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

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39 views

What is the English phrases for “to bet/vote on a winning candidate”?

For example, betting Manchester United rather than a newly-promoted club. This is not limited to sport and not limited to only two participants. I've heard it's "to ride on a winning horse", is that ...
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1answer
27 views

Used with permission/by permission, which is correct?

On a lot of small print notices you see things like "ABC is a trademark of XYZ Corp., used by permission" or "used with permission". To me, "used with permission" sounds correct. Is either (more) ...
3
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3answers
105 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" ?
9
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5answers
46k views

What does “Suit yourself” mean?

I found this on SO and googled the idiom "suit yourself", but I couldn't find a matching translation. The context was that the questioner was nitpicking and the answerer lost his patience.
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2answers
32 views

“It had not been working as I thought” vs. “It was not working as I thought”?

I want to convey that I recently discovered that a software code was not working like I thought it was working...I'm not sure how to phrase it correctly. Which A phrase goes with which B phrase? A1. ...
4
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4answers
86 views

What Does Strike a Chord Mean?

I am not a native speaker. From my reading and verbal communication, I came to believe that striking a chord means connecting to someone at an emotional level. However, I recently used it somewhere ...
6
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3answers
16k views

“Hot mess” meaning and etymology

A phrase has started to be used somewhat frequently over the past few years: "hot mess". I have heard it in professional journalism (albeit, admittedly, mostly entertainment and/or gossip ...
0
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1answer
263 views

How to use “until now/so far” in the past tenses?

I know that "until now" indicates that something changed. No messages have come until now. Now the first message arrived. But what about using it in the past, for example in reported speech or ...
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1answer
59 views

Origin of the phrase “mother's ruin”?

I was under the impression that the phrase "mother's ruin" came from the England in the 1800's, where many people living in London did so in absolute poverty, and gin (the so-called "mother's ruin") ...
0
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1answer
42 views

What does 'it is love' mean?

I have heard many times from many people saying 'it is love' or 'French is love' or 'Baltimore is love'. What does it exactly mean? Shouldn't they use lovely instead.?
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6answers
43 views

what's another way to say, “highly sought out”

what is another way to say " highly sought out"? I am looking for an alternative phrase for this current phrase.
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3answers
52 views

phrase: “both delighted and amazed”

Am I using this short phrase correctly? Alibi bin Baz-ar and his Beetle Train from the mysterious East had arrived and the good folks of The Forest Glade were at once, both delighted and amazed…
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1answer
31 views

Is this the correct useage of… including; but not only,

Is this the correct useage of, "every possible accessory and trimming a body could desire to adorn their costumes with, including; but not only, brightly colored ribbons, buttons, needles of brass and ...
2
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3answers
190 views

Why is there “the” in “oh the horror”?

I am wondering about the interjection "oh, the horror!". If it should be treated as an interjection directed to "horror" (there are similar expressions in other languages), why does it use the article ...
0
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2answers
36 views

to be above board

I have made 2-year apprenticeship as a multilingual correspondent. One expression that I came across but is still unclear to me is: "to be above board" or "He is above board" I have looked it up on ...
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3answers
63 views

Phrases for conclusion in an essay

I want to start my conclusion in an essay by using 'So,to sum up' or 'to sum it up,' . Do you think they are formal and stylish?
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3answers
32 views

Is it correct to sat [on hold]

is it correct to say that "John will be welcoming you all night for dinner and party"
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2answers
63 views

Is it “Bride Weds Groom” or “Groom Weds Bride”? [on hold]

I am designing a wedding invitation for my friend. I want to know which of the following is the correct form to print on the invitation: Bride's Name Weds Groom's Name or is it Groom's Name ...
1
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1answer
57 views

Is there more than a 'double' whammy?

I have three (could grow to be more) bad reasons for a situation and I wondered if there is such a thing as a triple whammy that is an extension of the double whammy. From my research online, a triple ...
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4answers
2k views

What does ‘Rock a hat” mean?

There is the following sentence in Tina Fey’s “Bossypants": ”Don Fay dresses well. He has an artist’s eye for mixing colors and prints. He wears tweedy jackets over sweater vests in the winter ...
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4answers
106 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 ...
3
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5answers
2k views

Does “Chinese laundry” have any non-literal meaning?

A recent ad by Bing Lee had during its ad something like You could create a Chinese laundry with that much [washing powder]. Mum, you can't say that! Yes I can, I'm Chinese Does ...
4
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4answers
575 views

What does ‘Pinkie-sized’ mean?

I found the word, ‘Pinkie-sized’ in the following examples. From the definition of ‘pinkie’ as ‘small –Scottish / child talk in a dictionary at hand, and ‘small finger’ in Oxford Advanced Learner’s ...
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4answers
2k views

What does “slicker than snot on a doorknob” mean?

I have a friend from Mississippi and I've heard him use this expression sometimes: slicker than snot on a doorknob. What exactly does it mean? (I guess it's something positive but I'm not too sure ...
4
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4answers
4k views

When is a person called a “lightning rod”?

I am aware of the lightning rod used to protect buildings and structures. But, what does it mean to refer to a person as a lightning rod? Also, when is it appropriate to use and when should it be ...
2
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5answers
83 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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7answers
1k views

Word to describe a personality which has many interests?

I'm looking for a word, to be honest I'm not sure if such a word even exists, though this would be a word, or a phrase that describes more of a personality. Take this as an example: Bill works as ...
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2answers
85 views

What does ‘great conk of a nose’ imply?

There was the following sentence in a pretty old (October 7, 2013) article of New York Times titled, “A Jew not quite English enough,” which comments on the life and lifestyle of Ralph Miliband, the ...
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1answer
42 views

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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3answers
55 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 ...
11
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5answers
19k views

Origin of “More X than you can shake a stick at”

What is the origin of the phrase "more X than you can shake a stick at"? Every website I've seen on this basically says the same thing (e.g., http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-sha2.htm): Recorded ...
19
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7answers
10k views

Origin of “Too Clever by Half”

The phrase "Too Clever by Half" is used to criticize someone for being overconfident in their thinking. What is the origin of this phrase? I read somewhere that it started as a backhanded compliment ...
8
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4answers
3k views

Origin of the phrase “Oh, Dear!”

When something bad happens, sometimes you'll hear Oh, dear! or Oh, dear me! Why is this? Is it a shorter version of another phrase that makes sense in these situations?
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1answer
62 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
43 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
25 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
74 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 ...
0
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2answers
27 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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10answers
25k views

“The point is moot”

I was recently called out for using the phrase "the point is moot" incorrectly. My intent was to indicate that I felt that the point wasn't really worth debating or discussing. I was then shown that ...
0
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2answers
86 views

Alternate Phrase for “contact us”

I need another way to say "contact us" for a form I am building.
0
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1answer
74 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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0answers
27 views

I won't even know where they land [migrated]

This sentence was said by Arthur in the TV show Arthur. He was teased when he wore glasses to school, and now he threw them away and said that sentence. I'm not sure what he meant when he said "won't ...
2
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9answers
13k views

Better way of saying “Go-to man”?

Does anyone have a suggestion for a gender-neutral alternative to the phrase "Who's the go-to man?" The go-to person feels stylistically awkward.
15
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4answers
7k views

Origin of “Fits [x] to a T”?

The above phrase is something I've known for as long as I can remember, though I don't know from where. What is its origin and usage?
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4answers
344 views

The origin of “the long and the short of it”

I am not after the meaning, I am wondering how this phrase originated.
2
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7answers
275 views

Alternative term to 'Uncle Tom' for a black or colored person who is subservient to whites?

In Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel, the eponymous character was meant to be a sort of model of resistance against slavery, a man who whose "devotion to his fellow slaves is so unshakable that he ...
0
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2answers
38 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 ...
5
votes
6answers
431 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 ...
0
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1answer
25 views

Need help with phrasing [closed]

I'd like help with A ONE SENTENCE (if possible) way to better say the following, for use in an advertising medium: "Excellence in cutting edge design, affordable high quality materials with short ...
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1answer
29 views

Payable to the order of you or Payable to your order [on hold]

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