Questions tagged [expression-requests]

for questions looking for a specific expression.

0
votes
3answers
98 views

Is there an expression similar to “I am not worried about the sky or the ground”?

There is an expression in my mother tongue - "I don't give two s*it about the sky or the ground". This expression is used to convey, "I am going down anyway. I don't have to worry about anything in ...
-1
votes
2answers
471 views

Expression / phrase for a reply to ridiculous assumption [closed]

The expression for a reply to a ridiculous assumption, that someone makes, which makes you chuckle. Example: - ...healthy food like salads, fish and... - burgers? - no, ->expression<- (laughing)
2
votes
0answers
179 views

What are the BrE and AmE expressions for “falso d’autore”?

A Falso d’autore, literally “author’s fake”, has the following characteristics: riproduzioni di opere note non solo pittoriche, ma più in generale figurative, eseguite da artisti contemporanei ...
0
votes
7answers
448 views

Expression referring to assuming different positions based on what is convenient at the moment

In German, we use the expression: "Den Mantel anziehen, wie er passt," in English roughly, "Putting on the coat how it fits." It refers to a person assuming different positions based on what is ...
3
votes
6answers
223 views

Expression for a perverted idea of fidelity

I'm looking for an expression describing a situation when two people stay married to each other even though it would be better for them and others if they separated. The primary reason are perverted ...
1
vote
4answers
2k views

Word or Phrase that describe the action of hastily accusing someone else of a crime you did not commit to escape being accused yourself

I am looking for a word or phrase to describe hastily accusing someone else of a crime you did not commit in order to escape being accused yourself. Another EL&U question (What to call someone who ...
0
votes
3answers
101 views

How do you drop the last part of a number which is of less importance?

Suppose you want to say a number to someone and you do not want to read out the number completely because the last part of the number is not important (at least to your audience). For example, you ...
1
vote
2answers
62 views

Words/expressions for achieving the most wins

I am looking for words or expressions that I can use to describe the most successful team/individual in a tournament/competition (having won it the most times, like Brazil at the FIFA World Cup.) One ...
1
vote
2answers
423 views

What is the common term for “receiving an email but unable to give an immediate reply”?

Question: Is there a term for a reply that confirms the original email's receipt, but states the need of more time before replying again substantively? I've heard 'Holding Replies/Responses', but is ...
0
votes
0answers
160 views

Is there an auditory form of “paints a picture”?

I'm looking for an expression similar to "paints a picture" (e.g. "The sentence painted a picture of the town") that uses a metaphor focused on sound instead of on images. In other words, I want an ...
1
vote
2answers
4k views

“different but same”

I would like to know if there are any words that express the idea of something being "different, but the same". I'm open to interpretations, such as negative/duplicitous (wolf in sheep's clothing) but ...
0
votes
1answer
218 views

What is phrase or idiom for the one who bells the cat is the only one who gets killed

What is phrase or idiom for the one who bells the cat is the only one who gets killed. Usually in company workhorses are the one who are overloaded with work because along with their capacity to work ...
0
votes
3answers
3k views

'..just kidding.'

What's a subtle way of saying 'I'm just kidding' in the same way that a wink cues others to ignore what you just said because it was either a poor joke or just of no importance.
2
votes
3answers
203 views

Looking for an idiom's English equivalent

In Turkish, we have an idiom, which can be roughly as: "Get [sth.]'s eye blind." We say this about something not wanted, especially when that unwanted thing happens/will happen anyway and we have to ...
1
vote
0answers
732 views

Is there a word or phrase for “person of the same ethnicity”?

I'm looking for something that is the equivalent of "fellow countryman", but for ethnicity. Using this as a starting point, I've been thinking it might be along the lines of "congeneous", though ...
3
votes
3answers
419 views

What is the adjective for “awaiting opportunities”

I am searching for a word to describe a group of people who are ready for change but desperately need a catalyst. I understood that my country needs transformative economists just like a seed ...
21
votes
14answers
4k views

Making a small 'optimization' which instead actually leads to disaster

Say you finish building a house. You think one of the nails isn't needed, so you pull it out. The house collapses. You took a huge risk for minor, trivial gains, and it didn't pay off. What is a way ...
3
votes
1answer
140 views

Term or phrase for something that changes one's life (for the better) dramatically

I am searching for a phrase to describe a physical object that brought tremendous and positive changes to one's life. Behind this flawed creation of technology, however, was hiding an epochal ...
0
votes
4answers
460 views

A word for: “previous generations that no longer exist”

I am searching for the most concise and well-sounding way to say my foremost inspiration is the photos of previous (deceased) generations. I cannot find a suitable word or succinct expression to ...
1
vote
2answers
678 views

Idiom meaning that trying to attract a certain audience may also attract the wrong audience?

For example, a nice watch might draw the eye of people you're trying to impress, but it also stands out to thieves. I feel like there's an idiom I had heard expressing this, but I can't remember it ...
0
votes
4answers
2k views

Alternative to “can't trust him farther than I can throw him”

I'm hoping to find a more colorful version of "which members of the Board are not to be trusted farther than you can throw them." So far I've found one: "not to be trusted farther than you can spit." ...
1
vote
2answers
599 views

A way to describe my interest in getting to know people's stories [closed]

I want to be able to phrase the interest I have in meeting new people and talking to them about their life stories and experiences. It is a level deeper than just an extrovert, who would be someone ...
2
votes
1answer
949 views

What phrase, word, or idiom means the opposite of “going down the rabbit hole?”

I often catch myself going down the rabbit hole, skimming one Wikipedia article... then suddenly it's two hours later and I have ten tabs open about a crazy assortment of subjects. The Free ...
10
votes
11answers
878 views

Is there an English equivalent for this Kurdish proverb: “every ripe and delicious cantaloupe is eaten by a donkey”

The Kurdish proverb every ripe and delicious cantaloupe (muskmelon) is eaten by a donkey is one of the most interesting proverbs that I have heard in four languages, including Kurdish, Persian, ...
34
votes
20answers
14k views

Is there an English equivalent for the Persian proverb “to play with tail of lion”

The Persian proverb to play with tail of lion is used informally. We use it to say that a certain situation is very dangerous. By saying it, we alert the the listener that the act which he or she is ...
8
votes
7answers
4k views

How do you describe calling someone a “Loser” when you mean it in a “good-natured” way

How do you describe calling someone a loser in a "nice" way? What word can replace "nice"? There's a specific word I'm looking for but cannot dig it out of my brain. "I mean loser in a   ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Expression for something beautiful that comes from very average (or even ugly) circumstances

I was recently working on a math problem, which involved some horrifically messy calculations, but which resulted in a surprisingly clean, beautiful, and useful result, and I was wondering what a good ...
2
votes
1answer
208 views

How to say Blacks and Whites were treated equally in death

I am trying to express the idea of equality between blacks and whites. What I want to say is: black people were not able to live on the same block or study at the same school with white men when ...
26
votes
14answers
8k views

Is there any equivalent for this Persian idiom: “Like a cow with a white forehead”?

The Persian idiom like a cow with a white forehead is used when one wants to characterize a person who is very well known in a crowd or even in a society. Although it has a negative meaning, it does ...
-1
votes
1answer
209 views

English expression for chasing something insignificant / aiming for something small?

Is there a good expression for chasing something insignificant while missing the bigger picture? I was thinking something remotely related to "penny wise, pound foolish" but not quite. More like not ...
26
votes
12answers
7k views

What emotion is the 'Mad Scientist' showing when they say “I'll show them all!”

It's the old cliche of a mad scientist or super-villain; talking to themselves as they prepare their latest scheme they say something like, They all laughed at me...but I'LL SHOW THEM! I'LL SHOW ...
-1
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there a word or expression to describe when “ doing something reminds you of someone”?

Is there a word or expression to describe when " doing certain something reminds you of a certain someone" ?
17
votes
3answers
4k views

What do you call this oriental building in English?

What do you call this oriental building in English? Gazebo or pavilion doesn't go with this building, I think...
18
votes
8answers
2k views

Is there a word that describes this particular sneaky play on words?

I'm wondering if there's a word that describes this type of language sneakiness: I asked my boyfriend to stop talking to his ex-girlfriend, or I would break up with him. He agreed to stop talking ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

A term or phrase for speaking as clearly as possible to non-experts [duplicate]

How can I describe the difficulty of somebody who is trying to explain something to people who are not in his/her professional field, and is afraid of using professional terms that will be unclear to ...
2
votes
1answer
397 views

What is the word for “demand something without saying it”?

What is the word/expression/phrase/idiom for "demand something without saying it"? For instance, if my father expects me to "show" respect by standing up when he walks into the room, I could say - My ...
6
votes
4answers
17k views

What do you call a person who mocks, ridicules makes fun of you but can't take a joke on themselves? [closed]

What do you call a person who mocks, ridicules, makes fun of you at your expense in private or public but can't take a joke on themselves. The person would get angry at the slightest hint and probably ...
2
votes
1answer
115 views

Hypernym for Urban/Suburban

I'm looking for a word that can describe the differentiation between urban and suburban localities. Wikipedia lists them as "different types of developed settlements" so I thought about calling it ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

What would you call a person who knows nothing but will say i knew it all along (on a topic being discussed)?

What would you call a person who knows nothing on a topic being discussed but will say i knew it beforehand (probably fake a story on same lines in boasting manner) and really isn't inclined on ...
1
vote
1answer
598 views

What do you call a person who is generous but on other's account

What would you call a invited person who comes in a restricted party hosted by a fellow collegian and then invites most of the uninvited members in the college and apparently blatantly shows off his ...
0
votes
3answers
152 views

Word or expression for a constituent that perfectly exemplifies the whole

Suppose that The Godfather: Part III (1990) is considered appalling, but you can't put your finger on exactly why, mainly because there are a plethora of reasons, most of which you lack the training/...
1
vote
4answers
982 views

What's the proper way to say “overlooking something due to appearance change”?

I'm having a "brain-fart" on how to grammatically and otherwise correct (proper) way of saying "to be oblivious to" or "to overlook something familiar" because of a recent appearance change. For ex: ...
-1
votes
2answers
136 views

word or expression which indicate/signal the option that best matches your goal? the option that comes the closest? [closed]

word, expression, or to a lesser extent (likely ~80% less), a phrase request this is the goal a = 60% b = 20% c = 20% you're looking for the combination of a, b, c where the net % of each ...
10
votes
5answers
887 views

Expression for false assertions

I'm looking for an expression that would describe a statement that's too obvious, making it work against its intention. An example would be to tell someone you didn't steal something, before anyone ...
32
votes
17answers
7k views

What is the English verb/phrase/expression for cheating customers with an inaccurate scale?

In the town where I live, many street vendors actively cheat customers by using an inaccurate scale. As a result, people receive less than what they ought to. For example, if you buy five apples, ...
1
vote
2answers
170 views

Is there a phrase or word that describes misinformation expressed in an articulate way?

I'm looking for something similar to "pseudo-profound" or "eloquent poppy cock". I'm thinking of highly inaccurate academic papers and 'scientific' articles. Saying something asinine in a smart way?
6
votes
4answers
26k views

Is there a word or expression for someone who knows various things, a little bit of everything, but is not specialised in anything? [duplicate]

Like a pantomath but without being an expert in each subject. A pantomath (pantomathēs, παντομαθής, meaning "having learnt all", from the Greekroots παντ- 'all, every' and the root μαθ-, meaning ...
1
vote
4answers
148 views

How do you describe this behavior in English?

A politician might use every chance to emphasize that he/she was poor indeed to gain public sympathy and support. are they playing poor card? that doesn't sound idiomatic. Aside from politics, when ...
1
vote
2answers
759 views

“Feel the heat” - is there a less slangy expression for the same concept

I'm writing the following sentence, and I'd like an idiomatic equivalent for "feel the heat" (to encounter an uncomfortable situation.) that would be acceptable for formal written English: Warily ...
0
votes
2answers
888 views

A phrase or word that is like “on the other hand” but for opposite ideas supporting the same argument [closed]

A sentence such as "I should go cycling because my head says it is good for my longevity and on the other hand in my heart I am passionate about it" does not make much sense. On the one hand the ...