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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15
votes
6answers
3k views

Word that means non-human animals?

Humans are animals. The term "animals" is sometimes used to mean all animals (including humans) and is sometimes used to mean every animal except for humans. Is there a word that means non-human ...
0
votes
1answer
74 views

“Like swimming in ___” honey? [on hold]

My supervisor and I had a discussion about my thesis progress this morning, and he described my writing progress: Like swimming in _____. I have no idea about the word he said, then he changed ...
4
votes
2answers
111 views

What are the leading or trailing days on a monthly calendar called?

Example sentence: When looking at the month view of an online calendar, users can toggle visibility of [whatchamacallit] days from adjacent months. When you look at a monthly calendar, and the ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

what is the person who is always nosing in people's business? [duplicate]

what is a person called who is always nosing on other people's business - like having a neighbor always outside on the balcony or window to check the neighborhood out.
1
vote
2answers
57 views

Is there a word for colloquial forms of address?

For example, "dude," "man," "buddy," "pal," etc, when used to stand in for someone's name. "Hey, pal, how's it going?" Is there a word for terms like these? Or is "colloquialism" as close as we can ...
1
vote
1answer
22 views

Question about 'ascending to the throne' for other titles

When talking about the heir to a king, when he/she comes into power, we can say he ascended to the throne. Is there an equivalent phrase for usage concerning other noble titles like duke, count, baron,...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

other ways of saying 'to want something bad enough'

I've been surfing the web looking for an alternative to 'want sth bad enough' but I haven't found anything useful. I've got a dialogue between two characters who are a couple. They're facing ...
1
vote
0answers
8 views

Sound of a dinosaur's Syrinx

I recently watched the old Jurassic park movies where there were certain scenes where when the dinosaurs (velociraptors ?? Some people don't believe that) are hunting the humans and in the thrill of ...
29
votes
27answers
7k views

Idiom or expression that would imply “someone is a habitual liar”

I'm looking for an idiom or expression for describing people who tell lies out of habit (so you cannot trust them at all). I know that these people are called "compulsive liars", but I'm not looking ...
4
votes
1answer
60 views

A word to describe “political buyer's remorse”

Recent numbers show over 3.5 million people in the UK have signed a petition to “do over” the Brexit Referendum. Interestingly, since the Referendum the Google question “What is the EU?” showed more ...
2
votes
3answers
109 views

What is the job title of these municipal officers?

In some countries, specially in Asia, some vendors spread their stuff for sale on the ground (upper picture), and thereby cause trouble for the pedestrians comeing and going. For preventing this, ...
0
votes
3answers
83 views

A word or phrase roughly meaning “you are the cause of the problem you try to cure”

I've heard it used in a religious contexts along the lines of They invent the problem which they claim to solve. I know it's also common in marketing, where if I try to sell you a pen, I ask you ...
1
vote
1answer
83 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
13 views

What is the name of the construct [adjective][noun]

Is there a special name for an adjective-noun phrase that denotes a specific type of thing and for which further modifiers cannot be inserted between the two? For example, "emerging technology" ...
0
votes
2answers
40 views

How do you call components that make up a car's engine? [on hold]

I'm looking for the common way to call components like oil filter or fuel pump. I thought about car parts or auto parts but I don't know which one is correct.
1
vote
2answers
29 views

A word for pushing/pulling something long down like pulling a level (down)? [on hold]

A silly example: A stick sticks up on an apple. I pull it down like pulling a lever, splitting the apple in half. What word or phrase should I use to describe that action?
4
votes
0answers
64 views

Holding your hands in a specific position [duplicate]

How do you tell someone to put their hands in the position shown in the image?
5
votes
10answers
789 views

Word to describe the caring of the seller for the buyer?

A buyer and a seller come to a trade agreement. During the discussion, the seller (whose product is good quality) shows that they are a generous person, like so: The buyer expresses that although ...
1
vote
3answers
78 views

Word for having a gentle joy for being diligent?

I'm looking for a word that describe a person for having a gentle joy for being diligent. For example, a person spends their time and effort to learn a new word every morning. He does that because he ...
2
votes
7answers
694 views

Derogatory term for inconcise writing

I am looking for a derogatory word or short phrase to describe unconcise texts or the process of their creation, i.e., the text is redundant, overcomplicated and filled with irrelevant details or ...
0
votes
0answers
13 views

Are there any phrases expressing the meaning “won't do/finish something until the last minute of deadline/due time”

Some people prefer to finish their tasks one day or even one hour before the deadline. I wonder how native speakers of English say this. Specifically, how to complete the following sentences: The ...
7
votes
3answers
347 views

What is the name of this rhetorical device involving the use of One. Word. Sentences. For. Effect

I am trying to find the name for the rather recent, I think, rhetorical device of one-word sentences used for emphasis and effect. For example: Columnist Ruth Marcus, writing for the Washington Post,...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

What do you call it when doctors or therapists give the same prescriptions or solutions to everyone that has similar illnesses or problems?

As in, they do not attempt to give individualized prescriptions. What's a phrase or word that characterizes this tendency?
2
votes
1answer
48 views

Variant of the phrase “broad brush strokes”

I'm looking for a phrase that captures the idea that one is dividing material up crudely. The context is a claim that in discussing a certain issue, we only need to make rather crude divisions (or ...
2
votes
4answers
79 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 ...
26
votes
18answers
6k views

What is the problem that gets worse after you try to solve it?

Example sentence - This problem is a _____ which gets complicated every time you try to solve it. Is there such a word that represents a problem which will become worse if/when one tries to solve it?...
26
votes
12answers
6k views

Idiom for a person who is above any question

I read somewhere a sentence which said about a political leader that he is the "holy something" whose actions cannot be questioned. The context was to describe that even though this man does bad ...
24
votes
14answers
3k views

An idiomatic phrase meaning that you are aware of a coming change based on minor signals you've observed over time

I feel like there's a phrase that people sometimes use in order to indicate that they have been aware of an impending change or event. The phrase draws on the metaphor of a soldier placing his ear to ...
1
vote
2answers
62 views

Word indicating that the authority of the speaker changes the meaning

Is there a phrase or word that indicates that the authority of the speaker changes the literal meaning of what was spoken? Something like: Me: I finished cleaning the bathroom Golf buddy: You ...
18
votes
6answers
5k views

Word for “a way of choosing the guy to do the horrible job.”

In the aftermath of a party, a few friends are to decide the guy who will have to do the cleaning. They play a game, any game, like rock paper scissors, to decide who has to do the cleaning. The one ...
1
vote
2answers
63 views

Alternative for “all for one, one for all”

Looking for an alternative idiom/phrase, etc. for the titular term. Any idea?
0
votes
3answers
38 views

Phrase that refers to the period from 60 days ago to 30 days ago

If someone says "in the last month", it refers to the past 30~ days, but I would love to learn if there are phrases or words describing the period of 60 to 30 days before today? For example, today ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Have something done in English [on hold]

Is it true if I say Japan has got almost all types of fish sushi-ed To express that Japan makes Sushi from almost all types of fish?
9
votes
13answers
2k views

Idiom or phrase about a situation in which a person has little hope

Is there an idiom or phrase associated with a time when a person has little hope and has to choose between bad and worse options?
0
votes
4answers
102 views

What's a word or phrase that means 'take advantage of someone's psychological weaknesses'?

I'm looking for something that's catchy and succinct. 'Exploit' is a good word for 'take advantage of' but it doesn't take into account someone's psychological weaknesses.
4
votes
2answers
236 views

One (or few) word expression for products you don't know you need

I'd like to find a very simple, preferably one word (or few words) expression for products that you don't know you need until you see them. Examples are: electronic face cleanser sleep enhancing app ...
3
votes
5answers
133 views

What word describes when a presenter gives unhelpful advice?

I often attend software development conferences where the presenter will instruct the audience 'what' to do, without giving any explanation of 'why', or 'how' they should do it. For example, the ...
55
votes
25answers
8k views

Are there counterpart English expressions to Japanese proverb, "the nail that pops up is always hammered down?

I was once reminded by Robusto-san of a Japanese popular saying, ‘出る釘は打たれる - the nail that pops up is always hammered down,’ when I complained about sequential down-votes that I received. I wondered ...
5
votes
2answers
251 views

What's a good phrase for a “collection of the places someone wants to visit”?

The context here is a personal collection of such things. 15 years ago I'd have called this a travel file. For a digital collection, that name doesn't feel right. Travel diary would feel appropriate ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

Word/Phrase when you've identified a grand, but sort of irrelevant, injustice/tragedy?

I was trying to tweet about some cosmic injustices and wanted to describe it better than just saying "unduly sad", or "unfair". Any suggestions? Examples of the emotional state I'm trying to ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

Phrase for repeatedly passing something from one person to another? [closed]

Is there a phrase that describes: I got it from him, who got it from another person, who got it from another. I have been discussing such a situation with a friend and am wondering whether ...
3
votes
1answer
43 views

What is a word or phrase for a sort of “de facto bias”?

I'm struggling to find the words to convey the concept even now, but perhaps it would make more sense to illustrate by example. Certain communities like Reddit and Quora tend to be liberal-leaning ...
2
votes
2answers
30 views

To be a reference in a skill/topic

I am struggling on how to say when someone is an expert on a certain topic or skill. Because it is not exactly the meaning I intend to give. What I really want to say is like: "When you want to know ...
2
votes
2answers
52 views

Using improbable premise(s) to reach a conclusion

Is there a name for a fallacy that involves using an improbable premise or premises to reach a desired conclusion? For example saying (exaggerated to better convey what is meant): "You should always ...
3
votes
7answers
5k views

A man who keeps his word

I'm looking for an appropriate word to describe someone who is a man of his word. Trustworthy springs to mind but doesn't seem appropriate, as it doesn't imply an honorable connotation associated ...
0
votes
0answers
41 views

Single word/phase for “if they can do it, why can't I?”

Is there a single word/phrase to describe the personality attribute of "If they can do it, why can't I?" nature. Need this for grounded theory analysis of interviews for my PG. Thanks a lot
8
votes
5answers
166 views

Word for a person who is challenged to a bet [duplicate]

When I want to challenge my friend to do something (like a bet), what would you call such a person? Challenged person? Challengee? For example: I challenge my friend to kiss a girl and he'll ...
2
votes
5answers
956 views

What word or phrase means 'that which provides a sense of meaning to one's life'?

As in, "driving is my passion and my x". I've been doing my head in looking for some sort of term which denotes such a thing, and I'm also concerned using the term "passion" might render the term I'...
0
votes
1answer
84 views

Word meaning to make beautiful but that works for both men and women [closed]

I'm struggling to find a word/phrase that would mean to make a man and women beautiful. So for example grooming would be a suitable word for men but not for women. Beautify would be more appropriate ...