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

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1answer
44 views

What does it mean to show sympathy for the other ticket [closed]

In the movie "All The President's Men", the vice president says that at the airport. What does it mean? What is "the other ticket" referring to?
-1
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1answer
40 views

What does “in my bones” mean? [closed]

I can't get the meaning of the phrase "in my bones". Help me make a suitable sentence using it. Does it have a positive connotation?
1
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1answer
176 views

What does “A Gossip Girl in Sweet Valley with traveling pants” mean?

In the 2010 film Easy A, there is an exchange between several characters: Rhiannon: Aren't you supposed to be like, eternally in love with him, and shit? Olive Penderghast: Yes, I believe ...
25
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13answers
7k views

Secular phrase for “Heaven only knows” or “God only knows”?

As the title states, I am seeking a secular phrase synonymous to "Heaven only knows" or "God only knows." Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated.
4
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11answers
6k views

Phrase for something that is always out or reach/you almost have but never can get

I believe there is a two-word phrase for something that is always just out of reach for you and which you cannot ever seem to get. (It is not Tantalus or anything having to do with Tantalus, please). ...
0
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2answers
84 views

Another term for “Master Slave”

In technology, the "master" controls one or more devices known as the slave(s). For the novel I am writing, I prefer avoiding the connotation of Master/Slave. Is their a word, term or other phrase ...
1
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3answers
39 views

How can I say that this occurs to each matrix individually and not to all of them together?

I am translating a mathematical paper into English and I'm having trouble with this passage. What I wrote was: "Comparing Equation A and Equation B, for example, for n=12 we note that the coefficient ...
2
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1answer
240 views

Why is the expression “bodily fluids” and not “body fluids”?

A Ph.d in anatomy asked me this question: Why is the expression "bodily fluids" and not "body fluids"?
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3answers
55 views

Is there a word or a phrase which compares with the best tools available? [closed]

Sorry for a confusing title. I am looking for a word to describe the following situation: "our algorithm showed an accuracy worse than [other best algorithm developed by competitors]". I do not want ...
0
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2answers
31 views

Which sounds more right in a website name/address: [product]available or available[product]? [closed]

I want to get a website name and an address, and they have to communicate that a product that's represented on the site is instantly available. For example if I sell bread, which is better: ...
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5answers
9k views

Does “to err on the side of … ” indicate wrongdoing?

Does the phrase "to err on the side of ...," specifically "err on the side of caution," indicate that it is wrong to be "on the side of," the object? "Err" makes me think of "error," and is such the ...
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2answers
91 views

Difference between 'next' and 'following' [closed]

What different between this sentences? what is correct/incorrect? Please check next items: 1) item 1 2) item 2 Please check the following items: 1) item 1 2) item 2 Thanks.
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6answers
591 views

Etymology of “Feeding the dragon”

I have heard the phrase "feeding the dragon" used to describe pouring time, resources, and energy into a situation that is self-perpetuating, caught in a positive feedback loop with negative ...
2
votes
1answer
37 views

What does the phrase “old Charlottes” refer to?

I'm reading the novel Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian at the moment. It has the following passage in it: '… it seemed to me there was an unnatural proportion of Lord Mayor's men among ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

When should I include “note that”?

When writing scientific articles, I often feel that, for example, Note that the model can be solved exactly. and The model can be solved exactly. are equivalent. Other, similar phrases ...
29
votes
7answers
3k views

Is “Needless to say” ever worth saying? [closed]

I get a weird twinge in my stomach when ever I have the urge to write "Needless to say." If it's needless to say, it would seem stupid to say it. Am I right? Am I wrong?
7
votes
12answers
1k views

What would you call a person who shares every thought they have? [closed]

What would you call a person who thinks they know everything and decides to share every little fact they can think of? For example, if a teacher or professor says something and a student decides to ...
3
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2answers
2k views

What does the phrase “even a fool gets to be young once” mean?

In the movie American Gangster, Frank Lucas said Even a fool gets to be young once. What does this phrase mean?
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3answers
95 views

Similar to “burning a hole in my pocket” but for www shopping cart?

I like this: "Got three dollars burning a hole in my pocket". Are there other expressions or phrases with similar meaning? Actually, I want to know what the creative English speakers will write ...
0
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3answers
917 views

Does “walk back” have a meaning of ‘deny’ or 'keep distance from somebody / something.' as an idiom?

I came across the phrase walked back from time.com: a State Department spokesperson had walked back his (John Kerry’s) comments in the Time magazine’s (August 2) article titled, “Oops: John Kerry ...
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4answers
171 views

Is “left for heaven” a common phrase in English?

Is "left for heaven" a common phrase for native English speakers?
0
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1answer
544 views

What is the difference between “in conclusion” and “by way of conclusion”?

"In conclusion" is common, while "by way of conclusion" is quite formal. But what does "by way of conclusion" truly mean that differs from "in conclusion"?
0
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1answer
26 views

Is there any difference between “how it is doable” and “how it can be done”? [closed]

I have a phrase which can be written in two ways: This page contains information about orders, like how they are traceable after production. Or This page contains information about orders, ...
1
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8answers
15k views

Meaning of “makes no sense”

Which of the following has the closest meaning to "This makes no sense"? "I do not understand this" "This has no meaning" Update I will try to explain: My friend has proposed a solution to some ...
9
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5answers
7k 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 ...
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2answers
49 views

More general version of “finger on the pulse”

From my understanding when someone is "keeping a finger on the pulse of x" that person is keeping a close watch on and has a detailed understanding of the subject or situation. What would be an ...
2
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14answers
2k views

Word or phrase for a woman who shows up at events in gaudy outfits, garish make-up, and excessive jewelry?

Such person is usually - but not necessarily - upper-middle class. I'm looking for a noun or a noun-phrase but the words I've found so far (unpolished, inelegant, gauche, etc.) are adjectives and/or ...
0
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1answer
42 views

What is a self-contained, rhetoric phrase? (Brevity is soul of wit)

This related question touched on redundancy which appeared as a strict upgrade from an autological "word" to a "phrase" to me. It would be enlightening to find more instances that provokes a string ...
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1answer
175 views

Is “in an utter attempt” correct?

I think I have heard, and I think to understand, the phrase "in an utter attempt". I want to say something like "In an utter attempt for brevity, I will summarize each chapter in one sentence". Is ...
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vote
4answers
238 views

What does “people of the concrete steppes” mean?

I read this on an economics blog (http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2014/02/in_the_1930s_it.html) and tried to google it, but the results seem to just be people using it, no one explaining it. ...
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5answers
7k views

When to write the word “parenthetically”

I understand that if you're speaking a phrase in which you would write parentheses, you can say the word parenthetically. But when should you write the word parenthetically? I came across this ...
4
votes
8answers
52k views

Other ways to say “I'm rooting for you?”

What are other ways one can say that have the same meaning as, "I'm rooting for you?"
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1answer
40 views

How do I translate this italian locution? [closed]

Often in Italian we use this locution: venire meno Now I wanted to translate it and I didn't come with an 'immediate' translation. Somebody knows the English equivalent?
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3answers
43k views

How to use “no pun intended”?

The phrase "no pun intended" is often added after someone made a pun or something that could be considered a pun. If this should be taken literally (i.e. it really was unintentional), then I'm not ...
2
votes
6answers
191 views

Is there a phrase or slang word for a man who is always chatting women up?

He can be rich or poor, educated or not, vulgar or polite, handsome or not, but what characterizes this guy is his way with words and his garrulousness. More importante, he is notorious for making a ...
0
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3answers
1k views

What's the best way to say: “which one is more true or more accurate”? [closed]

What's the best way to ask: Which one is more true, or more accurate? ... when talking about a choice of two words?
0
votes
2answers
121 views

How to express the trend in this graph using the appropriate phrases?

I have this graph and I want to describe the difference in the take off trajectory of two patterns in the figure below. The first pattern is seen in the first two parameters over the years from the ...
1
vote
2answers
57 views

The “it-seems-better-than-it-actually-is-because-it-comes-from-a-famous-place” effect?

It is far easier to provide an example for what I am trying to describe than to try and articulate it: Example: Scholar A: "Wow. That new study from University X is getting a lot of attention." ...
2
votes
2answers
90 views

Psychological term or phrase for experiencing the world via the senses

I am looking for a psychological term or phrase for experiencing the world via the senses. (I am particularly interested in visual, auditory and thermal stimuli.) I am not looking for the word ...
0
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2answers
68 views

Is “not worth to do” an acceptable alternative to “not worth doing”?

Basically what the title says, nothing more to add. I've encountered the former form on the Internet more than once, hence the question. Thanks!
2
votes
3answers
4k views

Can I say “great move” to mean “good job”?

Can you use the phrase: "great move" instead of the phrase "good job" or vice versa? Are "good job" and "good work" similar phrases?
1
vote
2answers
85 views

Define “God's Acre” [closed]

What is meant by the phrase God's acre? I searched and it was about location names. I'd like short description for it.
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What does ‘Jam down one’s throat” mean?

I came across the phrase “I’ll jam down their throats” in the following sentence of the Reuters’ article (June 30 issue) dealing with the Davis Cup, titled “Pat Rafter Wary of 'Awkward Chinese.'” ...
1
vote
3answers
124 views

Put down a downpayment

Is it correct to say "to put down a downpayment"? Or should it be "to put down a payment"? But that doesn't really emphasize that it's a downpayment it could be a payment of any sort. Or maybe just ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

What does the phrase “do your bit for your fellow gentlemen” mean? [closed]

Does gentlemen in the phrase "do your bit for your fellow gentlemen" mean yourself, or fellows at your company, or someone else?
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Is ‘Take something cum grano salis’ a popular phrase? Can I use it in casual conversation?

I came across the phrase, ‘cum grano salis’ in the article written by Chris Cillizza, a political pundit in the August 8th Washington Post’s article under the title ‘GOP smells blood in Presidential ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

“largest of any mammal” vs. “largest of all mammals”

A: This animal is the largest of any mammal. vs. B: This animal is the largest of all mammals. What are the subtle differences between A and B?
0
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1answer
62 views

Is there a way to tell whether a “long face” is sad or just long?

Obviously, it is impossible to cover all cases, but how do you usually decide whether the "long face" reflects negative emotion or just has the physical property of being long? Answers from gut ...
2
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2answers
156 views

“I'm flabbergasted!” - Old fashioned? Pedantic? Refined? Educated? [closed]

To flabbergast - to overwhelm with shock, surprise, or wonder. "I'm flabbergasted!" - I have only one friend who uses this phrase, so I can't figure out what kind of person uses it. Although ...
18
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4answers
20k views

What is the difference between “here we go” and “there we go”?

As a non-native speaker, I cannot grasp any difference between the expressions "here we go" and "there we go": both expressions seem to underline an event that is going to happen immediately. Is ...