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

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Rooting for you [duplicate]

I have a niece who has cancer and is waiting for more results, she also has to have a painful operation to remove the cancer. I'm sending her and have sent her cards, "thinking of you" I want to say ...
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188 views

What is the origin of “over index”?

I often encounter (and use) this phrase in a context meaning to weight more heavily during decision making than is sensible, or to focus more heavily during a discussion than is warranted. For ...
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2answers
91 views

Laundry (noun) is the washing of clothing and linens. what do we call the laundry after laundering?

While reading a chapter on laundry and the various techniques associated with it, it reflected that the clothes lined for washing were termed as laundry and so were the washed/ironed clothes. Could ...
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1answer
132 views

What's the origin of the phrase “seamy underbelly”?

What's the origin of the phrase "seamy underbelly"? Example (my emphasis): With its large gay community, celebrity residents and beachfront cafés, Brighton is regarded as one of the hippest, most ...
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1answer
131 views

Formal version of “as and when needed”

Is there any formal version of "as and when needed" for written English? Thanks
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3answers
95 views

is the phrase “long time later” correct?

I have come across this weirdly formed phrase in a book , but i am not sure of its correctness. If this is correct, what would be its proper usage? Is saying "I met you a long time later" correct?
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1answer
134 views

Meaning of Roll sevens or Rolling sevens

What is the meaning of the phrase " you rolled them sevens with nothing to lose " ? In the song entitled " The weary kind " which is a sound track of the "Crazy heart" movie , there is a line that i ...
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52 views

What does “He's kept tabs on her.” mean? [closed]

From Bucket List 2007 He's kept tabs on her. Just in case you decided to... This was your idea, Tom? No, it was my idea. I talked him into it. - Yeah, talked him into it. - Hey. Wait a minute. ...
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1answer
84 views

What is the meaning of “is that of”? How to understand it?

I am reading Distributed Systems Concept And Design. I don't understand the following sentence on page 613, especially the is that of phrase. The state si in the global state S corresponding to ...
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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 ...
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1answer
58 views

Do the following phrases mean the same? [closed]

Does "Topics created by Users" equal to "User created topics"?
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1answer
61 views

Question/Matter of definition?

A "Definitionsfråga", as it is called in Swedish, is for instance if you talk about what's good and bad, you can remark that it depends on what you mean by good and bad. You could might as well remark ...
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3answers
105 views

“My question regards/concerns/relates to the following topic” [closed]

Can I say My question regards [an object]" as a way of saying My question is regarding... I have a question regarding... I like the brevity of it.
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86 views

Word/phrase for “process of joining a group or a club”

Example: Mary began telling about her [...] to the club. I thought of the word initiation but I think an initiation is more like a "rite." I'm looking for something that just means the process ...
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2answers
106 views

What is the origin of the phrase “trouble in paradise”?

Does anyone know where the phrase "trouble in paradise" comes from? The earliest usage I can find of the phrase is the title of the 1923 movie Trouble in Paradise, based on a Hungarian play called The ...
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1answer
304 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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1answer
2k views

Is 'at the time of writing' correct?

I am writing a technical document and I need to refer to the current point of time. Should I say 'at the time of writing', 'at the time of this writing', or 'at the time of writing this'? Are all ...
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3answers
62 views

idiom for unintended consequences

I am looking for a phrase/idiom that expresses the risk of unforeseen consequences of an action. Fake context: someone develops a treatment for cancer that is later found to cause Alzheimer's. So far, ...
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1answer
172 views

Trendy fashion phrases in press releases

How appropriate is it to use trendy fashion words in a press release? A fresh season truly requires a new wardrobe for the fashion-forward style setter. The surest bets? Stripes, lace, leather, ...
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3answers
78 views

What does the phrase “make up the cash” mean?

"A puts M as apprentice to B, and gives a guarantee to B for M's fidelity. B promises on his part that he will, at least once a month, see M make up the cash. B omits to see this done as promised, and ...
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20 views

'How long of a …' [duplicate]

Please settle an argument for me! Is it correct to say 'How long of a sentence [can you make]' as opposed to 'How long a sentence can you make' Which is correct? Thanks!
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1answer
447 views

“In such case” and “in such a case”

Could you please explain me the difference in meaning and usage of in such case vs. in such a case ?
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3answers
2k views

It's all downhill from here

The phrase "it was all downhill from there" seems to have two, contradictory meanings. The first indicates that things have since gotten a lot worse. For example (from ...
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3answers
247 views

What is the origin of “have a gander”? (When meaning “look”.)

The phrase "have a gander" meaning "have a look" is common in the UK. (Also can be "have a goosey gander" or just "have a goosey".) What is the origin/meaning of this phrase? I always assumed that it ...
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412 views

Is there a “universal use” English equivalent of the Japanese ubiquitous greeting, “Yoroshiku onegaishimasu”?

I think some of you might have heard of the Japanese word, “Yoroshiku onegaishimas” - literally translated as “Please be nice to me” and its shortened form, “Yoroshiku.” “Yoroshiku onegaishimasu” or ...
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1answer
43 views

* times (adjective) than [duplicate]

I keep reading the phrase 10 times lighter than..... or similar. This quote is current: "Plastic containers are cheaper to make and 15 times lighter than glass ones, says Dairy Crest". This can not be ...
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Is it “a spyglass TO the past” or “a spyglass INTO the past”

I'd like to use the phrase XYZ as a spyglass (in)to the past. as title for a publication on a scientific method that allows me to infer knowledge about the past from data available now. E.g., the ...
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1answer
45 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
77 views

I am all attention [closed]

Is there a phrase in English I'm all attention or I'm all ears, which indicates that the speaker is listening to the person he/she speaks to very carefully?
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3answers
242 views

How to ask somebody for explanation politely

Which form is more polite and more acceptable for correspondence: For example I am do not understand something and want to get more information about it. Could you please explain... or Could you ...
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2answers
159 views

Origin of phrase “pulling for you”

When somebody is going through a difficult life situation, people will commonly say, "We're pulling for you." Where did this term come from? It sounds rather strange!
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2answers
89 views

What does “hold on to your hair” mean?

What does this phrase mean? hold on to your hair
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1answer
680 views

What is the origin of the phrase “wind your neck in!”?

I was wondering if anyone could shed some light on the origin of the phrase in title.
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4answers
108 views

Is there an antonym for the idiom “…remains to be seen” [closed]

I was using "...the truth remains to be seen" in a sentence when I realized I meant the opposite of this. I'm looking a phrase antithetical to this idiom, that follows the same (empirical) line of ...
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2answers
51 views

“My response to be aligned with yours”

Let's say me and a colleague are going to a meeting and I want to make sure his responses to the questions raised are similar to mine, that we are in agreement and we will responde in a similar ...
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3answers
2k views

Somebody is gonna kiss the donkey

I heard this phrase when I was watching Battleship. An old man said, "Somebody is gonna kiss the donkey." I do not know what it means, I only heard it in a movie. What is this phrase mean? In ...
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1answer
152 views

What is a Tent pole moment?

At a marketing meeting a speaker used the term tent pole moment. I have no idea what she meant. Is anyone familiar with the phrase?
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3answers
344 views

Is there a word or phrase for someone whose ominous remarks come true?

Someone who makes such comments as: "Look at his car tyres! He is inviting an accident." (and he does suffer an accident minutes later.) "I never have shrimps with pepper. You're likely to ...
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3answers
54 views

postmodifying phrase/under the leadership of [closed]

Are these sentences correct: Such activities found favor with the social democrats under the leadership of Schmidt. Such activities found favor with the social democrats , under the leadership of ...
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1answer
55 views

Is there a noun form for “fine-grained”?

For example I want to say: ...the level of (fine-grained in noun) that is needed... I wonder if the word "grainery" will work.
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3answers
80 views

proper word or phrase for 'already eaten or drank by other person/animal' [duplicate]

Is there a single word or a short phrase to better describe a consumable item (e.g. drink or food) that has already been nibbled or sipped at? The relevance of this word or phrase would be in a ...
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2answers
72 views

Using 'send' in passive voice

You are sent this e-mail because... Is this correctly worded or does it sound weird? I ask because I think I've seen similar wordings, such as "you are being sent X because Y", but I'm not at all ...
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1answer
38 views

Phrase: give pause

What exactly does the phrase give (sb.) pause mean? Is it just a simple shortening of the following?: give pause to someone (or give someone pause for thought) cause someone to think ...
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1answer
219 views

“Rule the Roast” and “Rule the Roost”

John Ayto, Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms (2009) has this entry for "rule the roost": rule the roost be in complete control The original expression was rule the roast, which was common ...
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2answers
169 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 ...
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2answers
411 views

What did Kate mean when she said: “(…)? Or did Big Pussy and Meadow miss you too much?”

In the 2014 film “The Other Woman”, there is an exchange between several characters Phil: Who's this? Carmela: I'm Carmela, Kate's decorator. Phil: Oh. Really? When did you fire ...
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2answers
72 views

“As I go” expression

Could anyone please tell me what "as I go" means? Like in the following context: I will fill it out as I go.
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1answer
64 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?
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2answers
143 views

I will learn better English — should it be “I will learn English better.”

Somehow, I think "better English" is incorrect, because I think there isn't better English; English is English. But I hear this phrase from other ESL students a lot. Is this correct way of saying it? ...
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78 views

Meaning of “playing of favorites”?

I am came across this phrase in a CR presentation (slide #19). What is its meaning? Equanimity – Less “playing of favorites” with people, compassion