Questions tagged [expression-requests]

for questions looking for a specific expression.

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12
votes
5answers
707 views

You have no, but can try for yes

In Dutch there is the expression "Nee heb je, ja kan je krijgen." This roughly means that being told "no" after asking for something is only as bad as never asking in the first place. Is there a more ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

What is the quantifying determiner for large fruit with many seeds? e.g. durian and jackfruit

For instance: I ate one durian This is unclear if the person is eating the entire durian by themselves or just one seed of it. I ate two seeds of durian When someone said that, generally, ...
2
votes
1answer
149 views

What was the profession 芸者 (female entertainer) called in Britain? [closed]

I am looking for an indigenous English word for women who entertained guests at social gatherings in Britain. To put it simply, I am looking for an English analogue of geisha.
2
votes
2answers
75 views

What would you call a person who clarifies matters? [closed]

A person who can put things, problems in a new light. Makes you see things differently. Helps you figure out things, solve problems. Map complex issues etc.
21
votes
10answers
6k views

How to idiomatically express the idea “if you can cheat without being caught, do it”

What is an idiomatic way of saying that there is no reason to be honest just for the sake of being honest. That is, if you can benefit from a dishonest action and know that you definitely won't suffer ...
4
votes
3answers
136 views

Term or phrase for simply moving a problem from one area to another

I'm trying to come up with (and coming up short) a term or expression that is used when one is simply moving a problem from one area to another (instead of solving it). Something similar to; ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

looking for a word or phrase meaning the strive, or striving for, excellence in the potential of human ability

With all the talk of, and advances made in, the striving for excellence in our bodies and minds (nutrition, exercise, mental, psychological, etc--eg. bio-hacking), isn't there an expression of some ...
19
votes
15answers
4k views

Someone whose aspirations exceed abilities or means

What would be a clear and concise way to describe someone whose ambitions or aspirations far exceed his means or abilities?
0
votes
3answers
53 views

Term for Laziness that Backfires [duplicate]

What is the term for when someone is lazy and it backfires and they end up doing more work than they would have if they just hadn't been lazy in the first place?
1
vote
3answers
99 views

Is there a name in English language for the feeling of being happy something bad happened to someone else rather than you? [duplicate]

Is there a word in English language to express the feeling of being happy that something bad happened to someone else rather than you? I can maybe describe it best as the opposite of survivor's ...
20
votes
16answers
6k views

Opposite of “Squeaky wheel gets the grease”

I want a fun and playful retort to use against someone who says "The squeaky wheel gets the grease", which, according to the so-named Wikipedia1 article means: The squeaky wheel gets the grease is ...
1
vote
3answers
33 views

Is there any expression or a single verb for “making someone expect something”?

Is there any expression or a single verb for "making someone expect something"? For example, the title "A Walk Among the Tombstones" made me expect a horror movie.
1
vote
2answers
48 views

What's the word for software that benefits third parties at the expense of the user? [closed]

A few examples of what I'm talking about: Android has a permissions system that allows two values for each access request from installed software: yes or no. However if Android tried to benefit the ...
2
votes
2answers
50 views

Is there any expression for explaining that someone justifies his wrongdoings by mentioning the others'?

Is there any expression for explaining that someone justifies his wrongdoings by mentioning the others'? For example, when someones says that because everyone cheats, I also can cheat.
1
vote
2answers
56 views

a word (or a phrase) available when you just remembered something [closed]

Imagine a situation as mentioned below. You are talking with your friend, get satisfied, finish the talk, and open the door to go out, but suddenly you remember something to tell and say to him, "Oh,...
3
votes
2answers
69 views

How to describe a level that is a bit harder than “a piece of cake”

I am struggling to describe a process that is a bit harder than a piece of cake - meaning it will take a little bit of effort to figure it out but not that hard. Is there any phrase or slang that I ...
-1
votes
2answers
34 views

The expression to describe free serving of food/drink

Imagine this situation. A man finally achieves what he has been trying to achieve for long. When he gets the news, he is sitting in a restaurant. Elated, he asks the restaurant manager to serve all ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

Term for wiping hands together to get dirt off?

What is a term for wiping hands together to get dirt off? For example, when someone falls down and they push themselves up and clean their hands by sort of clapping but then rubbing sideways.
4
votes
7answers
326 views

Word for pleasing someone sexually because you care about them even though you don't like it?

Closest words that come to mind are: pleasing or pleasuring, but somehow these don't catch the meaning. Do you guys know any other words? Context: "I often thought about what I felt. If I were to ...
0
votes
4answers
59 views

Is there a word or phrase defining a bad faith argument that something is not worth doing?

I feel like there is a logical fallacy or bad faith argument for a claim that something is pointless, worthless, or has no effect: "Contact your congresspeople!" "There's no point. It doesn't do ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

at the surface question

"When the round steel bar is magnetised by passing alternating current through its length flux density is greatest at the surface" I found it in the book written by English people I don't know why ...
-1
votes
1answer
46 views

What's a word for peaking early in a given endeavor?

Looking for a word/phrase that expresses you hit the pinnacle of your success early and it's all downhill from there. "Early bloomer" is the closest I can think of but that implies you learned fast ...
3
votes
2answers
260 views

Gender-neutral “Jane Doe” / “John Doe”

Is there a gender-neutral alternative to "Jane Doe" / "John Doe"? I would like to provide an example of signed form, but how to avoid using gender when it comes to names? Is there some widely-used ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

Word for two very particular phrases

So I remember seeing a really specific Wikipedia (I think) page describing an odd occurrence in English. It was used to describe two idioms that mean the same thing, but are phrased differently due to ...
3
votes
2answers
62 views

Other ways to say “living in the gray” [closed]

Life is not black and white. There seldom is a definitive right or wrong. We need to learn to live in the gray. We need to consider and take aspects from each side in order to make practical life ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

"lends credence to…' [closed]

The expression "lends credence to the conjecture" is standard. I was wondering if it sounds hyperformal or affected and can be replaced by "provides evidence as to the validity of the conjecture", "...
0
votes
3answers
46 views

An expression for the trigger of something that was inevitable [duplicate]

I'm looking for a way to describe the thing that finally triggers something after rising tensions. For example, some isolated incident triggers massive protests, but the protests are really due to ...
1
vote
2answers
50 views

Looking for an idiom or expression synonymous with “where force fails, skill and patience will prevail”

I am looking for an idiom or expression, conveying the same meaning as this one - Where force fails, skill and patience will prevail. I do not know whether this one is used in English, so I am looking ...
5
votes
2answers
105 views

To swear in the church [closed]

In Norwegian we use an expression which in direct translation means: to swear in church The expression is used in a situation where you give your opinion that is totally outrageous in the eyes of ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

Looking for a two-word phrase which describes one item or thing which is the most common or important of the group

Consider a group of five avatars in a game. An event occurs, and only one of the five is the most closely related to that event. What two-word phrase describes this?
3
votes
2answers
76 views

English phrase for complimenting an experienced person

There is an expression in Chinese: 姜是老的辣 It literally means old ginger is spicy, which means experienced senior person should be respected due to their knowledge and experiences. Is there an ...
3
votes
2answers
78 views

What do you call the early days of flu recovery

Is there a word for the first day or two that you start to feel better after having the flu, or something like that, fairly sick and feverish for 3-5 days. That period when you are well enough to ...
0
votes
6answers
106 views

What is it called when the majority moves and leaves behind a small group of people effectively exiling those people but without forcing them to move

For example, me and 7 of my friends are sitting at a lunch table. 3 other people sit down at the same table. We (the 8 of us) leave that table and and sit down at another. This effectively exiles us ...
4
votes
3answers
236 views

A donkey does not know what kind of fruit persimmon is

The above-mentioned idiom comes from my native language. We use it when we are referring to a person ( often tasteless and unsophisticated one ) who finds it hard to appreciate a good thing or does ...
0
votes
2answers
50 views

What would be a good expression for “currently widely used and accessible”?

I am trying to formulate the following sentence: "-Support for currently widely used and accessible interfaces and devices." However, I do not want to use "currently widely used and accessible", ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

Word to refer to a mother/father who has daughters vs. having sons

I was wondering if there is an English word or short phrase referring to a mother/father of sons as opposed to a mother/father of daughters (and vice versa). The situation could be that someone who ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Expression for “unconsciously using words (or accents) used by a person you often talk with or listen to”?

Is there an expression for the blanks in the following situation? You have a friend who isn't from where you're from and speaks in an accent different from yours. At first you feel strange with it, ...
1
vote
2answers
41 views

Trouble thinking of a term or colloquialism for “much much more”

There is a saying that is on the tip of my tongue that basically means "immeasurably more than". I think it's related to "factor" but I just cannot place it. I also feel like it's commonly used in a ...
1
vote
3answers
73 views

What is the term for a city that is supposed to be a utopia, but is actually evil? [closed]

Once of the best examples of what I'm trying to get the term for is Wonder City, in the Batman games. It was built to be a futuristic haven with clean energy, robot sentries, and laws to "stop the ...
0
votes
1answer
93 views

Which expression means “total number of lecture hours in a course”?

I want a word or short expression that signifies the total number of lecture hours in a course. This is something I want to write in a syllabus along with other relevant data about the course. The ...
0
votes
1answer
104 views

What's the opposite of the hammer and nail saying?

Everyone knows about the hammer and nail saying, "If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail," but that's just one end of the spectrum. On the other end, there's the problem of ...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

A formal way to say “she used hand gestures to ask why”

I am writing a copy on an ADHD child's clinical assessment. In one part of the assessment, the clinician pretends not to be able to blow a balloon. Instead of using verbal language to ask what ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Word (or expression) meaning to reply without answering

Every now and again I ask a question to someone and while they provide a response, they fail to actually answer my question. A few examples are as follows: Q: What does HR do? A: HR stuff. ...
1
vote
2answers
357 views

What is the difference between “in which” and plain “which”? [closed]

What is the difference between "in which" and plain "which"? Can they be used interchangeably? For instance what is the difference between these two sentences: The party in which I attended was fun. ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

Expression or word that means “a tactic is stolen by the enemy and used against oneself” [duplicate]

I'm looking for something different from Word for “to use someone's own tactics against them”. I'm considering a scenario in which one intends to use a certain tactic to defend oneself against some ...
6
votes
10answers
2k views

Phrases for two methods that are different but both can solve the same task?

I want to describe a type of pairs , that method1 and method2 have different implementations/settings, but both can be used to solve the same task. My questions are: Is there any terms/phrases or ...
-4
votes
3answers
193 views

An expression, idiom, or phrase meaning “I lied” or “they are lying” or “to tell a lie”, etc? [closed]

Looking for an expression, idiom, or phrase that would indicate a lie is being told, or was told, etc. I will not be using this phrase as part of a sentence, so I can't give an example. I just ...
3
votes
2answers
249 views

Word or phrase meaning to criticise or mock someone without mentioning their name

Is there a word or phrase meaning to criticise or mock someone without mentioning their name? On Twitter, people are able to search the site for references to their own name, so people often '...
0
votes
1answer
363 views

Please give me some suggestions [closed]

I am a new student to learn English. But I can't make sentence good enough. So suggest me please, how can I .
-3
votes
1answer
65 views

Word/expression request & expression explanation [closed]

First: What's the term for someone who lives a very simple life with just enough to survive on? Second: What's the meaning of the expression "a life of roots"?