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2

And he's off! This is something we say when someone starts a race. If he begins badly we might say, "He got off to a rough start." This does not mean he will lose the race, right? So in life, as in a race, many times we get off to a rough start, In relationships (such as your patient and doctor), in a job situation, or in trying a new way to fold clothes! ...


2

"Got of to a rough start" simply means things went badly at the beginning of some event or relationship. If you are leaving on a trip, and your taxi breaks down on the way to the airport, and when you get off the flight you ultimately caught, find out that your luggage is in a different city than you are, and you trip on an ice cube you didn't see in the ...


2

I am pretty sure the original phrase is 'to a tittle' as in 'Not a jot nor a tittle out of place'. Those phrases referred to writing Greek and meant literally that even the very small markings including subscript iotas (jots) and the diacritical markings that indicate tone and breathing (including what we would call a tilde, but before Spanish inflected ...


0

A lot of good suggestions in the other answers. You might also consider "ongoing." Oxford dictionaries defines ongoing as follows: ongoing - adj. - Continuing; still in progress E.g. "The lecture is ongoing."


0

Just because I'm surprised this wasn't suggested as an answer: In Progress "That/The lecture is in progress."


2

This is procatalepsis, the refuting of anticipated objections, according to Brigham Young's excellent Silva Rhetoricae. In the examples given by the OP, the refutations are quite crude — really just ad lapidem — but I think this rhetorical figure fits the bill.


1

"I'm not racist but..." is known as the Daily Mail Defence, if that's any use to you.


1

Occurring "That/The lecture is occurring now." Happening "That/The lecture is happening right now." Underway "That/The lecture is already underway." Taking place "That/The lecture is taking place right now." Started "That/The lecture has already started." Begun "That/The lecture has begun." Taking place is probably best. ...


1

I was led to believe 22 Acacia Avenue is based on the Cynthia Payne story from the late 70s and early 80s when she was acquitted of being a madam and running a brothel at 32 Ambleside Avenue, in Streatham, London, England. She got punters to pay for services with "Luncheon Voucher" coupons, so argued she never provided sex for money. Plus, it's rumoured 22 ...


0

Are you looking for shotgun approach? Wiktionary defines it as: (idiomatic) An approach in which the subject is indiscriminate and haphazard, using breadth, spread, or quantity in lieu of accuracy, planning, etc While "indiscriminate" and "haphazard" can have negative connotations, this still seems like a perfect fit for your context. "I did it X way ...


11

Call a spade a spade. It has the advantage of being a direct command. 'Spade' is a more specific word for the digging implement most people own, which often called by the less specific word 'shovel' by those unaccustomed to digging (and thus of higher class). It is also very occasionally used to mean 'Black'. It disparages political correctness, ...


2

"Pink Elephant" was used as an example of a delirium tremens hallucination since at least as early as 1896. The phrase "seeing snakes" or "seeing snakes in ones boots" had been the standard euphamism for such hallucinations since at least the 1820s. In about 1890, writers started exaggerating the "snakes" idiom to include colored snakes, colored rats, and ...


-1

There is an old children's joke involving an electric eel who is asked by a friend how his date with another eel went. He responded that they weren't dating anymore because she was A/C and he was D/C. When there is a strong romantic chemistry, we sometimes encounter another idiom that "sparks fly" upon the first kiss. This is also a reference to ...


4

I see a couple of people mentioned Shakespeare, but if you want to quote Shakespeare you should say "What's in a name? A rose by any other word would smell as sweet." If you say "by any other name" you're quoting one of his folio editor's mistakes. There are a number of animals that have been used for these sort of metaphors that are in in some cases ...


8

My dear sainted grandmother was very fond of the expression "You can't polish a turd" which is a somewhat vulgar variant of @Okoning's "lipstick on a pig". Idiomatically, someone who claims that 'they aren't racist but...' could well be accused of "turd polishing..."


32

"You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lipstick_on_a_pig Seems perfect for your requirements but perhaps a little too colloquial.


6

While you are looking for an idiom, the examples you give seem to be a mild form of apophasis, a form of irony a rhetorical device wherein the speaker or writer brings up a subject by either denying it, or denying that it should be brought up [Wikipedia] One of the most famous quotes is that of Shakespeare's Marc Antony I come to bury Caesar, not ...


8

My favorite: "A distinction without a difference." "To-may-to, to-mah-to." (In English the word "tomato" can be pronounced either way, it's the same vegetable fruit berry.) I'd suggest "terminological inexactitude", but now that I look it up, I find that my idea of its origin was not quite right. Winston Churchill coined it, but I thought he was referring ...


13

Abraham Lincoln (apocryphally) was fond of asking "How many legs does a horse have, if you call its tail a leg?" His answer: "Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it one."


18

Do you like Shakespeare? If so, how about "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet", or, shorter these days, "A rose is a rose is a rose." If you're not a big fan of the Bard, consider "If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck ...".


36

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. [Shakespeare] (What matters is what something is, not what it is called. [Phrase Finder] ) Possibly inappropriate for an attempted cover-up. If the focus is on the attempt to disguise what's about to follow, sugaring the pill fits: sugar/sweeten the pill (British, American & Australian) also ...


1

This appears to be a typo or variant of boded ill (bode well/ill) Be an omen of a particular outcome: their argument did not bode well for the future [WITH OBJECT]: the 12 percent interest rate bodes dark days ahead for retailers [Oxford Dictionary Online] In context, it seems to indicate make a bad impression (and likely suffer future ...


1

Perhaps painstaking? As an adjective or noun, or can be used as an adverb. John painstakingly put the model together.


1

AC/DC refers to the two main types of electric power. However, it's used humorously to mean "straight" versus "homosexual" sexual orientation. It's that simple. (Note that one of the world's most famous rock bands, is called "AC/DC" ... as well as referring to "electricity," as in electric instruments, it's a sexually-charged term.)


25

In my youth (the 1960s and 1970s) AC/DC was a euphemism for bisexual. As far as I recall AC meant heterosexual and DC meant homosexual (derived from Alternating current and Direct current) and I suspect that Heinlein is using it in this way as the book dates from that period.


6

How about fastidious? http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fastidious adjective 1. excessively particular, critical, or demanding; hard to please: a fastidious eater. 2. requiring or characterized by excessive care or delicacy; painstaking.


4

How about assiduously? Showing great care and perseverance Oxford Dictionaries According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word 'acquired a taint of "servility"' in the 18th century. I think it still retains a bit of this today, but perhaps it's been generalized a bit. In any case, maybe this has the color you're looking for.


7

Why not scrupulous (Of a person or process) diligent, thorough, and extremely attentive to details: the research has been carried out with scrupulous attention to detail [Oxford Dictionary Online]


2

I would suggest exhaustive. Including or considering all elements or aspects; fully comprehensive: the guide outlines every bus route in exhaustive detail [oxforddictionaries] including all possibilities : very thorough [merriam-webster] Another word that comes to mind is scrutinize which is a verb. to examine ...


-3

Old-school is a term that took time for me to accept, but occasionally I use old-school to mean done properly.


1

Also consider anal. From en.wiktionary, it has a sense “(psychology) of a person, obsessed with neatness, accuracy, compulsiveness and stubbornness, supposedly from not having progressed beyond the anal stage. [eg] Please don't touch his furniture, as he can get very anal about things like that”.


1

Pedantic might fit. pedantic adj. excessively concerned with minor details or rules; overscrupulous. Sue was pedantic when it came to following the recipes. She made sure her measures were weighed to the gram, and that her cup measures were exactly level.


13

Do you want an adjective (phrase), a noun (phrase), a verb (phrase), or an adverb (phrase)? nitpick, nitpicky, nitpicker perfectionist meticulous, meticulously punctilious, punctiliously fastidious, fastidiously exacting, exactingly


1

The possible duplicate referred to by FumbleFingers points to some terms that may fit, but if you are looking for something in the same register as "the straw that broke the camel's back" and having the same folksy sound, consider the icing on the cake. It's defined at wiktionary with a good example: Something that intensifies the appreciation of ...


3

The answer is generally, deciding factor. All things considered, there were pros and cons for each choice. However, I chose 'bar'. The deciding factor for my choice was widget synergy with additional paradigm leveraging.


0

In practice any ability to determine whether two people don't get along because they are too much alike, or too different from one another, or for some other reason, is, to a lay individual, at best only superficial. Ultimately it is something that highly skilled psychiatrists might not even be able to reach agreement about. I think the term 'personality ...


2

I don't think anyone has addressed the part of the poster's question that asks, "What are its origins?" so I'll focus on answering that. J. A. Simpson, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (1982) offers this lineage for the proverb: All's fair in love and war [1578 LYLY Euphues I. 236 Anye impietie may lawfully be committed in loue, which is ...


3

I don't believe it is figurative. See entry 3b from Merriam-Webster " to repulse, remove, or cause to go by force, authority, or influence "


3

Actually, as the following Ngram Chart for the years 1980 through 2008 indicates, "walk the talk" (the navy blue line) is considerably more common than "talks the talk and walks" (the lighter blue line), "talk the talk and walk" (the red line), "walks the walk and talks" (the green line), "walk the walk and talk" (the yellow line), and "talk the walk" (the ...


0

Also consider old bromides and old platitudes as terms for often-repeated phrases or stories. From wiktionary, bromide means “A platitude [eg] We hoped the speech would include reassurances, but instead it was merely one bromide after another”. Also from wiktionary, platitude means “An often-quoted saying that is supposed to be meaningful but has become ...


0

Cliche: a trite, stereotyped expression; a sentence or phrase, usually expressing a popular or common thought or idea, that has lost originality, ingenuity, and impact by long overuse, as sadder but wiser, or strong as an ox. "What a cliche!" -Dictionary.com


0

Here the question is of more common colloquial usage rather than grammatical correctness. Consider using the Google Ngram Viewer.


0

Another possibility beyond the excellent ones already mentioned is to say, "I've heard it ad nauseaum", which idiomatically and literally (well, once you translate the Latin) means "I've heard it enough to cause nausea."


0

I believe the road/hoe, and the road/hold sayings are the results of mishearing, or purposely changing the original row/hoe saying. Similarly, on occasions, I have changed the expression "don't look a gift horse in the mouth" to "don't lick a sick horse in the mouth" just to get a laugh. However, we all know the original meaning.


0

"Oy vey again!", comes to mind too.


0

If it's essentially the same, with only trivial variations. then you can go with: Same shit different day


1

In some contexts, "been there, done that, wore the shirt" is a common way to express that a suggestion has been tried so often that it's almost a trope by now. been there, done that, bought the T-shirt (idiomatic, humorous) Expresses the speaker's complete familiarity with a situation, with overtones of cynicism or exhaustion. (Used in slightly ...


3

An "old saw" is an oft-repeated to the point of being somewhat tiresome idea or maxim. It's well known enough that UPenn doesn't mind using it as the title of a translation of a Kant essay... http://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/book/997.html


0

As others have pointed out, this situation does not fit the definition of pyrrhic victory. However, it may fit into the category of cosmic irony, or "irony of fate." In cosmic irony, the reality of things seems so fittingly unfair as to suggest a certain force, either from fate or from the gods, working directly against you. Note the word fittingly; ...


3

Reading your question brings to my mind the expression: If I had a dime for every time I heard that one I'd be rich by now. or some more clever, funny outcome. See http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=If%20I%20had%20a%20dime%20for%20every%20time for more examples.



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