Questions tagged [expression-requests]

for questions looking for a specific expression.

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5
votes
1answer
115 views

Phrase for snipping of scissors between actual cuts that a barber makes

A barber generally keeps on snipping the scissors in between the actual cuts. There is a particular phrase for this behavior. I have come across this phrase before, but can't recollect it now. The ...
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.
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
72 views

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

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 ...
6
votes
5answers
779 views

English equivalent for “easily blaming the person you dislike”

In Malayalam/Indian, there's a saying "Istam illatha achi thottath ellam kuttam". It literally translates to: You find fault with anything done by a woman you don't like. It means that if there is ...
2
votes
2answers
353 views

Describing people who jump hoops to get a good deal

What is a precise and concise way of describing a person who goes out of their way to find deals or discounts for their purchases? Suggestions which I'm not 100% happy with: Smart buyer Bargain ...
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
30 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 ...
-1
votes
0answers
36 views

word for creating a problem then claiming to solve it

Looking for the word for someone that does this, or the act of doing it. Generally, both the problem and the claim of solving it are fictitious or at best half true.
2
votes
2answers
186 views

Idiom for a person who gets owned/caught red handed for his mistake but shows as if nothing is wrong

What is the idiom/expression for a person who gets owned/caught red-handed for his logical fallacy/mistake/theft and knows he is wrong but has the tenacity to show as if nothing is wrong? In fact, ...
5
votes
3answers
810 views

**The** word for the military action of shooting several targets at once

In the Maersk Alabama hijacking, the seals took three shots at once, killing all three pirates simultaneously. I was watching the reproduction and I remember the analyst naming a specific term. What ...
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.
2
votes
5answers
325 views

Is there a proverb/idiom for “To be a lion among sheep rather than a sheep among lions”

My friend said the other day: It makes perfect sense to use the strategy of being a lion among sheep rather than a sheep among lions I have researched this phrase and have found nothing, so I ...
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?
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 ...
1
vote
3answers
242 views

Metaphor for conflict of interest

I'd like a metaphor/allegory which depicts a situation where one is compelled to not act. As an example (of such a situation), a company CEO, surrounded by and probably partial towards protecting ...
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 ...
1
vote
3answers
126 views

Any phrase or idiom for a person who tries to copy a professional's act without any of the skills needed

A person who tries to copy a professional and skillful person's act, without possessing any skills or experience needed
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
1answer
69 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.
1
vote
2answers
55 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 ...
6
votes
8answers
2k views

Is there any Idiom or provide verb that would imply “ You cannot conceal such facts or issues”?

I'm looking for an idiom or expression that could be used for criticizing someone who tries to hide a big fact in their life/ an important issue while the nature of that fact/ issue is so that it will ...
0
votes
3answers
97 views

Word for disappointed and dejected (slightly irritated too?) at the same time

So imagine you ask a person a serious question, and they make light of it. You feel a certain emotion which I'm trying to find the name for. Your shoulders may slump. Face and body seem to relax. ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Term for people in the same life situation

What is a term for people in the same life situation? Like, people who have the same health issue, or pregnant women.
-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 ...
3
votes
2answers
253 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 ...
4
votes
7answers
322 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
1answer
919 views

Alternative sentence of “May I come in, please?”

What do you usually say in the UK when you come into the class while the teacher is teaching. Is it ok to say "excuse me, sir or miss" or "May I come in, please"? are there any other ways to say this?
1
vote
3answers
72 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 ...
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?
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
107 views

A phrase or expression for: Work on task 2 is dependant on task 1 finishing

Task 1 should be finished in order to start working on task 2. Task 2 is not done yet. I want to convey we haven't even finished task 1 so task 2 is indefinitely delayed. I do not exactly know ...
9
votes
8answers
2k views

To donate something you want to throw away

Suppose that a person buys a packet of sugar. On the way home, the packet falls off his hands and the sugar scatters on the ground. Nobody is expected to gather the sugar again, but that person does ...
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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Idioms to say If there is something needed to be done, then do it today?

My friend try to use idioms/parse to express that "If there is something has to be done, then let's do it right now, not postpone to other day." She was trying to use "One of these days is none of ...
1
vote
2answers
40 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 ...
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
45 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
101 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
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
235 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
178 views

Is there any idiom/word for some one who kisses horizontally i.e. inter departmentally equals. but kicks any and all below him

Kiss up, kick down is a popular ism for people who boot lick upward and kick their subordinates but What would you call some one who typically kisses horizontally i.e. inter departmental equals. but ...
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 ...