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

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2
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4answers
165 views

Up Hill vs. Down Hill [duplicate]

The expression "It's all up hill from here!" and "It's all down hill from here!" mean that things will only get better or things will only get worst. Metaphorically going uphill can provide for a ...
2
votes
5answers
197 views

A word for extreme care, attention, dedication towards words or a language

I'm looking for a word or a phrase which suggests the treatment of words or a language with extreme care, attention, and devotion -- like on StackExchange for example. I thought of pamper e.g. words ...
2
votes
5answers
1k views

Is “I'll be John Brown” a common phrase?

The phrase: I'll be John Brown! is an occasionally-used term in North Carolina. Mostly thought to replace taking the Lord's name in vain (GD). Is it used elsewhere? How long has it been ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

Meaning of “hound” [closed]

I came across this sentence: "He believed that whatever he planned to do was hound to end in failure." I looked up the meaning of the word "hound" in my dictionary. But either the word in this ...
6
votes
1answer
159 views

A frog in the throat

While the French refer to the temporary hoarseness caused by phlegm in the back of the throat as having a cat in the throat, the English version of the expression is to have a frog in the throat. I ...
6
votes
3answers
292 views

A saying that means “our best friends are those we have known for a long time”

We don't yet know what our new friends are like, and our best friends are those we have known for a long time. I am looking for a phrase, traditional saying or idiom that expresses this idea.
19
votes
10answers
3k views

What's the word for 'busting the myth'?

Suppose, I want to say that you need to bust the myth that girls are not good at sports or any other stereotype for that matter..What's the word to prove wrong an old, established stereotype? Is it ...
5
votes
10answers
117 views

Phrase for something that isn't as good as it once was [closed]

Specifically a relationship which fell apart as time wore on.
2
votes
4answers
107 views

What's a word or phrase to describe literature that builds upon topics discussed earlier?

If I were teaching a class, how do I say that the topics currently being discussed build upon the topics that were discussed in earlier classes? I'm looking for colloquialisms but if you know about ...
0
votes
3answers
93 views

What do “leaps of faith” and “get the best of somebody” mean? [closed]

I came across these two phrases when reading The Da Vinci Code. Why not-if we're assuming the Church was able to uncover the identities of the Priory members, then certainly they could have ...
3
votes
6answers
364 views

Is there a phrase in English for moving your forefinger close to someone's face in a bossy way?

This picture shows clearly what I'm looking for. Is there a phrase for that? In French there is a phrase for it, with the French word for finger, "un doigt remuant" Is there any in BrE and in AmE? ...
1
vote
4answers
136 views

Where does the expression “at a crack” come from?

The phrase at a crack is sometimes used to mean at one time. For example §§: Companies that have had generations of employees growing up under a no-layoff policy are now dumping 10,000 ...
11
votes
1answer
651 views

What does “Empedocles’ sandal” mean in terms of English usage?

I first heard the expression “Empedocles’ sandal” a long time ago without knowing what it referred to. It seems to derive from the legend of the ancient Greek philosopher Empedocles (who was ...
1
vote
1answer
206 views

Is there a slang word or phrase for a middle-aged woman who serially dates much younger men? [closed]

Such practice is observed more often in the artistic world and among socialites. Is there a slang word or frase for these ladies?
0
votes
1answer
71 views

mistakes in set phrases; “…you have to celebrate the victory of your spoils…”

Is there a word for mistaken use of a set phrase? For example, I heard an interview with an athlete in which he said "...you have to celebrate the victory of your spoils." Of course, this is not how ...
4
votes
3answers
428 views

What does “talk to the hand” mean?

I saw the phrase "talk to the hand" on many funny stickers which seems like expressing the idea that you want to stop the topic or conversation which you feel uncomfortable or not interested in. But ...
2
votes
4answers
105 views

Informal phrase for finally doing something pending - very specific

What would be an informal saying of phrase for finally doing some chore or running some errand that was pending for some time? It maybe something you are avoiding, or something you forget all the ...
3
votes
2answers
211 views

meaning of “fallen little short of a mother in affection” in Jane Austen's Emma, Chapter I

She was the youngest of the two daughters of a most affectionate, indulgent father; ad had, in consequence of her sister's marriage, been mistress of his house from a very early peroid. Her mother ...
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votes
1answer
56 views

What is the meaning of “gassed for”? [closed]

I was reading a comment on ELU and it is... ... when you've been gassed for your oral surgery. Is it an idiomatic thing to say "gassed for or gassed up"?
2
votes
1answer
95 views

What is the difference between “Whatever/What ever happened to Sandra?” and “What happened to Sandra?”

Sandra's been missing for a while, so we ask: Whatever/What ever happened to Sandra? What happened to Sandra? Is there any difference between these two questions and the situation to ask them in?
0
votes
1answer
74 views

Is there any difference between “told to” and “told to do so”

I will release a new version when I'm told to. I will release a new version when I'm told to do so. Is there any difference in the meaning of the two sentences and which one would I use in an ...
-2
votes
1answer
76 views

Is it correct/idiomatic to say “got informed there?”

I thought the phrase was common/idiomatic. So I was surprised when I got 0 results on Google Books. The school was filled with gossip. So Anna probably got informed there (about someone's ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

What's the meaning of “off to an early start” in this context? [closed]

The context as below: but violent clashes between riot police and students at the end of September got the action off to an early start
1
vote
1answer
115 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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votes
2answers
115 views

Is it grammatically correct to say “John, good morning to you” [duplicate]

Two hosts on the Today Show constantly say "John, good morning to you" when starting to speak with someone on air. The others usually stick with "John, good morning". Adding the "to you" seems to ...
16
votes
11answers
2k views

Antonym for 'preaching to the choir'

I'm looking for a phrase which essentially means questioning a belief you share with someone, but that other person has an almost unshakable faith in that belief, so your misgivings fall on deaf ears ...
0
votes
2answers
54 views

Sentence interpretation

I have been accused of a lack of reading comprehension in the following statement: Irgun later on became part of the "Jewish authorities", specifically the IDF by a self-professed wordsmith. To me, it ...
7
votes
1answer
273 views

Origin of 'the new normal' as a freestanding phrase

This morning, in a New York Times article called “Waters Warm, and Cod Catch Ebbs in Maine,” the following sentence appears: Fishermen, scientists and regulators often disagree over whether the ...
9
votes
1answer
336 views

Who originated “Merry Christmas”?

The first reference I can find in the OED to "Merry Christmas" is from 1534. This date very roughly corresponds with the English Reformation and Henry VIII's breach with Rome. From that time the ...
14
votes
10answers
5k views

I’m looking for a word or phrase that describes the feeling that something very bad or catastrophic is about to happen

It may be something that will happen to the person who is having the feeling but it may also be to several persons, as might occur with a highly destructive earthquake, for instance. The word or ...
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votes
2answers
52 views

Is there any phrase 'use to" in english [duplicate]

phrase use to I want to know is there any phrase use to in english if yes then how to use it
1
vote
2answers
102 views

What is the difference between “extended from” and “extending from”?

Scenario 1: part A is extended from part B Scenario 2: part A is extending from part B Is there any difference between these two descriptions? Would any one so kind to help me about this? Thanks in ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

How would you phrase this sentence?

If I'm talking about, say, an exhibition, and it's going to last for a few months, which one would you say? "The exhibition will continue through to May." "The exhibition will continue through May." ...
5
votes
2answers
284 views

19th century American English “slang”?

As I was doing a bit of research online I stumbled on this Children's Corner page 311 from the American Farmers' Magazine 1858. And, frankly, there are a lot of words that look totally foreign to me. ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

Care about and Care for

Whats the difference between "care for something" and "care about something". English is not my first language so just looking for clarity. Can i use them interchangeably?
0
votes
1answer
25 views

Events calendar/activities calendar or event calendar/activity calendar? [duplicate]

Which is correct (or more commonly-used) Events calendar/activities calendar or event calendar/activity calendar? Thanks!
3
votes
2answers
234 views

Torturing oneself by emotions is called?

People who love emotions, they love to torture themselves by emotional feelings. Be it real or vicarious. Often see people reading love stories and getting emotional, listening to sad song and watch ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

“To tell the truth” vs “to tell you the truth.” [closed]

What's the difference between the two? Which one is more common? When should I use the former and then the latter?
0
votes
1answer
46 views

“Kick off tracking time in the notepad” means start making notes or stop making notes

I'm not sure for 100% if "Kick off tracking time in the notepad" means to start or, otherwise, to stop tracking time in the notepad. Could anybody explain? Thank you.
5
votes
2answers
248 views

What's the origin of the phrase “men are pigs”?

I believe every man and woman has either read about or heard this phrase been spoken at least once in their lifetime. Besides the obvious connotation ascribing men to pigs, what is the reasoning ...
1
vote
2answers
126 views

Close by or nearby? [closed]

The cops traced residential address of his relatives who lived close by. Close up/down, close off, close in are terms well understood, I have not seen such usage of close + by. Would it be ...
1
vote
2answers
105 views

Old timers referring to a “bad penny”

What is the source and meaning of "turning up like a bad penny?"
1
vote
1answer
130 views

Synonymous idiom for: You can't run before you can walk

I'm looking for an alternative way of saying "You can't run before you can walk." This is equivalent to saying "you can't take on higher level things before you have mastered the basics". I am ...
2
votes
5answers
542 views

Any compact ways to say “reduce the model to less than 25% of its original size”?

As the title of the question requests, are there any compact ways to say to reduce the model to less than 25% of its original size? The original phrase looks weird.
0
votes
1answer
140 views

“I think she is not right” - is this sentence correct?

I know you can say "I don't think she's right" but I was wondering whether there is another way to say that.
3
votes
2answers
283 views

What can I use to replace the expression “Since the dawn of time”? [closed]

What should I replace the clichéd expression "since the dawn of time" with?
1
vote
2answers
32 views

Integrate socially

I want to highlight the aspect of socially integrating with a team as well as integrating with the team's work flow. Personally I think that when using 'integrate' in regards to 'integrating with a ...
4
votes
6answers
202 views

Which word or phrase describes a situation where the answer is both a pro and a con?

Sometimes when people are enumerating the good and bad aspects of something, the same thing comes up in both the pros and cons. For example, a certain policy may be considered good because it ...
0
votes
2answers
99 views

Is there a word or phrase for someone who always tries to get more than he needs or deserves?

This person always tries to get more than he/she needs, especially gratuities, gifts and souvenirs. Looking or sounding ridiculous is no barrier for him/her.
2
votes
2answers
374 views

Is there a general name for this: “The more you X the more you'll Y”

Some more examples: "The more you want the more you need." "The sooner you mow the lawn the sooner you'll be able to relax." Maybe there's not a name for this specifically, but is there a name ...