New answers tagged

1

You might want to use the phrase Stir Crazy. This generally refers to someone who's going a bit nutty due to prolonged loneliness or incarceration.


0

I know this is an old post, but rather than thinking of run in terms of continue to have, is it possible that running is referred to as speed/time? To run is an explanation of speed, it refers to how fast we travel. Therefore, could the phrase 'running a fever' mean it's aggressive speed, and how fast a person deteriorates?


1

Here's an Ngram chart that tracks the frequency in Google Books search results of "wrought havoc" (blue line) versus "wreaked havoc" versus "worked havoc" (green line) for the period 1800–2005: Although "worked havoc" has, since the late 1800s, been consistently less common than "wrought havoc," both show the same hill-like trajectory, rising between 1880 ...


-1

I think 'It is like a dream come true,' is originally ' ------ a dream (that is) come true.' When an ellipse is applied, the result becomes 'It is like a dream come true.'


1

Let's begin by clarifying some definitions. As usual etymonline.com is a helpful resource for identifying early attested usage and meaning. Wrought is a past participle for work. It's generally archaic, since we would say "worked" in modern contexts. The old Middle English forms of "work" are still present in modern usages like: "Wrought Iron" for worked ...


2

"Beg the question" is a pet peeve for logicians, it's actually a technical term for a circular argument (from the Latin petitio principii), not to be used as a synonym for "raise the question." "More honored in the breach" is from Shakespeare. We typically use it to mean a rule more often broken than followed, but he meant it as a rule so bad it was better ...


0

Idiom: in my neck of the woods. "neck" today is understood as the connection between head and body or something similar in shape. But "neck" originally was something else. Originally it was the Middle English word egge meaning corner."in mine egge" was gradually transformed to "my neck" with the n of mine melting with egge to neck. Old English ecg means ...


1

A rolling stone gathers no moss Rolling stones used to be uncool earlier but they are cool now. ...the original intent of the proverb saw the growth of moss as desirable, and that the intent was to condemn mobility as unprofitable. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_rolling_stone_gathers_no_moss


0

immaculate correction It's from one of those lists, words that should be but aren't. Yet


6

The earliest Google Books match appears to be from "My Hobby,—rather" in The New Monthly Magazine (November 1834)—and it does involve a lawyer: Larry Wynn (now Lawrence Wynn, Esq.) lived here. He had, as they say in the United States, "hung out a shingle" (Londonicé, put up a sign) as attorney-at-law ; and to all the twenty thousand innocent inhabitants ...


3

Hang out one's shingle was originally used especially for lawyers, but is now applied to any kind of profession: Open an office, especially a professional practice, as in Bill's renting that office and hanging out his shingle next month. This American colloquialism dates from the first half of the 1800s, when at first lawyers, and later also ...


8

No, it's not restricted to lawyers: hang out one's shingle Open an office, especially a professional practice, as in Bill's renting that office and hanging out his shingle next month. This American colloquialism dates from the first half of the 1800s, when at first lawyers, and later also doctors and business concerns, used shingles for signboards. ...


2

Well, you're right, but did you even check one dictionary before posting? Check: (Collins) Word Origin C14: from Old French eschec a check at chess, hence, a pause (to verify something), via Arabic from Persian shāh the king! (in chess) http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/check


1

I've been looking recently at uses of the term with machines and most contexts I've found for relate to sewing machines, where the thread or yarn gets - quite literally - "balled up" or tangled, which tends to put a halt to its productive use. Maybe that could be a potential source, especially given that use of the expression seems to have begun in the ...


4

The exception that proves the rule is a good example. According to Wikipedia, based on Fowler’s Modern English Usage, the phrase has its origin in Roman legal doctrine, and at full length reads: Exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis or The exception proves the rule in cases not excepted. For instance, though not matter for a major legal ...


1

J.E. Lighter, Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang (1997) gives as a first occurrence of "off the wall" in a slang sense this exchange from a 1937 scare film, cited (with interpolated commentary) in Michael Starks, Cocaine Fiends and Reefer Madness (1982): After the usual prologue on the perils of marijuana, we find Lamont High school ...


0

I relate it to the French expression: "faire tapisserie"= wallflower. People are rendered invisible or not interesting when being a wallflower (gender discrimination mostly). Therefore, if you are off the wall, you are visible and become interesting. Crazy in many ways means original, beyond the dull, mass, sheep-like, etc.


0

Let us not forget inanimate objects can be personified allowing a hurricane to have wrought in the context of creation. However in the destructive association with havoc, "wreaked" being the more destructive term is more appropriate if the intent of the speaker is to convey the damage resulting from havoc. The association "wrought havoc" may then be ...


0

The difference is whether you are being constructive or destructive. “Wreaked” is destructive. Things are being broken. “Havoc” is destruction. So you “wreak havoc.” You break something and you leave behind broken stuff. “Wrought” is constructive. You are building things. You work iron and you create wrought iron. 1) Isn't "wrought" in "wrought havoc" ...


1

According the "Academic and Workplace Sexual Harassment " the expression refers to the practice of moving the trash (abusive teachers) from school to school: "Passing the trash" is a common term used to indicate that the harassing/ abusive teacher (trash) gets passed to another district to teach following sexual abuse allegations. These abusers are ...


2

It seems like there's quite a few that are likely to turn up (and I'm going to bet a lot of them will be related to agricultural origins). Here's one of my favorites: "burying your talents" and "wasting your talents" The whole concept of talent in a modern English sense comes from a transliterated unit of money in The King James version. ...


3

I'm sure there are quite a few, but since we're familiar with their present meaning, it's kind of hard to know what they meant before... but here are two (I think). Birthday suit - while I'm not sure when it began as an idiom (it was literally fancy clothes one wore on one's birthday (or the king's birthday, or some such) now refers to the clothes one was ...


0

I would suggest that the two are interchangeable. Perhaps wrought is a misprision of wreaked, but in the context of havoc one seems as good as the other. O'Conner and Kellerman in their Grammarphobia blog (http://grammarphobia.com) offer a fascinating discussion, including the usual Shakespearian Cry havoc! and let slip the dogs of war. Havoc was a 14th ...


2

It's quoting the epic poem The Song Of Roland about Charlemagne going into Spain to fight the Muslims


1

You might be looking for the phrase analysis paralysis or the paradox of choice both of which are drawn from psycholgy rather than common idiomatic English. Both colorfully describe the experience of impaired decision-making when presented with too many good options. Analysis paralysis is an unwillingness to commit to a course of action without ...


0

Even Stevens is the phrase that jumped into my mind. "At this point they are pretty even stevens"


0

Vibeware - software in phase with your unique vibe. 'in phase with' is another variation of 'on your wavelength', except that 'phase' has the technical meaning that all the peaks and valleys of the compared waveforms line up. (The opposite is '90 degrees out of phase' which means the peaks of one wave line up with the valleys of the other wave. Two copies ...


1

It doesn't sound right to just say, "...worries me no end." You need the "to" there. Also, I believe that when people say something worries them "to no end" they are not trying to express that nothing good comes from their worrying, but rather that their worry is never ending.


1

A Native American totem pole is a carved pole with figures stacked one atop the other: The presumption is that the more important figures are near the top. Being "low man on the totem pole" is a familiar American idiom, meaning being at the bottom of the organization's tier of importance. "Moving up a notch on the totem pole" thus signifies an increase ...


2

The expression "do your worst"—or rather "do thy worst"—goes back to the 1500s. It appears twice in Shakespeare's sonnets (published in 1609). At the end of sonnet 19: Yet doe thy worst ould Time dispight thy wrong, My loue shall in my verse euer liue young. And at the beginning of sonnet 92: Bvt doe thy worst to steale thy selfe away, ...


0

As defined by the Cambridge online dictionary, being the low man on the totem pole is "someone who has the least important position in an organization". In the example you show, the organization would probably be the social network surrounding the wimpy kid. The dictionary goes on to show an example of how someone can start from being a low man on the totem ...


0

Polishing a Turd (NAVY) Someone trying to make an idiot look like a genus. (Music Industry) The house band attempting to make the opening act singer sound good when they sing terrible. (Government) Promoting a person as having high moral management standards, when in fact they have no morality at all.


2

Gee, that sounds like a wonderful car, but unfortunately, it's just a castle in the air. A fanciful or impractical notion or hope; daydream. [1570–80] Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary


1

A little more risqué definition: Wet Dream Errotic Dream nocturnal emission (idiomatic, by extension) An exciting fantasy; a very appealing, ideal thing, person, or state-of-affairs.


0

Neither is correct. The typical usage is: Enjoy 10% off regular[ly] priced item[s]


0

Question specifically mentions "Enjoy ..." and for analysis, let us consider "Off" means "Discount" or "Reduction". Here are my thoughts, leading to my answer: Enjoy ... what ? Enjoy the Discount or the Reduction. Discount or Reduction on what ? On the regular priced items. (there may be other promotional items (free) or heavily-discounted almost-rotten ...


-1

Chandramohan's suggestion of "10% off regular prices" phrases the intent well. Here's why. 10% off regular priced item Technically, this means that you are supplying 10% less of the item (e.g. 90g of ice cream instead of 100g). However, the phrase is now idiomatic, so it is usually understood that the full phrase is "10% off (the price of each) ...


-1

10% off on regular priced items is correct . In case you have to discard 'on', the usage is " 10% off regular prices.


-1

The first is correct ("Enjoy 10% off [the] regular priced item[s]").


3

Unobtanium. But that's mostly about materials or components that you wish existed or that you could afford.


-1

I like the term "will-o'-the-wisp". It is perhaps a little archaic.


-1

"Passed" is the past tense form of the verb "to pass." Therefore, saying "the past is passed" is grammatically incorrect, unless you are making a passive construction (the past is passed... by some guy walking by in his memory). Instead, you need the adjectival form "past" here. The past is past. The past is painful. The past is purple. The past ...


24

My favourite: Pie in the sky "...an idea, thought or dream that is extremely unrealistic, even to the point where it begins to seem ludicrous."


19

Fantasy The faculty or activity of imagining things, especially things that are impossible or improbable. the product of imagining impossible or improbable things. a fanciful mental image, typically one on which a person dwells at length or repeatedly and which reflects their conscious or unconscious wishes. While "fantasy" ...


72

It's just a... pipe dream - an unattainable or fanciful hope or scheme Example usage from oxforddictionaries: free trade in international aviation will remain a pipe dream Origin: Late 19th century: referring to a dream experienced when smoking an opium pipe.


9

Consider chimera A thing that is hoped or wished for but in fact is illusory or impossible to achieve: the economic sovereignty you claim to defend is a chimera It is derived from the Chimera of Greek mythology, a fire-breathing female monster with a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a serpent’s tail. Oxford Dictionaries Online


29

You may say it is just wishful thinking: Thinking in which what one wishes were the case is believed to be real or likely to become real. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language)


-1

Root Around or to root; Action to look for something. What a mole or a pig might do to get root vegetables.


0

The second choice is preferred. One could also say "It has an excessively low temperature." Plainer still is "It is too cold."


0

The closest actual phrase used around this concept in English is "I thought they'd never leave" It doesn't absolutely specifically refer to the Argentinian- / Irish- / Hungarian- / etc. final-stage dragging out the goodbyes literally at the door, while standing up, but it can be used that way in context. (Indeed, the same applies to dilly-dally.) The ...



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