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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16
votes
11answers
3k views

What's it called when you lose contact with reality when watching a movie?

Sometimes, when I watch a (real good) movie, I feel like the movie "sucks me into the screen". I feel that I am really inside the movie, really watching real persons acting in real situations. I do ...
11
votes
13answers
1k views

Asks a question; never responds to answers/comments

What do we call someone who asks a question and never responds to answers/comments? Think of it more as "a pattern of behavior" (somebody who has asked many questions and never responded). I had ...
0
votes
2answers
63 views

What's it called when one is so familiar with a language that phrases just “sound” right or wrong?

Native speakers, especially those who have read a lot of writing or literature for a given language, acquire the ability to "know" whether something is grammatically correct (or not) just from their ...
2
votes
6answers
83 views

Word for lack of comprehension of something easy to comprehend

So, I was watching this Vsauce youtube video, which discusses Déjà vu, Presque vu, and Jamais vu. Now, all three concepts are something I'm aware of and have experienced, but it made me think of ...
3
votes
6answers
108 views

What is it called when something is unimportant for several years, and then it becomes important?

I've been writing a paper about a math concept (called "permanent") that, upon its discovery, nobody really cared about it because it has very few useful properties. It was until several years later ...
1
vote
6answers
54 views

Another idiom that has the same meaning as “mere ink on paper” or “words without actions”

Is there an English idiom that has the same meaning as "words without actions" or "mere ink on paper"? Especially in the field of economics.
1
vote
3answers
20 views

Too much complexity being bad - phrase or common anology for the concept of

Something I've been trying to express concisely recently is the concept that using (or making) something that is too complicated/complex for the user to understand/fix can be a bad thing. Is there a ...
1
vote
2answers
87 views

Someone who doesn't learn from the mistakes he made

Is there a word or phrase that neans someone who doesn't learn from his mistakes or makes the same mistakes again?
1
vote
5answers
71 views

Word/phrase that means “the sound that is produced when objects are being moved by a stream”

Is there a word/phrase for that? Example: I closed my eyes, and listened to the [...] stones.
-1
votes
3answers
86 views

Is this sentence correct English?

I am not a native English speaker. But I would like to know if the following sentence is correct? "Choose a password at least 6 characters long." Or should it be something like "Choose a password ...
4
votes
2answers
389 views

Is there a single word to describe a combination of a projected video and a live stage performance?

We're developing an entertainment module for a conclave. The format agreed upon is this: an audiovisual is projected on the screen, but is punctuated by live performances on the stage. For example, a ...
2
votes
4answers
105 views

Less-technical synonym for “timestamp”

I've already looked at Is there a word for "a point in time"?, but there doesn't seem to be any answers other than "timestamp". While I agree that it is the most technically accurate ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Having at one's disposal

One has at one's disposal ... Is the following an acceptable synonymous phrase? One has (the) disposal of ... It made sense to me initially, if a little more active than the first. But I've ...
5
votes
2answers
73 views

Is there a word or phrase for ethical value based on economic value?

I'm not even certain that such an ethics system exists, but I can think of at least a few people who consider economic levity to be a sign of moral absolutism, and that those who are economically ...
11
votes
8answers
3k views

How to describe a guy who is popular with girls?

Perhaps I should make it clear: - He naturally attracts girls. - He doesn't chase girls and have no intention for any relationship. - You just see him often together with girls.
7
votes
5answers
457 views

What's the equivalent of “what the hell are you doing?” in a negative sentence?

I want to use the equivalent of "hell" as in "what the hell are you doing?" in a negative sentence. I want to address someone with something like this: You can not do anything the hell! By the ...
6
votes
10answers
1k views

What would you (negatively) call a person who insists on repaying even a small amount of money?

Let's say you paid for a friend's bus ride, and he insists on paying you back rather than just let it be and stop worrying about it. You even find it rude on his part that he won't just forget about ...
7
votes
6answers
437 views

Who excels under pressure?

I am not looking for phrases that mean to keep your poise or have courage. I am looking for something - word or phrase - the succinctly describes someone who is better under pressure. An example ...
3
votes
3answers
53 views

Looking for a word or phrase that conveys the modification of something in a certain way

We have a piece of software that takes client provided data and processes it. A lot of times our client's data will fail because the data in a particular field is either too long or missing ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Is there more than a 'double' whammy?

I have three (could grow to be more) bad reasons for a situation and I wondered if there is such a thing as a triple whammy that is an extension of the double whammy. From my research online, a triple ...
2
votes
6answers
354 views

The opposite of “one size fits all”

Is there a neat word or phrase that summarizes the opposite of "one size fits all"? "One size does not fit all" is not an option. What am looking for is something that means "different sizes for ...
20
votes
15answers
4k 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
5answers
152 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'm ...
12
votes
11answers
3k views

Term for student who was thrown out of university?

Is there a term or even a noun for a student who was thrown out of college/universite etc.? I want to emphasize that he was willing to continue, but was dismissed permanently (e.g. due to severely ...
1
vote
3answers
23 views

Alternatives for “similar to other studies”

When you want to compare the results of a research to other studies, you can use Similar to other studies, the current study indicates that ... What are other alternatives for 'Similar to ...
2
votes
7answers
278 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
100 views

Term to mean a different person conjugation?

Recently, someone said the following, in a chat room: "You're an adult and that means it's your turn to decide what that means." I knew that came from something I recognized, and it turns out it is ...
2
votes
5answers
65 views

Idiom for “don't put me with somebody together in the same sentence”

I am looking for an idiom used when people say that you are as good/bad as somebody, but you don't agree with it because you think you are not on the same level as them, or that you are way better ...
0
votes
2answers
63 views

A word or phrase meaning the opposite action of embedding

When I want my document to be displayed the same on different devices, I can embed used fonts in the document. But sometimes I want my documents to take less space so I want to remove previously ...
-3
votes
3answers
276 views

“You really take the biscuit!”

Is there an American version of "You really take the biscuit!"? As in taking the last biscuit, i.e. it's incredible how selfish you are.
1
vote
4answers
544 views

Word that means to “get something good but loses something else good in return”

I was at the optical store getting a new pair of glasses and lens. Since I have a somewhat high prescription, when selecting the features for the lenses I asked the clerk whether there is an option ...
3
votes
3answers
80 views

Word or phrase for all changes to an employee’s role/position/level?

What is a suitable word or phrase describing all changes to an employee’s role/position/designation/level in a company? These changes would include promotions/demotions (e.g. “Staff” to “Executive”), ...
2
votes
1answer
179 views

Word or phrase for literally and figuratively?

Say, for example, you and a group of people were all sailing out in the ocean and something happens...then you say, "I guess we are all in the same boat" You are literally in the same boat with ...
6
votes
8answers
705 views

How to describe useless conversation?

Is there a word or concise English expression for the kind of discussion that is heated, perhaps a bit contentious or pretentious, but ultimately off-topic, vague, or too abstract to be useful? A ...
0
votes
3answers
42 views

Referring to two or more choices [duplicate]

Example: I wasn't sure if it was A, B, or C. [...], I still knew I would fail. I thought of either way but I think is not grammatically correct. What should I chose if I'm referring to two or ...
7
votes
7answers
9k views

Idiom/phrase which means “to pretend not to understand or know”

Sometimes (well, often) people pretend not to understand what's going on (or pretend not to understand what the other person means, etc.) when in fact they do perfectly well. For example, Person A ...
178
votes
32answers
72k views

Is there a non-sexual phrase for sleeping with someone?

The phrase "sleeping with someone" often means "having sex." What is the origin of this sexual connotation? Is there a non-sexual equivalent of this phrase to express sleeping with someone without ...
0
votes
5answers
74 views

Another way of saying “as if it didn’t even exist”

This will be the opening sentence for a book chapter, so please forgive me for being a little hypercritical here... And it's also an important statement: 'X' may be the most important invention in ...
3
votes
1answer
88 views

What do you call the directions orthogonal to uptown/downtown in Manhattan?

While in many places, the notions of "uptown" and "downtown" can be somewhat fuzzy and vague, in Manhattan, these two words have clear definitions - if you are standing on nth Street, then uptown is ...
1
vote
1answer
99 views

Is the expression “moderator's set” used in English? What would you call it?

We are talking about a small suitcase which contains different presentation materials like markers, felt pens, post-its, paper in different shapes, laser pointers etc. for convention organization. ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Better name for filter condition operators?

I’m developing a data filtering system and am a little confused regarding how to name the condition operators for this system. Which of these cases are preferable (or quite applicable) for filter ...
1
vote
2answers
16 views

term for the review of available technologies

I'm looking for a phrase analogous to "literature review", but referring to the review of technologies available to solve a particular problem. That is, what would I call the process of comparing the ...
4
votes
3answers
238 views

Phrase for pooling funds with others for a purchase

I got an email today from a parent in my son's K class for a party the kids will be hosting for their teacher. Part of the content was this: I'm asking for volunteers for the following: ...
2
votes
4answers
49 views

Term for marking stating the date or year something was built or established

An arch might be engraved with "MCMLXII". A company logo might say, "since 1873". A sidewalk might be stamped with "08/2012". What do you call these markings?
1
vote
6answers
4k views

What are other ways to say “virtually impossible”?

What are other ways of saying "virtually impossible"?
6
votes
4answers
794 views

Is there an opposite of tightfisted that also contains reference to a hand?

Is there an opposite of tightfisted that also contains reference to a hand? The opposite of 'tightfisted' is always 'generous'. I want a word, idiom, or phrase that means generous but with reference ...
-1
votes
2answers
47 views

Ironic phrase meaning “I enjoy making my life harder”

How can I make the irony that comes with the following Q/A pair, Q: Cosa fai nella vita? ===> what do you do ? A: Me la complico ===> ? (I enjoy making my life harder )
1
vote
4answers
315 views

Laws I created that I must follow?

I have created a set of laws I must follow to enforce self-discipline. One law is I will not steal candy from children. It sounds sort of weird to say "I broke my own law", and sounds sort of ...
20
votes
8answers
2k views

Alternative to “We'll just have to agree to disagree”

Is there a polite alternative to "We'll just have to agree to disagree" that can be used as an exit strategy from a relatively friendly debate when a person feels they've said all they have to say and ...
6
votes
5answers
551 views

Idiom: to hesitate when something is nearly finished

I have an idiom on the tip of my tongue, or at least I think I do — the meaning I want is roughly “to hesitate or falter on a task, when it’s almost completed”. The phrase that first came to my mind ...