Hot answers tagged

31

Aside from No More Secrets' excellent suggestion, "cut someone some slack," there is "let it slide," which means not to oppose something that may be objectionable but that (apparently) is not intolerable. Christine Ammer, The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms (1997) discusses "let slide" in an entry for "let ride": let ride Also let slide. Allow ...


29

Quite similar is have/get one's nose/snout in the trough British disapproving to be in or get into a situation in which one is getting or trying to get a lot of money {Merriam-Webster} 'He's got his nose in the trough' could be applied to any person over-eagerly procuring money, but is almost always used for illegal or at least dodgy ...


25

"Cut someone some slack" informal Allow someone some leeway in their conduct -- Oxford Dictionaries "Ease up on someone" to treat (someone) in a less harsh or demanding way -- Merriam-Webster


21

Oink oink might be closest in form in American English. This is the English word for the sound a pig makes, and can be used to mean "greedy" (similarly to the trough idiom, I think). "Oink out", for example, equates to "pig out", meaning overeat or binge (see, for example, The Free Dictionary), and I might say "oink oink" as a humorous admonition to my child ...


19

The referent is just elided here. You can read this as meaning "sick [friends]" or "sick [relatives]." The reason it sounds odd to British ears is that the current British colloquial usage of "sick" as a euphemism for "vomit" is overpowering any other interpretation for you. Since that colloquial usage is relatively unheard of in America, you are ...


18

If you never put your foot down, you could be acting as a doormat (figurative meaning) and letting someone walk all over you. Probably not what you wanted but I couldn't resist the foot-related opposite :). EDIT: all those comments and no-one thought of it :).


14

Amber effect? I don't have the answer to your question as to what "static electricity" was called before the term "electric" was coined, at the beginning of the 17th century: 1640s, first used in English by physician Sir TThomas Browne (1605-1682), apparently coined as Modern Latin electricus (literally "resembling amber") by English physicist ...


14

I have seen all of these words used : dilly-dally, dither, vacillate, waver Also a nice idiom: beat around the bush dilly-dally: to waste time, especially by indecision don't dillydally on the way to the store dither: to delay taking action because you are not sure about what to do She did not dither about what to do next. ...


11

To put your foot down is to insist on having your way in a situation where you wouldn't otherwise. It illustrates the act of taking a stance to resist some force being exerted on your body by planting your feet firmly. You could say the opposite action would be relenting and letting whatever may happen, happen. I wanted to put my foot down, but her ...


11

"Hem and haw" would be appropriate. Wikitionary: To discuss, deliberate, or contemplate rather than taking action or making up one's mind. 'If you hem and haw long enough, someone else will do it first.' Merriam-Webster: To take a long time before making a decision about what to do. 'The city council hemmed and hawed for a year before ...


7

While the answers are good suggestions, I would like to propose roll over as the ideal idiom to use as it implies that the person is totally complicit in the request as opposed to putting their foot down, or protesting after letting something go and/or not noticing the thing that was happening. Roll Over To consent or comply passively or without ...


7

I saw this was already mentioned as a comment, but I believe it is the best answer. As was also mentioned already, to "put your foot down" is to assert your authority on a matter to have your way after another's insistence. The complete opposite is to "Throw your hands up" which means to "give up and yield to the insistence of another, allowing them to ...


7

I would say of the suggestions people have submitted, the word "deliberated" would fit your initial 3 examples best: "You know how my friends are, they always deliberate so I can't expect an immediate answer." "At the restaurant, when I was asked what I wanted to order, I deliberated before finally ordering the steak." "Stop deliberating, this has ...


6

Their sick is a noun phrase without any noun and with an adjective functioning as Head of the phrase. These are referred to by The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language as fused Modifier-Head constructions. We most usually see these with a definite article: the good, the bad and the ugly the rich the poor the blind Occasionally, however, they can ...


6

To me the obvious opposite is letting up. To let up is to relax or remove a condition or constraint. "Hey! Let up on the gas a bit, would you please?" Verb: let up Become less in amount or intensity "The rain let up after a few hours"; abate, slack off, slack, die away Reduce pressure or intensity "he let up the gas pedal and the ...


6

Your sentence makes me think of back down. withdraw a claim or assertion in the face of opposition — New Oxford American Dictionary Backing down is very nearly the opposite of putting one's foot down; it means letting the other person win the argument as opposed to insisting on your own way. Even the metaphors are opposite: putting your foot down ...


5

"Turn a blind eye" is a good opposite. Turning a blind eye is an idiom describing the ignoring of undesirable information. -Wikipedia If "putting your foot down" is a response to reprehensible behavior of some sort, "turning a blind eye" would be quite the opposite. "Rather than putting my foot down and demanding change to the company's ...


5

http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/up+for+grabs referring to the link above "up for grabs "is an idiom means: available for anyone; not yet claimed The election is up for grabs. Everything is still very chancy. I don't know who will get the promotion. It's up for grabs. in total chaos This is a madhouse. The whole place is up for grabs. When ...


4

The "when-is-a-pile-not-a-pile" question is the famous Paradox of Sorites (sorites being the Greek word for "pile"). Bringing up the paradox (or whatever other obscure issue) on any excuse might be "overintellectualizing" or just "snooty".


4

A gathering can be real or metaphorical. But "real quick" is a separate issue. Whether it works or not depends upon how comfortable you are with metaphorical expressions. But I don't think using this term in this context would raise any eyebrows. "Gathering" is a synonym for "meeting" and, these days, no one would think it strange to have an online or ...


4

It is an archaic but correct usage: Sick (n.) "those who are sick," Old English seoce, from sick (adj). sick (adj.) "unwell," Old English seoc "ill, diseased, feeble, weak; corrupt; sad, troubled, deeply affected," from Proto-Germanic *seukaz, of uncertain origin. (Etymonline)


4

Besides available, "up for grabs" also means "not firmly decided"; presumably the etymology for this was something like "available to be changed". I can't find a dictionary definition saying this, but consider these sentences taken from Google books. 1989 Even if this is so, it is still up for grabs whether God is in some sense posterior to some of ...


4

For something a little more neutral, you might try "Homebody". The official dictionary meaning is someone who likes to stay at home, or whose life centers around their home, but I've also heard it used in contrast to adventurous - so more broadly meaning someone who likes their familiar surroundings and usual habits rather than wanting to try new and ...


4

The answer to a "proper" expression for underground floors is that there is no standardized nomenclature, rather, there are multiple different designators depending on the place in question and the country: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storey#Subterranean_floors The numbering of levels below ground is also quite varied, even within the same country. In ...


4

How about "money grab"? As in "That bridge-to-nowhere was a big money grab". It's not exactly the same meaning, but it's close.


4

In American English, that would probably be "Lining his own pockets" if you mean he's making sure he gets some kind of money at the end. To be more like just stealing from the position, you could say he "has his hand in the till [cash register]".


4

One possible answer is waffle. Used as a verb, it may mean: Merriam-Webster: to be unable or unwilling to make a clear decision about what to do "Stop waffling and pick a movie!" "I don't know which side he's on. When I asked him, he waffled." One may "waffle between" several choices. If the problem isn't indecisiveness, but rather wasting time, ...


3

Mighty Fine Words and Smashing Expressions: Making Sense of Transatlantic English (2001) Summary of this book's section on BrE/AmE uncountable/countable nouns: Most vegetables that are uncountable in BrE are countable in AmE, with these exceptions: broccoli, spinach, lettuce, i.e. vegetables that already have different ways of distinguishing discrete ...


3

Quoting from the review on goodreads: "Another side effect of purchasing used editions is chance that the former owner was, like myself, the type to underline and take various notes. This has been beneficial at times, such as a dirty softcover of Dylan Thomas’ Selected Poems I purchased from the Dawn Treader in Ann Arbor, MI (my personal favorite bookstore) ...



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