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 saying for someone who does good in the street, but is bad at home?

In Spanish there is this saying "Candil de la calle, oscuridad de tu casa". Which is basically said to people who do good outside, e.g. at work or school, but does nothing good at home for his or her ...
12
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7answers
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 ...
0
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0answers
20 views

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 ...
0
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1answer
50 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 ...
0
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2answers
583 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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1answer
41 views
2
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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'.. ...
4
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4answers
75 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
45 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. ...
0
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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
votes
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 ...
6
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3answers
16k views

What is the origin of “A cat in hell's chance”

What is the origin of the phrase: "A cat in hell's chance"? I understand it to mean "not a chance", but it seems a very curious saying and I wonder how it originated. e.g. Bob: Do you ...
3
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9answers
4k 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?
5
votes
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 ...
3
votes
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
votes
2answers
122 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
votes
1answer
816 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
38k views

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 ...
1
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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
votes
1answer
129 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 ...
0
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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
votes
2answers
283 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 ...
5
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6answers
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
73 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 ...
0
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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?
3
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5answers
24k 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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
5
votes
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 ...
5
votes
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 ...
9
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6answers
2k views

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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
2
votes
5answers
8k 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 ...
5
votes
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 ...
3
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3answers
80 views

Delayed gratification reward expression

Is there a saying that means delayed gratification increases the eventual gratification?
-1
votes
1answer
136 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 ...
16
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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 ...
6
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8answers
1k views

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 ...
5
votes
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

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?
4
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
2
votes
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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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. ...
31
votes
5answers
10k 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 ...
1
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3answers
100 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, ...
0
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2answers
230 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
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 ...
19
votes
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 ...
0
votes
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
vote
1answer
78 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....