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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

0
votes
2answers
71 views

Anyone can help me to understand the meaning of “pass tax”?

Anyone can help me to understand the meaning of "pass tax"? For example: The adjective retroactive refers to something happening now that affects the past. For example, a retroactive tax is one ...
1
vote
4answers
346 views

Did “white” in “decent white folk” originally refer to race?

Nowadays, the "white" in "decent white folk" can refer to race. But did it always refer to race, or did it have another meaning? I tried looking at Google NGrams, but it has very few hits.
2
votes
2answers
58 views

Phrase for taking ones own medicine [closed]

Is there a word or phrase that describes someone who cannot take what they verbally dish out or criticise.
1
vote
2answers
95 views

Comforting/encouraging English idiom meaning 'it's not that bad'/'it's not all bad'

I have been told this by an unknown man on the street a few years ago, when I was looking particularly sad. It was something that meant to say 'it's not all bad, cheer up', and it either contained ...
0
votes
0answers
50 views

an important body of evidence

The sentence I'm asking about is: "An important body of evidence supports sexual differences in anxiety-like behaviors in experimental animals (5 references)". Does the "an important body" mean the ...
4
votes
3answers
106 views

What does the phrase “tiny bit of an ask” mean? [closed]

The question is in the title. I rewatched one of my favorite british television shows and the line "tiny bit of an ask" came up. What exactly does this phrase mean or is it just made up?
2
votes
2answers
80 views

Is there a specific word or phrase for the drowsiness one might feel soon after a heavy lunch?

After a lunch, especially a nutritionally dense one, one might drift off into a drowsy state, sort of a "I sure could use a nap" feel, likely due to the breaking down of the foods in the digestive ...
8
votes
1answer
237 views

Etymology of the “half your age, plus seven” phrase? [closed]

Stories vary online about the origins of this. It comes up in French in the early 20th century, and apparently American newspapers in 1931. What are the earliest known examples in the English ...
4
votes
3answers
129 views

What did Francis Bacon mean when he wrote this?

"There is little friendship in the world, and least of all between equals, which was wont to be magnified. That that is, is between superior and inferior, whose fortunes may comprehend the one the ...
2
votes
1answer
233 views

Alternate way of saying, “I just wanted to…” [closed]

I am in sales and when I make a cold call I typically begin the conversation with, "I just wanted to..." Some common phrases are, "I just wanted to see if you might be interested..." or "I just wanted ...
1
vote
1answer
36 views

“tracked up” verbal phrase meaning

I am getting difficulty in deducing the meaning of idiom tracked up in the given diction below, ( paragraph below is taken from the NYTimes editorials ) : ...the Boston Global to do more than ...
1
vote
2answers
98 views

How to use “on the other side of the ledger” in a sentence?

Some where, I have read an author use a sentence like "However, on the other side of the ledger" while talking about disadvantages of a proposed solution. How to use that phrase in a sentence without ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Is “independent minded woman” a set phrase?

Is the phrase "independent minded woman" a set phrase which is used very frequently compared to an independent minded man or an independent minded person? If so, why? I tried using Google ngrams, but ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

Term for a storyline that splits in two

Is there a term for a storyline that splits into two points of view? For example, two characters who travel together split paths and plot unfolds in two different timelines. It can probably be applied ...
0
votes
1answer
105 views

Less formal way of saying “I'm going offline”

Imagine a situation I'm going to the subway and will lose signal any moment. How would you tell someone you will lose signal soon? Or that you're going .. Offline essentially? Is "going dark" the ...
1
vote
2answers
67 views

“would like to see being removed” or “would like to be seen removed”? [closed]

Let's say I let a room to a person and offer this person to remove stuff from this room if necessary. Could I say "Please let me know if there is something you would like to see being removed" or ...
-2
votes
1answer
66 views

How to find a mistake [closed]

1.His case comes into the court on 27th February. Can anybody, please, help me? Where is a mistake in this sentence?
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Blazing in his eyes

The following passage is taken from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. I cannot understand exactly what the phrase 'blazing in his eyes' mean. What is the subject of the verb 'blaze'? ...
0
votes
2answers
103 views

What is “school annex”? [closed]

Could you please explain what does the following expression mean: school annex I saw a building with this title on the front. However, I cannot figure out what it is exactly, and how does it ...
0
votes
2answers
229 views

Meaning of the phrase: “I am but one.” [duplicate]

What is the meaning of the phrase: "I am but one." In sentence it is used as: "I am but one person out of the billions that exist on this earth."
1
vote
2answers
49 views

English (UK) - does “an enraged expression” make sense?

I am writing a book and one of my characters is angry but I feel like angry doesn't fit in and that enraged makes more sense and also makes the language of the book better but I'm not sure if it makes ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Succinct phrase for “work well under pressure”?

So I was working on my resume, but it literally took me two hours to come up with a succinct phrase for "work well under pressure". So far I could think of phrases like " pressure performer " or ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

using against the edifice the instruments or stones available in the house

What does the highlighted sentence mean? Is it some kind of saying? What is the meaning of "edifice" here? Source: Read the Cultural Other
-1
votes
3answers
297 views

Meaning of Have a lot of heart?

I've seen the phrase have a lot heart few times and got curious about what that means. However, since dictionaries do not give sufficient clues, I'm here for your help. That man must have a lot of ...
0
votes
2answers
171 views

Word Choice: Starting a sentence with “If not too long ago”

I know that the proper way to use "not too long ago" is: "Not too long ago, contractors used to build houses and sell them to dealers. It was the responsibility of the dealers to provide financing to ...
0
votes
2answers
37 views

What's the meaning of the phrase?

I'm wondering what's the meaning of the following phrase: Bennett took a poke at the President's refusal to sign the bill. I've found some explanations of "to take a poke at", but still they ...
0
votes
2answers
72 views

Contact Details Vs. Contacts

"Contact" could be used as a noun. It could be used as plural as in- The more contacts the cloth has with the dirty surface, the more sploiled it gets. "Contact details" is different. "Contact ...
2
votes
2answers
84 views

Can “fatal disaster” mean man-made misfortune?

Yesterday, I talked with a friend and mentioned that the Lord Jesus had the potential of suffering a fatal disaster in Judea, because many people tried to kill Him, like the high priest, King of ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

How to ask if a tutor is ~welcoming~? new students

I'm going to ask the online teacher if she is expecting new students to come and start studying with her. What's the good way to ask her that? I'm not sure that my own option "Are you welcoming new ...
0
votes
1answer
104 views

help to find a taboo equivalent

Excuse me for what you are going to read now. If you don't accept the taboo lexics, please don't read this. There is a taboo phrase in Russian: "ебись оно всё конём" /jebis ono vsjo konjom/ which ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

Is “set up another session” grammatically correct?

I tried to confirm an artist's schedule from a booking agent . As the venue was fully booked, I had to propose an alternative date. "... Just write to make sure if you mind I try to set up another ...
0
votes
2answers
228 views

The phrase “the reason has to be because XXX” [duplicate]

Husband asked, "Do you think it's true that men use 15,000 words a day and women use double?" The wife replied, "I think so, The reason has to be because we have to repeat everything to ...
2
votes
3answers
61 views

Substitute “Pop the roof”?

What phrase can I use instead of "pop the roof" to mean revitalizing, enhancing and expanding a building? I need to convey this idea without referencing a roof.
0
votes
3answers
510 views

Is it “No can do” or “No can't do”?

You know the phrase that's usually said in a sing-song manner? Which is the correct one? I only ever hear it in spoken form, so I'm not sure if I'm mishearing it. Also, is there a comma in this ...
2
votes
4answers
429 views

When did the phrase “eat sh*t” enter the English Language?

I'm reading a book, The Known World by Edward P. Jones. It is a very well written book about Black slave owners before the Civil War, that is, freed slaves who went on to own slaves themselves. The ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

A word for a person that is expected to respond (to a message)

I am really struggling to shorten and rephrase the following: "The person who is expected to respond to the message" The person invited is A, the person that will respond could be either A or ...
0
votes
1answer
81 views

Articles before percentages earned?

When writing about grades, does the percentage need an article? "Jenny earned an 87% in the AP Psychology course." Or just "Jenny earned 87% in the AP Psychology course." My thinking is, you would use ...
3
votes
2answers
73 views

Meaning of the phrase “Relax Into The Pain”

Quite often I have come across this phrase - Relax into the pain. We can treat a pain but how does one relax into the pain, especially if it's an emotional pain, for example grief? Can anyone please ...
0
votes
0answers
112 views

usage of “only ever”

I have heard and seen "only ever" used as in: "I only ever clean my car when the sun is high." I live in Massachusetts and never heard this usage until recently. I understand the meaning, but wonder ...
1
vote
2answers
62 views

What's the meaning of “is there any other way to see it?”

A: Are you saying accepting your help obligates me? B: ls there any other way to see it? A: No. I found this line from the movie, As Good As It Gets, and I'm curious about this phrase ...
0
votes
5answers
666 views

Is there a gender neutral phrase or expression to replace “old woman”?

There are people who behave like the stereotypical old woman who frets over the smallest concern and is constantly cautioning others about physical dangers. Such people can be either sex and barely ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

Meaning of phrase “to close the loop on this”?

I recently received an email from my colleague saying that "he wanted to close the loop on a task". I didn't quite get the context. It would be great if you could let me know.
3
votes
4answers
107 views

What is the phrase for something which you determine in advance as going to turn out bad?

Can you suggest a phrase for the following: You determine in advance that something is going to turn out bad; setting yourself up for it; cynical. Not a premonition, but begins with "pre" and I ...
1
vote
0answers
39 views

A single word to replace “cannot be determined by sight” [duplicate]

I am trying to find a word that can replace "cannot be determined by sight". For example, in: The gender of a baby chick cannot be determined by sight.
3
votes
0answers
79 views

What are some common examples of Homeoteleuton? [closed]

A Google search reveals only a handful or arcane examples. Maybe the brilliant minds here have some ideas. From the Wikipedia definition: As rhyme, homeoteleuton is not very effective. It is the ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

Can we have a noun after “being able to”?

Currently reading "Taiwan's brain drain prompts worries," by Austin Ramzy from International New York Times (January 14, 2016), I came across the following sentence: but I do not see the D.P.P. ...
1
vote
1answer
85 views

“We begin with” [closed]

I am a math major and I am trying to improve my writing skills, mostly for proofs but also for the overall betterment of my career. A lot of times in Math, the author will use the word "we" when ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

How many fish heads?

I am wondering about the origin of the common non sequitur "How many fish heads?". Is it an oblique reference to Douglas Adams'"Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" where when the dolphins leave they say ...
0
votes
0answers
341 views

“In the Last Decades” = “Over Recent Decades”?

Example: This trend has been affected by significant changes in the last decades / over recent decades. I've always believed that "in the last decades" should be followed by "of" and a period of ...
0
votes
2answers
68 views

Informal of “Fixing problem is in progress” [closed]

We have comical picture which we show when video signal is lost. The text below should be sort of that: "No signal. Fixing is in progress". But in more informal way. One alternative is: "No signal. We ...