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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0answers
7 views

I'm interested in finding a complicated sentence that has very simple meaning

If you know of any or can think of any please comment! I want to use this as an example of why coming to terms with an author is important. And why it's silly to think that you can't understand ...
1
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2answers
91 views

After seeing how misinformed an article is in a newspaper, you flip the page and continue reading as if the rest can be trusted. What is this called?

I vividly remember reading a Wikipedia article about a named law (e.g. "Betteridge's law of headlines"). It goes something like this: "You read an article about a topic you're very familiar with, and ...
14
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5answers
1k views

Generic form of “first world problems”

The term "first world problems" refers to a petty thing complained about by someone living in the upper or middle class. Is there are word or phrase that means problems or complaints about things ...
-1
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4answers
48 views

Asking a question in a formal and clever form [on hold]

I want to say that, because [you're a student] of Maryland university, I thought you live there, but I want to say it in a clever and also formal form. How should I say this: "I thought you are in ...
1
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2answers
54 views

Euphemisms for rejection (man-women and vice versa)

Example: The more time passed, the more sure I became she’d [...] me. The most common word in this case is reject. I'm wondering, though, what euphemisms I can use aside from turn down?
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3answers
64 views

Formal alternatives for: “There is not a need”

I am writing a formal technical report and I would like some advice about an expression I want to use. I have a sentence which I want to make more formal: The merit of their approach is that ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

English Equivalent Of 抓耳挠腮

The Chinese term 抓耳挠腮 means something along the lines of: scratching one's ears/cheeks/head in embarrassment or tweaking one's ears and scratching one's cheeks (as a sign of anxiety or delight). Here ...
2
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0answers
57 views

A formal English word or phrase for “badass?” [duplicate]

This is an odd question, but I was wondering if there is an English formal word connoting the same concept that the word "badass" conveys. To be exact, I mean "badass" as in someone who is maybe ...
10
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9answers
938 views

Word for people who just comment rather than act on something

Is there any word referring to people who sit and comment rather than act. Example: Reading morning newspaper headline, sad news and discuss over tea rather than act and do something toward it.
1
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3answers
38 views

Confirming one's interest in a project [on hold]

Someone asked me if I am interested in doing a project, I want to answer: "yes!" Is it ok to say this: (I am going to learn from him in this project more than really collaborating) "I like to ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Using a polite and correct sentence to ask for more time [on hold]

I want to reply my professor's email. I want to ask him to give me a week so I read more, and I also want to tell him that I found a basic paper. I don't know if I should write like this: I want ...
13
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7answers
1k views

English equivalent of “a**holes don't have horns”

We have this expression in Hindi slang. Situation: A: "I can't believe he treated me like that. I was stupid to trust him" B: "Don't beat yourself up. How were you supposed to know he would ...
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0answers
14 views

A phrase to replace sentence [on hold]

I'm need help in replacing this sentence with a phrase or example. People often avoid being part of situation like fighting against a crime. They should actually be a link in chain. Not be afraid of ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Any alternative to “on the one hand, on the other hand”

I'm writing a formal academic article to introduce some facts. For example: On the one hand, the government would like more energy, but on the other hand, it is not prepared to find more extra ...
7
votes
7answers
557 views

Word/phrase for seeing something for the first time and being impressed

I'm looking for a word that can best describe a thing that you see when you first come to a place, a thing so strange or unusual that you didn't think something like that could exist (or you have been ...
0
votes
3answers
144 views

What do you call something that doesn't let you sleep?

Especially a thought. Example: Like last night, I couldn't sleep. This time, however, [...] wasn't my upcoming wedding, but the fact that I was going to get fired tomorrow. So like a ...
0
votes
3answers
32 views

Alternatives to “Such As” [on hold]

It will be more difficult for Bobby to behave well if Peggy is aggressive, such as hitting him or teasing him. What is the right clause, expression or phrase to use instead of such as. That ...
4
votes
5answers
192 views

What is the name for group of people who line up to create a corridor?

What is the proper name for group of people who line up in two lines to form some kind of a corridor for other people to pass between the two?
1
vote
3answers
65 views

Rephrase “to the best of my knowledge”

In my master thesis I want to state that I did not find any related work except for one paper. In scientific papers the authors often use the phrase "To the best of our knowledge, ...". However since ...
1
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3answers
73 views

Both arguments are correct

I wrote a paper about two opposing arguments. My conclusion was that the two arguments may be correct. Is there an idiom or phrase that means two opposite things may be correct, independent of each ...
1
vote
8answers
125 views

Word/phrase for remarks which often have a dark feel to them but whose meanings are not readily apparent? [closed]

I know someone who has a tendency to make strange remarks whose meanings are not readily apparent, remarks which often have a dark feel to them, but which are left unexplained, as if to hide ...
90
votes
15answers
17k views

Is there an English idiom for trying to do two things at the same time and failing at both of them due to splitting your effort?

I'm basically searching for the opposite of putting all your eggs in one basket, where the risk is total failure because you did not hedge your efforts. I'm searching for a phrase that encompasses ...
8
votes
10answers
1k views

Phrase for criticism/insults concealed with humor

Passive aggressive people will sometimes veil insulting, critical, derogatory or generally aggressive comments with humor. The patina of humor makes the comment seem like a joke, not to be taken ...
0
votes
1answer
81 views

What's a good opposite of 'razor-thin'?

I'm looking for a good opposite of 'razor-thin'. It's got to have an analogy to something that's inherently a thick object. A generic adjective that fits into the template "xxx-thick" would be exactly ...
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votes
3answers
191 views

humor phrase meaning “I enjoy making my life harder”

How can one make some humour by the following Q/A pair, Q: Cosa fai nella vita? ===> what do you do ? A: Me la complico ===> ? (I enjoy making my life harder)
8
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5answers
271 views

What's a side remark called when it's meant as something sarcastic or secretive?

What do you call the gesture when someone makes a sarcastic or parenthetical side-comment? It's usually something related to the original comment that's said quietly to someone else, sometimes ...
-1
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3answers
47 views
0
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3answers
67 views

Synonyms or other ways of saying “once there”?

Example: We went to the roof terrace. Once there, we leaned on the railing and gazed the stars. Thesaurus has synonyms for once, but not for once there. I don't know where else to look. I ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

A more elegant way of writing “attempt to replicate them” for Teaching Statement

I'm writing up my Teaching Statement for an Assistant Professor position in the sciences. Because all I do is read and write science, I have no elegance in my writing at all! I'm trying to make the ...
0
votes
4answers
172 views

What's a metaphor/expression for “confirmation”?

Example: I already knew about what she said. Her words were merely a [...]. I checked Thesaurus but none of the synonyms seem like a metaphor/expression. Maybe go ahead?
0
votes
2answers
61 views

alternate phrase for 'satisfying the thirst'? [closed]

I am trying to compose a poetry. There is a line which goes like this - 'you are like a river that'll satisfy the the thirst of the sea/ocean ' . I want to know if there are alternative phrases for ...
1
vote
2answers
88 views

Word or phrase to describe the “overly feminine” stereotype

While writing up a persona, I am trying to describe a woman who (I say) is confidently female, but not "overly feminine". By this I wish to mean the stereotype of a sophisticated woman who ...
0
votes
6answers
105 views

Is there a word or phrase for helping someone when you are better equipped than them?

Is there a word or phrase for doing a favour or helping someone because you are in a better position than they are to get it done? For example, it would take me a lot longer to herd some cattle than ...
2
votes
2answers
84 views

Phrase to describe a place where people write in a language

There is an expression "X-speaking country", where X is any language. How to describe a place (e.g internet forum) where people write in a language? For example, people usually write in English on ...
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votes
2answers
46 views

When to use “Do you mind…?” and when “Would you mind…?”

I know that "Would you mind… ?" (the Present Conditional) is more polite than "Do you mind…?" (the Simple Present), and also, that they have to be completed this way: "Do you mind if I do sth?/Would ...
-1
votes
0answers
18 views

Collective Success over Individual Action

Is there a word or phrase that captures the essence of collective success (as a group or team) over the action or accomplishment of individuals? Could be something borrowed in English from other ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

semantic difference for the forms: “x of y” vs. “x of the y” vs. “y x”

As a non-native speaker, I have a problem understanding the difference in meaning of the following forms: "… of …" "… of the …" "… …" To be more specific, let me give some instances: "theory of ...
-1
votes
4answers
52 views

Another term for “get together” [on hold]

I'm looking for a word or phrase that means the same thing as "get together" (which I feel is a bit to semantically ambiguous) or "hang out" (too informal). Any ideas? The scenario is as follows: ...
-1
votes
2answers
44 views

word for a person who has shared similar experiences? [duplicate]

I am writing a paper on teaching life writing texts, and I have a section that discusses the benefits to a reader who has gone through the same traumatic experiences as the author of the text. My ...
0
votes
2answers
30 views

Word to describe the occurrence of two adjacent anagrams

If you have two words that are anagrams of each other and are used next to each other, what is that occurrence called? (fee free to correct the way I've phrased the question if it is grammatically ...
3
votes
6answers
553 views

How would one term this particular relationship?

While postulating a French universe, my brain voted that Bill Gates should become Bill Gateaux. What term or short-phrase would one use to describe the word 'Gateaux', relative to 'Gates', where the ...
1
vote
2answers
25 views

“At peak” without implying it'll never improve again?

If something is currently at it's highest state ever achieved (so the right-most point on a graph would be the highest point) I have a tendency to want to say that it's "at its peak", but as far as I ...
3
votes
5answers
92 views

Is there an idiom or set phrase for “pretending not to understand an innuendo”?

You understood perfectly what the other person said but preferred to act as if you hadn't. For any reason: it may be that any reply would be embarrassing, it might start an argument, or would make you ...
4
votes
4answers
807 views

What is a word for someone who hates or fears nature?

I know that misanthrope is someone who hates other humans or humankind in general. I am interested to know if there is a word for one who hates nature herself.
82
votes
12answers
6k views

Is there English counterpart(s) to Japanese old saying, “Present salt to your enemy.”?

We have a popular Japanese saying, “敵に塩を送る” — literally, “present (supply) salt to one's enemy”, meaning ‘play fair and square, not taking advantage of the weak point of your rival.’ It’s different ...
9
votes
7answers
16k views

What is the word/phrase for someone between expert and novice?

I come across various people within my field (software developer) and people who are related to my field (the marketing/business people). Many a time when I want to opine or express my ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

Lost In Punctuation

Usually, when a piece of text is translated from one language to some other language, and (due to slightly different idioms, phrases, words, etc.) the end meaning is changed, then it is attributed to ...
1
vote
3answers
49 views

A word or succinct descriptor for someone no longer found physically attractive

I am looking for a word or succinct descriptor for a person whose appearance has changed such that they are no longer found to be physically attractive by the speaker/writer. The ideal answer should ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

Idiom that means “to understand a story better by listening to it from the beginning?”

Example: "I think I should I start my story from the beginning. That way you can [...]. Is there any idiom for that? Preferably idioms that evoke something physical, imagery.
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Escorting a guest before saying goodbye as a sign of respect or caring

In the two cases below, what is the host doing to the guest? First example: When you go to someone's home for dinner, after the party, the host walks you out and says goodbye in the street rather ...