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

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3answers
36 views

Should I use “in” or “of”?

I would like to write about the Municipal Services Sector in my country, which is the Kingdom of Bahrain. So, what is the right phrase to use: The Municipal Services Sector of the Kingdom of Bahrain. ...
76
votes
4answers
124k views

When “etc.” is at the end of a phrase, do you place a period after it?

Example: It's all about apples, oranges, bananas, etc. VS. It's all about apples, oranges, bananas, etc..
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3answers
45 views

“single in a run off”

Kang Jung-jo of the Pittsburgh Pirates singles in a run off Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Urena during the first inning of their game Tuesday in Pittsburgh. Kang, who started at third base and hit ...
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5answers
7k views

Is “I feel like a piece of meat” popular phrase? Isn’t it embarrassing for women to use this phrase?

I found the phrase ‘I felt like a piece of meat’ (at a meeting),’ in the article of Washington Post (September 20) titled ‘In early Obama White House, female staffers felt frozen out.’ The article ...
4
votes
1answer
839 views

Origin of “Everybody is smarter than anybody”?

Who said this: Everybody is smarter than anybody. I have been trying to find the origin of this phrase with no success. I think I first heard it from a speaker on an IT subject (but I am not ...
0
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1answer
98 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 ...
0
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1answer
52 views

'weighed in' vs 'wade in'

When someone to gives their opinion on a complex topic, is the phrase used "weighed in" or "wade in"? I thought it was the former, but I've been seeing the latter crop up more and more often. ...
0
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1answer
23 views

Another way to say “when we send you there”

I’m looking for another way to say .. When we send you there It’s referencing an introduction in a website context; When you click the link we will let the destination know that you’re with us. ...
11
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4answers
2k views

Is “incorrect facts” an oxymoron?

I've seen this so many times and it drives me crazy. The latest was the actor Paul Giamatti setting some story straight in the press about him: "It's unfortunately an incorrect fact about me and it's ...
22
votes
9answers
6k views

Why does “big cheese” mean someone important?

This is one of those common phrases that I have never really questioned until now. According to the free dictionary, "Big cheese" means an "important person". But what on earth does "cheese" have ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Origin of “you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide”?

What is the origin of the phrase You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide. I see it occasionally bounced around, sometimes as an authoritarian slogan. Brief research indicates some ...
0
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1answer
313 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" ...
2
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2answers
100 views

How to politely say to sellers in stores that you don't need help? [on hold]

This happens quite often. You're at a store, and while looking for clothes sellers come over and ask if you need any help. And since my English is far away from normal English I just use what I know ...
3
votes
4answers
14k views

The meaning of “Mid or feed”

What does the expression "Mid or feed" mean? I realized it was a quote from Einstein. In addition, what's the meaning of the "mid" and the "feed" in this semi-context? After a Google search, I see ...
1
vote
1answer
20 views

Is my explanation on prepositional phrases correct?

Example: My mother is arranging flowers in the vase. 'arranging flowers' is prepositional phrase and it modifies 'in the vase' but not to modify the subject 'My mother'.
3
votes
2answers
29k 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 ...
0
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1answer
51 views

I've just had a cup: is it correct?

Is it correct to say like this? "Would you like some tea?" "Thank you, but I've just had a cup" Would it be more idiomatic to say had one? Or both options are wrong? If so, how would you ...
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2answers
42 views

The phrase “Thank you kindly” [duplicate]

If the phrase "Thank you kindly,..." is considered archaic, could someone suggest an alternative? Thanks Bill
0
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1answer
65 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 ...
2
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2answers
38 views

“Bucket and chuck it” origin

Used in this sentence (by a friend): Well, if it doesn't work, just bucket and chuck it.
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1answer
41 views

Synonyms for “big deal”

I have read on The Free Dictionary that the expression big deal may be used as an interjection to answer ironically "to indicate that something is unimportant or unimpressive". If it is the case, what ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Dropped the pen and threw up the sponge

This was said by one of my mates while retelling a story. The story runs that there was a court being held, and there was a recording-clerk as well. But this was a humor story, and the story continued ...
3
votes
5answers
60 views

What does “to have something to them” mean?

I've been reading god is not Great by Christopher Hitchens which is from time to time hard to understand for me. I came across a sentence majority of which makes sense to me, but I lose the track at ...
0
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2answers
68 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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1answer
91 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"?
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4answers
63 views

Formal alternative to the phrase 'Not taken seriously' [on hold]

I'm writing a legal essay and the sentence is For example, a young person’s reluctance to seek redress, and that youth are often not taken seriously, their words often not repeated in court rooms. ...
0
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1answer
477 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
52 views

“States Party to” or “State Parties to” or “States parties to”?

When discussing a treaty or international agreement, which is correct? "There are 100 states party to the treaty." (for example, as used here) Or: "There are 100 state parties to the treaty." (for ...
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vote
7answers
2k views

Word/phrase for “treating the problem rather than the symptom”?

Is there a word that means the equivalent (or close to) the expression "treat the problem rather than the symptom" ? If not, is there a concise way to say this? For example, in discussing ...
0
votes
1answer
81 views

“driving across the state” or “driving across state”?

Is it "driving across state" like "driving across town", or "driving across THE state", like "driving across the country"?
1
vote
2answers
81 views

Straight from the horse's mouth

I want to use the phrase "Horse's Mouth" in one of the applications that I am creating to refer to a group that have the original story. In the same application, there is another group of people, who ...
0
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2answers
87 views

What does “You play you pay!” mean?

Actually it's from the comedy show, Weird Loners. What does "You play you pay!" mean? Thanks. Text from phone : Where's my money ? I know where you live. You play you pay! ...
1
vote
3answers
51 views

“To put into relation to each other”

I would like to ask if the phrase to put into relation to each other is correct English. I only found a few hits in the Internet and it looks like many of these sources were written in German. I do ...
2
votes
2answers
811 views

What is the origin of the phrase “Never Put a Hat on a Bed”?

I came across the phrase "never put a hat on a bed" while playing Google Feud. It was the top result for "Never put a _______". I looked it up, and found out that there's a superstition that says that ...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

Is there a linguistic term for “word pairs” where the masculine term is positive but its feminine equivalent is not?

The feminine form usually has a neutral to negative range of meanings. e.g. master (“a man who controls things”) x mistress (“a woman who is having sex with a married man”) governor (“the chief ...
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1answer
27 views

The use of “among” in subject construction

I came across the following sentence in the newspaper yesterday: "Among the questions is who fired the fatal shots that killed nine." This construction just doesn't seem right to me. Is there some ...
2
votes
4answers
14k views

Meaning and usage of “to no end”

What does the phrase "He annoys me to no end" mean? Literally, does it mean that he annoys me forever? Or does it mean that he annoys me to no result?
0
votes
1answer
54 views

From/Since time immemorial

Which is correct? 'From' or 'Since' when applied to 'time immemorial'? I have seen both around, and have a feeling it might be 'from', but would like to check.
5
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3answers
8k views

Origin of 'hit the sack'?

I know it means to go to sleep but where did it originate from. I'm looking for first use. Just curious.
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2answers
66 views

Synonym for “worse” with no negative connotation

Say there are two records in a band's discography and neither of them is bad. What's a better term than "worse" to refer to one record not being as great as the other record? Since both records are ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

Origin of the phrases “out back” and “out front”?

I'm going through the Song of Ice and Fire books, and although it's mostly written in what appears to be British English, very occasionally Americanisms sneak in. One example that I just noticed is ...
7
votes
2answers
477 views

Is there a term for a product having the same name as its place of origin?

Several trade products, especially food, have been named after their places of origin throughout the centuries. To mention just a few, champagne, after Champagne, France. calico, after Calicut, ...
1
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1answer
47 views

“Conceal Carry” vs. “Concealed Carry”

I have been doing some research on firearms law lately, and have run across a lot of people using the phrase "conceal carry" to describe people carrying a concealed firearm. In my opinion, this should ...
1
vote
3answers
193 views

Meaning of “mind is full of red”

What does it mean (from famous song Somebody to love of Jefferson Airplane): When the garden flowers, baby, are dead yes And your mind, your mind is so full of red Especially "mind full of ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Is “scant little” redundant?

I have seen this written (and have used it myself as well) but never really bothered to notice the meaning before. However, upon further inspection, "scant" is defined as "barely sufficient or ...
0
votes
2answers
51 views

What's the proper phrase for “ way behind~”

I am trying to write a sentence like Country X is way behind in terms of animal rights compared to other countries. I think the phrase way behind is colloquial but I cannot think of a “proper” ...
3
votes
3answers
109 views

A formal synonym/expression for “saying that”

I need a more formal expression for "saying that" here. I couldn't find another formal expression Saying that rape culture is an environment where emotional and physical violence against women ...
1
vote
3answers
75 views

One word for someone “excessively sentimental” in everything [closed]

Someone who makes you sick with his sentimental blabber. I have a colleague who cribs and complains at almost everything. He would always get sentimental while describing his misadventures or ...
0
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1answer
31 views

what does hard copy subscription mean?

I want to know what does "hard copy subscription" mean ? full sentence : where payment is primarily for physical goods or services (e.g., buying movie tickets, or buying a publication where the price ...
1
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0answers
46 views

From Avocadoes to Asparagus, from kangaroos to koalas

What is the name of this literary saying? People use this figure of speech in order to express a wide coverage or variety of a certain class, such as vegetable species available in a market for ...