Questions tagged [expression-requests]

for questions looking for a specific expression.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
47
votes
17answers
8k views

Is there an expression to indicate the strategy of wearing someone down with numerous small irritations?

I would use rope-a-dope, but it's got connotations of pretending to lose that I don't need. I'm trying to describe the behavior of someone who sends twenty detailed emails a day about various projects,...
16
votes
11answers
3k views

More formal word for “know-it-all”

We are in an impartial hearing to get special education for our son. The school social worker testified a tremendous load of lies, distortions and nonsense. She (having set herself up as an armchair ...
8
votes
12answers
39k views

Idiom for the phrase “someone who gets what he deserved”

Is there an idiom for someone who gets what he deserved? Like someone receiving punishment for his evil deeds or someone getting awarded for his good deeds?
23
votes
13answers
7k views

request: bragging & boasting but all made up of lies

This is a single word, idiom, phrase, expression request - so basically I'll take anything that fits the bill. Basically I'm trying to translate the Chinese word 吹牛 - which dictionaries will tell you ...
18
votes
6answers
9k views

Are there pangrams shorter than ‘the quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog’? [closed]

Do you know pangrams shorter than the traditional ‘the quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog’ ?
61
votes
9answers
9k views

What do you call a minor flaw in a work that makes you realize how perfect/flawless it is otherwise?

For example, I was listening to an audio book the other day and the author mispronounced a word which got the audience laughing. Until that point, I didn't even know that there was an audience and ...
48
votes
18answers
12k views

English equivalent for the Persian proverb “The mountain just gave birth to a mouse”

I'm looking for an idiom or expression to describe a well-known person/ organization/ politician/ government whose achievements in a given situation are smaller than what they had claimed or promised ...
16
votes
24answers
6k views

What is a term or idiom for “blah blah blah” talk?

I am looking for a term or and idiomatic expression to convey the concept of "empty, irrelevant" talk. I am thinking about those situations in which people want to express their ideas on facts about ...
38
votes
15answers
6k views

What is the equivalent of Persian idiom “When the reed blooms”?

In Persian, we say "When the reed blooms" when we want to express that an event: Never happens. (This is only the opinion of the speaker so it's not a fact) It's very unlikely to happen. It's going ...
128
votes
8answers
22k views

What is it called when experts think they only know a small part of a topic and amateurs think they know almost all of a topic?

What is it called when experts think they only know a small part of a topic and amateurs think they know almost all of a topic?
54
votes
13answers
7k views

English equivalent for the Persian idiom “send someone out in pursuit of black chickpeas”

"To send somebody out in pursuit of some black chickpeas" is a Persian idiom that implies 'to make or ask someone to run an errand so that you be able to have/ buy some time in order to deal with your ...
27
votes
9answers
21k views

How do you describe these animals' action/ state before attacking their prey?

Some animals like tigers, lions, cats, etc do this action before attacking their prey suddenly and unexpectedly. In fact they seem waiting insidiously (?) until the appropriate moment for attacking ...
18
votes
23answers
17k views

Suitable saying for “different people like/dislike different things”?

Suppose I have some problem when someone takes an action 'X' on me which I find highly offensive and which makes me feel bad but it may/may not effect other individuals if used on them. A friend of ...
8
votes
2answers
8k views

What do you call this sitting pose or position that sad or depressed people adopt?

What do you call this pose/ position that we adopt when we are very sad or depressed? (For example; when we feel heartbroken or have lost someone or something important.) P.S. I know that some people ...
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 ...
3
votes
5answers
218 views

More formal word for the chronic state of being in a snit [duplicate]

This question relates to my previous question: More formal word for "know-it-all" I would like to describe the general attitude of a particular witness, in my closing argument. This will ...
3
votes
8answers
42k views

A man who keeps his word

I'm looking for an appropriate word to describe someone who is a man of his word. Trustworthy springs to mind but doesn't seem appropriate, as it doesn't imply an honorable connotation associated ...
31
votes
12answers
6k views

Any equivalent to this Persian proverb “The yellow dog is the jackal's brother”?

Suppose you have a new boss and your former boss was a vicious and dictator one. Now you are visiting the new boss for the first time. He seems to be a nice person to you, but one of your colleagues ...
29
votes
27answers
25k views

Idiom or expression that would imply “someone is a habitual liar”

I'm looking for an idiom or expression for describing people who tell lies out of habit (so you cannot trust them at all). I know that these people are called "compulsive liars", but I'm not looking ...
28
votes
21answers
66k views

Is there any idiom or expression that would mean “all my efforts wasted”?

I'm looking for an idiom or expression that would mean "all one's efforts wasted". I have found "to have one's cake dough". Can I use it for "all my efforts wasted" too? ( A non-native friend told me ...
47
votes
11answers
9k views

Equivalent English phrase for “don't roll around where you've fallen”

In my language, we have a phrase which roughly translates to "don't roll around where you've fallen". It indicates that a person has said or done something stupid. Then when someone points this out, ...
29
votes
7answers
4k views

English equivalent to “a small fruit in an elephant's mouth”

In the Indian language of Malayalam, there's a saying "Aana vayil ambazhanga", which literally translates to: A small fruit in an elephant's mouth. It means: Having too small an amount for a ...
30
votes
12answers
4k views

English equivalent of the Portuguese phrase: “this person's mood changes according to the moon”

In Portuguese there is an expression that says: "Essa pessoa é de lua." Literally "this person's mood changes according to the moon", which means that nobody can predict that person's mood. Is ...
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 ...
6
votes
9answers
18k views

What's an eloquent way to say “The secret is out?”

What is a good way to say 'the secret is out'?
14
votes
18answers
5k views

Is there an informal term for the “best company in an industry”?

I am looking for an informal term or an expression to define the best company (the more competitive and successful) within a specific industry. A similar example is the expression "killer ...
6
votes
4answers
28k 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 ...
6
votes
10answers
6k views

Idiom or expression for criticizing people who ignore you right after getting what they wanted/ were after

There is an idiom in Persian that literally says: "(to be ignored right after) somebody's donkey has crossed or passed (over) the bridge" We use it in situations where someone (now feels relieved and)...
3
votes
6answers
1k views

More formal word for nonsense [closed]

Related to More formal word for the chronic state of being in a snit Suppose someone is doing extensive speaking -- perhaps presenting to a group, or testifying in a hearing. Suppose her hostile ...
11
votes
4answers
24k views

What do you call someone with the same occupation as you, but works for a different company?

What do you call someone who works in the same field or occupation as you do, but in a different company or organization?
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 ...
14
votes
7answers
73k views

Word for “someone who does the same job as me”

Is there a word that means something like "someone who does the same job as me"? I've thought of colleague and co-worker. These both indicate that someone works at the same place, or some other kind ...
8
votes
9answers
1k views

How to express an unwanted purchase?

I need a verb or an expression to convey the idea of being sold something unwanted or unneeded. Like when you go to a shop to buy , let's say, a shirt, and they somehow are able to sell you also a ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

English expression for “cold-natured” without emotional connotation? [duplicate]

I speak Persian, and in our language we have a word for a person who more often feels cold than warm (or reverse). The person tends to be cold even when others around them feel warm or when they ...
5
votes
7answers
1k views

Is there an idiom/proverb in English to denote unfair discrimination?

In Tamil, we have a proverb that roughly translates into English as If the mother-in-law breaks the pot, it is just clay . But if the daughter-in-law breaks the pot, it is made of gold! ...
3
votes
5answers
280 views

What's the opposite of “last-minute (Christmas) shopping”?

The question is in the title. I'd like to know if there is an idiom or phrase used for someone who does not buy at the “last minute”, the hyperbolic expression is often used when purchasing gifts, ...
2
votes
4answers
6k views

What's a modern equivalent of “fie on thee”?

Is there a modern equivalent to the archaic expression "fie on thee"? I'm aware of expressions such as "damn you" and the like, but I'm looking for something less strong.
1
vote
4answers
1k views

Expression for (wrong) 'common knowledge'. A set of common misconceptions

When some knowledge is available to most of us, quite evident and widely accepted, we say it's 'common knowledge'. Let's think about the same situation, except that this so-called knowledge is ...
0
votes
2answers
358 views

Word for “a change not noticable, transparent to users”

I'm making a change in the software which should be unnoticeable to users. What would be a single word that describes it best? I'm looking for an adjective that fits into sentence such as 'This change ...
-1
votes
1answer
727 views

How to ask an exclusive or question? [duplicate]

Not long ago I finished a project for a school assignment. After the assignment was done I left the office of this particular teacher. Just before I wanted to exit through the door I turned around and ...