Linked Questions

0
votes
2answers
197 views

Is there an idiom for “looking for something in the wrong place”? [duplicate]

I want to express how someone might have an unfulfilled social need and seek to satisfy it in the wrong place. For example: someone has a romantic social need yet seeks for it to be satisfied from a ...
90
votes
29answers
23k views

Is there an American English equivalent of the British idiom “carrying coals to Newcastle”?

I'm an American living in the Netherlands who is learning Dutch. There's an idiom in Dutch that describes performing a needless/futile activity, "water naar de zee dragen," which literally translates ...
28
votes
9answers
3k views

“Saving on the parrot's chocolate is futile”

In Catalan there is an expression "ser la xocolata del lloro" that can be translated as "saving by not giving chocolate to the parrot is futile", conveying the meaning that when a household wants to ...
21
votes
15answers
43k views

Phrase for focusing on unimportant details

I'm looking for an idiom or saying that I could use when people are focusing too much on small details and not seeing the big picture. A couple that come to mind are "being penny-wise and pound ...
11
votes
7answers
5k views

What's a good phrase for “refining a process which is hopelessly broken”?

I'm looking for a turn of phrase to describe a situation where the powers that be wish to continue making small improvements to a process which, due to deep-rooted flaws, will never be close to ...
8
votes
7answers
24k views

Phrase which describes falsely improving something

Is there an aphorism or proverb in English which describes attempting to improve something fundamentally flawed by dressing it with a lot of ornament?
3
votes
7answers
8k views

What's the word to describe work that is a waste of effort?

I am looking for a word to describe projects, work that is insignificant? I can't remember that. It has to be just a word that describes "work that is a waste of effort".
0
votes
1answer
2k views

What could be an idiom describing the action of looking for something in the wrong place?

If I had to tell someone that they are searching for something (could be objects or answers to a question) in the wrong place, what idiom could be useful?
-1
votes
3answers
762 views

A situation when you do too many thing but achieve nothing [closed]

I am looking for few nouns describing "a situation when one does too many things but achieve nothing important or useful".
2
votes
0answers
40 views

Term for Perfectionist with poor priorities [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Idiom: People caring about minor stuff while something terrible is happening Someone who is obsessing over details of a project, trying to get them perfect, while fundamental ...