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Questions tagged [expression-requests]

for questions looking for a specific expression.

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30 views

2 possible outcomes: 1 strongly desired

I'm looking for a powerful way to describe the fact that -after performing a certain activity- there are only two possible outcomes: 1) It's a great success (only in 20% of cases) 2) It's of no or ...
0
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1answer
24 views

Short phrase meaning “Area of study, activity, or interest where a particular technology or method is used.” [duplicate]

I feel like I know a phrase like [...] of [...] that is often used on the tip of my tongue, but can't spit it out.
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2answers
45 views

What is a word that means rough times of change?

Like for example when two regimes change there is this unrest and change that occurs. Often it isn’t meant in a positive light and simply means that things are beginning to change. It is just when ...
1
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1answer
29 views

Word/Phase Request for Betting On Low Odds

I'm looking for a term/phrase that means: a bet on low odds, someone who bets on low odds, or someone who bets against the odds and wins. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks!
2
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3answers
71 views

Looking for a phrase which would be something like 'under any criticism'

I am translating a text, and looking for a phrase which would be something like 'below any criticism.' Example: 'The thing is in such a bad condition that it is 'outside any criticism.' (Meaning - ...
-3
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8answers
666 views

What is a gender neutral equivalent for the following phrase?

Sometimes I see the phrase I'm not going to get my panties in a bunch [if such-and-so...] which is an idiom for I'm not going to get upset [if such-and-so...] There are variants involving ...
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0answers
55 views

A word or phrase for “A question you should ask before this question”

Is there a word/phrase for "a question which you should ask before asking this question"? Like a prerequisite question to ask before this question Usage context: If the answer does not spring to ...
4
votes
4answers
145 views

Is there a more broadly applicable expression for “doth protest too much”?

In Finnish, there's a pithy expression Siitä puhe mistä puute, which literally if somewhat awkwardly translates as "talk is about what is lacking". For example, if you fly into a country and find the ...
1
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2answers
96 views

Expression for “impression of a dead insect on a paper”

Is there a term to describe the impression of a insect that is formed if the same is crushed between the pages of the book. Or the impression of a mosquito that is killed in between our palms.
-1
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2answers
62 views

On danger of being tedious, [closed]

I'm not entirely sure if this expression exists: On danger of being tedious, we are still waiting for the update that you promised many times. ... where being tedious could be replaced with e.g. ...
0
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0answers
28 views

Describing behaviors observed only for certain tasks

I want to use a short term to describe behaviors that are observed only for certain tasks. Can I use "task-wise behaviors" or "task-specific behaviors"? Or is there any other better and more formal ...
1
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2answers
125 views

“Out of my league” expression avoiding romantic connotations

E.g. (while discussing the merits of some software developing issue with a co worker): I won't argue with you since you're out of my league. I used to think of "out of one's league" to refer to ...
3
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1answer
120 views

Is there a word or short phrase used to describe being impressed with someone's accomplishment while also clearly expressing a lack of understanding?

(This is my first time on this forum, so I apologize in advance if I fail to articulate my query effectively or break site etiquette out of ignorance. I'll endeavor to be as thorough as possible here ...
1
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4answers
60 views

Word for opportunism in the face of adversity

The title doesn't really describe the word I'm looking for very well. I think it is a bit hard to neatly describe it, so I'll give an example of a behavior that would be described with such a word. ...
0
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2answers
71 views

English equivalent of the French “Mettre au placard”

I am looking for an equivalent of the French “mettre au placard”. It literally translates as “to put in the closet” and describes the fact of assigning no missions to someone on the job without ...
2
votes
1answer
62 views

How do you describe the feelings of being caught in the midst of an act that you had successfully pulled it off many times?

The title doesn't describe it fully. You are planning a birthday party for someone secretly. It was a thrilling adventure because you managed to do it under their nose and dodging their suspicious ...
27
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5answers
4k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
161 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
144 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.
23
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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
145 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; ...
19
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15answers
5k 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
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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
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3answers
107 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
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16answers
7k 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
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3answers
41 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.
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2answers
51 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
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2answers
51 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
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2answers
76 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
78 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 ...
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2answers
38 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
109 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
422 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
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4answers
63 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
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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
56 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
505 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
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1answer
29 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
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2answers
72 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
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1answer
33 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
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3answers
51 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
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2answers
54 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
152 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
44 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
80 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
79 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
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6answers
127 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
254 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
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2answers
75 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
81 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 ...