New answers tagged

0

This term is used to mean that they hold generally quite controversial views. Occasionally but not often this can mean they hold stronger views than most.


1

The expression is may very well. (The be is part of the progressive infinitive verb be learning.) May here refers to possibility. The young man or the coed may be learning..., but they may not be. It has a higher possibility than might. Using very well with may (be learning) can mean several things. It really depends on the speaker's attitude toward ...


0

I was also looking for a meaning as I had found it in court cases involving seamen in the 1860's ("Cross-examined by defendant: I did not call you out of your name several times. I never called any man in the ship out of his name. " - http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/8822324/775209 - Thank you all for this information.


4

I worked in the Radio and TV industry as an engineer for over 30 years and have followed the evolution of the term "breaking". This is how I see it. The term "breaking" is a technical procedure used inside a broadcasting studio. Also, it's used by CB radio operators when one keys open the microphone and says, "breaker, breaker or 10-50" to announce their ...


1

Generally "in the know" refers to a group of people who share knowledge of some secret. Each member of this group is said to be "in the know" about the secret. So, in the second sentence you mentioned, "He will bring you in the know..." essentially means "He will inform you about...", with the added connotation that these career opportunities are secret, ...


0

Well-rounded (adj.), in a figurative sense is from mid 1800: 1796, "symmetrically proportioned, complete in all parts," from well (adv.) + past participle of round (v.). Figurative sense is from mid-19c. (Etymonline) The following is from The Mirror of Literature, 1833: ...is the object of many a scene or sketch from social life ; and a ...


3

Put a brave face/front on something — TFD to behave in a way that makes people think you are happy when you are not "They've had some bad luck, but they've put a brave face on their problems." "She's very ill but she's putting a brave front on it. (= making people believe her illness does not worry her)" Keep up appearances — TFD ...


1

Buggins appears in Anthony Trollope's Barchester Chronicles. He was a civil servant who was leaving his job, and a large number of possible candidates were pursuing the position. Pre-dates all other suggestions - i.e. 19th century.


1

Gordian Knot Is used to signify an insurmountable puzzle; legend of Phrygian Gordium associated with Alexander the Great. It is often used as a metaphor for an intractable problem (disentangling an "impossible" knot) solved easily by loophole or "thinking outside the box" ("cutting the Gordian knot"): Gordian Knot


0

Well if you want to make sure nobody but computing scientists understand you, you could always say: The problem is NP-complete. But this actually means that you can devise a way (an algorithm) that would in theory solve the problem, but in practice it would take an infinite (or impractically long) time.


-1

There are several that connote having only bad choices available: "Catch 22" (taken from the title of the book of the same name). "between a rock and a hard place" "damned if I do, damned if I don't." "Tool-blocked" refers to a bolt or screw that is impossible to remove because the necessary tool won't fit or work in the space the fastener is in. It ...


9

For not very formal use, and in the vein of IvanSanchez's answer but which is arguably a little stronger: FUBAR. "That thing is FUBAR'd". It's an acronym that stands for fucked up beyond all recognition Since the situation is now "beyond all recognition", it is deemed impossible to solve.


3

"Just because he is old, he doesn't need to be slow" implies that he is slow, and that he is choosing to be slow, or being slow due to some failing on his part. That's a totally different meaning to "Just because he is old doesn't mean he is slow" - in fact, you're not making any statement at all about whether he is actually slow or not, but you're saying ...


5

I would say SNAFU, military slang for «Situation Normal: All Fucked Up». The problem/situation is horrible, but it's been so for long enough as to be accepted as the normal situation.


0

One more option is: The problem is incurable. This metaphorical expression likens the problem to a disease that cannot be cured, and is especially suitable in situations where the problem has gotten worse over time or is too difficult to eliminate without causing harm or further problems, like some terminal illnesses. Another option is: The ...


10

Sisyphus was doomed to push a rock up a hill only for it to roll down every night. From this we get the concept of a Sisyphean task. There are many colloquial phrases perhaps derived in spirit from this myth, for tasks which can't be completed, for example pushing water uphill with a rake and nailing jelly to a wall. These are quite common in UK ...


5

"Your project is doomed" Doomed — TFD adj marked for certain death "the black spot told the old sailor he was doomed" marked by or promising bad fortune "their business venture was doomed from the start" Forlorn hope — TFD An undertaking that seems very unlikely to succeed. "This plan you have is a forlorn hope ...


4

A project that has gotten so difficult as to be impossible is sometimes called a death march. In project management, a death march is a project where the members feel it is destined to fail, or requires a stretch of unsustainable overwork. The general feel of the project reflects that of an actual death march because the members of the project are forced ...


8

I would simply say unsolvable or (thank you @OrangeDog) insoluble. As @JohnWaylandBales replied you also have intractable but you were asking for "cannot be solved" not "hard to solve". There is an interesting word for a problem so hard to solve within its (usually implied) rules but so important that someone breaks those rules in order to obtain a ...


13

You may use the idiomatic expression quagmire: a situation that is hard to deal with or get out of : a situation that is full of problems. Example: That was six months ago, when the Defense secretary laughingly dismissed the idea that Iraq was, or could turn into, a quagmire. (M-W) also A blind alley : (informal) a situation ...


0

Tell me another. Don't make me laugh. Yeah, right.


0

No it is not idiomatic, it is literal: Invalid (not valid): An invalid opinion, argument, etc. is not correct, usually because it is not logical or not based on correct information: an invalid argument. Cambridge Dictionary


3

You could indeed replace would with I wish in this sentence, as in would that it were. Another odd thing about this sentence is the (probably poetic) inversion of I had heard and of this journey. This kind of inversion can be used when the author wants to begin the clause with the topic of the sentence, because the topic can be emphasised as such by placing ...


0

through a pursuit of implies that something came about as a direct result of the pursuit. in pursuit of merely indicates something happened during the pursuit and is related to it somehow. The nuance is quite fine. These phrases are mostly interchangeable.


0

I've heard chaffing and champing used since the 1950's, and increasingly chomping at the bit since sometime in the 80's, and assumed it was a mistake by Gen-X'ers and later Gen-Y'ers as either a mishearing or as an induced illiteracy from years of not listening very well.


1

Several other answers cover the extremeness of "All sail" or "Crowd Sail" etc. As anyone with sailing knowledge can explain there's no single on switch for the situation you describe. The sail to be set would be a matter of precision. The ship's officer on duty would want very specific things, and would give very specific orders. How strong is the wind? ...


2

"To compete for the control of a corporation" This reads well when it's a person within the company competing in a legal context. Where the competition is about having legal standing to lead the company. "To compete for the control over a corporation" This reads well when it's corporations competing to control another corporation. This would ...


2

Your premise is not correct. According to Oxford Dictionaries Online the phrase in the offing means Likely to happen or appear soon: there are several initiatives in the offing Similarly Collins likely to occur soon


-1

This question should be closed for it can be answered straightforwardly by looking up any dictionary and is linguistically unproductive. "Of a certain age" is a subjective expression, subjective being defined as "based on feelings or opinions rather than facts" (Webster Dictionary). Furthermore the Webster Dictionary defines "certain" (among other ...


0

I think what you are looking for is pending, something you consider likely to occur in the near-distant future.


1

In store (for somebody/something) — TFD planned or likely to happen. "We have a big surprise in store for you." "She's got a difficult few months in store, with her husband's illness." In the not too distant future — M-W at a time that is not long from now:  soon "Changes are expected in the not too distant future."


0

I've heard this called "the narcissism of small differences." It's not exactly how Freud meant it in Civilization and Its Discontents but basically if Sonya & Jim are both metalheads but Sonya thinks Jim is a poser because he's into stoner metal while Sonya only listens to the blackest of Norwegian black metal, you could say it's the narcissism of small ...


1

The closest I can think of is dismissive. To be dismissive of someone or a group of people is to refuse to give proper consideration to their merits. Having said that, this seems to lack the venom of your example. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dismissive


0

Unsportsmanlike comes to mind here, as it is specific to the context of winning/losing. Merriam-Webster: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unsportsmanlike


0

Shout down — TFD verb (tr, adverb) to drown, overwhelm, or silence by shouting or talking loudly By "shout down the road to something else", it's possible that it means the road is blocked from being accessed by something else.


0

As a small child in mid-(20th)century USA, I heard this expression from both my American father and my English mother, as well as various aunts and uncles--all Depression-Era kids. I have personally chosen to interpret the phrase as "spread the wealth," much like Dolly Levi in "Hello, Dolly!" who said, "Money is like manure...it doesn't do any good unless it ...


1

Dish something out is an idiomatic expression that means: to give or say things to people without thinking about them carefully: He's very keen to dish out criticism. With a simila meaning, to dish about refers to intentionally let people know facts that she could have kept to herself. In fact she continues and spills dirt about her ...


3

Dished about in this sentence means she talked about something--she served up some comments for the consideration of her listeners. These comments were not necessarily negative. If it had said dished the dirt, that would mean she made negative comments about someone else (she engaged in gossip). Spilled dirt about means she revealed unflattering qualities ...


6

The earliest Google Books match I could find for "[women] of a certain age" is from The Spectator, number 53 (May 1, 1711), and it takes the expression in an unexpected direction: Epictetus, that plain honest philosopher, as little as he had of gallantry, appears to have understood them [women], as well as the polite St. Evremont, and has hit this point ...


0

Unarguably- When you want to give a solid, definitive approach. Makes you sound more confident. Arguably- When you want to include all stances on an issue. Makes you harder to disagree with.


0

"Like the way a crow collects chunks of glass in a hollow tree." The best answer would come from a Japanese translator telling us the original text. Systematic thinking defined by Barry Richmond: the art and science of making reliable inferences about behavior by developing an increasingly deep understanding of underlying structure. The word glass ...


0

I would assume it means that crows are attracted to valueless but pretty or distracting objects and try to carry them home. In British English, calling someone 'a magpie' indicates the same thing - that they are easily distracted by shiny things, have lots of sparkle, jingle, or flash, or have a short attention span.


-1

He brushed off his opponent. The act of wiping something from your shoulder more readily portrays this.


25

"X of a certain age" is an intentional vagueness, specific sounding euphemism that is entirely context dependent, on both general culture and the conversational topic, but is more often lately used to mean barely more specifically, later middle age. As a euphemism, it is directed non-specifically to a target range of age that is undesirable or otherwise not ...


1

"come clean" is the idiom - it could be followed by "about", "over", "regarding", and various other words which are all synonyms in this context. They're not part of the idiom.


6

In my experience, it's most often used colloquially to simply refer to "at our/their time of life". Looking it up, the consensus is that it means "no longer young", e.g. the freedictionary definition of simply who are not young. The Urban Dictionary definition is a little more direct: Ironically polite term for a woman who does not want her actual age ...


36

Of a certain age: who are not young: Adults of a certain age might want to spend a couple of hundred dollars more for a larger monitor that will be much easier on their eyes. Usage notes: used to avoid saying middle aged or old. Used also in a humorous sense: Somebody of a certain age: used to avoid saying that a ...


-1

Which of the following is correct? Is there anything on the television tonight? Is there anything on television tonight? The second sentence without the article THE is correct. Why? When we talk about television in the sense of television programs (UK = programmes) that are broadcast (= transmitted), we DO NOT use the article THE. Television became widely ...


0

When a non-finite verb form is the object of a preposition, it is almost always a gerund, i.e., the present participle (or -ing) form of a verb used as a noun. The only reason we can give is that it's idiomatic in English, which is only a way of saying that's the way it is. Of course, this being English, there's an exception: He was accused of breaking ...



Top 50 recent answers are included