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66

"Who knows?" is the simplest form. I hear it (and use it) regularly.


40

Obviously, you are wrong. First off, I don't need to point out that the majority of everything we say or write is superfluous, redundant, or pointless. Very, very little is really "worth saying". However, it is not a rule of English (or any language) that anything that can be removed must be removed. Pointlessness and redundancy are not wrong, they are ...


31

This one involves swearing, but there is an extremely common way to express that phrase: "Fuck only knows" or just "Fuck knows"


29

"Needless to say" is often used to bring attention to something which should be obvious to everyone, but (in the speaker's mind) isn't necessarily obvious. For example, you might say: We ran over budget again this quarter. Needless to say, if we can't stay under budget, we'll all lose our jobs. The speaker in this case is using "needless to say" to ...


26

The literal intended meaning of this phrase is "nobody knows". As an atheist, I don't believe there is a God. Therefore, I can still say "God only knows" because the intended meaning of "nobody knows" logically follows from these premises.


25

How about "It's anyone's guess"?


22

It really has nothing to do with keeping problems at bay or rubber in specific. There is an idiomatic phrase "where the rubber meets the road". I've found several definitions for this idiom, but this one is my favorite: Where the rubber meets the road is the most important point for something, the moment of truth. An athlete can train all day, but the ...


22

If you are from 1950s England, you could say goodness only knows.


10

The expression downhill all the way (also, all downhill from here), can indicate both a positive or a negative trend as it can metaphorically suggest both an easy descent down a hill and a downward move to a lower ( possibly negative) level. To avoid misunderstanding you need to be clear about what is meant. Downhill all the way: Easy from ...


10

A secular phrase to the idiom "God only knows" It's impossible to say. - "God only knows how he managed to find out where I lived." http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/american-english/god-only-knows Another choice woule be "Nobody knows and neither do I". - "God only knows where I've left my keys".


9

If the lady in question is well past her forties, and used to be a highly attractive and courted woman in the past, she might dress provocatively and wear heavy makeup in order to recapture her former glory. Such a woman is often derogatorily called mutton dressed (up) as lamb. in British English. an offensive way of saying that a woman is dressed in a ...


9

Adding the phrase needless to say can have at least a few purposes. First, it is one of those emphatic phrases used to give special weight to a particular observation. Your mother stopped by and cleaned the house again. Needless to say, I can't find anything now. This emphasizes the seriousness of the conclusion, even though it may be obvious from ...


8

Most people I know are atheists and we happily use "God knows" and "Oh my god", without reverence or irony. Like all language, it's just a term that has universal currency - the archaic reason for why it exists is really just interesting more than important. In the unlikely event that the world reverts back to a place where it's really important that we ...


8

Secular phrase you seek. Quote Yoda you can. Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future..


7

The use of the slogan, "where the rubber met the road", in the story you cite was particularly clever, and the phrase may or may not have originated with the advertising slogan. However, among people in the US of a certain age, the phrase is common enough to be well understood. It does not apply only to autos, or to tires, but can be used more generally to ...


7

The noun show-off refers to a person who likes to show off. The adjective ostentatious means showing off your money or possessions to make others notice.


7

No there isn't. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu is a phatic expression — i.e. an expression that is used only to perform a social function. If you consider all the social functions that yoroshiku onegaishimasu performs, and the English phatic phrases used in the same way, you'll find that there's nothing that comes even close to matching all the uses of ...


7

The person can be said to suffer from verbal diarrhea The fact or habit of talking too much: was it necessary to have the narrator exhibit verbal diarrhea throughout the entire picture? [Oxford Dictionaries Online] Similarly logorrhea excessive, uncontrollable, or incoherent talkativeness [Collins] And, by extension, they might be called a ...


7

It declares that something is obvious, because whom it's obvious to will always be limited. To an insider the phrase is useless, but to a third party that is not aware of experiences or information that make something obvious, the phrase needless to say fills them in. In @Canis Lupus's example: Your mother stopped by and cleaned the house again. ...


6

Metaphor is definitely involved, and there's only one meaning. This is a Journey metaphor theme, where Ego is moving through a 2½-Dimensional landscape. There are a number of ways to implement this, and downhill is coherent with all of them. One way -- a source of positive evaluation -- is the Work is a Journey theme. In this trope, people's effort is ...


5

NOTE: I've just seen the (recent) duplicate of this question, which seems to have been the motivation for putting a bounty on this question. My answer attempts to cover all the most plausible scenarios in which one might use the phrase, but in the context of the other question, it is the third section that's most relevant here. I think it depends a lot ...


5

Probably flashy may fit your description: ( from TFD) tastelessly showy. ostentatious and tasteless. also the expression bling-bling may fit the context: (Noun) ostentatious jewellery. Bling (or bling-bling) is a slang term popularized in hip hop culture, referring to flashy, ostentatious or elaborate jewelry and ornamented ...


5

Making up the cash is an accounting term for reconciling the receipts for money spent from a float such as petty cash with the amount remaining, when using the imprest system of accounting. That might typically be done monthly. In this case B didn't bother to do the reconciliation, and presumably the float was maintained by issuing company cheques, so that ...


5

I might call them a "chatterbox". An extremely talkative person. The definition on Urban Dictionary might not be as academic, but it certainly matches your description. Someone who never shuts the hell up. They keep blabbering about random crap that makes no sense


4

This phenomenon is called "The Halo effect". The Halo effect is an effect where the reputation or the trust of someone or something builds up so much that everything done or said by that person/thing starts appearing to be divine, and the best. The phrase of 'Halo effect' can be used in relation to a thing as well as a person. The opposite of 'The Halo ...


4

If the person usually ends up off topic, and you want to express that point, I'd consider using digressive (although it seems to be more commonly used to describe conversations/text rather than people); as Collins has it: digressing or given to digression As Hellion notes below, serial digressor, or perhaps just digressor, would work if you're looking ...


4

Hard to think of a good noun option. Blabbermouth. Motormouth. Windbag. They all sound somewhat dated. Although I do like windbag. Adjectives that might help: "prattling," "filterless," and "windy." Or you could get metaphorical. In college, who we nicknamed a kid who did that "Filibuster" -- it stuck.


4

"Keeping an eye on x" would fit the bill in my locality.


3

Both are fine options, but if we're being pedantic, they mean slightly different things. Asking somebody to explain something implies that you don't know anything about the topic and want the person to teach you. Asking somebody to clarify something implies that you understand the broad strokes but want more detail about a particular topic. Of course, ...



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