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

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1answer
585 views

What's a British equivalent to the more American expression 'Kiss my ass'? [closed]

I have the feeling that 'kiss my ass' isn't as widely used in the UK as it is in the US. I'm looking for a more British sounding equivalent.
5
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5answers
7k views

Is there a single word that could describe the phrase “makes it look easy”?

As an example, consider this sentence: When Roger Federer plays tennis, he just "makes it look so easy". A single word or maybe a smaller phrase that I could replace it with?
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1answer
74 views

What is the word or phrase?

Is there a word or phrase for the following ice breaker game. A group of people form a circle, and the first person says their name. The next person on the left goes and says the first person's name ...
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12answers
3k views

What is another way of saying “final solution?”

"Final Solution" is not the optimal phrase to use because it has a negative historical reference. When working on a project, I'd like to find a phrase that describes the process of evolving solutions ...
7
votes
1answer
781 views

What is the Origin of “wouldn't say boo to a goose”?

According to http://www.theanswerbank.co.uk/Phrases-and-Sayings/Question284368.html this is the origin of the phrase "wouldn't say boo to a goose": Because of the supposed stupidity of the bird of ...
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1answer
46 views

What does the phrase “lead on” mean?

What does the phrase "lead on" mean and how would it be used in idiomatic English? I came across the phrase in a text describing a user interface test, which talked about avoiding bias by "avoiding ...
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0answers
25 views

Meaning of 'upon which' [migrated]

I am not a native English speaker. I read this phrase in a book, '... more beloved than everything UPON WHICH the sun rises,...' Could anyone clarify what this phrase means? And what is the meaning of ...
2
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1answer
20k views

Correct usage of “of which”

I have two books, of which one is borrowed. Is this correct? Is there such a phrase?
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2answers
7k views

“Let's get it over (with)” — do I need the “with”?

I'm trying to understand why there is this "with". I can say "Let's get this done". So, why "Let's get this over with?" I would really appreciate if someone could explain that a bit.
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2answers
70 views

comma between subject and verb

'Apples, oranges, kiwis, etc., are possible fruits to eat in this country.' 'Apples, oranges, kiwis, etc., all are possible fruits to eat in this country.' 'Apples, oranges, kiwis, etc. are possible ...
2
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1answer
57 views

What word fits in this situation [closed]

When someone applied for something and reasons for the application are not enough or not subject to even consideration, how do you say in English instead of unacceptable? Does this sentence make ...
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0answers
15 views

“positively/negatively related to” OR “directly/inversely related to ”?

It seems there are two ways to describle when variable X increases as variable Y decreases: X is negatively related to Y, OR X is inversely related to Y. when variable X increases as variable Y ...
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4answers
93 views

What's a word or short phrase for someone who knows what's going on around them

I am looking for a word that quickly describes someone who knows everything that is going on in the in the city they live in. This person does not engage in gossip concerning other people's personal ...
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1answer
103 views

Meaning of “high in reach” regarding a training session

If an educational company described their session methodology as "high in reach" does it mean: the size of the audience the effectiveness of the training other? The original sentence in a press ...
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1answer
599 views

There you have it again?

I wonder if no one has asked it simply because it is so obvious, but I really can't grasp the exact meaning of there you have it (again). I occasionally infer it from the context but not every single ...
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16answers
15k views

“Soccer mom”: why soccer?

...why not football mom, baseball mom, or basketball mom? Soccer mom, as far as I can tell, is an American term made popular during the 1996 presidential elections, used to describe a key demographic ...
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2answers
36 views

Wilson's supporters were lined up for a favorable ratification

Wilson's supporters were lined up for a favorable ratification vote, but were unprepared to act unless he authorized them to accept mild qualifying language, this he refused to do. I cannot ...
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1answer
73 views

Use of “in comparison to”

I have doubts regarding the construction of the phrase: "[...] degree of fulfilment regarding the number of water quality parameters effectively controlled in comparison to the mandated number ...
2
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1answer
66 views

In the phrase “Good afternoon” what type of word is “afternoon”?

In the phrase "Good afternoon" what type of word is 'afternoon'? I've argued that it was a temporal pronoun, but a colleague googled the term "temporal pronoun" and came up with almost nothing, so I'...
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1answer
440 views

Salting the battlefield

The British spy thriller series, The Worricker Trilogy, consists of three films: Page Eight, Turks & Caicos, and Salting the battlefield. What is the meaning of the last title? I tried looking in ...
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1answer
50 views

What does “it just wasn't meant to be” mean? [closed]

I looked up this phrase on Google and got basically no clear results. What does this phrase mean and which context is it used in?
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1answer
35 views

“He's unsure what might come after” replacement?

I am not a native English speaker and according to my classes, the phrase "He's unsure what might come after" is incorrect because it ends in a preposition. Is there a replacement for this sentence or ...
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0answers
35 views

Are the phrases “for example” and “such as” interchangeable? [closed]

I'm writing a survey. Are the phrases "for example" and "such as" interchangeable? Consider the following... How often do you use public transit "such as/for example" buses? Are they the same or ...
2
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1answer
39 views

How does 'shot to death' function?

In these examples: UCLA engineering professor shot to death in apparent murder-suicide 16-year-old Chicago boy shot to death while walking to school Gorilla shot to death when child falls into ...
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1answer
25 views

Quality of life Vs. Life Quality

In the context of the following excerpt, what expression should I use? And why? The husband's role is a fundamental element for the sick wife's well-being and life quality/quality of life. Note ...
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0answers
79 views

Origins of “schoolboy error”

In the UK, at least, we use the term "a schoolboy error" to mean a simple or foolish mistake. Oxford has it as: British informal A very basic or foolish mistake. It is used very frequently ...
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1answer
49 views

What is the opposite of 'brand new'? [closed]

Is there a phrase that means "very old" but using another adverb instead of "very"? like "brand" in "brand new".
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2answers
1k views

Is “Next to that” really an alternative to “Additionally” or “Moreover”?

I see many of my compatriots using the phrase "Next to that" at the start of a sentence to mean "Additionally", "Moreover", "Furthermore" or "In addition". The reason for this, I feel, may be that ...
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5answers
9k views

Any other way of saying “I share your opinion”?

"I divide your position" is the first that came to my mind, but I think it's definitely incorrect. Is there any phrase like this with "position", not "opinion"?
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9answers
352 views

“bucking for” .. like Klinger

In the culturally referrent 1970s USA TV show "MASH", about the Korean war, character Corporal Klinger acts "crazy", specifically wearing female clothing, ... because he is bucking for a section 8 ...
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2answers
66 views

Shocking but not surprising [closed]

I came across this phrase on a news website: "It is shocking but not surprising," said the parliamentarian to.. and I wondered to myself if that is indeed a valid phrase in English. A google ...
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0answers
21 views

Application of this phrase [closed]

Where is this phrase generally used : "in arrears to" meaning indebted to . I am eager to know its usage . Is it just used in context with Banking or in common use also.please provide reference ...
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2answers
73 views

Phrases for filling stomach

"The food was so bad that I couldn't eat even just to (fill my stomach?)." What would fit in there?
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1answer
66 views

I had better go, I should go, I have to go [closed]

Could anyone tell me what these mean, and on what occasions it is suitable to say them? I had better go I should go I have to go.
1
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1answer
551 views

About the meaning of “light smattering of applause”

I expected "light smattering of applause" to mean "few applause" because "light" has the meaning of "small, not heavy". However, the phrase seems to mean "a lot of applause" in the context. For ...
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0answers
22 views

Identifying the subject in passive voice

What is the subject in: "In the City's Square mile are squeezed 400,000 workers" Would love to get detalied explanation. Many Thanks!
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4answers
5k views

What does 'two-bit paper pusher' mean?

I often find a joke titled, ‘When a grandma goes to court’ followed by the line, ‘Lawyers should never ask a question if they aren’t prepared for the answer.’ I don’t know if it’s a popular joke or ...
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19answers
3k views

Chasing something that doesn't exist

I'm trying to find a word or short phrase that would describe chasing something that doesn't exist. My restriction is that it can't be referencing something that would only make sense in our world (...
4
votes
2answers
33 views

Term to describe initial investment versus long term gains

I'm looking for a word (or phrase) to describe a situation that takes a lot of time and effort to set up initially, but the initial costs are (ideally) offset by the long-term gains. Specifically I'm ...
1
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1answer
35 views

What does the phrase “made my hair” generally imply, and do men use it commonly?

I recently came across a women who was exclaiming that she had just "made her hair" after her boyfriend pulled her hair-band off. I have never really heard of this phrase before, hence the question: ...
3
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2answers
9k views

Where does the phrase “crazy like a fox” originate?

If you say that someone is "crazy like a fox", it means that their behavior appears to be insane or nonsensical at first glance, but there's actually something very clever and subtle to it that's ...
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0answers
28 views

How to communicate two elements of different syntactic/semantic type in the same sentence?

I have the following sentence, NAME is a community that helps each other code better by rating each other's efforts and helps managers pair with other fellow developers I was suggested by the ...
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1answer
48 views

What does “working out of” mean? [duplicate]

Can you please tell me what "working out of" means in this context? "African composers working out of European-based choral and instrumental art music traditions are gaining recognition, as are the ...
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2answers
10k views

Is there any difference between “clear conscience” and “clean conscience”?

I want to have a clear conscience so that I know to judge clearly what is right or wrong. vs. I want to have a clean conscience, therefore I will not do such an ugly thing. The dictionary ...
2
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1answer
163 views

What is another phrase for one stop shop?

I am writing a small description and need a phrase to highlight a range of services. Is there another phrase for "one stop shop" which is both catchy and apt?
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2answers
14k views

When someone leaves at 4pm - should I say “Have a good afternoon” or “evening”? [closed]

I started work as a receptionist and must greet people that come and go. Please let me know what I should say when it is 4 pm and the client is leaving. Should I say "Bye, have a nice afternoon" or "...
6
votes
1answer
266 views

What does “My tongue doubles back” mean?

I was reading a novel when I came across this phrase. "My tongue doubles back in my throat as the senses comes back to mind and I choke on the words, "I love you too." What does the "my tongue ...
17
votes
5answers
871 views

Indefinite articles used with plural nouns: It was AN amazing TWO DAYS

The indefinite article a(n), derives from the old English word an meaning "one". Generally this word only occurs in determiner function before noun phrases which are singular. However, there seem to ...
3
votes
3answers
113 views

Word or Phrase for Smart and Difficult to work with [closed]

A coworker and I are having a discussion about a very smart person we work with who is also very difficult to deal with. We both feel like there is a word or phrase out there to describe this type ...
2
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1answer
58 views

Generic term to describe how the lack of a normal limiting factor will allow an undesirable overuse of another resource

I'm looking for a word or phrase to describe the natural forces or factors that would normally either encourage or discourage a particular course of action if that factor is either present or not ...