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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34
votes
6answers
4k views

Is there a pre-Internet term for “gamification”?

Gamification is a relatively new term which was coined and has been made highly popular in the Internet era. From the related Wikipedia article: Though the term "gamification" was coined in 2002 ...
1
vote
0answers
37 views

Term to belittle one so another can gain [closed]

Is there a term out there for people who are trying to be socially conscious (particularly feminist) but they are so embedded in the patriarchy they don't understand how unproductive they are being? ...
3
votes
2answers
103 views

Word or phrase for the beauty in pain, tragedy, damage, etc?

I'm looking for either a single word or a very short (really, as short as possible) phrase that could be defined (literally or metaphorically) as: "beauty that is possessed due to or despite the ...
21
votes
12answers
2k views

Idiom or expression request that would convey same meaning as this Persian set phrase “ simple yet impossible to imitate”

In Persian poetry there is a style which literally means: "simple yet impossible" It implies that the poems have been told using simple words and in a seemingly simple way, yet cannot be ...
3
votes
4answers
78 views

Word or phrase that means “to make something extremely awesome”

I was wondering if there's a verb or phrasal verb that means "to make something awesome to the extreme." Consider: A: This place looks terrible. B: Just wait until I'm through with it. I'm going to ...
28
votes
10answers
3k views

Synonym for “marketing” that doesn't imply selling or profit

Is there a word that is similar to "marketing" that doesn't imply the idea of commercialization or profit? For example, a non-profit that assists domestic abuse victims may run a campaign where they ...
1
vote
0answers
71 views

Word or phrase to describe increasing periods between attempting the same operation

I'm looking for a term (single word or phrase) that describes the trick in software development to (typically exponentially) increase time between successive attempts to do an action on a server, for ...
7
votes
4answers
257 views

Is there an English idiom that is equivalent to “throwing stones at sewage will only spoil your dress”?

There's a colloquial saying in Tamil that I am used to, If you throw stones at sewage, it's your dress that will get spoiled" It means if you try to change the opinion/behavior of a ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

A clock or watch using a digital display to show an analog clock face

What is a term or phrase to describe a timekeeping device that uses a digital display medium to show the time by displaying hands, dots, or other indicators like an analog clock would? Examples: ...
0
votes
5answers
195 views

Opposite of buck(ed) teeth

A friend of mine asked me this question but I couldn't answer it. I have tried to find an opposite (not exactly though) of buck(ed) teeth which means: Large front teeth protruding over the ...
7
votes
7answers
1k views

Phrase for doing something unexpectedly fast [closed]

I want to know if there is such a phrase. What I mean is doing something "over the course of a night", but of course it doesn't have to be that short. I think it could have something to do with ...
3
votes
3answers
112 views

Alternative to “Kodak moment”

Kodak moment (informal) A sentimental or charming moment worthy of capturing in a photograph. Is there another word(s) to describe such a moment? (Something not simply a slang) Does picturesque ...
12
votes
8answers
2k views

Phrase meaning whoever is buying can choose

I was at the pub the other day, and it was my friends turn to buy a round. As he left the table, he asked what beer we wanted, and I replied with "Dealers choice", meaning that since he was buying the ...
9
votes
4answers
103 views

Is there an idiom/phrase similar to “commentator's curse”, but with positive connotations?

In sports, we have the term "Commentator's curse", (humorous) The supposed propensity of a player to blunder after having his/her talents pointed out by the commentator. [Wiktionary] Is there a ...
0
votes
2answers
87 views

Can I say “help myself to” when I'm being offered something? [closed]

Background I was travelling with my clients( from US/Canada) when one of them graciously offered me a portion of Lindt bar. Since I wasn't sure what a polite response would be to a native speaker, I ...
16
votes
16answers
2k views

Is there an idiom to express “You couldn't get anything better”?

Is there an idiom or expression meaning "what you've been offered is the best thing I could offer you, and you won't get anything better" when someone refuses your offer in a rather rude way? As in: ...
1
vote
6answers
127 views

Rude/angry way to say 'ask away' [closed]

What is the rude/angry way to say "ask away"? As in: A: I have a question. B: Ask away. When, for instance, you don't feel like talking, or you want the person to ask the question quickly, ...
2
votes
4answers
112 views

Is there a more formal phrase or word for “practice what you preach?” [closed]

I am trying to think of a non-colloquial word or phrase that means "practice what you preach." I would appreciate any suggestions. Thank you!
-1
votes
3answers
88 views

clarifying a misunderstanding [closed]

If I have a misunderstanding with someone I often want to apologise for the argument but still ask for a clarification. I want to say Sorry for the argument, but I need more information. How ...
5
votes
4answers
63 views

A term for the disillusionment that occurs when a source reports inaccurately on a subject in which you are knowledgeable

I think I remember there being a specific name for the experience when you realize that you've been taking the credentials of a source of information (news network, online personality, etc.) for ...
1
vote
6answers
59 views

A term for the intertwining of media and the subjects they are covering

Is there a good term to describe the symbiotic relationships that we see so often between media (broadly defined) and the subjects they're covering? I'm thinking of how TMZ tends to give Bieber ...
4
votes
4answers
265 views

English equivalent for “easily blaming the person you dislike”

In Malayalam/Indian, there's a saying "Istam illatha achi thottath ellam kuttam". It literally translates to: You find fault with anything done by a woman you don't like. It means that if there ...
27
votes
4answers
5k views

Word meaning: A slip of the tongue which suggests how you actually feel, often humorous

I'm sure there's a word which matches this definition. Where you make a slight mistake in saying something and a friend will nudge you and say "oh, so that's what you really think?!" One example, ...
2
votes
5answers
58 views

Word/phrase for changing applicability of something

What's the word/phrase to indicate that applicability of something has been changed. For example in a given scenario, how to announce " enjoy tool "A" in its new application" in the form of "---- of ...
4
votes
2answers
175 views

Is there a phrase for the generation that is taking care of three generations of family members?

The phrase "member of the sandwich generation" refers to a person who is taking care of children and elderly parents. Is there a phrase (or word) for a person who is taking care of parents, children ...
-1
votes
3answers
68 views

Referring to an email sent to an individual, but not in the main conversation

Consider this situation : Somebody (A) sends a mail with subject S, to many folks (B,C,D) who send few responses to all recipients, with the same subject S, meaning that these mails are all part of ...
8
votes
3answers
636 views

Term or idiom to describe a best friend since your childhood

In Chinese, there is a four-character phrase, 竹马故友 which could be translated word for word into: Bamboo Horse Old Friend: Friends who played together riding toy horses made of bamboo. I know ...
8
votes
6answers
147 views

Antonym of “Well done” [closed]

Is there a generally accepted antonym for Well done! ? I mean something like : "That was lame" Update Context: A feedback app in which a bad performance by a user has to be responded with a ...
2
votes
4answers
85 views

A term or phrase for famous one-off events

I am looking for an expression (also an idiomatic one) which describes a single famous event such as: a singer who has just one most famous song and than you hear no more about them. a ...
0
votes
2answers
64 views

How to ask a person who has just arrived about the road [closed]

I'm wondering how to ask a person who has just arrived whether his commuting was fine. Could you say Was the road fine?
15
votes
14answers
2k views

What is the correct term for 'misleading' investigations?

I am looking for the more common and correct term used when someone tries to misdirect investigations on a crime that has been committed . For example, a murderer who tries to create false ...
3
votes
3answers
63 views

Making experience unreal [closed]

How would one say make a situation feel less real? I'm referring to the situation when people create illusory world of theirs to shelter themselves from reality;
4
votes
3answers
118 views

Let's get started! or let's get going?

I'd like to know if anyone feels a difference between "Let's get started!" and "Let's get going!". Both seem to mean about the same. It is also interesting to notice that there seems to be an ...
3
votes
6answers
102 views

Is there a word that means “an argument/proposition potentially vulnerable to attack”?

A friend made an argument that I thought was fairly strong but had fairly easy lines of attack available against it. (Whether or not these lines of attack are strong/valid is unknown.) Is there a good ...
11
votes
12answers
1k views

What is the name of that feeling when one discovers that there is something “most others know that I didn't know”?

The person gets into some situation, certainly not perceived as a good one and not necessarily too bad one either, and then finds that most other people don't get into such situations. And he begins ...
2
votes
3answers
65 views

Sadness over culmination/completion

I'm just wondering if there is a word that describes the feeling of sadness I'm experiencing having solved a problem I've been working on every day for the past 10 months. It should accurately ...
1
vote
2answers
74 views

Word for making an assertion without knowledge of its truth? [closed]

As opposed to lying which is to assert a false statement knowing that it is untrue, with the intent to deceive. Is there a related word for making a statement as if it were true, with the intent to ...
1
vote
4answers
71 views

Acting irresponsibly [closed]

I can't manage to find a word or phrase that will describe the process of putting off/taking off the responsibility from oneself.
4
votes
5answers
138 views

English equivalent for “When the head is present, tail should not wag.”

In Malayalam/Indian, there's a saying "Thala Irikkumbol, Valu-attaruthu!", which literally translates to: When the head is present, tail should not wag. It means that one should not act out of ...
20
votes
9answers
2k views

Name for the difficulty of finding information you have no knowledge of

Example 1: Anecdote (couldn't find reference online) Designers of astronaut suits struggled with knee/elbow joints... until someone ELSE told them of the armor of (I think) Henry VIII. Example 2: An ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

What is the opposite of a stage whisper?

So a stage whisper is defined as (American Heritage Dictionary): The conventional whisper of an actor, intended to be heard by the audience but supposedly inaudible to others on stage. A ...
7
votes
5answers
175 views

Is there any English equivalent to the Portuguese proverb “days of plenty, nothing’s eve?”

Days of plenty, nothing’s eves (in Portuguese dias de muito, vésperas de nada) means your days of plenty are eves of days of nothing, i.e. you alternate between splashing out and hardship, usually ...
17
votes
11answers
3k views

Is there an English equivalent for this Tamil proverb - “A painting of a bottle gourd is worthless while preparing stew”?

This is an interesting expression that I came across very recently while reading a Tamil magazine. The literal meaning is that you can't cook the stew by just having a painting of a bottle gourd. ...
27
votes
15answers
3k views

What is the term describing the condition of being oversaturated with information?

This is how I feel: too much random information online, very hard to find what you are really interested in, being annoyed by having to sift through the random photos and poorly written pieces, or ...
41
votes
18answers
5k views

English equivalent for the Persian proverb “The mountain just gave birth to a mouse”

I'm looking for an idiom or expression to describe a well-known person/ organization/ politician/ government whose achievements in a given situation are smaller than what they had claimed or promised ...
6
votes
4answers
181 views

English expression for “cold-natured” without emotional connotation?

I speak Persian, and in our language we have a word for a person who more often feels cold than warm (or reverse). The person tends to be cold even when others around them feel warm or when they ...
3
votes
1answer
48 views

Idiom for the impossibility of using the same tool/method for different tasks

I'm looking for an idiom (if there is one) which captures the following meaning: trying to do two things with the same tool will never work, since every task requires its own tool. It is similar to ...
0
votes
2answers
60 views

What is a word for a person who ignores other people's pain? [closed]

Is there even a word for it?! If not is there a phrase!? I'LL TAKE ANYTHING!
2
votes
2answers
76 views

Looking for a slang expression to say “I´m pissed off and sad. I want to be alone” [closed]

I found some things like Being on the dumps, but I would also like to say in the same line that I'd rather to be alone.
14
votes
11answers
2k views

Idiom request for speaking about punishing or scolding somebody before they are proved guilty, just out of prejudgement

I'm looking for an idiom, expression or a (set) phrase that implies "to punish somebody just out of prejudgment". We Iranians have a saying that literally means "one shouldn't punish people before ...