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

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3answers
854 views

Origin of the phrase “social justice warrior”

What is the origin of the phrase "social justice warrior"? RationalWiki says that the phrase "social justice" (without warrior) originated in the 1840s. Searching twitter for top tweets about ...
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2answers
43 views

I can't understand this: You wouldn’t have to spout embarrassing platitude in public

I was watching a movie in which this conversation happened in a bar: Person 1: You wouldn’t have to spout embarrassing platitude in public. Person 2: The fact is I won't spout platitude much ...
0
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3answers
56 views

More professional word for “day to day task”

I’m looking for a more professional term or phrase to describe “day to day task” or a task that is very common for a particular role of work. Thanks in advance!
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2answers
44 views

“trip us or trap us” meaning

I'd like to know the meaning of this phrase from a song by TheLastFiveYears: If I didn't believe in you I couldn't have stood before all of our friends and said, 'This is the life I choose- ...
0
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0answers
34 views

Description of Puzzle Type

I am looking for the name of a certain type of word puzzle. A string of letters is given without any spaces between those letters. By strategically inserting spaces into the string, different valid ...
0
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2answers
496 views

Why does 'I'm with stupid' have a positive connotation?

I see the phrase ... I'm with stupid ... used in many occasions, especially on forums using a smiley similar to this one: It's almost exclusively used with a positive connotation, in the ...
11
votes
15answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
45 views

Is the following sentence correct? A statement followed by a list. Should I use a colon?

Is the following sentence correct? "My main priority as a tutor has always been to help the learner feel at ease, with me, with themselves and with their own abilities." I feel like there should be ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

What types of words/phrases are “this” “here” & “they”?

I'm currently doing an analytic essay on my drama coursework (fun.). I'd like to explain how the playwright never reveals the exact setting of the act, by using only phrases such as "this","here", and ...
1
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1answer
31 views

phonics meaning the same [on hold]

Which word means the same as the phrase full of sleep in the sentence? The baby took a nap because he was full of sleep. Sleepiness,sleepless,sleepness,sleepy
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3answers
47 views

what will be a good artistic world or phrase for close cooperation for mutual success

what will be a good artistic word or phrase for close cooperation for mutual success.The cooperation of two parties (one with stronger power, second with weaker power, but huge dedication) where each ...
2
votes
3answers
109 views

Is this redundant phrasing a rhetorical device? Does it have a name?

I'm wondering if there's a name for this particular kind of redundant phrasing: So what I'm going to do right now is, I'm going to . . . or So what you want to do is, you want to . . . I ...
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votes
1answer
27 views

“Drumline” or “Drum line”? [on hold]

Is it Drum line or Drumline? I've seen it two different ways, and I finally need to write it. However, I have no idea how to write it.
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votes
3answers
202 views

Although correct, is “the above” to be avoided?

Although the phrase the above is not exactly incorrect, should it be avoided? For example, imagine a letter with a heading "Re: Order for 79 purple cardboard slugs". Should a paragraph in the letter ...
0
votes
1answer
65 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
vote
2answers
945 views

Biden Got Out ‘Over His Skis,’ Says Obama

I read that headline in the New York Times. From the context, I understood that it means that Biden was a little too hasty. I would like to know the origins of this expression
4
votes
4answers
886 views

What's a word or phrase that means “get together with people informally to play music”?

What’s a word, phrase, or expression that means to get together with people informally to play music? Something that doesn’t imply any particular style — could be Jazz, Rock, Classical, Rap, etc.
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votes
1answer
61 views

What is the difference between 'You are listened to' and 'You are heard'?

I've never heard anyone using the phrase 'listened to', unless a noun is added at the end of the phrase. When one listens to all complaints given by another, can one say 'You are listened to' to that ...
0
votes
1answer
49 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 ...
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3answers
61 views

Origin of 'put your hand on your heart'

What does this phrase mean? How does putting a hand on your heart (at least on the region of chest where your heart is) do anything? Does the phrase have different meanings for men and women? ...
25
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16answers
5k views

Is there an idiom for “I'm not an expert when it comes to kinds of feces”

There is an idiom in my language, which literally sounds like "I'm not an expert when it comes to kinds of feces". Which means that one considers all the instances of some group as equally bad, not to ...
1
vote
1answer
120 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 ...
5
votes
6answers
6k views

Origin of “kettle of fish”

What is the origin of the phrase "kettle of fish"? e.g. It's was a good film. But the sequel is a different kettle of fish. It seems to simply mean "thing", but in a fun and witty way. But I ...
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votes
2answers
1k views

Where did “doggy dog world” come from?

This Ngram shows that people were happily saying "dog eat dog world" until the 1980s, when "doggy dog world" abruptly came into use. What might have accounted for this? (It was well before Snoop ...
2
votes
2answers
85 views

A phrase for a tip or trick passed down from one generation to the next

Many use the phrase life hack to describe a novel or clever solution to an everyday problem. Before this expression became popular I remember seeing another phrase in the English language to describe ...
4
votes
4answers
183 views

Someone or something small yet capable of having big influence? [duplicate]

What is a word or phrase that means a person or thing which is quite small yet capable of having big influence and impact on society?
5
votes
1answer
280 views

Does the phrase 'human race' allude to the idea of a relay?

Describing the history of humanity as a 'race' might seem odd to a listener who hadn't heard it before. Is the image behind this phrase alluding to the idea that human beings reproduce and pass on ...
0
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2answers
58 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..."
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0answers
14 views

“To die being hit” vs “to die from being hit.” [migrated]

What the difference between the two? Which is more commonly used by native speakers of English? Example: It’d be tragic, don’t you think? To die (from) being hit by an apple.”
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0answers
26 views

In terms of putting

I heard someone says "In terms of putting this forward,". That was unfamiliar phrase with me, putting "In terms of something" and "Putting this forward" together. When I look in a dictionary ...
0
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1answer
64 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"?
0
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1answer
50 views

Complete the sentences with the correct form of the following words [closed]

I need to complete the two sentences with the correct form of the following words: offer, make. The sentences: Your exam grades _______ a big difference to your future career. The supermarket ...
0
votes
1answer
308 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 ...
0
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2answers
38 views

“Same old story,” vs “old story.”

Example: Maybe it's the old story, maybe he just sees me as a friend. Maybe it's the same old story, maybe he just sees me as a friend. Which version is more commonly used by native ...
1
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1answer
66 views

did “born and bred” originally have different meaning?

Internet searching suggests the phrase "born and bred in Boston" means the same thing as "born and raised in Boston." But "bred" is the past-tense of "breed." Might "born and bred in Boston" have ...
0
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1answer
31 views

“Enact” (verb) - Phrase used

I just joined the english.stackexchange.com and I am thrilled to meet you all! I have a question to pose concerning the use of the verb "enact". I would like to know how do we use this verb to ...
0
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3answers
56 views

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

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
votes
3answers
66 views

How do you express high proficiency in a succinct way?

I heard the following phrase in movies: -- Do you know how to use A? -- I am a f****g surgeon with A I like it a lot, but I can imagine a lot of people will not understand the meaning. I ...
0
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1answer
28 views

Put down good money, meaning and derivation? [closed]

Where does the expression: "Put down good money" come from, and what is its present day usage?
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votes
2answers
115 views

Come out of the closet [closed]

'Come out of the closet ' derives from the phrase 'a skeleton in the closet'. Why is it perfectly OK to say come out of the closet but not come out of the cupboard as a follow-on the British phrase ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

Expression of “relationship”

hi,if i want to describe“ the relationship between A and B as well as the relationship between A and C”.(A, B, C are things) can i say “the relationship of A to B and C”? Or “the relationship of A to ...
4
votes
2answers
102 views

What does “in the name of…” actually mean?

Whats the meaning of the phrase; "In the name of"? For example : whatever you ask in my name, Ask in my name. Oxford actually has an entry for the phrase, but it doesn't seem to match how it's used ...
3
votes
6answers
541 views

“Have some reason you” or “Have some reason why you”

Can the "why" be removed from the phrase "have some reason why you?" Example: Do you have some reason you ____? vs. Do you have some reason why you ____? Are these both grammatically ...
3
votes
3answers
359 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!
4
votes
4answers
4k views

origin of phrase 'stone the crows'

Just as the title says — where, and how, did the phrase 'stone the crows' originate?
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votes
3answers
48 views

A formal way to express “many things go out of control”? [closed]

In an opportunistic and alcohol motivated party many things go out of control "Many things go out of control" is common use, I could not find a proper way to express it in Formal English.
5
votes
4answers
22k views
1
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3answers
56 views

A formal synonym/expression for “saying that”

I need a more formal expression for "saying that" here. My supervisor told me it is informal English, but I couldn't find another formal expression Saying that rape culture is an environment ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

Should had be used for first or second event [closed]

I get confused about the usage of 'Had' in a sentence. Could someone please tell me which of these sentences is correct. He received an award after I had suggested his name. OR He had received an ...