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38

The first word that comes to mind is serendipity. Merriam-Webster says: luck that takes the form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for But as Robusto correctly points out, that word is mostly used for discoveries. A thesaurus points from there to fluke, defined by macmillan as: something that happens unexpectedly because of ...


31

Snowball effect, which Josh beat me to, is the best choice. Cascading failure can also be used. A cascading failure is a failure in a system of interconnected parts in which the failure of a part can trigger the failure of successive parts. Such a failure may happen in many types of systems, including power transmission, computer networking, ...


29

You might call it a clandestine marriage adjective kept secret or done secretively, especially because illicit. "she deserved better than these clandestine meetings" (google) The wikipedia article on a Fleet Marriage, for example, refers to clandestine marriages as a type of fleet marriage: ..."Clandestine" marriages were those that had an ...


24

We also say, "Things are starting to come together" or "Things are starting to fall into place". Fall into place: http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/fall+into+place (credit @Josh61 for edit )


21

Godsend (noun): an unexpected thing or event that is particularly welcome and timely, as if sent by God Dictionary.com something good that happens unexpectedly, especially at a time when it is needed CDO 'The grant was a real godsend, especially considering the theatre was due to close next month.'


20

Cooking (On/With) Gas to be making good progress and to be likely to succeed. 'We're cooking (on/with) gas. Keep the work coming in like this and we'll meet the deadline.' http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/be+cooking+on+gas I propose this as an informal expression, certainly within the UK it is used.


17

Snowball effect may apply to you description: Metaphorically, a snowball effect is a process that starts from an initial state of small significance and builds upon itself, becoming larger (graver, more serious), and also perhaps potentially dangerous or disastrous (a vicious circle, a "spiral of decline"), though it might be beneficial instead (a ...


14

I found a few other answers and then suddenly remembered that in English we have a phrase which perfectly fulfils your requirements: Get into gear. To start to work effectively and with energy. This is often used in spoken British English, and seems to crop up a lot in literature also: Alternatively, another way of saying this is to illustrate ...


11

These two people have a private marriage. 1.1 (Of a conversation, activity, or gathering) involving only a particular person or group, and often dealing with matters that are not to be disclosed to others: this is a private conversation a small private service in the chapel Oxford Dictionaries Online


10

Probably the expression you are looking for is, get going: get something going . Start something, get something into full swing. For example, Once we get production going we'll have no more problems. This usage also appears in when the going gets tough, the tough get going, meaning that difficulties spur on capable individuals; the first ...


8

To further the idea of 'Something that could only happen in a movie, perhaps Deus Ex Machina: Deus ex machina (Latin: [ˈdeʊs ɛks ˈmaː.kʰɪ.naː]: /ˈdeɪ.əs ɛks ˈmɑːkiːnə/ or /ˈdiːəs ɛks ˈmækɨnə/;1 plural: dei ex machina) ... The term has evolved to mean a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly and abruptly resolved by the contrived ...


7

Such a marriage could be considered, in modern parlance, to be on the “down-low.” down-low: (also "on the down low" or "on the DL") may refer to any activity or relationship kept discreet. Specifically, it may refer to: • Keeping an act, action or some other piece of information a secret. • Down-low (sexual slang): Men who identify as ...


6

OP seeks an idiomatic phrase "to be used in a context, where a process is starting to work, after a long preparation, and many people/tools have been involved." (emphasis added) Two common variations on this theme come to mind, 1) things are “finally starting to come together" come together”: to start to be good or effective because different parts are ...


4

I've always been a fan of "Hedge one's bets". to protect yourself against making the wrong choice And does seem to be used when literally betting on things: Basically, hedging is just a way to reduce or eliminate the risk of a bet. You would generally look to hedge a bet when you are no longer comfortable with the bet you have made – i.e. you don’t ...


4

I think haggard fits the bill here. HAGGARD having a gaunt, wasted, or exhausted appearance, as from prolonged suffering, exertion, or anxiety; worn


4

There is the phrase: a spectator sees more of the game Trying to find the origin of that is proving particularly difficult. The Chinese have a similar phrase: The person on the spot is baffled, the onlooker sees clear. I expect it's a lot more snappy in Mandarin. The meanings of both are quite clear I think and, I think, apt.


4

Stroke of Luck A fortunate occurrence that could not have been predicted or expected Jim: How'd you get a ticket to the game its been sold out for weeks? Tom: A bicyclists happened to run into me this morning and took off. Afterwards I noticed the ticket on the ground, it must have fallen out of his pocket. What a stroke of luck right?


4

For yet another expression with heavenly implications and origins, there’s like manna from heaven, meaning: “something that you need which you get when you are not expecting to get it.” (from Cambridge Idioms Dictionary, 2nd ed., as cited in The Free Dictionary)


3

To build further on Julie's godsend, you could say The cop arriving was divine intervention. When a miracle happens. When the hand of God reaches down and saves someone from a life threatening or dangerous situation. (UD) When someone is placed in the right place at the right time to be a catalyst for someone in need, when the person in need may ...


3

A common phrase for sudden good fortune, especially in the midst of poor fortune, is stroke of luck, e.g. "We were being robbed, but we had a stroke of luck: a police officer appeared." It's used in this sense as a noun meaning "an act or feat". You might also consider using happy coincidence. The scenario you describe is a coincidence: the simultaneous ...


3

thick-skinned is absolutely appropriate here. Google definition: thick-skinned adj. insensitive to criticism or insults. You can come talk to me about anything, I'm quite thick-skinned it won't take anything you say personally. He's quite thick-skinned, last week Julie told him that his jokes weren't funny, and that didn't stop him ...


3

It sounds like the author is indeed using delinquent to mean an offender of a minor crime. While it is typically used in reference to teenagers, it isn't limited to that age group. The text here is using shepherd to refer to the priests, who are supposed to be shepherds of the flock. The priests are committing an offense and the author is placing part of ...


3

Since most members here are middle-aged, I presume, I suggest an old slang term:"on the QT" The slang term 'qt' is a shortened form of 'quiet'. There's no definitive source for the phrase 'on the q.t.', although it appears to be of 19th century British origin - not, as is often supposed, American. The longer phrase 'on the quiet' is also not ...


2

You are correct that it's wrong. It's a mistake caused by confusion between the set phrases charges leveled and penalties/fees levied. This might come from misconstruing a criminal charge as a monetary charge (fee).


2

In the most general case, delinquent is used to mean 'one who breaks rules or laws.' Basically, a troublemaker. That fits with the tone here, I think.


2

It is serendipitous.-- "occurring by chance in a happy or beneficial way."


2

Some ways to put it: With (quite a bit of) sarcasm: Watching her get a flu shot makes me think she's a pitiable embodiment of histrionics. Watching her get a flu shot makes me think she's a deplorable manifestation of human melodramatics. Other (nicer) ways to put it: She's being very melodramatic Below is my preferred sentence: ...


2

While I prefer snowball as an answer (provided by Tusher Raj and Josh61), another possibility is a "death spiral." The situation or course of action of one who is on a path toward some sort of inevitable catastrohpic failure. (wiktionary.org)


2

synchronicity: A term coined by mystical psychologist Carl Jung to describe coincidences that seem to have deeper meaning and significance. the simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection. -Google


2

In casual conversation, you could say: Things are really shaping up!



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