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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

5
votes
2answers
69 views

What do you call someone who gets along with children?

What do you call someone who gets along with children/babies? A simple example: He is such a ____, he makes all children smile. A single word noun would be ideal but a phrase is acceptable ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

Alternative to idiom “Barking up the wrong tree”? [on hold]

I want to use the idiom: Barking up the wrong tree. But in the situation it seems a little rude. What are the idioms/phrases similar in meaning to this idiom?
2
votes
1answer
206 views

Does a phrase exist that one uses to another person who is about to sneeze?

"Bless you" or "God bless you" are commonly used after a sneeze but does one exist (or was one once commonly used but no longer) when a person is obviously about to sneeze?
17
votes
11answers
6k views

Idiom for “just because you give something a different name, it doesn't change what it is”

I'm looking for a way to idiomatically express the sentiment that just because you give something a different name, or precede it with a disclaimer, it doesn't change what it is, e.g.: "I mean this ...
3
votes
2answers
105 views

A word or phrase to describe documents that can expire

I'm looking for word or phrase that describes documents or credentials that by definition have an expiry date. Examples of such documents can be: Passports Certifications Licenses Credentials
0
votes
2answers
90 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Is there a word for a song in your head? [duplicate]

As the title says, is there a word or phrase for a song that's stuck in your head?
2
votes
1answer
75 views

What is the word or phrase for the revelation of finding a word for a concept you already knew but did not have the word for?

This has recently happened. I discovered Object Orientated CSS. I had the concept for a long time but had never had a title for the concept. Discovering this was a joy for me. Is there a word or ...
0
votes
8answers
4k views

What is a word that means “created out of nothing”

I am writing an article and I am having trouble finding a word for "to create out of nothing." The following are slightly different forms to show you the general 'feel' of the word that I am looking ...
3
votes
7answers
211 views

What are “good men that do nothing” called?

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." -Edmund Burke Is there an idiom, phrase or preferably a single word that we can call people that could have helped ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

Word/phrase for a story in which time passes between scenes

Stories like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn often have large time gaps between narration. Days, weeks, or even years might pass between chapters or scenes in stories such as these. What word or ...
2
votes
6answers
101 views

Is there a word for making something or someone confess?

I am seeking after a single word for describing "make something or someone confess". Apart from a single word, welcomed are also idioms.
5
votes
3answers
184 views

When a person is completely entranced by the monotony of - for example - a road

I remember reading about a psychological effect that can happen to - for example - drivers, when they are driving on a monotonous road, where they are completely entranced by the monotony of that ...
67
votes
28answers
10k views

Idiom or word for a very crowded place

There is a popular idiom in Russian for describing a really crowded place: "(there's) no room for an apple to fall" ("яблоку негде упасть"). I struggle to think of anything similar in English, and ...
2
votes
2answers
78 views

Rephrase “Can I ask you?”

Is there a short phrase for "Can I ask you?" in the meaning that "I have a question. Do you have time now?". The motivation is that some people start answering "No, you can't" which is joke of ...
0
votes
3answers
99 views

Expression regarding a periodic task

So, if I have to do a certain task during a whole week but with a 3-week gap. For instance, in a 3-week period I will have to do that task for 1 week, in a 6-week period for 2 weeks, not in a row, of ...
3
votes
8answers
1k views
3
votes
5answers
73 views

Antonym (or dual) for 'anachronism'

I'm looking for a word or a phrase (preferably a noun phrase) that describes something current, which should not be still present, because it is kind of outdated, but is still around us because of ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Alternative colloquial expressions for “I thought” [on hold]

When expressing how we misunderstand the others's expressions we often say "I thought ...". But, out of curiosity, I want to know are there any other expressions equivalent to the meaning of "I ...
18
votes
4answers
1k views

Opposite of “to my credit”?

In writing a question for Programmers StackExchange, I wanted to write a sentence similar to "To my credit, I did foo, bar, and baz," except foo bar and baz are bad things so they are actually the ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Aptitude to learn proprietary systems/applications quickly and easily

Updating my resume and I am trying to make this "resume highlight" make sense. I originally had it written as "Able to learn proprietary systems/applications quickly and easily" but I was looking for ...
6
votes
3answers
244 views

An idiom/phrase for someone whose opinions must be accepted by other people

(As a follow-up to the question,) Suppose there is a group of people, and suppose in this group opinions and ideas of a specific member of the group is always accepted by other members and they obey ...
12
votes
7answers
1k views

An idiom for “beginning in the wrong end”

Say that in order to determine what B is, you analyze A. But then someone analyzes B in order to determine what A is. In my language, we would say that this procedure "begins in the wrong end". What ...
1
vote
6answers
1k views

What is an expression, phrase, or word that describes service being fast?

Basically, I want to say this: I went to that place for brunch with my girlfriend last weekend, the service was pretty fast, and the food was good too. I want to say that the service was good in ...
3
votes
4answers
143 views

A phrase that captures the concept of making oneself falsely appear to be guilty for purpose of discrediting another party

Perhaps this is more of a trope, but I'm looking for a phrase or word in English that describes the situation where: (a) "Party A" consciously performs actions that establish a false expectation of ...
0
votes
2answers
50 views

Other ways to say a project is ahead of schedule?

I'm looking for ways to say a business project is (or will be) completed ahead of schedule. Obviously, there are plenty of phrases for delayed or on-time statuses, but what are some phrases for ...
2
votes
2answers
76 views

Is there a word or phrase to describe the aging of graphics technology?

So I'm thinking of something along the lines of the idea of the "uncanny valley" in which technology reaches a point where it's very human/life-like but still "off" somehow, causing a revulsion or ...
4
votes
5answers
587 views

What's the US slang term for “following someone in a car”?

I heard this somewhere on YouTube and I wish I could recall where exactly. The person was recording himself from a dash-cam while driving, and when he noticed that a cop was following him, he said ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Idiom/phrase for someone who faced a lot of difficulties in life [closed]

I came across the Kannada saying "Benkiyalli aralida hoovu", meaning someone faced lot of difficulties in life. Is there an equivalent idiom/phrase in English?
30
votes
6answers
73k views

Polite alternatives to “as soon as possible”

I’ve found myself writing the phrase “as soon as possible” just too often. Sometimes I wonder if it sounds a little rude. How can I convey the same meaning in a more polite way but without losing ...
2
votes
5answers
202 views

How would you describe: Read a book, but not cover-to-cover?

As the title says. I'm looking for a good word or expression for saying something like "I have read only several chapters from random location of the book, but someday I want to read from cover to ...
0
votes
4answers
75 views

Phrase/word that is a synonym to “Question Everything”

What are some phrase/word synonyms for the phrase 'Question Everything'. My friend came up with nullius in verba, which I really like, and I was wondering what others are out there? Edit (from ...
4
votes
2answers
92 views

What are days that are not present in all calendar months called? [closed]

Is there a term for days that are not present in all (Gregorian) calendar months? E.g. January has 30 and 31 but February doesn't. What are days like 30 and 31 called? update: The word, if it exists, ...
13
votes
12answers
4k views

What's an idiom for doing something in an unnecessarily complicated way?

For an example, I'll quote C.S. Lewis' The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: One day the cat got into the dairy and twenty of them were at work moving all the milk out; no one thought of moving the cat. ...
3
votes
1answer
29 views

Keeping all parameters but one constant

It is a core scientific principle to only change one of the parameters in an experiment at a time, and keep all others constant, as opposed to picking random parameters (i.e. typically being unable to ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

How to distinguish “timesheets pending for approval” & “timesheets awaiting for your approval” in phrases?

There are two buttons. Button A is for the timesheets submitted by user but still waiting for someone's approval, I want button A displays like this: Pending Approval (3) Note: (3) means the ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there a name for how the Irish use so, so?

There is an Irish English structural usage of the word so, that is I think unique to Ireland. Are we going to the cinema, so? Where is the dog, so? The word so is unneeded and seems to mean ...
2
votes
2answers
169 views

Avoiding “time-controlledly” as an adverb

I'm currently translating a web site for scheduling software from German to English. So there are many things that this program can do "time-controlledly" (if I translate literally). But this sounds ...
1
vote
4answers
2k views

Is there any other word that means “more and more’?

Is there another word for more and more? For example, in this sentence: More and more people use computers Is their a word to replace the More and more at the beginning?
3
votes
5answers
209 views

What is an inverse phrase for “topping-off”?

I’m looking for a term or phrase that is the inverse equivalent to the action of “topping-off”, like a gas tank, but meaning “to completely empty.” Not a steady state (empty, depleted), but more a ...
1
vote
3answers
4k views

Synonyms / slang words in American English to express “I am very excited for something”? [closed]

In British English we can say "I am keen to do something with you". Also: "Would you like to go to a concert?" A: "I'm keen for that!". What are some equivalents in American English? Is it "I want to ...
1
vote
3answers
507 views

Looking for an English word to explain a certain business situation

I am looking for an English word to explain the following business situation. A new product or service is offered to the market. There are many small companies that start to provide this service or ...
-1
votes
4answers
687 views

“Twin brothers” and “cousin brothers” [closed]

Is "twin brothers" correct? Or is it also incorrect like "cousin brother"?
3
votes
3answers
200 views

A word or phrase describing “cheap talk” or “cheap issues”

Cheap talk like a kind of talking back of actors'/actresses' lives or an interview about their secret lives in some popular magazines or cheesy show off like reality shows you can find in TV channels. ...
1
vote
5answers
3k views

A word or phrase to say something reminds or hints or brings up another idea

I want to tell that something reminds/hint us of another thing. For example, in an application, a sorting method used in it has similarities to bubble sort but not completely the same. In this case, ...
0
votes
5answers
1k views

How do married gay couples address each other?

I know that non-married lovers address each other by saying "This is my girlfriend/boyfriend." I know that married couples address each other by calling "My wife/husband". I also know that gay lovers ...
7
votes
1answer
495 views

Is there a word for the decoration on top of a building?

Is there a word that means "the thingy on top of the building"? Like the crescent on a mosque or the cross on a church or the weather-vane on a barn?
-1
votes
1answer
51 views

How to say about Master's Degree [closed]

I really need to know how to say that a person studies something in MA level. I need several phrases for this to have choices for various circumstances. Can anyone help me? Thanks in advance
0
votes
1answer
68 views

Admits the following description

I have a question about the sentence "The evolution of a process admits the following description". I checked then the phrase "admits the following description" in Ngram Viewer and found no ...
2
votes
7answers
2k views

What do you call the fire that is built outdoors and for cooking only (not for camping)?

Example: The barbecue tasted incredible, with that unique aroma that only [...] gives to the meat. I thought of using the word campfire but in the sentence the barbecue isn't taking place in a ...