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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2
votes
2answers
127 views

A term for someone who demotivates

What do we call a person who constantly demotivates others? For context: someone who thinks he is so brilliant in English, keeps discouraging me about the questions/answers I post.
10
votes
7answers
709 views

Word or phrase for “seeing meaning where none exists”

Is there a word or a phrase to describe an instance where meaning is ascribed to something where there is no such meaning or where the interpretation is particularly fanciful? For example, when ...
2
votes
3answers
136 views

Alternative to the idiomatic phrase “highway robbery”

I was wondering whether there were any other alternatives to the phrase "highway robbery". I am trying to say the same thing in a light-hearted, but not too casual way.
1
vote
2answers
164 views

What's the phrase for food burning and sticking to the pan?

When cooking neglectfully, food sometimes burns and sticks to the pan (or pot, or whatever one is cooking in). What is this phenomenon called in English? Darn it! The spaghetti <stuck to the ...
1
vote
2answers
110 views

Is “knocking on” an idea an idiom for dismissing the idea? [closed]

For years, I thought I'd heard others say, "I don't mean to knock on your idea, but..."—and it was definitely on, not down, although I've heard knock down as well—but now that I'm looking ...
3
votes
1answer
172 views

What's a good idiom to describe someone who is included in a group only because they have something the group needs

I want a one or two word title for a character who is included in a group only because he is their "ticket" to get where they want to go. "Ticket" is what I'm thinking now but would love another ...
1
vote
1answer
128 views

Word/phrase for when an incorrect approach leads to an unexpectedly great result

Related question on Chinese.SE There is a phrase ("歪打正着" in Chinese and "怪我の功名" in Japanese) which roughly means "do the wrong thing but achieve the right result anyway". Is there a similar ...
0
votes
2answers
53 views

Word for when a date is changed in retelling to a 'more significant' date

I am looking for a word or phrase to describe when a date (or other factual information, but especially dates) is changed in later retelling so that it aligns with some other date that is considered ...
0
votes
1answer
811 views

What is an alternative to the phrase “what you don't know won't hurt you”? [closed]

I am looking for an alternative phrase to replace "what you don't know can't hurt you."
1
vote
5answers
93 views

The word for “professional system” or “task system”

I work with software engineering and in norwegian (I'm from Norway) we have a word, "fagsystem", which refers to a software system/application that is specialized to handle a certain kind of business ...
1
vote
3answers
130 views

If I measure myself am I only measuring my size?

In Italy when people say they measure themselves, they are not only measuring their height, or their waistlines. Instead they are measuring how well they do something in a challenging or difficult ...
0
votes
3answers
699 views

Word or Phrase for the beginning or end of an event or period of time?

I'm looking for a single word to indicate a point in time which is either the beginning or end of an event. Edit, for a better example: A bell rings at the start a round of boxing. A bell rings at ...
5
votes
1answer
133 views

Good expressions to signify extensive analysis

I am looking for a way to communicate in a business context that I am carrying out extensive analysis to get to the bottom of something by synthesizing info and insights from various sources to come ...
-1
votes
5answers
268 views

Specific word/phrase/idiom for the following scenario

I have a second cousin living at the end of my street, but we hardly meet. I plan to meet her soon and tell her to come out and go out for a walk. Could anyone suggest a phrase, word, or an idiom ...
5
votes
5answers
171 views

What is a word for the sensation when during a conversation you realize you were both talking about different things?

Inspired by this chat message (text is below), I have sometimes wondered if there is a word for the feeling that a person you were talking to about a particular subject was using the same words as ...
0
votes
2answers
159 views

How to phrase 'people have become acutely/increasingly aware of X' [closed]

I'm trying to convey the idea that people's behavior on the Internet is a reflection of our increasing social self-awareness, almost like a communal entity. For context, here is the paragraph I'm ...
5
votes
7answers
220 views

What is an English word which means 'bêtement'?

Bêtement is a French word whose literal meaning is 'in the manner of an animal'. It is often used metaphorically, to describe an action carried out in a robotic fashion – without thinking. How would ...
1
vote
4answers
80 views

Word for desire to be recognized as super productive by others?

Is there a word or phrase for the desire to be recognized as very productive on everything one is responsible for? Perhaps sometimes it could be a motivation for an overachiever. Or other times it ...
3
votes
3answers
64 views

term for demonstrating favorable aspects of a skill, while leaving out cautionary notes

OK, so there's the term "whitewashing" which means to omit or downplay mention of negative aspects of something, in order to mislead someone else to overlook those negative aspects. Is there a ...
1
vote
2answers
226 views

How to end a resolved support ticket email? [closed]

What is the best way to word an email meant to close a "help desk ticket" submitted via e-mail? For instance, Bob sends an email to Support Team with a problem. After the Support Team solves the ...
1
vote
2answers
509 views

Word(s) for close family friends

There may not be anything better than in my title, but I have an idea I'm missing something. Is there a good way of expressing close friends of a family. The original and closest friendship may be ...
0
votes
3answers
79 views

Word or phrase that refers to the person who is the “focus” in a video?

In the case of, for example, birthday and weeding recordings, how do you call the people who are the main focus of the video (e.g. bride, groom and birthday boy/girl)? Example: All the [...] of ...
1
vote
2answers
198 views

What is the term used “When a person is called in to work on a holiday”?

Someone asked me about what term is used for a person who is called in to work on a public holiday. (He told me that it is called pump of leave, but he himself was not sure of it.) So, there are two ...
1
vote
5answers
180 views

singular and collective noun for included computer source code

In software development, one often has multiple individual files that are referenced or "included" by others. What is the noun for each one of those individual files, and what would you call the ...
-2
votes
1answer
389 views

replacement for expression “there are.” [duplicate]

So my writing teacher hates the expression "there are" in essays. Does anybody know some good substitutes for this overused expression? Thanx ya'll, much appreciated!
2
votes
1answer
274 views

Words for a person who imposes [closed]

I need a few words that describe a person who is imposing, in a context of overstaying his welcome. Someone that is present unwelcomed and you can't do your usual routines until the person is gone. A ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Origin of “sleep like a baby”

I believe that many, or in fact, most of you have heard the phrase "sleep like a baby". But actually, where does the phrase originate from? Personally, I don't think using baby is a good reference as ...
-1
votes
3answers
58 views

A phrase for “Actions to do”

I want to list some actions that needs to be done and can't find a good phrase for it. I want to write something like: Now we're creating appropriate elements. Operational summary: 1. doing X ...
4
votes
4answers
275 views

What do you call stand up comedy when not performed to a live audience?

Live comedy is often called stand up. What would you call a comedy video not performed to an audience? This could be characters performing a story, someone talking to a camera, or someone more ...
5
votes
2answers
336 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 ...
2
votes
7answers
277 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
186 views

Is there a word/phrase for this specific type of memory

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 ...
2
votes
4answers
319 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
217 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
82 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 ...
3
votes
6answers
153 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
2k 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
84 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
83 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?
4
votes
1answer
94 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
1k 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 ...
20
votes
15answers
3k 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
237 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
70 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: ............... ...
3
votes
10answers
316 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
92 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
265 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
140 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
327 views

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

Is there a word that mean's 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
119 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). ...