A saying is something that is said, notable in one respect or another, to be "a pithy expression of wisdom or truth."

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Saying: “to be put on firm footing”?

I am wondering if the following sentence is correct, or that I am just literally translating it from my native language (Dutch) into English: This theory was put on a firm footing by X in the year ...
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1answer
51 views

A phrase for something that you enjoy, but is quite bad for you

I used to use it, but for some reason, and it's annoying me, I can't remember it. A synonym might be "my sweet poison". Usually used when talking about foods that are bad for you. Thank you guys, it ...
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6answers
1k views

More eloquent idiom/expression for the phrase “cut it at the roots/source to prevent the problem from growing/escalating ”

There's nothing particularly wrong with the phrase that's in the title except I figure there may be some better sounding alternative or something more pleasing to the ears. Example usage: We have to ...
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1answer
43 views

What does the phrase “empty dreams” mean? [closed]

Also, does it have any other synonymous phrases?
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4answers
77 views

Is there an expression describing some thing precious because it's rare?

This is a question similar to A word to describe something that is desired only because it is rare, but I am looking for an expression, a saying, or an idiom use in daily life, not a term or jargon. ...
3
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2answers
46 views

A word or idiom similar to sour grapes but simply not hating the object you cannot obtain? [duplicate]

I am looking for a word or idiom which can express a feeling similar to the sour grapes idiom but instead of putting down or hating the thing you cannot obtain, you just simply do not want it anymore. ...
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0answers
21 views

I said in my secret [migrated]

Is say 'in my secret' correct usage? So say, a person comes up to you and starts greeting you and what have you. And then you say something to yourself, like this for example: 1: Hey there, it's ...
3
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1answer
81 views

What is the English saying for “pecunia non olet”

Pecunia non olet is a famous Latin saying: Pecunia non olet ("money does not stink") is a Latin saying. The phrase is ascribed to the Roman emperor Vespasian (ruled AD 69–79). The phrase is ...
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1answer
56 views

cut you off with honey

When two people are having a conversation and the person who is listening has to say something very important and has to butt in, he'd say respectfully '(If you'd let me) cut you off with honey'.. ...
5
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1answer
95 views

Translation of German “Es wird nichts so heiß gegessen, wie es gekocht wird”

A German speaker wrote: As the German saying goes: You never eat the food as hot as it is cooked. This is a literal translation of the proverb, "Es wird nichts so heiß gegessen, wie es gekocht ...
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3answers
63 views

Looking for succinct way of describing the act of solidifying an idea into reality [closed]

Looking for a succinct way of describing the act of solidifying an idea into reality. "Building [idea] out" seems too generic but I'm trying to avoid a long winded, step by step explanation of the ...
6
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2answers
125 views

What popularized “a roll in the hay” in the 1940s?

While I way looking for an expression for casual sex I came across the evocative expression "a roll in the hay." The saying is from 1942 according to Etymonline : Meaning "act of sexual ...
7
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1answer
817 views

What is the Origin of “wouldn't say boo to a goose”?

According to http://www.theanswerbank.co.uk/Phrases-and-Sayings/Question284368.html this is the origin of the phrase "wouldn't say boo to a goose": Because of the supposed stupidity of the bird of ...
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0answers
43 views

Origin and usage of “graveyard slot”

The curious expression graveyard slot has two main connotations: (television) the hours from late night until early morning when the number of people watching television is at its lowest. (...
4
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1answer
130 views

English equivalent for the Persian expression “To keep one's face red with slap”

In Persian we have a saying "صورت را با سیلی سرخ نگه داشتن" which literally translates to: To keep one's face red(warm) with slap It's used in a situation in which a person, if poor or ...
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0answers
33 views

Springtime is when

I heard the saying below, and don't understand what it means. I heard it in a concert, but it is also recorded in an american book of proverbs linked below. (b) In spring a young man's fancy turns ...
3
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2answers
284 views

How did an “arm” become a “mile”?

The common saying "give an inch and they'll take a mile" means: Make a small concession and they'll take advantage of you. For example, I told her she could borrow the car for one day and ...
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2answers
74 views

What is the origin of the British English saying: “It's got bits missing”?

I know someone from England who says this, in such a way that she assumes I have heard it, and that many people she knows say it... I find it amusing because it contrasts its Got with Missing. (She ...
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2answers
599 views

What is the origin of “Act your age, not your shoe size”?

I have been thinking about this saying a lot in the past week (and yes I saw Prince in concert 30 years ago, and the Ramones the same night), but I have heard it since I was a child. I guess I find it ...
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0answers
17 views

'come off/out hale' correct usage

Is saying 'Come off/out (feeling) hale/better' to someone who is ill right. I know it isn't used. But can it be right? If not can anyone suggest anything akin?
4
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3answers
95 views

To pretend that a mistake was intentionally done so as to save face

I am looking for a expression, phrase or word that describes a person or behavior that pretends a mistake made was intentionally done so as to save face. There is a phrase in my language saying "To ...
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1answer
55 views

Hammer a nail into my chin if

Hammer a nail into my chin, if it ever happened. Informally they say, Spit on my grave if it ever happened. Someone who is so confident that his following statement is irrefutable and cannot be ...
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2answers
119 views

'one's chest has straitened, yet he doth not utter'

This is a rough translation of a line in Arabic poetry and I can't seem to find a good equivalent to it. 'Ones chest/bosom has straitened/has narrowed so much/distressed/heavied (no more room in his ...
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2answers
75 views

quote/phrase for “more likely to use something if it is right there”

I am looking for a saying/quote/phrase that says that people are more likely to use something if it is right there and ready for use than if they need to put in effort to do so. A simple example ...
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1answer
139 views

Translation of most used sayings and proverbs [closed]

I know that some sayings or proverbs are different in some languages. So is the Dutch proverb "Een vis op het droge" in correct English A fish out of water. If you translate the Dutch proverb ...
3
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3answers
65 views

'Gargle with rose water before you dare speak of/about'

'Rinse your mouth/gargle with (rose/blossom water or Zamzam water or in case of culture differences Pierian spring water), before you dare speak of/about..'. This is an Arabic saying. This is used ...
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4answers
71 views

Is 'We are for it' correct usage? [closed]

If war—or anything, for that matter—was impending, people might say "We are up for it," to hearten the spirits of everyone and to ready them for the coming conflict. 1: It looks like it is war. ...
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3answers
101 views

Are there other well-known examples of the type “Illigitimi non carborundum”?

Illegitimi non carborundum, mock-Latin for "don't let the bastards grind you down", dates to early WWII, and later in the war was adopted by Gen."Vinegar" Joe Stillwell as his motto. For more, ...
4
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1answer
50 views

No harm be upon you

This is used to comfort the ill in Arabic, among other sayings. This however is very common. It is however also used to inquire about something that might be wrong before it is said, but by just ...
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2answers
55 views

Is there a saying “to fight x with x”? [closed]

I remember something like "fighting fire with fire", but I'm not sure if it's a common saying in English, or in my native language. Are there any other sayings that explain this kind of siutation? ...
1
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1answer
81 views

What is said to check on a planned date?

When you have preplanned a date for something with a friend or a group of people and you want to ask if they are still committed to it and it's sort of a reminder Are on date? That doesn't seem right....
3
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2answers
138 views

Is there an English equivalent of the Korean expression: “If the rice cake looks good, then it tastes good”?

This Korean saying is essentially the direct opposite of "never judge a book by its cover."
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3answers
177 views

Does English have an equivalent to the Arabic “Far away from you”?

Arabic has an idiomatic expression which translates as "Far away from you". Is there something similar in English? If something low or contemptible is cited the expression usually immediately follows ...
5
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5answers
239 views

“From hands, I pray, will never bereave”

When someone dear serves you a drink or a cup of tea/coffee, the recipient may offer this polite saying. It's very difficult to translate it to English. It should be something like: "From hands that I ...
4
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3answers
91 views

Anything similar to Arabic “O' Peace”?

The best way to go about an explanation is an example. Imagine if the times would go back, when we were living in Baghdad, when all was quiet and mellow. "Ooo Peace! O God O God. If only ...
2
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1answer
369 views

Is the proverb “never ask a barber if he thinks you need a haircut” used and understood?

The saying “never ask a barber if he thinks you need a haircut” means “don’t ask a person about their own activity, because they are in a conflict of interest and can only answer in one way”. Thus, it ...
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2answers
34 views

Saying on motivation for work

I'm trying to recall a saying I recently read. It was about motivation and went something like this: "Don't complain about how complex something is, but wish you were smarter." Does someone know what ...
3
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3answers
80 views

Delayed gratification reward expression

Is there a saying that means delayed gratification increases the eventual gratification?
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4answers
93 views

Saying for using an overly powerful tool to fix a minor problem

I found "A sledgehammer to crack a nut" as one example. What are some others?
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3answers
64 views

What is the origin of the term “ages”

I understand obviously that an "age" is a measurement of time, but can someone specify for me the earliest known use of "ages" as a slang term? An example would be the following use: The drive to ...
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2answers
66 views

Word to describe an action that divide groups

Greeting, I am looking for a word that I can use to describe a method that divides a single group into similar smaller groups (not opposing groups). Something like "schismatic", but without the ...
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1answer
447 views

What does “neither fish nor fowl” mean? [closed]

I read this once somewhere in a story and I want to be sure about the meaning and the usage of it. Can you provide some examples, please?
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0answers
30 views

Armor glistening like glass in Chapman's Homer

I am trying to recover a lovely phrase that I only dimly remember. I think that it's in Chapman's Homer. I think that it's a simile: someone's armor or shield (perhaps Agamemnon's) "glistens like ...
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3answers
155 views

Antonym of Elder

After looking up the antonym of "Elder" and only finding "Younger," I'm wondering how to better say the opposite of: Respect your elders as Respect your youngers seems kind of strange to me. ...
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1answer
60 views

What does it mean? [closed]

What does it mean? Watch her family. If you believe that she is the apple that fell far from the tree, life will teach you to consider. Thanks
5
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4answers
274 views

What's the name of this literary device?

Suddenly, the theater became silent. Just like the breathless spectators. I'm very much interested in how this rhetorical device would be classified. At first, "the theater" is a totum pro parte ...
2
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2answers
255 views

The devil is in the details

Which would be a suitable alternative for the common idiom "The devil is in the details", without the use of the word "devil"? No detail is too small. or It's in the details. Alternative ...
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3answers
168 views

Term for a phrase that has an alternative meaning [closed]

Is there a term to describe the following types of phrases that have alternative meanings. "We were trying to boil the ocean" = we were trying to do too much "Eating the elephant one bite at a time" ...
4
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3answers
273 views

To convince someone to do something that they do anyways (idiom)

In my native language we have an ironic saying: "It is hard to convince a fish to jump into water", which is used when we convince for example an alcoholic to take a drink or an athlete to go jogging. ...
2
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8answers
455 views

Maxims that have to do with persistence? [closed]

I am looking for idiomatic expressions that convey the value of persistence, such as a long, drawn-out battle where the victor is necessarily the person who simply outlasted the other. I know there is ...