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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109 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
540 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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183 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
968 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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220 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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1answer
990 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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5k 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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94 views

A sentence from Oliver Twist and its meaning

Saw this in his book a few days, would someone help me find clarity in its meaning? "brass can do better than the gold what has stood the fire" Here is the full context: The man ran upstairs. ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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132 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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1answer
241 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. I'...
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1answer
433 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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34 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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39 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. (...
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5answers
1k 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
3k 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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33 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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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 ...
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8answers
406 views

Non-offensive equivalent to KISS [closed]

Is there a non-offensive way to tell someone: is better to (k)eep (i)t (s)imple, (s)... Update Let's say someone came with his part of the homework done, then it turns out to be a rather ...
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6answers
2k 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
529 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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4answers
2k views

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 game....
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2answers
144 views

I've been working “in Linux” or “on Linux”?

I have this question, how should I say: I been working in linux. I been working on linux. I know that "in" implies something is inside another thing, and "on" is like something is over the other ...
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3answers
2k 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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375 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
62 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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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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2k 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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978 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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2answers
64 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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2answers
251 views

Looking for a phrase: a needlessly overcomplicated method of accomplishing a simple task [duplicate]

In my language, there is an expression for this - you can touch the tip of your nose normally, or you can move your hand behind your neck, across it, then touch the tip of the nose from the opposite ...
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4answers
142 views

A similar saying to 'In confirmation to your saying'?

If in a discussion, one were to say something correct and you were to further confirm the truthfulness of that statement and back him up, we say in my mother tongue 'in confirmation to your saying/ or ...
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2answers
175 views

What does the expression “Ring the bell for lemons” mean? [closed]

Google search doesn't tell me - it occurs in two George Eliot novels, from context I think it means "act cheerful in a disappointing circumstance" - does anyone have a dictionary of phrases/sayings ...
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481 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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4k 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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2k views

what is the origin of “weighing the pig doesn't make it fatter”

What is the origin of "weighing the pig doesn't make it fatter"
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4answers
141 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
118 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
2k 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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652 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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29 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 ...
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2answers
413 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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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?
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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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72 views

What does it mean to say “The tie has got quite a lot”

Today, when I was making some tea for myself in the staff room, my colleague told me something that I didn't really understand. I would like to know what does this saying mean. I filled half my glass ...
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2answers
213 views

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
97 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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336 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 ...
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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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1answer
333 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?