Hot answers tagged

24

Wild goose chase: (via dictionary.com) Definition: a wild or absurd search for something nonexistent or unobtainable Example: a wild-goose chase looking for a building long demolished


22

"chasing rainbows" seems like a good choice. trying to achieve something that is not possible or practical TFD e.g. He wanted to go into show business, but friends told him to quit chasing rainbows. I'm always chasing rainbows Watching clouds drifting by My schemes are just like all my dreams Ending in the sky... (lyrics by Joseph McCarthy) or ...


10

Fool’s errand an attempt to do something that has no chance of success: Billions of dollars have been spent on long-range weather forecasting, but it’s a fool’s errand.


9

How about chasing shadows? It could also mean things that once were or that one is always trailing behind. But it is always something that you will not catch. Or chasing/following/looking for a red herring. Chasing something not related, that leads you away (intentional or not). You could also consider using this in a more poetic way if you for instance ...


5

will-o-the-wisp, Cambridge English Dictionary something that is impossible to get or achieve: Full employment is the will-o'-the-wisp that politicians have been chasing for decades From Wikipedia A will-o'-the-wisp....is an atmospheric ghost light seen by travellers at night, especially over bogs, swamps or marshes. It resembles a ...


4

A pipe dream From M-W: A hope, wish, or dream that is impossible to achieve or not practical. Origin: From the fantasies brought about by the smoking of opium. While opium may not exist in your world, if a similar narcotic was established, the meaning could be maintained. ...now you're just a fool chasing a soma dream.


4

Background on 'bucking' "Bucking" in the sense of "avidly pursuing" seems to have its origins in U.S. military slang, but it has much broader application today, as Kristina Lopez notes in her answer. The earliest instance of the word used in this sense, according to J.E. Lighter, Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang (1993), is from 1881—and ...


4

Chasing phantoms would describe chasing something that doesn't exist.


3

"Just a fool chasing dreams", seems very appropriate here (but leaves some ambiguity as to the attainability of the dream).


3

My research suggests the origin of 'bucking for [something]', military slang for something akin to 'trying very hard to achieve [something]' is as a periphrasis for 'washing your underwear in lye'. This somewhat startling and perhaps overstated conclusion results from my observation that early military use is associated with 'a thorough washing preparatory ...


3

"Chasing after the wind" sort of flows with that example sentence you provided


2

Chasing a chimera is an idiomatic expression that conveys the idea: A fanciful mental illusion or fabrication. Chimera derives from: ( Greek Mythology) A fire-breathing female monster usually represented as a composite of a lion, goat, and serpent. NGRAM: chasing a chimera. It left the world chasing a chimera instead of ...


2

To be "in deep" can be understood as: inextricably involved in or committed to a situation. "He knew that he was in deep when his things began to proliferate in her apartment" Your sentence looks like a variation on it. Sometimes, a "strong" or negative word is omitted in spoken sentences, which in this situation could have been depression, as ...


2

The Holy Bible names them Simpleton and Naive. A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.


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


2

I owe you (one) is a colloquial expression: (informal) said to thank someone for helping you and as a way of saying that you will do something for them in the future: Thanks for the help, Bill - I owe you one. (Cambridge Dictionary)


2

Chambers gives a definition of nice as done with great care and exactness and I think the element of 'care' is relevant here. The person will be taking care to ensure that whatever it is is dried and ready for use. Nicely ( or the variant of nice and...) personalises what would otherwise be a bald statement of efficiency.


2

"Trying to square the circle"? That's impossible in any world/universe where pi is transcendental, or has a minimum polynomial of a degree which is not a power of two :-) Other options would be "trisecting any angle" of "doubling the cube".


1

Snipe hunt Via The Free Dictionary: n. An elaborate practical joke in which an unsuspecting person takes part in a bogus hunt for a snipe, typically being left alone in the dark with instructions not to move until the snipe appears. A futile search or endeavor. Via Wikipedia: A snipe hunt or fool’s errand is a type of practical joke ...


1

One term that will fit in nicely with the context is Mirage. Chasing a Mirage something that you hope for or want but that is not possible or real M-W something illusory, without substance or reality. Dictionary Specially this definition suits very well to the context a hope or wish that has no chance of being achieved: Cambridge


1

I would like to add to MrWonderful's answer. I assume your world would have lore of it's own. Maybe some writer in your world has written a book about a purple whale(or anything else) and it's pursuers. Have the "purple whale book" mentioned earlier in the story, make sure the reader knows about it. And then use the purple whale. Not only will this convey ...


1

The way I would read it is as the following: The fraction of Vishal's monthly income that he invested in stocks was 2/11, and the fraction he invested in mutual funds was 4/11. If the author prefers to include "that of," perhaps he'd word it like this: The fraction of Vishal's monthly income that he invested in stocks was 2/11, and that of mutual ...


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


1

Sometimes, English doesn't seem to work logically. An indefinite article is supposed to be placed before a singular noun or noun phrase. A month is a long period. *A two months is a long period. (Ungrammatical) But depending on how you perceive two months, you can treat two months as a singular unit (quantity of time) as in: Two months is a long ...


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."


1

Its slang put you brought up prision bucking for solitary, in prision bucking means the oppisite of trying to obtaian something. For example im bucking work call,or if some is gonna jack or take something from you.Im bucking the jack..if someone is called out to fight and doesnt he bucked the callout any who its no answer just insight


1

I'll offer a different theory origin. The phrase is a generalization of the phrase bucking for freight From the October 1857 article History of the Express Business: "Bucking for freight" as it was called, was carried to perfection by them, and it is almost incredible the pains any one of them, from the " boss" to the boy, would take to obtain ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible