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
9answers
597 views

Word or Phrase for someone who pushes others to their full potential

I'm looking for a positive word/phrase, preferably something in common usage, that can be used to compliment someone (a professor in this instance) who pushes others (students) to achieve their full ...
5
votes
7answers
1k views

What is it called when you end up preparing for something and then it doesn't happen because you prepared?

For example, if you bring your umbrella with you 6/7 days of the week, and it does not rain - and then on the 7th day, you end up not bringing it with you, and it rains because you did not have your ...
58
votes
10answers
7k views

What do you call a minor flaw in a work that makes you realize how perfect/flawless it is otherwise?

For example, I was listening to an audio book the other day and the author mispronounced a word which got the audience laughing. Until that point, I didn't even know that there was an audience and ...
3
votes
2answers
95 views

Saying for “don't talk about things you don't understand”

Is there a (relatively) common phrase, preferably using a metaphor, which means one should not talk about things one does not really understand? I have the impression of some such phrase floating ...
0
votes
2answers
75 views

Phrase for inventory movement [closed]

I'm looking for a phrase that describes the in-and-outs (purchase and sale) of inventory items, kind of like an account statement for bank accounts. Some phrases that I thought about are 'inventory ...
6
votes
6answers
76 views

A non-geographically connotated phrase to express “too localized”

Background (may be skipped): Over on Crypto.SE we're currently reforming our custom close reasons and as a result of this, we want to create a close reason that captures both "request to analyze a ...
0
votes
0answers
98 views

Using -rich suffix

I have to following example phrase: A movie, rich with effects Now I'd like transform it using the "-rich" suffix: Effect-rich movie At first, does such phrase sound natural? If no, is ...
0
votes
2answers
49 views

Colloquial term for a scam business

There are many disreputable businesses that operate on the idea that you pay them for the privilege of trying to sell their product(s). Is there a common term for this kind of scam; one that could be ...
1
vote
5answers
102 views

Phrase to describe the state of horror/fear within a country

I am writing a paper on terrorism throughout social media, yet I cannot find a way to phrase the state of horror within a country. My sentence is as follows, "Terrorist attacks are detrimental to ...
0
votes
0answers
62 views

Common name for rear and front [duplicate]

A car has two sides, left side and right side. Is there a similar term that can be used for rear and front together, if I'm not particularly interested which one is talked about?
58
votes
21answers
22k views

What is the word for always YES (100%) or always NO (0%), never in-between

For example: 1) In statistics, this attribute will always either be 0% or 100%, never in-between. 2) The boundary is either safe or destroyed, because there is never a state where it is only '...
-3
votes
1answer
190 views

If I'm a sophomore in high school, what Year would I be? [closed]

I'm trying to sign up for UCAS, but I don't know what to put for the Year (Year One, Year Two, all through to "Post 19".) What do you call the years for high school students?
1
vote
1answer
79 views

What do you call the second chunk of an address?

Say I have an address like: 123 Main St., Bldg. #456 Schenectady, NY, 12345 I know the chunk I put on first line is called the "Street Address", but what is the chunk I put on the second line ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

Word/term for tutorial materials

We're working on some type of e-learning system in which users will be provided with tutorials and exercises. To title the tutorial materials, I was looking for an appropriate term/word but I could ...
5
votes
3answers
128 views

Xylophone-like, piano-like, and violin-like

Is there a word or expression for a musical instrument which, like a xylophone or a set of bells, has set pitches (fixed frequencies) that no one can change or adjust (except by some extraordinary ...
2
votes
4answers
133 views

Which english phrase means to work very hard for a short time, and then coast on the results? [closed]

There is a two-word or three-word English phrase, whose third word may be "coast", that means a style of work / living in which one works very hard and then lives off the efforts of the work for a ...
4
votes
5answers
179 views

Phrase to describe the “act of sharing an opinion”

I am writing a research paper on the use of social media for the purpose of terrorism. For one of my supporting statements, I am attempting to describe how social media connects users with similar ...
0
votes
4answers
304 views

How to answer back properly [closed]

I would like to reply to a message that says, "I hope you are doing well," and I want to return the acknowledgement.  Is it acceptable to reply, "I hope you are doing well, as well?"
7
votes
10answers
1k views

Colorful idiom/phrase equivalent to French “s'en fourrer jusque là/plein la panse”

Is there an expression/idiom in English that comes anywhere close in flavor to the colorful French expression, s'en mettre (or fourrer or foutre) jusque là s'en mettre (or fourrer or foutre) ...
52
votes
11answers
7k views

What is this method of joking about a morbid situation called?

What word or phrase could be used to describe a joke about something serious or bad? It isn't meant as humor in the typical sense, but as sort of a brave, different flavor of humor between two friends....
13
votes
11answers
915 views

Word for stealing an item then returning it without the owner's knowledge?

Does there exists a specific word to describe the action of stealing an item, keeping it for few days then returning it from where it was taken? An example: A friend of mine "lost" his personal diary ...
-2
votes
1answer
73 views

What is the right way to say: “I like this author's writing style” [closed]

I am not a native English speaker and have a difficult time putting this idea into one sentence. I read one research paper and I really enjoy his writing style. How can I say that in one sentence? ...
1
vote
3answers
106 views

A simple word or phrase that describes a non-conflict “day in the life” story introduction

I tell my students that I want their stories to start out as normal "day in the life" explorations of the world they're writing about. I'd like to find a better way of saying that. I'm not looking for ...
3
votes
3answers
111 views

Word for feeling for movie characters

I watch many movies these days, and I often feel happy when the main character gets what they want in the end or sad otherwise. Is there an adjective to describe this? It appears to me that vicarious ...
6
votes
3answers
124 views

Ironic phrase for something becoming more complicated specifically because of efforts to 'simplify' it?

My linguistic skills fail me and I'd like some advice. I have a project that currently works exactly as intended, short and sweet, yet a higher up has changed their mind and are asking for it to be ...
10
votes
10answers
3k views

Is there an idiom like the Russian's “Untilled field”?

"Непаханое поле" - a [big] amount of undone work. Updated example: a kid is leisurely watching TV while there a lot of undone homework (which he hasn't even started). Note: the example below is ...
1
vote
2answers
73 views

How do I describe a person who is consistently attentive?

I was trying to compare two coworkers work habits. One is a sprinter, he works hard for months at a time but eventually gets bored with projects that go longer than a few months. The other is a ...
4
votes
4answers
154 views

Word/phrase for a non-secret secret identity

I've been following the TV-show "Lucifer", a show about The Devil leaving Hell and opening a nightclub i LA. Here he starts working with a detective. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4bF_quwNtw He ...
6
votes
3answers
72 views

How can we say “I see my dreams not happening”

I want to say that I can see my dreams falling apart. Is it correct? I mean to say that the things I want to do (or happen) in the future seem to be impossible.. How can I say it?
1
vote
0answers
40 views

How to reformulate 'honor the data'

I have written sentence like this The resulting property models from cooperative inversion honor the geophysical data My Professor wants me to reformulate the sentence, in particular he raised a ...
4
votes
3answers
120 views

English equivalent of Polish saying “The truth is like an ass, each has its own”

I'm looking for English equivalent of coloqiual but popular Polish saying "Racja jest jak dupa, każdy ma własną" that literally means "The truth is like an ass, each has its own". Explanation This ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

Word or phrase to describe a sense of (living) community?

The word or phrase should bring the idea of living community to mind. It should be able to be applied to computer systems, as well. In my head, it should be something like ecosystem, which is ...
3
votes
2answers
49 views

Short phrase for providing and taking care of technical aspects of an event

I'm translating a local company site into English and I'm struggling to find a nice and compact way to describe one of the company's services. Basically, if you are an organizer of an event of some ...
24
votes
9answers
2k views

How do you describe these animals' action/ state before attacking their prey?

Some animals like tigers, lions, cats, etc do this action before attacking their prey suddenly and unexpectedly. In fact they seem waiting insidiously (?) until the appropriate moment for attacking ...
15
votes
11answers
2k views

An idiomatic alternative to “familiar with the matter”

The common expression "familiar with the matter" is generally used to refer to people who have information that is not yet available to the public and is to be confirmed. Google Books For ...
8
votes
3answers
86 views

Word for a non-politician who commits crimes against humanity

I am looking for a word or phrase to communicate someone who has committed what amounts to crimes against humanity, but who is not a politician or a soldier or military leader. I want to describe ...
0
votes
1answer
83 views

A word or phrase to describe the act of annoying someone by staying close to them and repeating something [closed]

How do you describe it when someone annoys you by repeating something (a favor, question, etc.) over and over and standing near you all the time? I thought of "to breath down one's neck", which means ...
4
votes
7answers
157 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
39 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 k=...
0
votes
1answer
95 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
151 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
751 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
664 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
79 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
77 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
72 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
370 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 ...