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
5answers
53 views

word for “good person who does st bad for the good of the people”

Would there be a specific word or phrase that basically means "A good person that does something bad for the good of the people?" I don't really know if that makes sense to anyone but me, but I would ...
26
votes
19answers
6k views

A verb that means “to prove someone is guilty of a crime”

Preface: I don't think there is a single-word (verb) that expresses the concept I am asking for, in which case I'd settle for the least ambiguous and most common phrase or idiom that describes the ...
0
votes
1answer
14 views

Term for removing/replacing line-breaks

I'm looking for a good term for removing line-breaks from a piece of text and replacing them with a special line-break marker. (Like how, when quoting poetry, we use "/" to represent a break; though ...
13
votes
15answers
2k views

Idiom meaning diverting somebody's attention from a topic which you don't want to talk on

Is there an idiom or expression which means diverting somebody's attention with profuse talk about irrelevant things and trying to change a topic which is unpleasant to you or which you just don't ...
21
votes
15answers
5k views

What is the term for a person who doesn't waste time?

What is an English word/expression/idiom for a "person who doesn't waste time"? Especially a person who doesn't look for excuses when she/he should be doing something productive e.g. working, ...
5
votes
8answers
1k views

Describing someone who has a great potential but is not aware of it

What's the best idiom/phrase/word to describe someone who has a great potential to do something while he/she is not aware of that potential. For this reason, (s)he underestimate her/his capabilities ...
5
votes
4answers
179 views

What’s a person who borrows something but won’t return it?

I cannot find the right words or expression or idiom to describe a person who borrows something from someone but will not return it to its owner. Also, I would like to know the word that describes a ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Word for emotional state of jealous satisfaction from the whirlwind reaping of others

Consider observing someone getting a taste of their own medicine, reaping the whirlwind or whose chickens are coming home to roost. In some ignoble, jealous way such situations can be satisfying for ...
3
votes
6answers
78 views

Is there a word that means to see something but not be able to describe?

I'm looking for a word that describes the feeling or situation you are in when you can't find words to describe something you experience. Similar to being speechless but more specifically in regard to ...
4
votes
6answers
245 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
32 views

Word/phrase for looking up and down repeatedly?

Example: He took out the picture of the building and compared it with the live version, [...]. I'm not sure how to search for that on Google or Thesaurus.
28
votes
13answers
6k views

What do you call a disgusting mixture you don't want to drink?

What do you call a drink (usually an alcoholic one, say a long drink or a cocktail) that you don't want to have, because you consider it a low quality, disgusting mixture, maybe even of suspicious, ...
1
vote
2answers
49 views

term for “location where transaction occurred”

from an accounting standpoint is there a single word or two word phrase to describe a transaction location or context? Example: a transaction occurred in the amount (a) in the main office (o) for a ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

Can I use “US-American” to disambiguate “American”? If not, what can I use?

Based on this question, I wonder: as an alternative to USAian (which is very nonstandard) is it OK to use US-American to more clearly indicate "inhabitant of the USA"? According to Google Ngram, this ...
1
vote
2answers
26 views

Phrase for shared experience which indirectly affected direction of a field

Imagine that every person who had gone on to do something extraordinary in a field of endeavor had had a shared experience -- E.g. imagine that every scientist who received the Nobel prize in 2015 ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Phrase for Knowing Everything About Someone

I'm new to this awesome site! There is a popular saying that, in a conversation, one is sarcastically telling someone they know everything about another that begins with I know "your rank, serial ...
2
votes
2answers
65 views

To make amends from the other side

Suppose somebody has wronged me, and I want them to make amends. Say I ask for an apology. What are my efforts called? Am I also making amends, or is there a word/phrase that describes the action of ...
3
votes
2answers
58 views

Phrase/expression for “growing at my own speed”

I'm writing the acknowledgments-section of my thesis and want to thank my academic advisor for his patience and support, and for allowing me to "grow at my own speed". I'm looking for a concise way to ...
5
votes
6answers
128 views

What's a word for someone who wants to voice opinions but not have them challenged?

I'm trying to find the right word to describe someone who wants to voice their opinion about subjects (especially controversial ones or ones where the speaker is going against easily-provided facts) ...
4
votes
1answer
65 views

Term for an unevenly aligned street intersection?

I'm searching for a way to describe a street intersection where the lanes do not line up directly parallel from one side to the other. I.e., if you were to drive through the intersection and maintain ...
2
votes
6answers
382 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 ...
1
vote
7answers
113 views

What is an expresion for “getting older in appearance”?

"The children in school grew up so fast. They, like their parents, went about their professional career. In a flash they became gray and grizzled, and were getting tired of life." Is there a ...
4
votes
11answers
263 views

Word / phrase for a product/system that presents several unrelated functions

What's the word (or phrase) for a product/system that presents several (probably unrelated) functions? Swiss Army Knife is a good example of such products. I'm looking for something other than ...
1
vote
5answers
78 views

Term for when someone interferes with another's authority?

For example, Bob is not very high ranking in the company, but he is the safety manager. Bob tells Rich not to do something because it is not safe. Jim is Rich's boss and tells him to ignore Bob. ...
9
votes
11answers
8k views

“You get what you deserve nothing more nothing less”

In this world we reside, what we acquire depends on what we can acquire. In other words, if we have the money to, we can buy a house; if we have the necessary educational qualifications to, we can get ...
0
votes
3answers
47 views

Word/phrase for a character in a play/movie/story who is not a main character but interacts with at least one of them

In every fictional story, there are three types of characters: 1) The main characters 2) The people who interact with the main characters, but are not main characters themselves - for example, the ...
0
votes
1answer
99 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
5k views

An idiom to describe someone who thinks he/she is wiser than others

Is there an idiom in English to describe someone who thinks he/she is smarter/wiser than everyone else? In Polish, we have an idiom, which literally translated, would sound like: He/she has eaten ...
-1
votes
2answers
50 views

Expression for people who always miss each other by a few minutes

I would really like another way of saying/expression/quote for "people who always miss each other by a few minutes".
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Word for when satire is no longer satire

Is there a word for when a satirical piece of work ceases to be satirical because the concept under scrutiny has now become widely accepted.
-1
votes
3answers
35 views
-1
votes
0answers
20 views

I would like to create one word,from two words. [closed]

The Combinedation of the to following words. But in doing so I would like it to hold the appropriate meaning I will give a brief description in a sentence in hopes that it helps with the definition ...
1
vote
1answer
140 views

What is the term for the unpleasant placement of the chair or sofa - in a way that you can be approached from behind?

What is the term for the unpleasant placement of the chair of sofa - in a way that you can be apporached from behind ? I've heard several times that you should place all the sofas and tables that ...
1
vote
5answers
125 views

What's a word or phrase for lacking the normal fear of a particular danger?

The logical opposite of having an irrational fear (or phobia) is not having that fear. But what is the opposite condition, the condition of having an irrational lack of fear for something that should ...
4
votes
7answers
156 views

New term for “disk”

With Solid State Drives taking over, the term "disk" is becoming a misnomer. What word do you use? "File system", "persistent storage" and "mass storage" are correct, but a little long. Is there ...
0
votes
2answers
167 views

Is there a Latin phrase (which can be used in English) for “as per convention”? [closed]

I want to say something in an academic setting to the effect of "as expected" or "as per convention", when dealing with repeated lists of things with expected formatting. Is there a Latin phrase that ...
7
votes
9answers
23k views

What is an idiom/slang for “someone who pretends to be good when they're not”?

This is not from real life, but from a movie on my local TV. A character in the movie is really bad, but when she talks with others, she pretends to be an innocent/ good woman. I want to know how to ...
1
vote
2answers
47 views

A site where human bones have been discovered

Is there a shorter way of saying "other sites where human bones have been discovered"? I mean a site that is not a burial site, e.g a person has an heart attack, falls down on the ground and dies but ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

Phrase for being robbed/deprived of my money [closed]

Here is the situation: I provide services to a client through a company's platform. The company provides a software that keeps track of the amount of time I spend and automatically bills the client ...
0
votes
2answers
48 views

What's a more succinct way to say “countries you can work in”? [closed]

We're looking for a good two or three word phrase to use as a section header without the use of pronouns.
7
votes
8answers
1k views

Noun form of “extant”?

I am trying to find a single word or short phrase to fit into the following passage: Although many similar works were written, none of the others have survived. Its [extant-ness] is undoubtedly ...
2
votes
3answers
50 views

What do you call it when everything satisfies one condition or the other?

When something can be A or B but not both, A and B are mutually exclusive. As sets, A and B would be disjoint. When everything must be A or B—that is, a thing may be A or B or both, but not ...
11
votes
9answers
1k views

Idiom / phrase for a treasure in a ruin

How to describe some thing valuable that could be gained from an unexpected place? I heard a Persian Idiom that could be appropriate for this case: a treasure in a ruin. Is there any equivalent ...
1
vote
2answers
39 views

Word/phrase/allusion for spreading false intel to catch a mole

If I want to find the leak in my agency, I tell twenty people twenty stories and wait to see which emerges. If I want to find out who's selling my contact info to spammers, I give every company a ...
8
votes
5answers
290 views

Word or phrase for wanting hidden parts of construction to be orderly

My mother used to do a lot of needlepoint. The front of the needlepoint is what people look at, so how the reverse looks is usually not very important. However, she told me that some needlepointers ...
1
vote
7answers
78 views

Happening of something that is beyond of one's expectation [closed]

Is there an idiom or phrase or word associated with something good that is beyond of one's expectation and happens to him or her?
102
votes
16answers
21k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
23 views

equivalent to 'my Liver lobes'

In arabic, the organ 'the liver' has a noticeable role in language as does 'the heart'. For example, We say, in the heart of the city. But we also say, Zuhr prayer begins when the sun is at the liver ...
-1
votes
2answers
215 views

Is this sentence a valid construction? [closed]

I received this in my email. Please be reminded in accordance with the below email. Is something wrong with this sentence?
1
vote
1answer
66 views

The fear of not seeing one's mother ever again

Is there a word to describe the fear of never again seeing one's mother (or at least any person)? I have already checked the list of phobias that Wikipedia offers but could not find anything that ...