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

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Why does the phrase “to take the rag off” mean to excel in the classroom?

A Collection of College Words and Customs (1851) by Benjamin Homer Hall defines to take the rag off as "to excel; to compose much better than one's classmates." I understand the phrase is quite old; ...
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5answers
98 views

Is there any word alternative for “compared to”?

I'd like to find an alternative for "compared to", in order to avoid repeating the same phrase in my scientific paper. Is there any alternative for this expression?
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3answers
162 views

A more formal way of saying “pointing out”

The goal of an edge detection algorithm is identifying pixels that belong to an edge of an object in an image ... The rest of the sentence should say something along the lines of "and point ...
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74 views

“Asked my height” or “asked of my height”?

"Asked my height" sounds strange, while "asked of my height" sounds like an overkill. "Asked what my height was" sounds terrible.
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1answer
48 views

Meaning of “under issue”

I was recently checking for the status of an application filed for a specific purpose when I came across the phrase “under issue” as in “the letter dated xxx is under issue”. My question is, how can ...
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2answers
30 views

Meaning of “appreciate the calm”

From a web development book: Instead of taking a moment to appreciate the calm, developers have taken advantage of the stabilizing front-end platform to pile on a whole new wave of front-end ...
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2answers
389 views

What does “the once and future” mean?

I've encountered the phrase “the once and future X” and I'm confused by it. It seems to be closely related to Arthurian legends: the book The Once and Future King (referring to Arthur) or the episode ...
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1answer
211 views

Bora Bora, Here We Come

Saw this phrase/expression in CIBC advertisement. The pleased client asked, "should we re-investment or expand", and the bank clerk said, "you can do both", then the old lady in the back happily ...
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2answers
215 views

Alternate Phrase for “contact us”

I need another way to say "contact us" for a form I am building.
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1answer
225 views

Trust him about as far as I can throw him?

Here is a quote from The Avengers, 2012 film. Coulson : But first, we need you to talk to the big guy. Natasha : Coulson, you know that Stark trusts me about as far as he can throw me. Coulson ...
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2answers
61 views

Word or phrase describing “conforming to mean or average”?

I am exploring a statistical experiment in which participants are asked for their rating of an idea (say from 1 to 10). Then they are shown the average rating of all other participants, and given an ...
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6answers
2k views

Alternative to the phrase “not to mention”?

Despite knowing how the phrase "not to mention ..." is often used, it still grates on me to use it because I am in the act of "mentioning" even as I use it. I found it helpful to read the origins of ...
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1answer
44 views

Payable to the order of you or Payable to your order [closed]

Which phrase is correct "Payable to the order of you" or "Payable to your order".
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578 views

What does “it’s all on you” mean?

I just wonder whether this sentence: It is on you. can ever mean this one: It is because of you. This was spoken Tony Stark in the 2012 film, The Avengers. Is “It’s all on you” a common ...
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3answers
382 views

What is the origin of the slang term “get out of here” to mean “you're kidding”?

What is the origin (first recorded use) of the slang term "get out of here" to mean "you're kidding" rather than "go away" ?
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2answers
150 views

Thanks for having me [duplicate]

Is it common/correct to say "thanks for having me" after an interviewer says to you "thank you for coming to this interview"? Thanks :) Update: I'm referring to a job interview. (Thanks for pointing ...
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120 views
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51 views

Is this phrase an appositive? And what case for the pronoun - We or Us?

One of my students wrote this sentence: "We should do something, both we students and the society." When I talked to her, I said that "we" should be "us", so I wrote the sentence like this: ...
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1answer
84 views

What does “go for adds” mean?

What does the phrase "go for adds" mean? I ran across it here: http://www.countrystandardtime.com/news/newsitem.asp?xid=7772
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2answers
312 views

Origin of burning ears

Ive often heard people say: "Your ears are burning." Specifically after someone hearing people talking about him or her. I'm curious what the origin of this is. There's got to be an interesting ...
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1answer
153 views

Breaking the set - meaning

Breaking the set What does this expression mean? I hear this expression often used in the context of alternative media reports and debates. Here's the link, right at the beginning the host uses that ...
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4answers
180 views

What did Obama mean by “ … something like this might have happened again”?

After a deadly random shooting at Fort Hood the other day, President Obama was quoted as saying as follows: In Chicago, President Obama said that White House and Pentagon officials were ...
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103 views

Is this the opposite of 'making a virtue out of a necessity'?

We all know what it means to 'make a virtue out of a necessity'. The only bananas on offer at the supermarket are 'fair trade', so we buy them and then pretend to ourselves and others that we have ...
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2answers
50 views

Is this phrase correct “but slightly they succeed”?

there is this phrase is correct: They try so hard but slightly they succeed. To describe this meaning: Someone try so hard but fails. update: For mjsqu Actually that's the definition that I ...
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0answers
51 views

Flattering vs. flatter [closed]

Of two sentences You are flattering me. You flatter me. Which is correct? Are both correct, or is one better than the other?
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1answer
60 views

What does “Soviet time tactics - No give bucks and muddy the water” (If I heard it right) mean?

In our English language listening circle, we unanimously heard AP Radio News (aired on March 31) refering to Russia’s action on Crimea anexation by force as follows: Former ambassador, Michael ...
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4answers
87 views

Examples of using “dead” to mean directly [closed]

I'm looking for more examples that use "dead" to mean directly. Some I already have include: 1.) "It's dead ahead. You can't miss it." 2.) I looked him dead in the eye. Or perhaps to mean ...
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126 views

Another phrase like “Having a grand old time”?

Trying to find other phrases like "Having a grand old time" for an ending to our wedding invitation. Thanks so much for your help! -Jordan
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4answers
214 views

Can 'I would say' always replace 'I think'?

There is a question about 'I guess' and one answer is comparing 'I guess', and 'I would say'. I would say characterizes what follows as a personal opinion or judgment: From what I know of him I ...
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1answer
326 views

What's the meaning of the phrase “where appropriate”? [closed]

Could you explain how to understand the phrase "where appropriate"? I know each word 'where' and 'appropriate,' but I cannot understand the meaning of the phrase combined with two word in this ...
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2answers
94 views

Does a submarine cruise underwater or sail underwater?

The submarine had been cruising in the Atlantic for three weeks
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1answer
121 views

Is reusal an English word? [closed]

Is the word "reusal" part of the English language? For example, given this sentence: ROS tries to facilitate the operation, development and code reuse of robot systems by organizing the parts of ...
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4answers
2k views

What do people mean or think they mean by “not to scale?” [closed]

I have in front of me a map of an area in the Angeles National Forest that says at the bottom, "map not to scale." What, if anything, does "not to scale" properly mean on a map or diagram, and if ...
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1answer
832 views

Hope this helps [closed]

I was reply to a email that my office colleague sent just want to know a good reply to phrase "Hope this helps"
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3answers
167 views

guests young and old vs. young and old guests

I came across the following sentence in an American newspaper. "Guests young and old ended up loving the fun socks they were given at the party." Does it make any difference if they say "young and ...
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1answer
169 views

Correct expression for “time of the day” greetings?

What is the correct description of good morning/good evening/good afternoon, etc? Are they called greetings of the day, or time of the day greetings? If not, what are they called?
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102 views

Do “getting into…” and “getting interested in…” mean the same?

How did you get into it? How did you get interested in it? Do the examples above mean the same?
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114 views

Usage of “there follows”

I wonder if it is correct to say: From A there follows B if you want to say that A entails B (or B is a consequence of A).
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5answers
709 views

A word that represents a group of people working to achieve a common goal or dream

I am working on a project that involves bringing people together who share common goals or dreams. Is there a word or phrase to describe groups of people who are working together to accomplish these ...
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1answer
46 views

“a change in …” vs “a change to …”, any difference? [closed]

Is there any difference between "a change in something" and "a change to something"? Is that like the former one is a more objective description while the latter one emphasizes the result of a ...
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1answer
48 views

What does “With a team” mean? [closed]

Does the phrase "with a team" imply that the speaker is on the team, or rather that the speaker is explicitly not on the team (of course it may also be ambiguous)?
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378 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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2answers
69 views

Is this sentence proper grammar? [closed]

Is this sentence using proper grammar? - "The money was and is not a loan."
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1answer
85 views

What does 'Lets himself be swept along like a log of wood by a current.' mean?

I read the following quote by Gandhi when he was describing the actions of a moral man: Source How can a man understand morality who does not use his own intelligence and power of thought, but ...
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2answers
63 views

Rules for hyphens in words and phrases

What are general rules for when hyphens are used in words such as "bad-ass" or "well-deserved". Could someone explain what kinds of words/phrases those are?
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1answer
58 views

What is the difference about two sentences below?

What is the difference about two sentences below? 1.Despite a very old medical therapy, acupuncture is called "new age" treatment. 2.Despite being a very old medical therapy, acupuncture is called ...
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2answers
88 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 ...
3
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3answers
127 views

A phrase that captures the concept of making oneself falsely appear to be guilty for purpose of discrediting another party

Perhaps this is more of a trope, but I'm looking for a phrase or word in English that describes the situation where: (a) "Party A" consciously performs actions that establish a false expectation of ...
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3answers
91 views

What is the opposite of 'a false dawn'

What is the opposite of a false dawn, a false dawn being "a promising situation which comes to nothing". The sentence I'm thinking of would be something like: They started off well and it was not a ...
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2answers
226 views

High level saying of the sentence “I don't just work for timepass”

Basically, I want to tell my superiors that whatever work I perform, I do it to the fullest and I do it efficiently. So I want to express the sentence: I dont work forcibly and for time pass. I ...