A phrase is a group of words that make a unit of syntax with a single grammatical function.

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4
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3answers
501 views

Things saved in the memory of the gone people — are called?

We all love to save things, collect items, items/things those remind us of the departed souls or gone people, gone from life may or may not be dead. What are those things called ? They might not be ...
1
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5answers
136 views

Keep the good work up / Keep up the good work - Are they both grammatical?

I have always heard “Keep up the good work”, but “Keep the good work up” also sounds fine to me. Is it acceptable?
1
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2answers
74 views

how to say it if you used a wrong window on you instant messanger? [closed]

Can I use - oops wrong window? Sorry, I meant someone else? or...? I'm talking about very informal situation when you are (text) chatting through Skype or other IM with several friends at the same ...
0
votes
2answers
45 views

“If only to do” vs “only to do”

He eats, if only to survive. He eats only to survive. Do these two have differences? And is if only to the reduced form of if it were only to? Thanks.
-1
votes
4answers
145 views

I'm tired of writing out the phrase “himself or herself”. What are my options? [duplicate]

Because of English's lack of a gender neutral third person singular possessive pronoun, whenever the need for such a referent presents itself in the course of writing, we seem to be left with ...
1
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1answer
46 views

Phrase type help needed

In the following sentence: I thank you for arranging the wedding. What type of phrase is for arranging the wedding? For is a preposition, but the fact there is not only a noun following it but ...
0
votes
4answers
83 views

Alternatives to “yet on the other hand”

I just read "yet on the other hand" in a published research article and it seemed off to me. Is it just me? Is there a better alternative? Specifically: The yet seems to be redundant to on the other ...
0
votes
2answers
61 views

What is the proper term for placeholder messages?

What is the proper English term for placeholder messages that you find in software, in the following format: "No Search Results" "No Message Selected" "Unable to Connect" "Nothing to Show" etc ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

A term describing the replacement of a specific word in a saying with one that ryhmes

I understand this is quite a complicated title, however I have failed to discover a word (or a few words) to adequately describe the creative language used when changing a saying (or well-known ...
0
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2answers
82 views

“at the cost of” vs. “at the expense of”

I usually use "at the cost of", but my editor made it "at the expense of". For example, the following sentence: The counts in Table 2 are all based on implementations that are optimized for ...
1
vote
2answers
88 views

What does “that's what” mean? [closed]

I heard many people saying this, but I couldn't really understand what they meant to say: That's what I am saying.
0
votes
2answers
75 views

What does the phrase: ''Let's throw a little wrench in his plans'' mean? [closed]

I've found this phrase in a game or movie. Don't remember now. What does it mean? Is it some kind of idiom?
1
vote
2answers
37 views

Is the use of “acquainted with” correct here?

Accidentally, I was acquainted with a NGO called Liren University, which was dedicated to providing a universal education for youths on liberal arts. I do not know how to describe this sort of ...
0
votes
2answers
66 views

Unusual usage of the phrase “leave me alone” [closed]

Is the following phrase incorrect or awkward somehow: I've been trying to make the ghost of you leave me alone.
-1
votes
2answers
40 views

“choice of ride” or “ride of choice”

When asking someone what brand of motorcycle he chooses to ride, which of the following two sentences is correct? What is your ride of choice? What is your choice of ride?
18
votes
6answers
3k views

What's the opposite of eye candy?

What's the opposite of eye candy? I heard someone say, "Eye broccoli," but that's not very accurate to those of us who love broccoli. Any other ideas?
-2
votes
2answers
78 views

How, when and where did the phrase 'state of the art' originate? [closed]

How, when and where did the phrase 'state of the art' originate?
2
votes
2answers
60 views

what's the English phrase for the Chinese one “Destination at south, heading to north”?

There's a famous Chinese fable:   Once a man wanted to go to the south, but his carriage was heading north. A passer-by asked him: "If you are going to south, why is your chariot heading north?"The ...
1
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2answers
63 views

“The other side” to refer to the afterlife

Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to "the other side." Now you can take this one of two ways. Either the chicken simply wants to arrive on the other side of the road, or he is suicidal and ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Is it common to use the phrase “come with” without specifying with whom [duplicate]

We’re going to the pub. Want to come with?” I have heard this from an American colleague. Though this sounds odd to the majority of us, however, since I am not sure of the usage, I am asking how ...
-1
votes
2answers
93 views

“Ronnie's wife keeps his social calendar where she keeps his balls: in her purse.”

What does it mean? "Ronnie's wife keeps his social calendar where she keeps his balls: in her purse." I guess it means Ronnie's wife is on top of Ronnie's social life and he is under her control.
0
votes
2answers
63 views

punctuation after beginning sentence with “In summary”, “Summing up” or “Last but not least”

I am often wondering if there is a comma needed after starting a sentence with in summary, summing up or last but not least. Here are two examples: Summing up, both children returned home safe. ...
-2
votes
1answer
32 views

Can I say “when it comes to the stage of…”?

As a result, the two of us who started off being very poor in programming wound up writing and designing the main structure of a website called “team work”. I continued to be in charge of technology ...
1
vote
2answers
86 views

Winter is gone and spring is come [duplicate]

I understand "He is gone" or "Winter is gone" is the common usage. But is "She is come" or "Spring is come" as common?
2
votes
1answer
173 views

Origin of “you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide”?

What is the origin of the phrase You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide. I see it occasionally bounced around, sometimes as an authoritarian slogan. Brief research indicates some ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Which one is correct to show that “the fan” in not the only one? [closed]

Which one is correct? a big fan of yours in millions or a big fan in millions of yours Tanx
0
votes
1answer
64 views

Is it just me or is “I can't tell them apart” odd? [closed]

As I understand it, "tell" usually refers to talking or explaining something to someone. If you "can't tell", it means you don't have enough information to determine what to say. However, this ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

Synoyms: one-time-purchase (business model) / one-shot deal businesses

What phrases describe a one-time purchase business plan or a one-shot business deal? For instance: a restaurant is in Times Square, the food is atrocious but it doesn't matter because there are ...
6
votes
6answers
702 views

Is “straight from Kafka” an idiom?

I am working as a translator and in one of my projects, which was about strategic management , I came across this sentence: " In scenarios that come straight from Kafka, the simplest problems take ...
1
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2answers
68 views

What's the meaning of “When you rock the boat, there will be waves”?

Does this phrase mean "When you cause a problem, people get upset."?
0
votes
1answer
77 views

Come out of the closet

'Come out of the closet ' derives from the phrase 'a skeleton in the closet'. Why is it perfectly OK to say come out of the closet but not come out of the cupboard as a follow-on the British phrase ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

what does 'live up to the buzz' stand for?

I recently read an article about honey As I was reflecting on all the health benefits of honey, it suddenly occurred to me: I don't think I've ever seen a sick bee. Coincidence? Probably. But ...
-2
votes
1answer
97 views

“Let it will be” [closed]

"Let it be" is an easy phrase to understand and to use. It's widely used and it's a set phrase, so it's hard to make mistake here. Why would a native speaker say "Let it will be"? Is it the same ...
2
votes
2answers
95 views

“all the virtues in the calendar”

Does anyone know the origin of the phrase "all the virtues in the calendar"? Doing a phrase search (with quotes) gives many example usages. Questions: 1. Is there an actual calendar of virtues ...
2
votes
4answers
92 views

Up Hill vs. Down Hill [duplicate]

The expression "It's all up hill from here!" and "It's all down hill from here!" mean that things will only get better or things will only get worst. Metaphorically going uphill can provide for a ...
2
votes
5answers
129 views

A word for extreme care, attention, dedication towards words or a language

I'm looking for a word or a phrase which suggests the treatment of words or a language with extreme care, attention, and devotion -- like on StackExchange for example. I thought of pamper e.g. words ...
2
votes
2answers
277 views

Is “I'll be John Brown” a common phrase?

The phrase: I'll be John Brown! is an occasionally-used term in North Carolina. Mostly thought to replace taking the Lord's name in vain (GD). Is it used elsewhere? How long has it been ...
2
votes
1answer
102 views

Meaning of “hound” [closed]

I came across this sentence: "He believed that whatever he planned to do was hound to end in failure." I looked up the meaning of the word "hound" in my dictionary. But either the word in this ...
6
votes
1answer
126 views

A frog in the throat

While the French refer to the temporary hoarseness caused by phlegm in the back of the throat as having a cat in the throat, the English version of the expression is to have a frog in the throat. I ...
6
votes
3answers
211 views

A saying that means “our best friends are those we have known for a long time”

We don't yet know what our new friends are like, and our best friends are those we have known for a long time. I am looking for a phrase, traditional saying or idiom that expresses this idea.
19
votes
10answers
3k views

What's the word for 'busting the myth'?

Suppose, I want to say that you need to bust the myth that girls are not good at sports or any other stereotype for that matter..What's the word to prove wrong an old, established stereotype? Is it ...
5
votes
10answers
104 views

Phrase for something that isn't as good as it once was [closed]

Specifically a relationship which fell apart as time wore on.
2
votes
4answers
80 views

What's a word or phrase to describe literature that builds upon topics discussed earlier?

If I were teaching a class, how do I say that the topics currently being discussed build upon the topics that were discussed in earlier classes? I'm looking for colloquialisms but if you know about ...
0
votes
3answers
72 views

What do “leaps of faith” and “get the best of somebody” mean? [closed]

I came across these two phrases when reading The Da Vinci Code. Why not-if we're assuming the Church was able to uncover the identities of the Priory members, then certainly they could have ...
3
votes
6answers
300 views

Is there a phrase in English for moving your forefinger close to someone's face in a bossy way?

This picture shows clearly what I'm looking for. Is there a phrase for that? In French there is a phrase for it, with the French word for finger, "un doigt remuant" Is there any in BrE and in AmE? ...
1
vote
4answers
97 views

Where does the expression “at a crack” come from?

The phrase at a crack is sometimes used to mean at one time. For example §§: Companies that have had generations of employees growing up under a no-layoff policy are now dumping 10,000 ...
11
votes
1answer
634 views

What does “Empedocles’ sandal” mean in terms of English usage?

I first heard the expression “Empedocles’ sandal” a long time ago without knowing what it referred to. It seems to derive from the legend of the ancient Greek philosopher Empedocles (who was ...
1
vote
1answer
120 views

Is there a slang word or phrase for a middle-aged woman who serially dates much younger men? [closed]

Such practice is observed more often in the artistic world and among socialites. Is there a slang word or frase for these ladies?
0
votes
1answer
60 views

mistakes in set phrases; “…you have to celebrate the victory of your spoils…”

Is there a word for mistaken use of a set phrase? For example, I heard an interview with an athlete in which he said "...you have to celebrate the victory of your spoils." Of course, this is not how ...
4
votes
3answers
285 views

What does “talk to the hand” mean?

I saw the phrase "talk to the hand" on many funny stickers which seems like expressing the idea that you want to stop the topic or conversation which you feel uncomfortable or not interested in. But ...