0
votes
2answers
53 views

Is there a word for the act of butchering a language for the sake of a joke?

My friend and I (may or may not be the same one from my other question) were chatting the other day and we came to a discussion about the idiom tit-for-tat. tit-for-tat (informal) a tit-for-tat ...
6
votes
10answers
884 views

Term meaning careful and thorough, almost excessively so [duplicate]

I'm trying to think of a term which means that one expends extra effort or materials in making sure that something is done properly, to an almost excessive or extravagant extent. One good is example ...
3
votes
2answers
83 views

Is there a term for if someone uses their own words on idioms consciously?

For example, instead of "barking up the wrong tree", someone uses "pulling out the wrong plant". Consciously or not, is there a term for saying idioms in your own words?
8
votes
3answers
295 views

Is there a term for a word that serves as its own antonym? [duplicate]

For example: "transparent" can mean both "obvious" and "hidden" "aught" can mean both "all" and "nothing" Is there a term for a word which has multiple definitions that are antonyms?
3
votes
4answers
96 views

What are alternative terms/words for “cognitive dissonance?”

I grasp the meaning completely, I'm just looking for alternatives ways to express it.
2
votes
4answers
583 views

Is there an alternative word/phrase to “ignorance is bliss?” [edited]

It's a classic phrase, but is there a word that encapsulates the sentiment of this idiom? Edit: Single word isn't a requirement, I'm just looking for a concise and eloquent alternative. I don't ...
2
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
398 views

Term for “[Idiom], [Rhyme]”

Browsing the web, I came across this image of the cast of the television show Community using a type of structure familiar to me, and I wondered if there's a name for it. The most familiar instance ...
33
votes
18answers
7k views

Is there a word for being so polite as to appear insincere?

I'm looking for a term in English to describe being so polite that one appears to be insincere.
1
vote
5answers
1k views

A single word for “not seeing the big picture”

I am looking for a word that would describe being obsessed with the details of a larger entity such that the "looker" neglects to see the whole or (perhaps more importantly) the purpose of the whole. ...
5
votes
4answers
205 views

Word for “getting careless and slacking”

Can you suggest some words which can describe a person who is starting to get careless and who slacks, or the very action of becoming careless? A person who was efficiently and elaborately doing their ...
-1
votes
5answers
318 views

Specific word/phrase/idiom for the following scenario

I have a second cousin living at the end of my street, but we hardly meet. I plan to meet her soon and tell her to come out and go out for a walk. Could anyone suggest a phrase, word, or an idiom ...
5
votes
7answers
268 views

What is an English word which means 'bêtement'?

Bêtement is a French word whose literal meaning is 'in the manner of an animal'. It is often used metaphorically, to describe an action carried out in a robotic fashion – without thinking. How would ...
11
votes
7answers
479 views

What is the verb for developing a chip on one's shoulder? [closed]

I want to say that an individual has a chip on their shoulder, but a month ago, they did not. Did they "raise a chip on their shoulder", as might be inferred from the first cited history of the ...
4
votes
6answers
2k views

How do you describe a young woman who, while pretty when seen from behind, is ugly when seen from the front?

Is there a term, a phrase or an idiomatic expression to describe a young woman who, while pretty when seen from behind, is ugly, if not repulsive, when seen from the front? After some searches I ...
11
votes
9answers
2k views

words and idioms for someone who loves to sit in judgement of others

What single words and idioms would best describe someone who loves to sit in judgement of others, almost making it a hobby to become a nitpicker. They are aware but un-acknowledging of their own ...
4
votes
2answers
205 views

What does “wooden clothes” contained in “Comfort bag (assorted present kit) and the sender of it “have had themselves” mean?

Toru Hashimoto, Mayor of Osaka’s comment asserting the “Comfort women” system during wartime was ‘A necessary evil’ was appalling, and I feel deeply shameful of his sensless remarks as a Japanese. But ...
0
votes
6answers
708 views

Idiom/saying/word request for “inappropriately complex analogy”

I'm looking for an adjective, saying or idiom for an analogy which makes the things even harder to grasp, that was supposed to make things easier to understand. Examples: A guy makes an analogy to ...
3
votes
5answers
694 views

Opposite of “straight talk”

What is the opposite for the straight talk idiom? How do I best call the activity when someone makes a very long preamble before he says what he wants?
-2
votes
2answers
242 views

“Bring the house down” [closed]

What is a group or person called who "brings the house down" or "can bring the house down"?
9
votes
10answers
504 views

Word or expression for comments that are technically correct but unhelpful

I think all programmers among us will be familiar with this scenario. You spend several days writing some code and submit it to be tested by someone else. The points that they return, though valid, ...
1
vote
5answers
148 views

An alternative for “revisionism”

I believe that revisionism is in itself essentially a historical exercise. I'm looking for something that can succinctly describe the following scenarios where the "revisionism" is more immediate and ...
1
vote
2answers
13k views

How to say “I'm calling to touch base” without using the idiom? [closed]

Is there a common phrase or a word to convey the same meaning?
8
votes
18answers
19k views

Idiom, word, or expression meaning an easy-to-do task

I am looking for a term, expression, word, or idiom to describe a task as an easy one to do or to go through. What I’d normally say is: Actually it’s not difficult, it’s as easy as drinking a ...
3
votes
2answers
202 views

Is there a single word that defines time is on your part/side/favor?

These past few days I have had this kind of "luck": every time I'm not ready for something, it has ended up being cancelled. For instance, a surprise quiz came up for which I was not at all prepared, ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Idiomatic saying for “just over” and “just under”

Is there an idiomatic saying to say that a distance is about x kilometer, including the connotation of "a little bit more than" or "a little bit less than" as "just over" and "just under" respectively ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

How to describe gesture to shut up?

I want to use a word/phrase/idiom etc. to describe someone action by which they try to stop another person talk or sharing their plans. I want specifically to use it in following situation: ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Word for thing with positive and negative consequences

What word can I use for a thing with positive and negative consequences? For example, taking a cab rather than driving has its advantages and disadvantages.
0
votes
2answers
111 views

Is there a fallacy which describes incorrectly correlating the consequences of a decision to the quality of the decision?

EG say a sports team makes a terrible trade and loses their best player. Player then gets injured on new team. That injury doesn't make the decision to trade a good one... I feel like there is a ...
0
votes
4answers
4k views

“A […] of riches” — what word is missing?

There is a phrase that goes "a X of riches" which suggests that one had so much to choose from, lots of good choices. What is the missing word?
0
votes
7answers
2k views

Idiomatic expression for a difficult choice

This has cropped up several times in the past couple of months, and I've been struggling to find a fitting word to describe this phenomenon. I'll describe it: You have two choices(no, it's not ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Is there a word/phrase/idiom for temporarily satisfying strong feeling of hunger?

Imagine a situation where you've been invited to dinner at a friend's place. You're extremely hungry but you learn that the dinner won't be ready for another half an hour. So you decide to eat an ...
78
votes
20answers
7k views

How to say that food is hot (temperature) without the listener thinking that I mean “spicy”?

There is an excellent discussion of spicy vs. hot here: Difference between "spicy" and "hot" However, having read the previous question, I did not see any answer that tells how to ...
2
votes
4answers
535 views

Word for person always after what he does not have and not cherishing what he has [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Term for “constantly unsatisfied soul” Is there a word for a person who is always after what he does not have and does not cherish what he has? If not, any ...
3
votes
1answer
397 views

Request for an idiom (if any) or an expression that describes the following phenomenon

I've been doing some data mining experiments, and something really weird happened one hour ago in the experiment result, and just now something similarly weird happened again. I'm trying to think of ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Term for pleasure or joy obtained on top of others' misery or unhappiness [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: An idiom for deriving pleasure from another's suffering We often experience the following: We feel happy when our fellow classmates get a bad grade and not ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

“Pot calling the kettle black” … but what if the kettle isn't black (figuratively speaking)?

The pot calling the kettle black is a well accepted idiom in English, and has many equivalents in other languages. But there are some occasions when this phrase is not quite appropriate. When one ...
12
votes
7answers
697 views

The solution to the problem is more complicated than the problem

I thought there was a word for this. Where you take a basic problem that exists and the best solution already exists and any effort we put into solving the problem would actually cause more work for ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

words/phrases/idioms meaning either mundane/repetitive tasks, or inefficient methods? [closed]

What are some words, phrases, or idioms meaning either mundane or repetitive tasks, or inefficient methods? For example adding up numbers from 1 to 1000, the repetitive way would be adding them 1 by ...
7
votes
8answers
6k views

What phrase is less idiomatic than “softball question”?

In the US, a "softball question" is asked because it would be intentionally easy to answer. It's not an intellectual judgement, just a question formulated to be intentionally easy for that particular ...
10
votes
3answers
879 views

What's a good opposite of “keep track”? [closed]

How can I say the opposite of "keep track"? I was trying to keep track of something but something happened and I lost the track. I'd like to say "lose track". Is it possible to say it this way or is ...
4
votes
12answers
7k views

Is there an idiom for people who boast too much?

I am looking for idioms or informal/slang/colloquial expression for some people that make you think that they are able of building a skyscraper, constructing a spaceship, playing the piano better than ...
6
votes
5answers
432 views

Word or phrase for hogging the left lane

Frequently on two-lane freeways, at least in the US, people drive in the left lane at exactly the same speed next to a car in the right lane, thus blocking the road. Cars tend to back up behind these ...
3
votes
8answers
1k views

What is the opposite of “green”? [closed]

What best completes this sentence? Joe, in opposition to environment-friendly sentiments, has decided to go ____.
2
votes
3answers
160 views

Multiple stone throws

"A stone's throw" is often used to describe a short distance. Is there a widely recognized English word or expression that similarly describes an intermediate distance, but which does not actually ...
11
votes
12answers
2k views

Words to describe a semi-literate person

I once had a manager whose level of literacy was lacking to the extent that he would nearly always return my technical reports with sections rewritten such that they became either ungrammatical, or ...
3
votes
5answers
306 views

A term for a “clean” win

I'm looking for a sports-related term in English, that means that one side had won without the other side having scored a single point, e.g. 1:0 or 5:0. Is it "a clean win", or does a clean win mean ...
44
votes
7answers
3k views

English counterpart to Japanese signal word, “Dokkoisho”

What is an English counterpart to the Japanese signal word, “Dokkoisho” uttered unconsciously in such case as sitting down on the bench? When you get old, it becomes tough to move your body. We ...
49
votes
10answers
2k views

Is there an English phrase for an inability to actually *leave* already?

There is a Hungarian expression, küszöbgörcs, which literally means "threshold-cramp", and is used to describe that long conversation you have in the entryway, with all the guests awkwardly holding ...
2
votes
5answers
214 views

Is it correct to say 'struck an example'?

When teaching people, is it correct to say: 'The author struck an example.' ? Can anybody give me another word used to mean 'give an example' when using examples or parables to teach people.