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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4
votes
7answers
146 views

Is there an idiom/proverb in English to denote unfair discrimination?

In Tamil, we have a proverb that roughly translates into English as If the mother-in-law breaks the pot, it is just clay . But if the daughter-in-law breaks the pot, it is made of gold! ...
22
votes
13answers
3k views

Name for “having no concern about the truthfulness of one’s own remarks”

Take the following statement: I hate the ease with which X makes disparaging remarks about their rivals without the least concern as to whether they are truthful or fair. Now I would like a word ...
2
votes
2answers
37 views

Showing repetition with some interval

I want to say that in a plot, not all the points are drawn. Instead we draw some of them with a specific interval (k). For example, with k=3, points 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, etc. are drawn. I think that for ...
0
votes
1answer
91 views

English equivalent of Polish saying “Uncle replaced hatchet with stick”

Consider another nice Polish saying "Zamienił stryjek siekierkę na kijek" that literally means "Uncle replaced hatchet with stick" but I managed to form it into a little rhyme just like in Polish (I ...
1
vote
2answers
148 views

Word for blaming all problems on one cause?

I'm not quite sure what the word I'm looking for is, but I think it would be something along the lines of stupid and unoriginal. For example, let's say a man frequently gets into arguments with his ...
8
votes
4answers
738 views

What is the expression for rules that are typically flouted?

I seem to remember that it involves the word "observe", but I can neither recall it nor find it in a thesaurus.
5
votes
5answers
649 views

What is the word for working hard to “take the concerns of someone away”?

I have someone who is concerned about my lack of experience on the job I might be hired to do. How can I reply back saying that I will work hard to "get rid of their concerns" or "make these concerns ...
4
votes
4answers
74 views

Idiom, phrase, or word for “no clear division”

Example: "There is no clear division between a liquid and a solid. The soggy soil we are standing on is a case in point. So is the yogurt you're having." What's an idiom, phrase, or word for "no ...
44
votes
9answers
10k views

English equivalent of Polish saying “A yokel can leave a village, but village will never leave yokel”

Consider another nice Polish saying "Chłop ze wsi wyjdzie, ale wieś z chłopa nigdy" that literally means "A yokel can leave a village, but village will never leave yokel". Could you please help me ...
0
votes
3answers
70 views

common phrases for a right idea but poor execution [closed]

What is a relevant phrase for a "right idea but poor execution" because all I can come up with is promised so much ,but delivered so little. I just need something more precise and appealing than that. ...
21
votes
10answers
4k views

What is the opposite of a health benefit?

I am looking to write an online article about the negative effects of eating/drinking a certain item. There are articles that have a title such as "Top Health Benefits of _____". What could be ...
3
votes
1answer
68 views

Is there a more specific term than hyperbole for this kind of outlandish exaggeration?

I quite often make outlandish exaggerated statements to emphasise a point; for example, if I'm particularly frustrated with a programming problem I'm working on, I'll say something like If it ...
5
votes
3answers
368 views

Another expression for an ellipsoid whose major axis is long

I'm writing a scientific journal. I'm looking for another expression (or other expressions) for an ellipsoid whose major axis is long (or very long). (By 'long ellipsoid' what I precisely mean is an ...
1
vote
1answer
89 views

Does English slang have a feminine version of “breaking someone's balls”?

A question out of curiosity. Probably Not Safe For Work. Often times, I come across this phrase especially in Hollywood movies and sitcoms. Depending on how it's used, it either means that "someone ...
3
votes
6answers
120 views

Politically correct way of saying “perceived by others as better”

I work for a startup and am trying to write a sentence in a professional email along the lines of: We can compete with other/better-known companies like Google and Amazon by appealing to the ...
6
votes
7answers
219 views

English equivalent of Polish saying “[You've got] freedom Thomas in your own house!”

Another nice Polish saying about freedom in ones own house "Wolnoć Tomku w swoim domku!" that is rather untranslateable but modern version of this quotation would be "[You've got] freedom Thomas in ...
-1
votes
5answers
247 views

What do you call a seemingly stupid question that, to most people's amazement, can't be answered? [closed]

How's Obama any better (or different) than George W. Bush? For those people who still do not or cannot understand the question, here's yet another way of putting it: Imagine a country where ...
6
votes
5answers
336 views

English equivalent of Polish idiom “To explain [something to someone] like a cow in bound”

Another Polish saying "Tłumaczyć jak krowie na miedzy" that means "To explain [something to someone] like a cow in bounds". Explanation This idiom is used to describe a person that is dumb above ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

English equivalent of Polish saying “You let a boor into office and he will drink ink”

I'm looking for English equivalent of Polish saying "Wpuścić chłopa do biura to atrament wypije" literally meaning "You let a boor into office and he will drink ink". Explanation This saying is ...
11
votes
5answers
667 views

English equivalent Polish saying “Dumb people are not sown, they're born”

I often wonder if there is any similar English idiom to Polish saying "Głupich nie sieją, sami się rodzą" literally meaning "Dumb people are not sown, they're born." Short explanation: This saying ...
1
vote
3answers
67 views

Word or phrase for inability to enjoy something fun

I am looking for a word or phrase that describes when a person can't enjoy something that should be enjoyable because there is some aspect of the experience present that other people would normally ...
7
votes
5answers
325 views

English idiom for a lot of paper? [closed]

Is there any English idiom with meaning "a lot of paper" (like documents), like "a tons of paper" or so? I mean paper as paperwork, but not in the context of the work itself, more kind of going ...
3
votes
1answer
62 views

English idiom for keeping a lousy employee on the payroll because of his connections? [duplicate]

You know (hypothetical) Larry, the CEO's third cousin, who was hired on an important and well paid position even though he totally sucks at it, dragging the entire department down, but the CEO keeps ...
12
votes
11answers
653 views

Phrase or idiom for someone that is overspecialized

If I have a friend that spreads their interests too thin, gathering a large body of superficial knowledge related to many topics, I'd probably use the phrase "jack of all trades, master of none" to ...
7
votes
8answers
1k views

Is there a word for someone who is a killjoy yet also “The voice of caution?”

I am trying to find a word/phrase that describes someone who performs a "reality check" every time people suffer from misconceptions or over-exuberance. He/she is the "voice of caution" that prevents ...
3
votes
4answers
39 views

What is a good word for 'being a group where different beliefs are practiced'?

What is a good word for being a group where different beliefs are practiced? I.e. wearing a headscarf, being a atheist or doing a silent prayer for diner are common. Secular means an organisation is ...
15
votes
18answers
3k views

Is there an informal term for the “best company in an industry”?

I am looking for an informal term or an expression to define the best company (the more competitive and successful) within a specific industry. A similar example is the expression "killer ...
-2
votes
1answer
59 views

The agreement is pending approval from your end [closed]

Is there a better way of saying: "The agreement is now pending approval from your end."
8
votes
10answers
605 views

Something that provides a way to gain knowledge

Is there a single word or a phrase for 'something that indicates a direction to pursue or gain knowledge'? I want to use this word for 'Symmetry'. I want to write about how symmetry helps us think ...
9
votes
6answers
130 views

Is there a term/phrase for a vicious cycle of overcorrection?

When something starts going wrong, then when you try to correct, you overcorrect and make things worse, then you try to correct it again, and again overcorrect, making things worse again, etc, until ...
2
votes
2answers
82 views

Phrase or one word request for 'Bitch pass' [closed]

I want to say that some people are allowed to be mean and rude, because we know the struggles they are temporarily going through and we are willing to put up with the drama for their sake. Put ...
1
vote
4answers
52 views

Expression for “more uses to come for a technology”?

I'm looking for an expression to use about a recent technology, where there are some uses already, but there may be more not yet widely known, and people are still figuring out what to use it for. I ...
2
votes
2answers
180 views

Is there a word for those random spots/patterns you see when you enter your home after playing outside on a sunny day?

I am not sure how many of you have experienced this but coming from a very hot region (South India), I have experienced this numerous times. Especially when I enter my home after spending long ...
2
votes
2answers
111 views

What do you call this button-shaped thing?

I was changing the back light bulb on my car ,and I was struggling to unbutton this button-shaped thing . what do you call this button-shaped thing in English? It looks like a tack or a fastener. ...
0
votes
3answers
70 views

A problem that isn't really a problem

I'm looking for a word or, more likely, a phrase--along the lines of "Hobson's choice," "busman's holiday," or "Pyrrhic victory"--to describe a problem that isn't really a problem. An example might be ...
55
votes
12answers
9k views

A skill that you have, but has little to no benefit for you

Most of us have these little things we are able to do, that are a little different or special. Maybe it is something we mostly use in laid-back social situations, to break the ice and get a laugh. ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

Diminishing velocity range or? [closed]

I am writing scientific paper and try to explain to reviewers that the range of velocities is getting smaller(2820-5620,then 3000-5400). How to say this in a proper manner?
2
votes
2answers
56 views

How to express a situation where someone puts others in a situation where others have to solve the problem

Is there any proverb to express a situation where someone put others, without asking approval in advance, in a situation where others have to solve the problem? He knows if he seeks for permission, ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

A word or expression similar to “handmade” [closed]

I would like to open my own store with leather sandals, and accessories such as necklaces, rings, bracelets, scarves, etc. I would like to know if there is any other suitable word than "handmade". I ...
9
votes
16answers
343 views

Word or phrase for the poor idea of replacing old with nearly as old

Someone that I know is trying to replace a very obsolete item which is currently causing problems with one that is itself obsolete, if not as much so. I am trying to find a word or succinct phrase to ...
2
votes
1answer
112 views

Word or words to describe type of garments relating to football strips?

I am looking for a word or phrase for use in filtering football strips in an on-line store that describe both of the following. A word or couple of words to distinguish between home/away/third ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

What is it called when using 'you' in place of anyone or yourself in example? [closed]

What is the adjective (or phrase) describing the use of 'you' in place of anyone, everyone, or yourself in passing? Such as the following - ...and you wouldn't dare to eat the last cookie, ...
6
votes
8answers
2k views

What is that point in business where it is extremely difficult to generate new business/customers called?

I think the title is sufficiently clear. To add a little more clarity, if a business is performing extremely well, we generally say it has "peaked". Is there a word/phrase/idiom that implies ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

What is the idiom or single word for a person who just talks high-flying to show himself important and powerful? [duplicate]

What is the idiom or single word for a person who just talks high-flying to show himself important and powerful? But, in actuality, he is not what he tries to portray himself as.
2
votes
1answer
137 views

How do I replace the phrase “As of when…”? [closed]

I don't think this phrase is incorrect, but it seems awkward and I can't figure out what to replace it with! The sentence I am using is: As of when the man and woman take him in, his reaction in ...
9
votes
9answers
835 views

How to express an unwanted purchase?

I need a verb or an expression to convey the idea of being sold something unwanted or unneeded. Like when you go to a shop to buy , let's say, a shirt, and they somehow are able to sell you also a ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

What expression describes a person who knowlingly invests in a scam? [closed]

What word or phrase describes a person who invests in an enterprise that he knows is a scam or Ponzi scheme? Can the word or phrase refer to a person who votes for a politician who repeatedly tells ...
4
votes
4answers
128 views

Short word or phrase for the acquisition of specific pieces of knowledge

On the Latin Language Stack Exchange (which is in private beta right now), I wish to create a tag for question asking for how we come to know certain facts about the Latin language, for example: How ...
1
vote
3answers
59 views

Word for academic fields that are aligned with a political movement or position?

Is there a word or phrase for academic fields that are aligned with a political movement or position? For example: Feminist studies is aligned with feminism. African American studies is closely ...
3
votes
1answer
50 views

Is there a term for the point in time when a product can begin to use itself?

I know there is the term "dogfooding" and have even found other variations on the phrase "... eat our own dog food": "drinking our own champaign" "eating our own cooking" "ice cream our customers ...