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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“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 ...
5
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4answers
187 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
28 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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0answers
36 views

Is “make a day” ok to use in an ad slogan? [on hold]

Is it okay to say "Make a day" instead of the known variants like "make someone's day" or "make his/her day" which are both unusable for a marketing-slogan?
2
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2answers
59 views

Delayed gratification reward expression

Is there a saying that means delayed gratification increases the eventual gratification?
2
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1answer
1k 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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4answers
46 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. ...
4
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2answers
130 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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5answers
8k views

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
61 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, ...
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2answers
145 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
40 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
5k 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 ...
0
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2answers
52 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
vote
1answer
43 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 ...
8
votes
7answers
651 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: ...
18
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11answers
5k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
81 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 ...
4
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3answers
134 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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2answers
99 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 ...
5
votes
6answers
34k 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 ...
2
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1answer
110 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
31 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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4answers
8k 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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5answers
13k views

What's the origin of the saying “know your onions”?

In French, there's the expression occupez-vous de vos oignons which means "mind your own business" in English but can be literally translated as "take care of your onions". Know your onions however ...
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4answers
61 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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5answers
5k views

A saying indicating how some professionals don't apply their skills for themselves

Some made-up examples: Architect's house is always crooked. Mechanic's car is leaking Chef's breakfast is as plain as boiled eggs Is there an established saying for these situations?
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3answers
59 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
56 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
102 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?
2
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7answers
3k views

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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votes
6answers
2k views

Do you have English counterpart to “To ask a question is a shame of a moment. Not to ask the question is a shame for whole life”?

I doubt whether my question is worth asking or being answered every time I’m posting a question, and ask myself, “Doesn’t it look too naive or primitive a question?” However, I keep posting questions ...
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2answers
1k 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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0answers
28 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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9answers
14k views

To “have someone's number”

Where does the saying I've got your number come from?
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3answers
76 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
55 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
2
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2answers
143 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
121 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" ...
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5answers
6k views

Sayings similar to “a picture is worth a thousand words”

I' m looking for a common saying or catchphrase that has the same meaning as "a picture is worth a thousand words". I need this as a title for an article that illustrates that point in a specific ...
4
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3answers
164 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
votes
8answers
230 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
163 views

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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2answers
96 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 ...
0
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0answers
59 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 ...
2
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6answers
7k views

“They know not of what they speak.”

Is this phrase wrong? Shouldn't it be, they know naught of what they speak?
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5answers
2k views

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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2answers
143 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
117k 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 ...