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In this case, drive is being used in the sense of "forcing into existence through vigorous effort" (see definition 10 in Am Heritage), a meaning which probably follows from the more common use of drive to mean "force to do something" (e.g. bad luck may drive someone to drink). The usage of hard is meant to indicate the effort involved, and is used in the ...


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In drive a hard bargain, drive seems to refer to drive a vehicle used metaphorically meaning to conduct a negotiation. Hard refers to the strong, determined way in which the deal is carried out. Origin: Mid-19th Century, American English. Even though “drive” sounds like it could be a 20th Century word having to do with automobiles, the word goes ...


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I always assumed it came from the way we describe species of animals or plants. We call lots of abundant species the 'common ____', just a quick google search throws up the common shrew, the common vole, the common pheasant, to dissociate them from the less common species such as the water vole, the pygmy shrew and the golden pheasant. The term garden is ...


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People who meet for the purpose of working on something together could be called collaborators. Scheduling can be difficult. These people would like to be collaborators, but they aren't yet -- so let's call them would-be collaborators. Note, I made that up -- I can't think of a pre-existing word or phrase. Here are a couple more: meeting ...


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Indian here. Aren't you being a little paranoid about this? Just ask. Whenever I get such a response and I'm unsure, I immediately pounce on the person concerned: "What exactly do I need to do? I'm not clear on the actions I'm supposed to take." If they do clarify, great! If not, then ask them if you could either work on it together and plan something out, ...


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I more than once heard my Mother, born around 1902 in west London, in perhaps the 1940s and 1950s. But she used it in a definitely conscious way, almost with verbal quotation marks around it. But it wasn't gloomy, it merely indicated being in deep thought, kind of offline to those around at the time.


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A man or woman of this variety should be kept at arms length... this is a bit closer than a 10 foot pole and a little further than spitting distance; you might also say within a stones throw, a distance very similar to spitting distance. It's all about distance and the understanding that coming closer might cause a violent action.


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There is a phrase I wouldn't touch it [him/her] with a ten foot pole (verb phrase) To be loath to have anything to do with; be suspicious or apprehensive; reject : If I were you I wouldn't touch that proposition with a ten-foot pole [1909+; semantically akin to the proverb advising us to use a long spoon when we eat with the devil; an earlier ...


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We have the saying "within spitting distance". . This guy shouldn't be allowed within spitting distance of X. within spitting distance = close, near, beside, alongside, close by, just round the corner, within sniffing distance (informal), a hop, skip and a jump away (informal) • a restaurant within spitting distance of the Tower of London ...


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One way to express it ( because of a restraining order for instance ) is to to say that someone is: Not allowed to be within 100 feet/yards of someone or something


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I agree with Channel Islander. Another UK possibility is "to over egg the pudding". over-egg the pudding (British) to spoil something by trying too hard to improve it As a director, I think he has a tendency to over-egg the pudding, with a few too many gorgeous shots of the countryside. thefreedictionary.com


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In the USA they call such a person a "Rube Goldberg" after the cartoonist who depicted highly complicated devices for doing simple tasks. "You are turning that task into a real Rube Goldberg machine." Oxford Dictionaries Online defines Rube Goldberg [machine] as Ingeniously or unnecessarily complicated in design or construction In the UK we had Heath ...


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As others have observed, an "axe to grind" is simply an ulterior motive—often, but not always, a concealed one. Most authorities cite as the source of the phrase the cautionary tale of the boy, the stranger, the axe, and the grindstone, which they generally attribute either to Charles Miner (1780–1865) or to Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790). As I've noted on ...


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It's obviously "You can't eat your cake and have it", not the other way around! Why? Because you can have your cake, and (then) eat it; but not the other way around. Obviously, that's not what this idiom means, but why choose the easily-misinterpret-able version? Think about, it, really: "I had a cake and ate it." - Just fine. "I ate a cake and had it." ...


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http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/british/have-an-axe-to-grind to have a strong personal opinion about something that you want people to accept and that is the reason why you do something http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/have+an+axe+to+grind to have a strong opinion about something, which you are often trying to persuade other ...


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Aside from two matches to a Tumblr page with the name "The Cat's Evening Wear," a Google search returns the following six readable matches for the phrase. From a September 8, 2004, post at RoadbikeReview.com: My SO is the cat's evening wear, but useless when it comes to bike related anything. From a September 21, 2006, comment posted at Threadless.com: ...


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Mind-blowing Dictionary.com: overwhelming; astounding: Spending a week in the jungle was a mind-blowing experience. Cambridge: surprising, shocking, and often difficult to understand or imagine: The movie’s special effects are mind-blowing. Oxford: Overwhelmingly impressive: For a kid, Chicago was really mind-blowing. Mind-boggling Dictionary.com: ...


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When Jesus was around, people would go to a synagogue and contribute by putting money in a container with a trumpet shaped top. The more valuable coins were bigger and if you threw them in, they made a noise that let everyone know you were giving a bigger donation. You were blowing your trumpet


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I've ruminated over the problem for months. The problem is driving me crazy. The problem is puzzling me. I'm cogitating about the problem. I'm still mulling over it.


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A word like ponder or ruminate would be synonyms, but neither has the intensity I think you're looking for. There's an idiom, "crack one's brains," or "rack one's brains," that might work. I personally use a phrase that involves smoke coming out of my ears. P.S. "Wrack one's brains" is often used; according to Grammarist rack is correct.


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Here are some ideas for you. I had to really scratch my head about that one. I was completely lost in that lecture. For the life of me, I could not figure out what the heck the professor was talking about. I had to wrack my brain to solve that riddle.


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A snappy response (I don't know if this would be a polite phrase in Indian English): And the needful being...? A constructive, slightly longer response: [First, restate the problem to be solved] Did I get that right? [Hopefully this gets a nod.] I want to make sure we're on the same page about how to solve this [OR how to proceed]. My idea here ...


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I've never heard "do the needful" in the wild, but it sounds kind of British. With that in mind, if all that is desired is a snappy comeback, perhaps this line from the BBC comedy Yes, Minister will serve: We must do something. This is something. Therefore we must do it. An internet search indicates that this line has achieved something of a life of ...


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You guys can't be serious! It's meant to mean each day is getting worse. It's a deliberate joke. Not at all a misuse. SMH Very much like the following: "How are you?" "Oh, average; Worse than yesterday, but better than tomorrow".


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I recently came across an old British proverb that refers to the very situation that your Hungarian saying does. From James Kelly, Complete Collection of Scottish Proverbs (1721): [The proverb:] You breed of Lady Mary, when you're good you're o'er good. [Explanation:] A drunken Man beg'd Lady Mary [the Virgin Mary, presumably] to help him on his ...


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I don't believe you. Accuses a person of lying. This is definitely "indelicate". I don't believe you washed the dishes [already]. This can mean "I'm {shocked/amazed} that you did the dishes [so quickly or so soon.] but it might also be construed as the first—that the hearer was lying. To make sure it will be construed in a positive sense, use "can't": ...


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If A only mentioned washing the dishes, it would seem there would be no difference in meaning. I don't believe you, however, implies something personal about not believing A, but it really depends on the person. A liar might take it personally. There are always other ways to phrase the sentence, if you think A would take it personally. You really ...


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The Wall Street Journal has a good article on the subject, and cites the military and a 1904 article on baseball: In “John Bumpkin Upon Drill,” a comic theatrical song that the Oxford English Dictionary dates to the 1780s, the title character says, “it were enough to make a cat laugh, to see sarjeant drilling me—‘Heads up! Higher! Still higher!’ ” At the ...


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I think one reason that it may be a metaphor in Britain, Australia and New Zealand, is because we are tea-drinking nations. And, as anyone who knows how to make a nice cup of tea will tell you, the water (unlike with coffee making) has to be boiling. I have never had a nice cup of tea in America, nor in France, nor in Germany. But Down-Under in the Outback, ...


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1. The song We say, "At first I didn't think much of it but as I continued to listen the song grew on me." grow on someone. — phrasal verb with grow us /ɡroʊ/ verb (past tense grew /ɡru/ , past participle grown /ɡroʊn/ ) › to become increasingly liked or enjoyed by someone: Living in a small town was tough at first, but the place grows on you. ...


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"An Aside on the Process of Idiom Formation," in Rice University Studies, volume 66, issues 1–2 (1980) [combined snippets] has this discussion of "gone to Texas": 1. The creation of a metaphor Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee were, during the 1820s, a jumping-off place for emigrants from the United States to the Mexican province of Texas. In ...


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I was somewhat curious as to whether the title of the book by Dr Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) might somehow be derived from the (Ukrainian?) idiom that Arthur Yakovlev mentions. According to the Wikipedia article on the book, however, Geisel came up with the title based on the first two words he could find in the publishers wordlist that rhymed. But still, ...


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Cat in the hat - I got the solution or finished some assignments .. Its like a peaceful conclusion . Eg: O my project is done ! Cat in the hat .


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I've often heard and used this expression completed with "it is" or "it's" For example: "Well that failed so it's back to the drawing board."


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What is the difference of “strike the match” from “strike a match”? Are they exactly same or totally irrelevant idioms or expressions? I'll answer in an indirect way. Think of the proverb "The straw that broke the camel's back", also expressed as "The last straw". In the story, the unfortunate camel had many straws piled onto its back but only one ...


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With "back," probably the best verb is "return": Well, it's Monday morning. I have to return to the salt mines. It failed. It has to return to the drawing board. You, troublemaker! Return to the playground. "Go back" works in place of return.


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Very often the missing phrase is "let's get" (the first-person plural imperative) Example Well, it’s Monday morning. [Let's get] back to the salt mines Let's get back to the drawing board. Note that "let's" in this idiom can refer to one person or a group. It is an exhortation and encouragement, c.f. "Come on!" The sentence "back to the playground with ...


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Jeremiah 18:12King James Version (KJV) 12 And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart. My understanding after a quick reading is that Jeremiah is unsuccessful in getting the men of Judah to believe he is a messenger from God and to take him seriously. He ...


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"It goes with you" is not used with the meaning "it suits you." It can have a literal or figurative meaning of accompaniment: You must be fond of your dog. It goes with you everywhere. That's the trouble with depression. It goes with you everywhere. There a somewhat archaic usage of asking someone about the general state of things, captured by the ...


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That is an awfully old expression and I don't think it would be understood by modern speakers. For the sense of avoiding responsibility by escape, maybe you could invoke draft dodging?


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parents - father & mother grandparents - grandfather & grandmother siblings - brother & sister niblings - nephew & niece piblings - uncle & aunt The latter is pending approval as of now: There isn't a word for it!


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Neither of them 'works for me', but they do represent the different kinds of semantic changes that English words often undergo. Starting with 'work for': The verb 'work' has a huge number of meanings. One of these is an intransitive use: "It works! It works!" This means that some action or method has had a successful result. Phrases like 'It works for me' ...


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If you're looking for something non-vulgar that conveys the same meaning, try "Loafing around" or "Goofing off" Other more specific phrases might be "Holding up the wall" or "Keeping the bench warm".


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The first is fairly idiomatic English (though may not be entirely appropriate in this context), the second isn't really. You could say that an item of clothing "goes with you", but I'd be more inclined just to say "it suits you", which you can say about the nickname too. You could also say that "the nickname fits you" or "it's appropriate/apt" or "it sums ...


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The past tense does not sound right to me, but a version of this term was actually used in Canada ca. 1980 and I'm fairly sure it would be understood today. Q: "What are you up to?" A: "Just f*cking the dog." The meaning was that the person was idle or engaged in pointless or useless activities. Source: personal experience


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Although this is an old post, I have to put in my two bits. What does the ngram above prove? Consider this ngram: For the phrases 'this book' and 'that book', we can see that 'this book' is more common in the ngram sample than 'that book'. Sorting by the dates of publication of the scanned works in the corpus, this difference has increased for subsamples ...


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The commonest expression I can think of to express boredom is "to twiddle one's thumbs". "Screwing the pooch", while an idiom, has an entirely different meaning: to spectacularly mess up, usually in an embarrasingly public way.


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I don't know how commonplace it is, but the phrase jerking around is what I would use in this situation: "Quit jerking around and do something productive!"


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One alternative that I've heard is jade-colored glasses, playing on a combination of the original glasses and "jaded".



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