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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0
votes
4answers
136 views

What do you call those fenced grassy areas that people own in the countryside?

Example: I thought of fenced plot or land lot, but I'm not sure. They are usually used for farming or raising livestock, but sometimes for nothing at all.
8
votes
5answers
926 views

Expression for “Respect them and suspect them”

There is a Hebrew expression explained here: A common Hebrew expression is "Respect them and suspect them". We should always act in a respectful way towards others, but that doesn't obligate us to ...
3
votes
8answers
574 views

Expression for a “smiling face tiger”

The Chinese expression "smiling face tiger" (笑面虎) is defined in English at one website as "an outwardly kind but inwardly cruel person". More broadly it doesn't need to refer to someone who is ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

A phrase for “extremely bad luck”

Is there a (short) phrase or idiom meaning that someone had extremely bad luck? In the context of a sports match: as you would have a "perfect game" or the even more specific "perfect hand" (when ...
3
votes
4answers
365 views

Idiom/word for someone who kowtows to his superiors and kicks his subordinates

Apparently, a "bicycle rider" is "a current German idiom for someone who kowtows to his superiors and kicks his subordinates". (Source: Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem.) Any similar expression ...
0
votes
3answers
98 views

What's it called when someone forms a general conclusion from something which is aberrant?

I'm trying to think of a phrase that describes someone who is in a certain situation and when an outcome out of the norm comes up then he takes the aberrant outcome and generalizes it, believing it to ...
16
votes
11answers
2k views

Is there an equivalent of “reverie” where one is lost in unpleasant thoughts?

To say "the noise outside shook her from her reverie" implies she was lost in pleasant daydreams. What if she was lost in worry or unpleasant thoughts? Is there an equivalent term (single word or ...
5
votes
6answers
72 views

Term between 'mentoring' & 'rubber ducking'

This may be a Programmers Stack Exchange question, but I don't think so, because I don't believe there is an accepted term for this in the industry, so I turn to all of you for suggestions. Say I'm ...
1
vote
2answers
52 views

Looking for a folk saying or proverb that reflects “the closer, higher the competition”

I am looking for an American or UK folk saying or proverb that reflects the following idea: the closer are the players, the higher is the competition or the more level the playing field, the more ...
1
vote
2answers
179 views

Professional term for “Apples to apples” comparison

Is there a term which would sound more fitting in an academic or professional setting for describing a comparison between two things highlighting the similarity of the measurement/comparison process?
7
votes
14answers
1k views

A word or phrase for 'Holy grail' (a goal impossible to achieve)

I am looking for a word or phrase that means "a long sought out goal that seems impossible to achieve" but without any religious connotations. Any suggestions? My intended usage is as follows: ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Word combination with “eternally”

I am currently thinking of engraving text for our wedding rings. Idea is to engrave some nice combination of two words (one word per ring) in order to get phrase close to “forever together”. I do ...
2
votes
3answers
528 views

Idiom or word for a very heavy thing

There is an idiom in Turkish for describing very heavy things: "Heavy like a dead donkey" (Eşek ölüsü gibi ağır). In English, there is a dead weight but it is not quite similar. Also, it has two ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

Term for “the story referred to by the title of the collection”

Many short story collections are titled something like Foobar and Other Stories. Suppose I am writing a review of such a collection and want to refer to the story entitled "Foobar". I wish to say ...
18
votes
10answers
3k views

Is there a word or phrase meaning to plant my idea in someone else’s mind?

Is there a word or phrase that means to plant my idea in someone else’s mind so they think it is their own idea? Just like what happened in the movie Inception.
1
vote
5answers
225 views

English idiom equivalent to “Like a deaf man at a wedding procession”

I have been trying laboriously to find an equivalent idiom or a catchy phrase to the one we have in Arabic مثل الأطرش بالزقة which simply means, “He is like a deaf man at a wedding procession”. It is ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Bonus points, only negative

If you’re critiquing something, you might say that you’re giving it “bonus points” for an aspect that wasn’t essential or part of your original grading scheme, but you liked and consider to add ...
9
votes
24answers
3k views

More emphatic term for “Expert”?

I've hit a wording problem in the controls for a game that I'm writing. I need two nouns with increasing emphasis for someone highly skilled in a given area. "Expert" is an obvious choice, so I need ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

How to best convey excitement for the next assignment, quarter, or project? [closed]

I’ve just received feedback on my work during the second quarter of the year (Q2) from my manager. I would like to reply to this feedback and end my reply with a sentence along the lines of" ...
2
votes
3answers
107 views

Words or phrases for 'credit takers'

Let say, A and B work in the same office. Every time A talks to B about his idea or working style, B always takes that idea to his boss and acts as if it was his own idea. What are words, phrases or ...
-1
votes
4answers
150 views

Synonym for “be consistent with” [closed]

I'm looking for an expression similar to be consistent with, when reporting studies which have the same results, such as: The results of X's research consist with / are consistent with Y's ...
3
votes
1answer
177 views

Terminology for “New Yorker” vs “lives in New York”

What are the terms that can be used to differentiate between these two nouns? New Yorker versus one who lives in New York A "New Yorker" would be someone who self-identifies as a practitioner ...
1
vote
2answers
135 views

What to say to someone who is going to eat

In French "Bon appetit", in German "Guten Appetit" or "Mahlzeit", I also know it exists in Arabic and Japanese. As expatriate speaking English daily, I often get confused when I want to say that to my ...
14
votes
14answers
3k views

Too serious to take seriously

This is a concept I often find myself trying to articulate in political discussions. You have a situation that everyone openly acknowledges, but it is so entrenched that people may paradoxically ...
1
vote
2answers
712 views

A word or phrase to describe someone who is obsessed with words?

I want to be able to describe the love for, or obsession with, words. It may also be a condition from other's perspective. It maybe because he is a lunatic who wants to aggrandize his vocabulary, a ...
6
votes
11answers
2k views

A person who criticizes his own homeland/city/country?

He was born and brought up in this village, but after staying and studying abroad his childhood friends seem backwards to him; he _ this place now. Or He had lived in this city all his life but ...
15
votes
3answers
412 views

Word for someone who wants to find a single word to describe a relatively obscure concept, and posts such questions on internet boards? [closed]

As the title suggests, I'm looking for a word for someone who wants to find a single word to describe a relatively obscure concept, and posts such questions on internet boards. If I'm informed of ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

What do you call someone who was doing bad things, and he doesn't anymore?

I'm searching for a meaningful word or expression for someone who did bad things (for example, insulting others, stealing phones...) in the past, and he stopped doing it in the present. Or simply the ...
0
votes
2answers
135 views

Single word for attributing inappropriate motives to others' actions?

Is there a single word to describe someone who often attributes inappropriately trivial/cheap motives to another person's actions? I'm thinking along the lines of someone who puts himself briefly in ...
1
vote
3answers
113 views

Word for “Ready/want to go home”

In Mormon missionary culture, they use the word "trunky" to describe the feeling at the end of their two-year mission when they are tired, ready to go home, and are mentally packing their trunks to go ...
-1
votes
2answers
98 views

Word/phrase for “last minute love confession”

I want a word or a small phrase which can be used in place of "last minute love confession". I specifically use "last minute" for when the confessor and the confessee are going away from each other, ...
0
votes
1answer
75 views

How to paraphrase “I feel cheated!” [closed]

What is another way to phrase the following: I feel cheated!
2
votes
2answers
133 views

Appropriate word for very fast [closed]

Can some one tell me the appropriate word instead of 'very fast' in sentence: Don't loose hope very fast.
19
votes
14answers
3k views

What do you call it when the video is not smooth?

What is the English phrase to describe a video that is not running smoothly, but rather has interruptions in it, becoming sort of like a gif? Usually these things happen due to technical problems such ...
-1
votes
3answers
528 views

Is it OK to say “There is no problem if you do it next week.”?

I need to reply to a commercial email where my "colleague" says that he we will do the job next week. Is it good English to say "There is no problem if you do it next week." ? Is there another way to ...
1
vote
3answers
134 views

Is there one word that means 'to temporarily join'?

Is there a one-worded synonym for 'temporarily join'? Examples: I want to temporarily join your team Or a slightly different meaning; I want to temporarily join these two pieces of metal ...
0
votes
2answers
49 views

Band Playing without some of its Current Members

I was wondering: is there in English a specific phrase to denote a music band not playing with its whole current group of members?
2
votes
3answers
156 views

A poetic word or expression for networking/lobbying/making professional connections

I’m looking for a poetic word or expression that means making professional connections, lobbying, networking, socializing professionally. League, circuit, club, society, and so on and so forth.
-1
votes
3answers
67 views

Send money / Request money

The person you are sending money to is the recipient of that money, but what would you call a person you are requesting money from? A requestee?
-1
votes
1answer
30 views

Phrase Request for the beyond or something hidden [closed]

Is there any phase I would use to replace "Beyond" in my sentence below? Beyond the flavorful taste, there are many health benefits of olive oil.
4
votes
3answers
281 views

What's a word for articulating something and making it sound worse?

Sorry for the poor title, but I can describe this better through an example. A few weeks ago, one of my friends had a conversation with her boyfriend, and she said that she wouldn't necessarily marry ...
2
votes
4answers
136 views

How you do you say “What is this word?” in a friendly, indirect and elaborate way?

In French, when you don't know what the hell a word means that's just been mentioned, instead of flat-out asking “What is that?” we have an informal expression “Hmmm, ça se mange?” (Litterally, “can ...
0
votes
3answers
117 views

Single word or short phrase for giving a passing mark?

I thanked my teacher for giving me a pass mark in the exam. Is there a single word or short phrase for the emphasised phrase?
1
vote
1answer
121 views

Diplomatic word to express having difficulty or finding it unpleasant working with someone. [closed]

I'm filling out a feedback form for a senior colleague who I've been working with, I want say something like Last year I had some difficulty working with John, but since the start of the year ...
3
votes
3answers
116 views

A better phrase for 'construction of mock-up objects by following historical recipes'

I'm looking for a better phrasing for use on a poster describing a scientific project. In this project, we will examine recipes of varnishes and lacquers from old recipe books. We will follow these ...
1
vote
3answers
121 views

Term to describe fictional texts written in a non-fiction style

The term "creative non-fiction" is the opposite: a non-fiction work expressed in a fiction style, such as a historical novel. It may be a little less common, but is there a general term for the ...
2
votes
2answers
96 views

Expression for distance relationship between observer and object?

I am looking for a word or expression, that describes the specific distance in the space that lets the observer appreciate and completely understand the object of observation. For example, when one ...
7
votes
5answers
757 views

Term for something similar to hijacking a meeting?

When someone says hijacking a meeting, IMO it usually means that someone has made the meeting all about his/her agenda. One time, I was invited to a meeting to talk about "ABC", but they only ...
2
votes
7answers
299 views

Alternatives for “I told you so.” [closed]

Sometimes, "I told you so" is expected by the target. What if we want to surprise them with another famous phrase which would deliver the same message, perhaps with more intensity. Sometimes, "I told ...
0
votes
2answers
85 views

Word or phrase for a scam-like enterprise based on ignorance

I've noticed a spate of schemes to raise money on Kickstarter, Indiegogo and through more traditional avenues that involve claims that are essentially physically impossible. A rudimentary due ...