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 a proper response to a joke about visiting dentist at 2:30/tooth hurty?

I advised my client that I would be unavailable on a particular day because I have an appointment with the dentist to remove a tooth. The client responded What time is the appointment? 2:30? The ...
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5answers
319 views

English equivalent of Greek saying

My Greek friend has told me a Greek saying, which roughly translates to: The thief screams to frighten the landlord Effectively it means: You are only making a fuss so that nobody accuses you, ...
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1answer
188 views

“Maybe I have colored it too much”

Is that understandable in English? Or maybe there is a better way to illustrate what I want to say. What I want to say is that maybe I have exaggerated. For example, God is always good. He ...
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1answer
435 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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1answer
1k views

Idiomatic expression related to “cat-putting” [closed]

I lived in a scholarship house for all of one year when I was in college (in the US). At the end of every year, they held an event that they called "The Cat-Putting" in which a few residents would ...
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1answer
165 views

English folk saying or proverb involving the number four (of people)?

We have: "it takes two to tango", "two is company; three is a crowd", etc... Are there any similar sayings that refer to four people?
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3answers
69k views

Why is karma a bitch?

I came across this saying "karma is a bitch" a few times while reading some comments online recently. I understand karma as a religious concept to mean "what goes around, comes around". I also ...
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2answers
251 views

Meaning of a saying about the difference between L.A. and New York [closed]

What is the meaning of the following? The difference between L.A. and New York is that in New York when you get robbed, you see the gun... UPD: Below is a part of the original discussion: ...
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2answers
2k views

Put two and two together…and got five?

I know the phrase "put two and two together", and in fact someone has already asked a question regarding its origin. However, I recently heard someone say the phrase with an addition of the humorous ...
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4answers
118 views

Are there historic sayings in English equvalent to Japanese “It’s up to you how you comment . But it’s me who take the action after all.”

There is a popular Japanese saying “It’s up to you how you comment. But it’s me who take action after all.” The line came from the answer of Katsu Kaishu (勝海舟-1823-1829), who was the leading figure ...
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4answers
151 views

Is there a saying or idiom for “trying to get the truth from someone by lying”?

context Mary-Ann got home late from school. Asked where she had been, she said she had spent the afternoon at the library. Her father thinks she is lying and says: "I know you haven’t been there ...
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4answers
302 views

Is there a saying like “Plum trees bloom most beautifully as they stand and overcome the cold severe winter.”? [closed]

Is there a saying like "Plum trees bloom most beautifully as they stand and overcome the cold severe winter."? It is a part of Japanese poem translated into English. It basically means a great ...
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2answers
2k views

Expression for “someone who's clueless of their surroundings”?

What is an expression or saying you could use to describe someone that is totally clueless of their surroundings?
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4answers
2k views

What does “When a thing is funny, search it carefully for a hidden truth” mean? [closed]

I found this quote by George Bernard Shaw: When a thing is funny, search it carefully for a hidden truth. Can anyone please explain the meaning of this sentence?
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2answers
68 views

Looking for a folk saying or proverb that reflects “the closer, higher the competition”

I am looking for an American or UK folk saying or proverb that reflects the following idea: the closer are the players, the higher is the competition or the more level the playing field, the more ...
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5answers
202 views

Saying or idiom that means learning a lesson from the bad or good experience

We usually get advice from a friend or books or social media or else, and it only becomes a part of our information, we might learn from it and remember it or not, but if we experience it ourselves, ...
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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6answers
717 views

A phrase for ignoring the disparity at a low level, while seeking commonality at a high level

I'm having a hard time describing the phrase I'm looking for, so I think the best way to ask the question is to simply present the problem. At work I've been tasked with merging the guidelines (the ...
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1answer
46 views

Correct usage of “to find oneself at daggers drawn with sb.”

I am looking into the usage of the phrase to find oneself at daggers drawn with sb. It seems to require a person at the end of the phrase, but I would like to use it in the following way: ...
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1answer
349 views

What does “to be the lowest common denominator” mean? [duplicate]

I'm not English and I never encountered this saying: In almost all cases, it is possible and within reason to write completely portable code. In practice, this means that you shouldn’t ...
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2answers
126 views

The penny dropped slowly

In Germany we have the saying "der Groschen ist gefallen", which exists in the English language, too: The penny dropped. But there is also a variation for slower thinking, "der Groschen fällt ...
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1answer
623 views

Flog meaning to sell in “Flogging a dead horse”

I saw an article recently where the author used the term "flogging a dead horse" where the term flogging was meant in the UK slang sense of "to sell".It was accompanied by a drawing of a stuffed horse ...
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1answer
145 views

Source for the Adage: “The first liar is always believed most.”

In a couple of books and articles I've come across an adage, “the first liar is always believed most”: Now, I talked to the captain first, but I want you to know that great old saying, “The ...
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3answers
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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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1answer
675 views

Origin of the phrase “That is how it is” [closed]

Where does this come from? That is how it is.
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2answers
3k views

“The crying baby gets the milk”

Where does the saying "The crying baby gets the milk" come from? I don't think it's from English.
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1answer
183 views

Who translated “He's a muddled fool, full of lucid intervals.” [closed]

I have revised herein my question of Aug 18 and update my research based on the most helpful suggestions of Peter Schor and tchrist of Aug 18, 2013. I'm not a Cervantista and don't speak Spanish. ...
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1answer
311 views

Is the [blank] worth the shake? [closed]

I remember someone once telling me a saying in the form: "Is the [blank] worth the shake?" The meaning was similar to the saying, "Is the end worth the means?" I can't remember what the [blank] word ...
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2answers
89 views

Is there a set phrase for being polite to a person only when they are present?

Is there a saying or proverb for when a person or group of people act politely and with respect towards a certain member of a group in front of a person of respect or elder, and then acts with ...
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5answers
722 views

What is the English equivalent for the Spanish saying “God gives bread to those who have no teeth”?

There is an interesting popular saying in southern European countries, that in Spanish, for instance, says: "Dios da pan a quien no tiene dientes". Literally, "God gives bread to those who have no ...
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1answer
2k views

Difference between tomorrow never comes and tomorrow will never come

What is the difference between tomorrow never comes and tomorrow will never come? A friend said that Tomorrow never comes is a saying. Then Why is the latter not a saying too? Are their meanings the ...
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0answers
29 views

“I am yet to see” versus “I have yet to see” [duplicate]

What is the difference between I am yet to see X and I have yet to see X and in which situations would each be preferred?
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6answers
798 views

“Through difficult to defeat” [closed]

There is a saying that when translated from my language is Through difficult to defeat. Is it correct to say it this way? I know that the correct saying is To stars through difficulties. It is very ...
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4answers
221 views

What is the saying or idiom or word that means when “friends” don’t need you anymore it seems like they don’t know you anymore

there are some people who are your friend in the time of need,and they ignore you the other times,so what do you call them? a poet calls them "flies around a sweetmeat".
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What is the meaning of “Set us up the [noun]”?

Why would someone frequently say "Someone set us up the (thing)" when referring to things done to or for them. For example: "Someone set us up the breakfast." "Someone set us up the ...
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3answers
145 views

Is “haha” a sarcastic phrase? [closed]

So, is that "fake" funny? Is there any difference beetween "hehe", "haha", "huh", "heh", "hahaha", "ha", and so on and so forth?
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2answers
227 views

An idiom for “going with the most likely option”

What's an idiom for the action of going for the most likely / most appropriate option? I had been saying "placing my bets with _" but it turns out that doesn't exist :D Must have got it from "hedge ...
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3answers
112 views

Equivalent to “stay tuned”, but not for TV or radio?

I need to advertise that new hours will be announced in the future, in a simple way that sounds professional. "Stay tuned" would be perfect, except the fact that this is for print, not for TV or ...
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2answers
131 views

Saying about good and bad [duplicate]

Is there a saying or a quote, when something good happen thanks to something bad ? Like you meet someone because you've lost someone else ?
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1answer
615 views

What is the saying to express a certain situation? It is like, you will find nails everywhere when you have got a hammer [closed]

I am looking for a saying to express a situation that one is apt to apply anything instantly when it is at hand. I do not remember the saying. It seems to be that 'you will find nails everywhere when ...
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3answers
4k views

Lost in the Midst vs Mists of Time [closed]

Which of the following is more correct, and why? My attempts at Googling haven't produced a definitive answer, and all seem as sensible as each other going from base definitions. Lost in the mists ...
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2answers
2k views

How long is “in a second”? [closed]

When someone says "give me a second", or "one second please", how long do they actually mean? Do they mean "will give you a response as soon as I can", or "in a short time, around 5 minutes"
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51 views

A saying that means a bad judgment often is reduced by understanding the reason of somebody's behavior or words.

There could be several reasons for somebody’s behavior or words, Understanding those reasons are essential to make a correct judgment (good or bad), having incomplete or incorrect information results ...
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1answer
57 views

Is there a saying or proverb for a situation where the weakest party will always lose? [duplicate]

Yes this a repeat of a previous question, but I could not figure out how to post this answer, so I shall try to re-ask the question and answer it myself: THE HISTORY OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR By ...
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1answer
393 views

“you seem pretty cool yourself”

What is the meaning of "you seem pretty cool yourself"? I don't understand the "yourself" in this context. Is this ironic and means that I find myself being cool? Regards Klaus
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1answer
275 views

Which is correct? “not to” or “to not” [duplicate]

I was writing a blog post just now and I couldn't help but hesitate at the following snippet: "...causing this to not work as expected" And I couldn't decide if that's correct or if I should use ...
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1answer
51 views

Saying involving “Spurring an old horse”

Is there a saying like that? I'm thinking it's something along the lines of working something too hard. I don't want to attempt to word it because I'll most likely butcher it horribly.
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Biting butter and crumbs

In a song by The Last Shadow Puppets there is this line: "Can't you see I'm the ghost in the wrong coat Biting butter and crumbs" Is the "Biting butter and crumbs" an actual saying, or just a ...
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What’s the original version of “I see, said the blind man as he picked up his hammer and saw”? [duplicate]

What is the original saying of I see said the blind man as he picked up his hammer and saw.
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2answers
186 views

Saying for not doing something because it is futile [duplicate]

Is there such a saying? Futile may be either because it will fail or because it is unnecessary / already taken care of. I considered: too many chefs spoil the broth and It's like carrying coals to ...