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My mother always used the expression when referring to someone who was somewhat less than sane, i.e., slightly doolally.


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"Be my guest" is an idiom that's usually used to (politely) give permission for someone to do something. If you want to edit my manuscript, be my guest. Can I try out your new TARDIS? Be my guest. It indicates the other person should feel free to act as he/she pleases. In your question it appears the idiom is being used both figuratively and ...


2

I personally don't see a distinctiom between "as best I can" and "the best I can" used in the context of everyday speech. After reading posts off the link provided by javaNoobs, 3 of the members from that site came to the conclusion that "as best" can be used as an idiom whose usage as such is well established by Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English ...


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There is a difference: 'as best I can' implies that the person can do something better than anybody else when trying his or her best. 'the best I can' implies person's effort within his or her own ability without reference to other people's ability. It is not an error at all, it is a slightly different meaning. And it is not the superlative form of 'as ...


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Just based on this sparse description, I consider it roughly equivalent with: That's nothing. Go fight/meet the Spartans and then talk! The Spartans demonstrated legendary toughness. They were a warrior's warriors. Whatever the reason Sparta's own contribution was just 300 Spartiates (accompanied by their attendants and probably perioikoi ...


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The American Heros channel on TV stated that President U.S. Grant as an 11 yr. old boy rode a bucking horse as a challenge in a circus. No one else could stay on the horse and when he managed to do so the circus owner provided the additional difficulty of also placing a monkey on U.S. Grant's back while riding the horse. He continued to defeat this challenge ...


1

Christine Ammer, The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms (1994), has this entry for the expression: foot the bill Pay the bill, settle the accounts [example omitted]. This expression uses foot in the sense of "add up and put the total at the foot, or bottom, of an account." {Colloq; early 1800s} A Google Books search for the phrase finds an earliest ...


11

From Etymology Online, footing (n.) as solid base for something evolved from the late 13c.: "a base, foundation;" late 14c., "position of the feet on the ground, stance," a gerundive formation from foot (n.). Figurative meaning "firm or secure position" is from 1580s; that of "condition on which anything is established" is from 1650s. From ...


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Re: the possible origins of "there, there." Sorry this entry is based on impersonal experience. It seems eminently plausible that in prehistoric times cave persons would keep a wary eye out for marauding beasts. So, say if a monster (not to be pejorative) were spotted by an individual who helpfully pointed out the threat to others but they couldn't quite ...


1

Here is the entry from "break a leg" in Robert Hendrickson, The Facts on File Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins (1997): break a leg! Break a leg! means "good luck" in theatrical circles, probably not because the great Sarah Bernhradt "had one leg an it would be good luck to be like her." No one is sure, but one theory has the expression deriving, ...


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Delinquent: Due to his delinquent attendance the farm was lost.... http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/delinquent


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If you have not used something for a long time, it is certainly idiomatic to say "it's collecting dust"1 just as you would in Danish. Example: I haven't used my iPod Touch in like 6 months. It's somewhere collecting dust. Source (Wiktionary)1


1

Although not for exactly the same reasons mentioned in your question, something that is (or can be) delayed is sometimes “put/kept on the back burner.” “Back-burner” delays are more temporary than those of the “mothballed” and “shelved” varieties and they generally result from a determination that “it CAN wait” (as opposed to “it MUST wait” as is implied in ...


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Think of "chance" as a stand in for probability. And then add "low" if you like to make the meaning abundantly clear. "The low probability of winning the lottery makes it unlikely to happen, but I would be one happy camper if I did win it." Maybe it all started with the following exchange. "Want to go in on a lottery ticket together? What do you recon ...


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It means Reddit didn't work out for them (was not useful.) I'm guessing this was British English, where "a bit of" is an example of understatement. But in any case, "bust" is a failure as in def #8 at http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/bust


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Bust: A failure; a flop A bit of a bust is either understatement (a big failure) or a mild failure. It was a bit of a bust for Earth Hour in the Tri-Cities Saturday, as Port Moody was the only community to reach one per cent in electricity load savings. To be fair, the entire trip was a bit of a bust so I might be biased by the general ...


0

To be phrase "down in [one's] boots" seems to have meant, at one time, "to have lost courage" or "to have felt [one's] spirits sink." Joaquin Miller, The Danites in the Sierras (1881) cites it and kindred expressions as indicating a lack of popular esteem: "Hasn't got the soul of a chicken!" "Caved in at last!" Gone down in his boots!" "Busted in the ...


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It seems (I only find it in this Chinese resource!) it's a regionalism meaning: / be frightened out cf one's wits/go down in one's boots/frightened out of one's senses/


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According to J.E. Lighter, The Random House Dictionary of American Slang (1994), the word originally (in British usage prior to 1885) meant "to grumble" although it seems to have lost that sense long ago: chew the fat to converse, gossip, or chat. {In British use before 1885, as "to grumble" (OEDS).} (Lighter finds examples of U.S. usage of the term ...


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You could use they "plough their own furrow" ◊ If you plough your own furrow, you do something that is different from what other people do. She was not afraid to plough her own furrow. [=to act independently; to do something no one else has done] www.learnersdictionary.com This is perhaps not quite as strong a description of specifically ...


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That person is considered headstrong or even pigheaded.


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Searching Yahoo for "make something stick" meaning is one of the basic and good ways to find the meaning of a word. You don't seem to have used it, otherwise you'd have found make something stick to cause something to be accepted or agreed to Investigators didn't have the evidence to make the charges stick. Workers got a good agreement and ...


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Make stick: to cause something to be accepted or agreed to. Investigators didn't have the evidence to make the charges stick. Workers got a good agreement and made it stick by threatening another costly strike. (Cambridge Dict.) The Free Dictionary


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I found the following passage in The American Bee Journal, dated June 13 1883, on the subject of Italian and Hybrid Bees: But two years ago this spring I found out the difference between brown and black bees. We all have in mind that sever winter and spring. I lost over 60 colonies, and to help fill up my empty combs, soon enough to be able to ...


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I'm guessing you're looking for a phrase which has "I", the subject of the sentence, talking about their impression of "Z", the object. If that's the case, then the previous answer has it covered. But here are some expressions where "Z" itself is the subject: crooked as a dog’s hind leg -> Probably the most direct Economical with the truth -> ...


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"I wouldn't trust User43228 as far as I could throw him/her." Source: Cambridge Idioms Dictionary as cited on The Free Dictionary.


3

A Google Books search finds several instances of "stick to [one's] knitting" from the late 1800s, including this one in The Pharmaceutical Era (April 28, 1898) that suggests the term was already an established saying in U.S. English: "STICK TO YOUR KNITTING." There is naturally a temptation with every advertiser to work into his advertising some of ...


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This page cites several usages from the early 1900's. The usages cited there, such as "No, you'd better mind your own business, girl. Forget your foolishness and ‛tend to your knitting.", do appear to have a chauvinistic quality.


0

embrace the grind: embrace the effort, the tough fight lower your shoulder: lower your stance (as when you want to go/pass through someone, as someone in a defensive line, as in American football), prepare to attack


4

I haven't done any research in vetted sources for this answer, but here's how I approach it at low levels with my students. The following is a rule of thumb. We use in to denote being within spaces that we perceive as being three-dimensional. Jungles, houses, trees and water are things which when we're in them surround us on all sides in a three dimensional ...


1

"On land" definitely emphasizes living on and above the surface of land/ground. "In land/ground" emphasizes living inside the ground, under the surface of land/ground, like some mites do: Insects and Mites of Western North America: A Manual and ... - Page 537 Edward Oliver Essig - 1958 The larvae live in ground and rock pools, brackish water, ...


0

Many constructions that end with the words "X on details"—where X indicates some type of deficiency—pair X with a corresponding positive word that characterizes a contrasting strength. For example, a sentence might say this: The speech was heavy on rhetoric [or hyperbole or enthusiasm] but light on details. Or this: The political party was strong ...


0

As shown by Google Books, these two expressions are both idiomatic: "sparse on details" About 774 results "sparse with details" About 108 results in that they are found in large enough numbers in published books to be accepted as regular expressions by the native speakers, but they are not idioms, IMO, for a search on: "sparse on details" idioms fails ...


1

How much time did you spend in Spain? He punched me three times. In the first sentence time refers to the amount of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, years, decades, centuries, millennia and so on. This noun is uncountable. In example (2) times refers to the number of occurrences. The number of instances that something happened. This is ...


0

http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/time_1 and other dictionaries show clearly "uncountable" for some of the meanings Generally: Instances/Occasions, recorded values for durations, etc: times The abstract notion, and generally not 1: time


2

Off the bat: (American & Australian), immediately. (Cambridge Idioms Dictionary) The origins for this phrase are likely to be rooted in the sport of baseball. In baseball, this phrase references the ball coming off the bat after a successful strike, which is then immediately followed by the batter making a quick decision to run towards first ...


0

John Bartlett, Dictionary of Americanisms (1848) has entries for "hookey" and for a term that I suspect may be very closely related, "on one's own hook". Here they are: ON ONE'S OWN HOOK. A phrase much used in familiar language, denoting on one's own account ; as, 'He is doing business on his own hook,' i. e. for himself. [Example:] The South is ...


0

An Ax To Grind By Benjamin Franklin (1706 to 1790) When I was a little boy, I remember, one cold winter morning, I was accosted by a smiling man with an ax on his shoulder. "My pretty boy," said he, "has your father a grindstone?" "Yes sir," said I. "You are a find little fellow!" said he. "Will you let me grind my ax on it?" Pleased with the ...


3

Since the phrase has been around since the mid 1800's (many sources cite 1848 as its first appearance), it's hard to determine a definitive answer. According to this site, there are a few theories about the origin of the phrase "playing hooky". As an interesting sidenote, in Boston, the phrase "hooking Jack" meant the same thing. You'll have to decide for ...


10

From Oxford Dictionaries (OD), right out of the box is a U.S. expression meaning immediately, from the very beginning. Out of the box here is just a variant of that expression. And, flop means to be completely unsuccessful, fail totally (OD). The meaning can also be determined from the context: reviews show that the watch was immediately successful, which ...


5

The idiomatic part of the sentence is out of the box: (idiomatic, of a product) Immediately, without intervention from the customer. This software has to work out of the box, without any fancy installation. (Wiktionary) An out of the box feature or functionality, particularly in software, is a feature or functionality of a product that ...


1

"Flop" can mean to fail .... the word "flop" is common enough. "flop out of the box is a phrase that I have never heard before but it is easy to figure out its meaning. So, in this context, the phrase "flop out of the box" means to fail immediately, or fail when it was first seen. With the case of the Apple watch, Apple finally showed the watch several ...


0

Just to jump in, I'm currently studying Danish, and I have discovered it provided Old English many of its words. Fast in modern Danish means "fixed". I'll guess that it was introduced to English during the Danish invasion in the middle ages and has remained a feature in both languages. Alternately English and Danish are both northern Germanic languages, it ...


5

Broth of a boy, from page 178 of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary: Luxury Edition: Irish a very lively boy or young man. ORIGIN OE, of Gmc origin; rel. to BREW Broth of a boy is thought to be of Irish origin, not directly from English broth, but probably from a similar linguistic stock: Old English broþ, from Proto-Germanic *bruthan ...


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The problem is that this is the use of the subjunctive (which is often poorly used, particularly in American speech). Any sentence that starts with "if" is generally a good indicator that the subjunctive is about to be needed. The correct sentence would probably be: If they were to have recognized this, it would have saved them a lot of trouble.


0

If you really want to understand the naming of animal groups, it might help to classify the types or origins of classification terms. There are words that have simply been borrowed from the past (e.g. an exaltation of larks) or from a particular language, dialect or regional speech. These are often popular among poets. There are other words that are more ...


-1

"Fine by me" is very common, colloquial, perhaps a bit slangy. It is (I believe) modelled on Yiddish, and entered English through New York Jewish slang. "Fine with me" is also very common, and stylistically unmarked.


-1

"Fine with me" is more formal than "Fine by me" but only by a little bit. I doubt I would use either expression in a business document. Why? Because the expression basically has no meaning in a business sense. It is like calling something "very nice". In a Business sense I would probably use the word "acceptable". "Fine by me" and "fine with me" are more ...


1

I suppose orator is not the first word that springs to mind when talking about a . . . public speaker. But if I wanted something a bit harder I might go with rhetor. It certainly brings to mind classical figures like Cicero without mentioning them directly.


0

It's just come to me while I was trying to be helpful to someone. It was clear the person had already made their mind up, and wouldn't listen to any advice that either contradicted or challenged their opinion. Sometimes it's a question of pride, low self-esteem or just sheer bloody mindedness! :-) There's none so deaf as those who will not hear ...



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