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

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What is the origin of the phrase “egg in your beer”?

The phrase "egg in your beer" refers to wanting a bonus or something for nothing. Its common usage is: "What do you want? An egg in your beer?" However, this does not seem to make much sense, as an ...
6
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1answer
22k views

Where does “Don't bogart that joint” come from? [closed]

I've looked on Google for several minutes, but I can't find a plausible reason, nor any immediately useful things to follow up. (I understand "Don't bogart that joint" to mean "Pass the [cannabis] ...
17
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2answers
4k views

“I'm on the brew”

A conversation between two Scots: — What do you do for a living? — I'm on the brew. Assuming that I have the phrase right, what exactly does "on the brew" mean here? Based on the context, I ...
4
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3answers
478 views

“Do you live around here or ride a bicycle?”

My grandpa used to ask "Do you live around here or ride a bicycle?" fairly often, finding it hilarious (him and only him). While it is quite an awkward, malformed piece of logic, what is its source? ...
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0answers
35 views

Can “as matter of fact” be used to express a contradictory opinion?

I'm aware you can do that with actually: actually ...used when expressing a contradictory or unexpected opinion or correcting someone. "‘Tom's happy anyway.’ ‘He isn't, actually, not any ...
0
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1answer
272 views

Compounds and Phrases - differences

What are differences of compounds and phrases and what do they have in common? I know there is the "nuclear stress rule" (phrasal stress on the last word of phrase) and the "compound stress rule" ...
1
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1answer
50 views

“One from another” or “from one another”?

Suppose I have a collection of objects (more than two). I wanted to write "They are at a certain distance one from another". Someone pointed out I should write "They are at a certain distance from ...
11
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18answers
3k views

Uncommon Term for an Excellent Orator?

I'm looking for an uncommon term for an excellent orator that doesn’t include adjectives such as “good” or “excellent,” or the noun “orator.” I've googled this request but haven't encountered anything ...
4
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4answers
2k views

Pretty Please and Similar Phrases

I was wondering who uses 'pretty please?' Is it used mainly by girls? Under what circumstances? Thank you for replying.
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1answer
36 views

To make it clear + question (or to be sure, to make sure)

"To make it clear", "To be sure", "To make sure" + Question I'm wondering if I can use some of them like this?: To make clear, what is the most important requirement for the project? To be sure, ...
11
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2answers
2k views

“How big of a problem” vs. “how big a problem”

Quite a few phrases in English are constructed like so: How [adjective] a [noun]...? This is the question form of the construction, which is often answered with the negative: Not that ...
0
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2answers
70 views

alternate phrase for 'satisfying the thirst'? [closed]

I am trying to compose a poetry. There is a line which goes like this - 'you are like a river that'll satisfy the the thirst of the sea/ocean ' . I want to know if there are alternative phrases for ...
2
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1answer
281 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 ...
0
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1answer
60 views

semantic difference for the forms: “x of y” vs. “x of the y” vs. “y x”

As a non-native speaker, I have a problem understanding the difference in meaning of the following forms: "… of …" "… of the …" "… …" To be more specific, let me give some instances: "theory of ...
0
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2answers
66 views

Is “I wish I had one of those …” correctly used in the following sentence?

Sex Education Club? I wish I had one of those when I was a student. The bolded part actually means, I wish my university had had one of those so I could have joined . . . But I picked I wish I ...
0
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1answer
60 views

How do I reword this sentence as an effective description for a resume? [closed]

I took over the bookkeeping for a small company after they had been methodically robbed (over the course of a year) by their previous bookkeeper. How do I word this in a manner appropriate for use on ...
0
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2answers
46 views

“Thought of” vs. “thought about”. What's the difference? [duplicate]

What's the difference between "thought of" and "thought about"? One difference I'm aware of is that you use "thought of" when something comes to mind but you don't analyze it, and "thought about" if ...
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1answer
150 views

Help understanding a sentence/reference

The introductory paragraph of the book An Introduction to Mathematics, written for general audience by the great British mathematician Alfred North Whitehead goes like this: Chapter 1: THE ...
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2answers
66 views

Usage of the phrase “over his lifetime”

Is it appropriate to use the phrase "over his lifetime" for in introducing someone if the person is still alive, i.e. "...his dedication to music over his lifetime..."
4
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3answers
178 views

What's the meaning of “that's saying a lot.”?

I heard somebody say a couple of things and they concluded by saying "and that's saying a lot". What does it mean? Does it mean it's a bit of a big deal? or an achievement of sorts? Some example ...
0
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1answer
84 views

Use of “don't mention it” for “you're welcome”?

In which American regions is "don't mention it" used for "you're welcome"?
2
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6answers
716 views

Another way to say “it never hurts”

It wouldn't hurt you to be a bit more serious. Wouldn't/won't/never hurts make perfect sense in this example. I'm wondering if there's any alternative way to preserve the meaning of this phrase in a ...
0
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2answers
336 views

How can I ask about a confirmation? [closed]

Two heroes are available. Hero #1: Please, send me an URL to that site. Here #2: Go to www.bla.bla. Is it true that you look for? Is the phrase "Is it true that you look for" correct? How ...
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1answer
37 views

“answered in” or “answered”?

I'm confused whether the verb answer should come with the preposition in or without it in a sentence "the timing a question will be answered in is important" or "the timing a question will be answered ...
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5answers
77 views

What is the word that describes a demanding look?

Is there an idiom or a single verb for a patronizing stare or a demanding look? As if someone can speak with his looks and says something like "No!", "Stop!", "Do it now!" and makes people obey no ...
16
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3answers
2k views

What is the action called when a grumpy old man shows that he is annoyed, by making a 'throat-clearing' sound?

Sometimes when a grumpy old man gets annoyed, he makes noises like clearing his throat. Does grumbling or grunting define that action? Is there a more appropriate word or an idiom for that?
0
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1answer
449 views

Use of the word “definitive edition”

Can I use the phrase "definitive edition" to explain that a product has the most up-to-date and highest quality in the field as opposite to mean "last edition of the same series"? Thank you for your ...
2
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3answers
10k views

What does "kind of sums things up” mean?

I came across the phrase, kind of sums things up in the article written by Dana Milbank in Washington Post (July 20) under the headline The new party of Reagan. The phrase appears in the following ...
6
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1answer
2k views

Meaning and origin of “Get someone's shirt out”

I was wondering to myself about the word "shirty". It seemed so curious a word. After all, what did its meaning have to do with shirts. "Were the two words even related?", I wondered. So I looked up ...
0
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2answers
46 views

“States Party to” or “State Parties to” or “States parties to”?

When discussing a treaty or international agreement, which is correct? "There are 100 states party to the treaty." (for example, as used here) Or: "There are 100 state parties to the treaty." (for ...
0
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2answers
46 views

Should I use 'follow lemma (1)' or 'follow from lemma (1)'?

In mathematical papers, some theorems are proved based on some existing lemmas. Then, should I use Following lemma (1), we prove... or Following from lemma (1), we prove...
0
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1answer
36 views

Is the phrase “horizon road” grammatically correct? [closed]

Is the phrase "horizon road" grammatically correct, and if so, is it equal to "road to horizon"?
0
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2answers
57 views

Is 'e.g.,' or 'e.g.' correct? [duplicate]

Is 'e.g.,' or 'e.g.' correct?. In some published papers, I either see 'e.g.,' or 'e.g.' used in some sentences or phrases. Can someone justify and comment?
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3answers
4k views

What do you mean by 'spark somebody up'?

I have searched throughout the internet to find the real meaning but was at loss.
0
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3answers
62 views

is the phrase “available with me” correct? [closed]

I used a bus in which the hostess said that the company magazine is available with me on demand. Is the usage of available along with with correct?
0
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1answer
82 views

Isn't it redundant to use “then” after “if”?

Since "if P, Q" is grammatical, is it not the case that the "then" in "if P, then Q" is redundant? Where P and Q are clauses. For example, "if it rains today, the road shall be wet tomorrow" is ...
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3answers
130 views

What does you are getting reamed mean? [closed]

Ms C is accusing Ms Z of eating the cheese that Ms C bought. Ms C and Ms Z are room mates. Ms C sees a therapist about it. Ms Z: I don't eat that kind of cheese. Ms C: You do eat that kind ...
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3answers
4k views

Meaning and Origin of “Honky Tonk”

Monday morning. A colleague of mine is blasting country music from his cube...fantastic. After hearing the word "honky" and "honky tonk" quite a few times, I'm intrigued. This is obviously a ...
16
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6answers
1k views

A Pyrrhic defeat?

Is there a word, phrase or allusion which represents the opposite of a Pyrrhic Victory: a tactical defeat which led to a strategic victory, either accidental or intended? After all, there must be one ...
0
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2answers
42 views

american english phrase request grammar [duplicate]

Is it proper to say: Please join me, my family and crew in celebrating my Bat Mitzvah? Or should there be a'my' before crew? Thank you!
1
vote
1answer
49 views

Meaning of the phrase “empty your pipe against the heel of your boot” [closed]

Not being a native English speaker, I'm reading What to Talk About to improve my communication skills. While reading, I came across this phrase: empty your pipe against the heel of your boot. I ...
2
votes
4answers
618 views

Phrase for having nearly completed something

Is there is a phrase for when you're very close to achieving something you've been working on? When the detective gets that final clue, but hasn't quite solved the mystery yet. When you've done 90% ...
0
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1answer
50 views
6
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5answers
3k views

Is ‘toss a bone to somebody’ a popular English idiom?

I came across the phrase ‘toss a bone’ in the headline of the New York Times article (July 15) in its Business section that reads “As a Watchdog Starves, Wall Street Is Tossed a Bone.” I checked ...
0
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1answer
55 views

Is “be my guests” correctly used in the following case?

Speaker A: We want to ask you some questions. If you don't mind, of course. Speaker B: [He opens the door of his house] Sure, be my guests. Is the idiom being used correctly? If not, what ...
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3answers
102 views

“A friar's hand”?

I'm reading "To Rise Again at a Decent Hour" by Joshua Ferris, and the narrator/author talks about looking over the shoulder of someone studying the Bible on the subway, and noticing that there are ...
8
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2answers
969 views

Why does “footing the bill” mean “to pay”?

I hear people using the term footing the bill used to describe paying for something. Why is the verb foot used to describe the meaning of paying?
0
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2answers
62 views

Is the phrase “…could only know by then” correct?

He told me he would give me the answer after the trip. Was there something he could only know by then? I don't know why but it sounds a little weird to me. Anyway, to make sure I searched on ...
0
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3answers
91 views

What is the “theoretical” counterpart to “hands-on”?

Situation: an educational event may have two parts. In the first theoretical part, we explain the approach, big picture, some theoretical principles. In the second practical part, we give the ...
3
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7answers
5k 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