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

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Travel service given to guest by hotel called?

Is there any specific term for the travel service provided by hotels when they pick up their guests from the airport say - and when they drop off the guests again when they check out? Thanks in ...
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1answer
3k views

“at most” vs. “at least”

I tend to use two phrases randomly with speech but I'd like know to what's exactly the difference between the two? Let's suppose for example: Spend at most $20 on the lunch. Spend at least $20 on ...
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1k views

What's another way to say “Keep it on the horizon”?

What can be another way to say keep it before you or keep it on your horizon?
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2answers
2k views

Build a house, plant a tree, father a son

What is the origin of the phrase (and the principle) "build a house/home, plant a tree, father/raise a son/child" and its derivation (perhaps) "write a book, plant..."?
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7answers
6k views

What is the difference between'time is up' and 'time is over'

Are the two phrases'time is up' and 'time is over' used in different contexts or can be used to convey the same meaning
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3answers
91k views

Is “please find enclosed the attachment” grammatical? [closed]

In my office everyone uses "Please find enclosed the attachment" in emails. I can't digest the "the" between "enclosed" and "attachment". Is the sentence grammatical?
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3answers
243 views

Explain the phrase “Old Norwegian History Professor” and provide other examples [closed]

I remember the phrase "old Norwegian history professor" being offered as a good example of confusion that can arise in certain English phrases, but can't explain it well. (That is, is the professor an ...
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5answers
4k views

Does “Turtles all the way down” mean endless continuation / exercise of something like ‘peeling onions,’’ or it represents for sophism?

I learned the phrase “Turtles all the way down,” popularized by Stephen Hawking in an answer to my latest question asking the meaning of the phrase, “Mercy within mercy within mercy." Jmereno ...
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1answer
3k views

Does “over the span of” have to refer to consecutive months? [closed]

I am writing an academic paper on a study. The study states that their research was conducted in various months throughout the year (Sept, Oct, Jan, Apr, etc.). Can I say the following: Morse and ...
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1answer
59 views

“Fight Academy” or “Fighting Academy?”

What's more accurate, "Fight Academy" or "Fighting Academy" or is it equally correct to use either one. I have seen both being used and when I compare it to "Fight Club," it seems that "Fight ...
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3answers
3k views

Is it OK to use “after a moment,” “not long after,” and “before long” interchangeably?

I write stories, and I often find myself writing "after a moment," in too many parts. On their table was a smoked salmon, grilled meat, a plate of sushi, mussels, some salad, a basket with ...
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3answers
8k views

“Not quite yet” vs “not yet”

Does the phrase 'not quite yet' mean that something will be done shortly? Does this imply less time than just 'not yet'?
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2answers
595 views

Can “hidden in plain sight” be used in a sentence?

I learned from google that "Hidden in Plain Sight" is a movie title. Since I caught up the expression without context, I tried to use it. Now, I'm not sure whether it can be used without making ...
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2answers
860 views

As Well As - Tense Change?

Consider a sentence such as the following: The new software was designed to increase programmer productivity as well as reducing the company's total invested cost. Note the two separate ...
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3answers
121 views

Is “cast the balance to some/someone's side” a standard usage or a figure of speech?

...this biass, though, perhaps, it may not appear in a few throws, will certainly prevail in a great number, and will cast the balance entirely to that side. (David Hume, Of the Rise and Progress ...
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1answer
1k views

What is a “cike” as in “taking the cike”?

In the novel Dracula I came upon the following sentence: "But the old Chapel, that took the cike that did. " Presumably that is an equivalent phrase to "took the biscuit". But a google search ...
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2answers
520 views

What does “Mercy within mercy within mercy" mean?

I saw a lot of articles in these couple of days about Pope Francis’ reflection of his style, influences and priorities as pope in the recent interview with La Civilta Cattolica, the Jesuit journal in ...
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2answers
2k views

To work under the advisory of?

I want to describe my current research-assistant position saying that "I work under the advisory of John Green". Is this the correct way of saying that my advisor is John Green? If not, what is the ...
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4answers
2k views

What is meant by Nothing up your sleeves

Background: Hi, this one is my first question on this site. Untill now I was just a developer asking for help on stackoverflow.com. So today I was watching the movie Now you see me, where they all ...
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3answers
358 views

What’s wrong with this “As a” sentence?

I frequently see statements in the form of this one: As a skilled computer programmer, this new language is crap. I think that’s ungrammatical, but can’t explain why. I think it’s because the ...
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1answer
810 views

The meaning of “save with” [duplicate]

What the phrase "save with" means? Context: "He never spoke of the softer passions, save with a gibe and sneer" from Sherlock Holmes.
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7answers
871 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 ...
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1answer
270 views

The grammar of “by as much” and “as much”

Which of the following is the correct sentence (maybe they are both correct): Attacks are down as much as 10 percent. Attacks are down by as much as 10 percent.
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7answers
30k views

Origin of the expression “Dead to rights”?

I was watching a TV show and this term was used. I am familiar with the definition, but I was wondering the origin of the phrase. It does not make sense to me if taken literally. Reference
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2answers
277 views

Reflexive pronouns and understood “to be”

So, I've got a fairly straightforward sentence: Poe did not think himself a writer of inferior material. It is my understanding that "a writer of inferior material" is the object of the ...
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2answers
513 views

Can a past participle phrase stand at the end of a sentence?

For a present participle phrase, I've seen: Seeking advice from the pros, she visited the website. She visited the website, seeking advice from the pros. For a past participle phrase, ...
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3answers
220 views

Uncertain of what the phrase “The Mighty Yawn that gave you birth…” means in Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise

I have been reading This Side of Paradise and came across an ambiguous phrase that ends Amory Blaine's little satire in which he mocks his professors. I have reproduced the satire along with an ...
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1answer
324 views

Does “Japanese tourist” have any meaning other than a tourist from Japan?

I was under the impression that "Japanese tourist" had a meaning more than just a tourist who happens to be from Japan. For example, TV Tropes has an entry on Japanese Tourist, and French fashion ...
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2answers
304 views

Came, saw, conquered

It's sort of a silly question, but it confuses me and I have no choice but to ask. What is the most accurate way to write: He came, he saw, he conquered. Is it OK to use 'and' as in 'and he ...
6
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1answer
148 views

Term for distinctive wasp flight pattern

Many wasps have a characteristic way of flying back and forth while approaching the opening to their nest (see for example the intro paragraph in this Wikipedia article on yellow jackets). Is there a ...
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2answers
5k views

What does “waste not, want not” mean? [closed]

I would like it to be explained, if it has a single meaning, it's confusing me, I see it could mean "please don't waste whatever you don't want", or just the opposite, i.e. "There is nothing without a ...
3
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3answers
5k views

Usage of “last leg”

Can I use the phrase "last leg" to refer to the last phase of some event? To be specific, if I want to say that I met someone towards the end of their journey (of months), can I say, I met him during ...
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2answers
3k views

What does “Small-ball crap” mean?

I heard it on House of Cards, the American TV series. The Congressman says it during a political discussion: I hate this small-ball crap! What is its meaning and etymology?
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2answers
112 views

“The example was not leading” — definition of “leading” here?

I have come across the expression "unfortunately, the example was not leading" in the context where someone asked a question accompanied by an example and someone provided an answer that addresses the ...
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1answer
109 views

What does the phrase “His mouth worked when he thought” mean?

“Jody was only a little boy, ten years old, with hair like dusty yellow grass and with shy polite gray eyes, with a mouth that worked when he thought.” (Steinbeck, 4) -The Red Pony
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1answer
121 views

How old is the phrase “A Healthy Pee” (or “A Healthy Piss”)

What is the earliest usage of the phrase "a healthy pee" or "a healthy piss"? The letter "P", or its spelled form, "pee", used euphemistically for "piss" (because "piss" begins with that letter -- ...
2
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2answers
123 views

“Snapping out” vs “snapping out of it.”

I wrote the following: Eri was still staring at the screen, but her eyes were expresionless, as if in a trance. Her father laughed. "I admit it was a shocking footage. But Eri, you look ...
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3answers
479 views

Is “mind's ear” a valid phrase?

I was wondering if we could use mind's ear just way mind's eye is used. Is it ok to use it as a valid phrase?
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0answers
156 views

Ways to refers to two people who were about to marry or just married [closed]

I wrote the following: A bright red carpet ran all the way from the entrance to right beneath the altar. Enclosing it on both sides, were two rows of long benches—each of them with a tiny ...
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2answers
3k views

What does “I really get the juices flowing when I’m driving” mean?

New York Times article “In golf, moments good and bad are well remembered” (June 14) ends up with the following episode: "Jerry Kelly (PGA golfer) said that his steely memory of golf extended to ...
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6answers
162 views

A word or term for a physical type of a prize?

Is there any phrase with the word "prize" that would describe that the prize is a material one? I.e. you would get some kind of a product or thing, not money.
3
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3answers
335 views

Other ways of saying “…began eating?” [closed]

I could only think of "started on the food," though I'm not very sure about it (I think I have to add got to it?). Other suggestions? (this is for a short story I'm writing).
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1answer
160 views

What is a wallop of money? [closed]

What does wallop of money mean in the following: That is one hell of a wallop of money It is from a BBC film about Warren Buffet.
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1answer
74 views

Sharing a devotion? [closed]

Someone told me that this phrase is grammatically incorrect, but I do not understand why? XYZ is a fellowship of adults sharing a devotion to encourage students.
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7answers
654 views

An old fashioned word or phrase that describes a meditative walk

An old fashioned word or phrase that describes a meditative walk. It's not a constitutional but it's something that Ben Franklin, or Thomas Edison would do to clear their mind, rejuvenate, reconnect, ...
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6answers
453 views

What's the phrase to imply random jobs?

What's a phrase that can convey the idea of "a variety of different jobs with no central theme"? "Various odds and ends" was the one that occurred to me, but it didn't feel exactly right and ...
9
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5answers
9k views

What is the origin of “Indian Summer” and is it offensive?

I am discussing San Francisco's "Indian Summer" and happen to be surrounded by people from India (the country). As I was speaking I got terribly uncomfortable thinking I was offending someone, (there ...
7
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7answers
866 views

What do you call a circular paved protuberance added to a paved street?

I used to own a house located in a modern suburban street with a circular protuberance, a circular paved (tarred) surface appended to the paved street it was part of. Four houses with their gardens ...
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2answers
4k views

Is it “moved into” or “moved in to”?

I suppose I am confused in general about the use of "into" versus "in to." For this case, though, consider the sentence, "I moved into my apartment today" as opposed to "I moved in to my apartment ...
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3answers
321 views

Is there a word to replace 'Being different from'? [closed]

I want to say: Being different from traditional paper-based reading, computer-based reading, in this case, refers to the act of reading with the aid of computer system, which may or may not be ...