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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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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1answer
33 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'.. ...
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9answers
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Which of “chafing at the bit” or “chomping at the bit” is more accepted/proper?

I've used "chafing at the bit" for quite some time, but have also heard "chomping at the bit" as a way to indicate impatience, etc. Which of these two is the more "proper" or accepted variant?
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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
60 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 ...
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2answers
92 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 ...
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1answer
771 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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6answers
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Why is the term “double-edged sword” used for something that can be favorable and unfavorable?

When something can have both favorable and unfavorable consequences, the term double-edged sword is often used to describe it. Why? Does a double-edged sword have unfavorable consequences? Are ...
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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. (...
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1answer
78 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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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 ...
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278 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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1k views

What do call individuals who express their opinions as if they were facts?

We all know some individuals who don’t express their opinions as: I think this is going to happen... Instead, they express it as if it were fact or news, e.g.: Next month the price of (...
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2answers
68 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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0answers
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'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?
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5answers
23k views

A word that represents a group of people working to achieve a common goal or dream

I am working on a project that involves bringing people together who share common goals or dreams. Is there a word or phrase to describe groups of people who are working together to accomplish these ...
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3answers
86 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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4answers
271 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 ...
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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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6answers
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Is there a saying in English corresponding to “Another loach under the willow tree”?

In Japanese there's a saying "another loach" in the short form, "look for another loach under the same willow tree" in the long form. This saying is for ridiculing a person who blindly repeats what ...
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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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5answers
7k views

Is there an idiom beginning “when a dog is cornered”?

Is there any saying in a complete sentence including “a dog which is cornered”? I have tried to find a complete one, but there seems to be no one. Actually, what I want to know is how to explain the ...
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2answers
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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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3answers
78 views

Delayed gratification reward expression

Is there a saying that means delayed gratification increases the eventual gratification?
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1answer
99 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 ...
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5answers
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Where did the adage, “Love the sinner, hate the sin,” come from?

In connection with my questions about the meaning of Pope Francis’s, remarks - 'Who am I to judge?' / 'You can add more water to the beans'. I found the following statement in a New York Times (July ...
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8answers
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Idiom/word/saying request: Accepting a situation out of desperation

How can I say for example: Individual retailers run out of business when a big fish came to town. So they had accepted that they cannot compete and closed their stores. In the novel To Kill A ...
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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 ...
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3answers
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Is there a similar proverb in English as of malayalam

In Malayalam, there is a proverb "Whether the leaf falls on a thorn or a thorn on a leaf, the leaf is always harmed." Can you suggest an English saying similar to this?
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4answers
2k views

“Strike gold” but without the implication of searching?

Whenever I hear the phrase I struck gold the fact the person had to have done a certain search is implied to me. Is this correct? For example, if I say: Janet loves sex so much! I've struck gold ...
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3answers
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'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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1answer
2k views

“Rule the Roast” and “Rule the Roost”

John Ayto, Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms (2009) has this entry for "rule the roost": rule the roost be in complete control The original expression was rule the roast, which was common ...
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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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5answers
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I don't have a ___ in this ___ (saying)

Earlier this evening, I was trying to tell someone, "I don't care who wins the Superbowl this year. I don't have a-" I could't remember how to complete this saying (to mean I don't have a personal ...
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3answers
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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, ...
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Do you remember the English expression “content is better than…” which means “real inside content is better than superficial outside appearance”?

I remember that once upon a time I heard the expression "content is better than...", which means that real inside content is better than superficial outside appearance. But I couldn't remember the "....
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1answer
46 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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11answers
7k views

[S]he has the ears of a …?

Often, when overheard from far away, I find myself saying/thinking: [S]he has the ears of a hawk! Which doesn't really make sense as hawks aren't particularly well known for their sense of ...
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2answers
54 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? ...
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1answer
69 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....
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7answers
692 views

“Soldier sleeps - the service continues” (Russian idiom/saying)

What are English equivalents for following Russian idiom: "soldier sleeps - the service continues"? In Russian it means that "you have a rest, but your work is still being done". UPD from comments: ...
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11answers
6k views

It never rains but it pours

This popular saying, meaning when troubles come they come together (especially if you are unfortunate), has a clear negative connotation. I am looking for a saying or expression that conveys ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
133 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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8answers
1k views

What is a better way to name “The Wrong Question”?

On StackOverflow.com I often find that people ask questions about problems that arise due to poor design choices (typically due to a lack of knowledge about the particular programming language). For ...
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6answers
37k views

What is the origin of the saying, “faint heart never won fair lady”?

Having heard the phrase, "faint heart never won fair lady" for the third time in very short span, I'm determined to find out its origin. Unfortunately, when I Google, I'm getting a bunch of low-...
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1answer
318 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
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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 ...
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4answers
11k views

Good Things Come In Threes - has a definite positive connotation.

From fairytales to hollywood blockbusters, “the rule of three” (Latin-"omne trium perfectum") principle suggests things that come in threes are inherently more humorous, satisfying and effective than ...