Questions tagged [colloquialisms]

A colloquialism is a word or phrase used in everyday conversation, but generally avoided in formal speech and writing.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
0
votes
0answers
16 views

Can the suffix -wise be considered too inadequate/colloquial for a personal statement? [duplicate]

I am writing a personal statement for the very first time and I'm worried that the suffix -wise may sound too laid-back for a text of such genre. The sentence I want to write is similar to this: ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

What is the usage and etymology of phrases such as “Grumpy McGrumpface”

There is a bunch of phrases such as Grumpy McGrumpface Fatty McFatface F***y McF***face Sh***y McSh**face all with some thousand google hits, Trumpy McTrumpface, or software such as Bloaty ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

Is “standard” an archaic synonym for an athletic team or club?

This was passed along to me (native US speaker) by a non-native speaker. A school in the UK asks for the following details... Games Teams and Standards Extra-curricular Activities ...in their ...
3
votes
2answers
440 views

What’s the origin/etymology of “mm-bye”?

As said to end conversations (especially on the phone): mmm-bye. When and how did this form/usage start?
0
votes
2answers
43 views

“is there such a thing as” - is this a colloquialism?

I've been asked to edit a scholarly paper intended for publication, written by a non-native English speaker. Somehow I'm just not sure whether "such a thing as" is colloquial or not. I ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Naturalness of expressions like “Me and Adam have discovered …” in conversational English [duplicate]

I heard an American radio personality, university graduate, was saying below. "Me and Adam have discovered a lot of weird things since we came to Japan." My question here is not about ...
0
votes
2answers
57 views

Verbs and pronouns in action phrases e.g. me: *smiles* [closed]

An action is usually a verb phrase surrounded in asterisks to show that someone is doing something. When an action is written, why is it using the third person verb conjugation even though the subject ...
0
votes
2answers
51 views

Does any of the following sound metaphorically correct?

"This data has been sitting on my hard drive for years." OR "This data has been sitting in my hard drive for years."
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Color and inverted sentence?

One of my colleagues asked me the other day why can we say both the following? Red is my favorite color. My favorite color is red. Yet, we cannot say Red is his house. when his house is red. What ...
1
vote
2answers
93 views

Why is there no comma after “no” in “thanks, but no thanks”?

I understand that colloquially there's no comma before the second thanks in the phrase Thanks, but no thanks. But, strictly logically, this would mean: Thanks, but I have no thanks for you; ...
1
vote
2answers
77 views

The adverb “why” at the end of a phrase

I found the following phrase in the wild and as an ESL speaker it piqued my interest: So people who become Social Media influencers can get lucrative deals with companies why? What's up with the ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

Using “studied for” in this sentence considered wrong?

I use Grammarly from time to time since I'm not a native speaker of English. I wrote this sentence, I studied for an exam, sat down in the exam hall, realized that it wasn't the exam I studied for. ...
0
votes
2answers
77 views

This is a very odd question, but is it common to write “enugh” instead of “enough” when chatting?

I know there are thought to be no rules when it comes to chatting, but even then there is a matter of what style of writing and chatting is more common. Again, it's a weird question I know. Thanks
0
votes
0answers
36 views

What is the opposite colloquial expression of eating cheap?

I heard people using colloquial expressions like "I like to eat cheap". What is the opposite colloquial expression of eating cheap? Is it eating expensive? I tried googling "eat expensive", but found ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

How colloquial or formal is “every other day/week/month”?

I was recently involved in a friendly yet heated debate over "every other week" and "every other month" being or not formal enough for contract terms and conditions, or being colloquial terms. "The ...
2
votes
1answer
92 views

Everyday alternatives to future perfect tenses [AE]

Every grammar book has a section about Future Perfect tenses, but as this article and the comments point out, I don't really hear this type of language constructions from Americans (including in an ...
1
vote
2answers
93 views

“Unfortunate Son” meaning?

My wife recently came upon the will & testament of some long past relatives. In these documents the man leaves several slaves for the care of his "Unfortunate son". The term "Unfortunate Son" is ...
2
votes
2answers
65 views

Colloquial usage of “for to” instead of “in order to”

Earlier today I was talking to a friend and said something like I'm gonna buy carrots for to make stew. After my friend finished chastizing me for this obviously wrong grammar, I decided I was ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Why does “for that” change the meaning if combined with “up,” but not with “down”?

(1) I'm up for that = someone stating their own interest/availability for what "that" refers to Bob: "Hey, wanna go get coffee?" Zack: "Yeah man, I'm up for that." (2) I'm up = a) a person ...
0
votes
0answers
59 views

Slang etymology of “up” and “down” in phrasal verbs [duplicate]

In this, "to be" is the base verb, conjugated in the first, singular, present tense "am". The verb is then put in a contraction with first, singular, pronoun "I" to create "I'm". This contraction is ...
0
votes
0answers
135 views

When people say “think tall thoughts”

During small talk I heard someone say, Think tall thoughts. That might help. when another person was complaining about being short-heighted. I checked online information, but I still need some ...
4
votes
1answer
378 views

Looking for synonymous expressions for - to throw someone away like a used toothpick

In my native (Georgian) language we have this colloquial saying - throw someone away like an eaten apple, meaning- to get rid of someone after having taken advantage of him/her in a dishonest way. I ...
1
vote
0answers
39 views

What is the etymology of saying “when” to stop pouring or serving? [duplicate]

I was wondering: What is the origin of asking someone to say "when" (to mean "enough") while they are serving food or beverages?
1
vote
0answers
21 views

Colloquially Shortened Sentences [duplicate]

Colloquially, people tend to speak in "shorter sentences" and leave out words like pronouns and verbs such as do, be and have, especially when it's clear who or what they're talking about. They might ...
1
vote
1answer
111 views

Is there any standard syntax for the colloquialism “it’s ___ is what it is!”?

I really struggled to find any instance of this phrase online; it’s difficult to search. Does it have a comma (i.e. “it’s ___, is what it is!”)? How would you write this verbal colloquialism down? (...
3
votes
3answers
75 views

Expression implying passivity due to familiarity

What is the proper term for an expression that implies passivity due to familiarity? As in "Oh that's just old Aunt Kathy" "Ah yes, the old 'dog ate my homework' excuse". Looking for a term to ...
4
votes
1answer
55 views

I'm looking for a specific idiom/metaphor used in a business context

I work in business and I have a vendor providing a service and product for me. The vendor is self-reporting that what they are providing is correct and accurate (versus a third-party auditor ...
4
votes
1answer
710 views

What is the origin and meaning of 'lookit'?

A recent English Language & Usage question (Information about "lookit") noted that a number of dictionaries do not have entries for the word lookit. I checked Merriam-Webster's Third New ...
0
votes
2answers
183 views

Is *on par* colloquial?

I need some more synonymous constructions for equal, identical, the same in context such as Models A and B performed essentially equal on task X. Is on par a valid replacement for equal/ identical/ ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

What is it called when someone types a random string of characters in an online conversation? [duplicate]

We can often see in online group conversations messages composed of random letters like "fjqofudnelfi" as a response to something surprising or unexpected. Is there a name for this kind of "behaviour"...
0
votes
1answer
578 views

Last time/The last time

I went to a drug store and said: 1) I took this cream from you guys THE last time. Is 'the' necessary? Is there any difference between 'last time' and 'the last time' Similar problems: 2) THE last ...
0
votes
1answer
93 views

Colloquial reductions of TO in sentences

Lately I read again my old English book and find out something that I don't understand. It's about Colloquial reductions, the book says that there are two ways to pronounce "to" in the sentences: /tə/ ...
1
vote
1answer
232 views

Is saying “X it is” too informal a response for a casual workplace environment? [closed]

When choos­ing be­tween op­tions, peo­ple of­ten say X it is. For ex­am­ple: Dick: What do you want to eat? Jane: I want pizza. Dick: Pizza it is. I am cu­ri­ous whether say­ing X it is is just ...
4
votes
1answer
99 views

Debygawd Cap-en! Where does this phrase come from?

I sought out this site because I need help finding the origins of a word/phrase that my family uses. We are from Southern Maryland, USA. The exclamation in question is 'debygawd.' I do not know how to ...
0
votes
2answers
114 views

phrases for with/without sauce, with/without side dishes [closed]

I want to use entree dishes in some metaphor. Essentially I want to oppose having just the bare main element of the dish, to having it with thick sauce or dressing, or alternatively, with many side ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

I use “man” referring to male friends…what should I use when talking with a girl?

Just like I asked in the subject line, I'm pretty lost in this, as I wouldn't know how to say a sentence like the following, speaking with a fem
1
vote
2answers
2k views

What does “In the limit” mean?

A Canadian writer says In the limit, we will be able to create bionic humans. Progress towards this goal was portrayed in a remarkable video...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

An expression, almost facetious, similar to “I offer you my emotional support” i.e. in lieu on money!

I ask for money to start a business and some say, "we'll give you our ____ support" in a funny way. Drawing a blank on this old, familiar expression! Like "you have my emotional, or thoughtful or ...
3
votes
4answers
923 views

How did 'phat' come to be used in music as slang?

most prominently things like ''phat bass line'', meaning a bassline rich in texture ie has a full sound. Appears to have originated in African American use?
1
vote
1answer
75 views

Is “mad” used as an intensifier in the UK?

I mean mad as in 'mad good' 'mad props' etc which mean ''very good'' or ''much propers to you'' or intensifies the ''good'' part. I hope its more clear now?
3
votes
1answer
65 views

Origin of the phrase ''Respect,man/bro. ''?

Respect bro!! , you never hear anything like ''Fear, man'' or ''honesty, man.'' used in the same sense, its interesting.
3
votes
2answers
739 views

Origin of 'cuz' as shortening for cousin?

Detailed answer please and thank you. I see this used a lot among youth. I'm interested to know whether it originated in the Southern US or not?
2
votes
1answer
30 views

Meaning of 'rock at'

I am interested in the Drama So (alias Gen-X So) and came across the following example in a paper, which is a typical example of Drama So where 'So' modifies a VP rather than a scalable.adjective or ...
1
vote
2answers
293 views

How to colloquially express indifference other than “I could take it or leave it?”

I've recently seen "I could take it or leave it" as a way of saying "it's not that important to me." For example, Q: "I love the taste of pumpkin pie. How do you feel about it?" A: "I could take it ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Origin of the phrase “What's crackin'?”

My web search turns up accounts of it being Southern, Black American or/and Aussie slang. Would like some clarification on this.
9
votes
3answers
212 views

Grammatical/Semantic basis for the phrase “what with”

Example: We are changing all the vehicles in the fleet, what with the new regulations and all... How did that what sneak in there? What is it doing? (*) Edit: will award bounty to Talies after ...
2
votes
1answer
466 views

When did it become fashionable to drop t's in certain words?

I first noticed certain video bloggers pronouncing button as "BUH-ehn", with a distinct glottal stop between syllables, sounding like an overt attempt to avoid enunciating the "t". While button is the ...
-1
votes
2answers
529 views

'We are soon ready.'

I use it as a quick and very informal way to say 'We will soon to be ready.' But a colleague of mine says it is simply wrong. Is he right? I'm not a native speaker and came up with this phrase on my ...
0
votes
1answer
145 views

Colloquial sentence endings like “is all” and “is how”

I'm writing dialogue for a short story and I want to 'transcribe' the characters' colloquialisms in a way that best adheres to the rules of written English (I'm an ESL speaker). My protag ends some of ...
1
vote
3answers
167 views

How do you parse “hair do”

Is "do" understood as a noun or verb in "hair do"? Asking this in search of "to make do". Bonus points if it can be related to German Tolle "tuft [of hair], that ...

1
2 3 4 5
10