a self-righteous, pious person who cannot stop bragging about her/his moral values while trying to impose ...
69
votes
25answers
12k views

What is deliberately using complex sentences to confuse people called?

I'm wondering if there's a word, phrase, or idiom to describe the action of deliberately confusing people by using complex sentences. For example, some politicians will throw out some big words and ...
3
votes
2answers
76 views

“Order of magnitude” for qualitative changes

The phrase "order of magnitude" is used to indicate differences between quantities in terms of exponential powers. I've also seen it to indicate Big-Oh differences in algorithm run times. However, in ...
9
votes
3answers
339 views

Rhetorical evasion

While it may not be a rhetorical fallacy as such, I'm wondering if there is term that covers this: When losing an argument, divert the conversation to something unrelated, and say something ...
1
vote
3answers
79 views

Word or phrase for someone who does not think far into the future

I'm looking for a word or phrase for someone who does not think about things far into the future. They may only see what is possible in the immediate future, say a year or so, but they do not consider ...
0
votes
5answers
113 views

Is there a one-word for an act of proactively introducing oneself?

I work for a technology company, and we are associating with another company. So this guy from the other company wrote me an email introducing himself and offering to help me out with anything I ...
2
votes
2answers
116 views

A term for the extreme strength and skill of “stationary muscle control”

Is there a single term (preferred) or two-word phrase (acceptable), possibly technical, though not necessarily so, that conveys the idea of a person having extreme strength and skill at stationary ...
0
votes
2answers
62 views

Verb similar to patron of establishment [closed]

I want to say: "We end up really liking the bourgeoisie establishments we visit." But visit seems like a weak word for the job. In my mind, I want a verb which has the connotation of refinement and ...
1
vote
6answers
105 views

Other phrases for “burst through the door”

I'm writing a story and I want my character to burst through the door, not literally through the door, however, I didn't want to use the phrase "burst through the door" but am stuck as to another ...
26
votes
25answers
4k views

Word for winning because the competitors were miraculously all worse

What's the word in the phrase winning by _____ To describe the scenario when one enters a form of competition and their entry or performance, whatever it may be, happens to be fairly below par ...
1
vote
4answers
162 views

Best expression for place where dogs are born, something like maternity ward is for humans

What is the expression for the place where dogs are born? Could I say that we have a breeding station with canine maternity kennels or maternity ward? I want something like what maternity ward is for ...
1
vote
3answers
85 views

Term for a person/group of persons wanting to celebrate all [closed]

For example if in an organization only the day of work, Christmas and independence day are given official celebrations throughout the company. But then in the offices are people wanting to celebrate ...
0
votes
0answers
47 views

A more formal English expression for K-12 (in the US)? [duplicate]

This is US-specific. I had mistakenly believed that grade school meant K-12. Turns out it refers only to elementary school. Is there a more formal (but fairly succinct) English expression for K-12?
1
vote
3answers
95 views

Word/phrase to indicate time occupation

If someone has a tight schedule or is a little strange, for the sake of politeness, I want to say him that I am not in a rush and you can take whatever time you need to answer me. Could you please ...
3
votes
2answers
76 views

A word or phrase for “zoomed in” and “zoomed out” narrative

In my writing, I find that although the level of detail in something I am writing is a spectrum, there are two distinct categories for which most instances fall into only one of the two. The first ...
0
votes
4answers
74 views

What is the adjective form of group?

How may I say something has been done by a group of people? Is "a group study" correct to refer to a study performed by a group of people? If not, what are the alternatives?
2
votes
2answers
374 views

Word for 'one who steals books'

What is the name of the person who steals books? Can you please tell me what is the word for it?
0
votes
3answers
63 views

An alternative word for “non-evaluativeness”

I'm looking for an alternative word to use instead of "non-evaluativeness" which is long and not very common. Any ideas are appreciated. Example: Non-evaluativeness: Abstract should report the ...
2
votes
5answers
122 views

Word/phrase for negative side effect(s)

In an essay I want to enumerate and describe negative aspects of using a popular and working tool. Since such issues are usually overlooked (or even underestimated), I call them negative side effects. ...
-1
votes
3answers
36 views

Has your turn approached vs. Is it your turn [closed]

Which one of the following is the right way to ask someone about his turn or number for an interview etc: Has your turn approached/reached? Is it your turn yet? Thanks
5
votes
5answers
534 views

Single word describing a person new in something [closed]

What is a word for someone who is totally new in something or participates in something for the first time?
1
vote
1answer
104 views

Expression for “a place where you could settle and live without having to ask for permission, pay taxes, …” [closed]

On the History Stack Exchange they were talking about “white spots”. Is there a proper expression, a single word, or a phrase for such a place? By "white spot" I mean a place where you (if you ...
1
vote
5answers
189 views

How to describe a person who puts down others to make themself feel superior [closed]

I am trying to describe a character who insults and degrades everyone around her to feel better and to give the appearance that she is superior to everyone else. This character doesn't actually ...
13
votes
13answers
3k views

Is there an idiom for being consistently unlucky through no fault of one's own? [duplicate]

Not quite sure how to word this, but I'm looking for an idiom or phrase/saying that describes when somebody who's done nothing to deserve it has hit a streak of bad luck. Wish I could be more ...
0
votes
3answers
89 views

Is there a word or phrase for the moment while taking a picture when there are no tourists (e.g unwanted distractions) in your viewfinder?

This came up during a trip and was thinking there must be a word to capture the moment while taking a picture and waiting for tourists to move out of your perfectly framed building/fountain/status ...
10
votes
9answers
2k views

Are there good English expressions for “raison d’être” and “joie de vivre”? [closed]

I know the two phrases have been adopted into the English lexicon, but raison d’être and joie de vivre are phrases, not words. As phrases they certainly sound better in French than would their ...
1
vote
4answers
71 views

More formal alternative for “get a handle on sth.”

In a text I am writing (paper in the sciences), I find I would like to use the phrase “In order to get a handle on this problem, …”, but it seems a little informal. The intended meaning is “gain a ...