Questions tagged [expression-requests]

for questions looking for a specific expression.

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1answer
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Expression about the quantity and quality of something

Is there an expression that means the following: It is better to have less of something that is of best quality than having more of something that is of low quality.
2
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2answers
72 views

The opposite feeling of oily when it comes to scalp

I came across this question when I want to describe the feeling after using a shampoo. The scalp usually feels oily or ????? after using a shampoo When we feel oily it seems the shampoo is mainly ...
2
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2answers
158 views

The plurality of the probability

What is a word or expression I could use to describe something that has a less-than-fifty percent chance of happening, but is still likelier than any other single outcome? "The most likely outcome" ...
3
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2answers
98 views

Describing breathe quickly due to exercise?

I want to describe breathe quickly because of exercise. I Googled, but the two suggested answers are not proper. to breathe deeply is to inhale the fresh air. link to gasp is to inhale shortly due ...
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5answers
966 views

Looking past someone (expression)

I'm looking for an expression (hoping one exists), for when you think someone is nodding, smiling, waving etc. to you, and you respond--but in fact they were addressing someone just behind you. That'...
1
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1answer
94 views

What is a word or an expression to describe “forgetting things after being back from holiday”?

I've been away for a week or two from work and upon returning back to work, I've been a bit out-of-tune and have forgotten some normal procedures at work. Is there a word or an expression to correctly ...
1
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1answer
141 views

What do we call an internship of which acceptance of the applicants is based on an interview?

I am writing a cover letter in which I want to mention that I was chosen among 2000 students due to my success in an interview. Is there a general adjective that can be used to describe such an ...
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2answers
128 views

What is a word or phrase meaning “ever so slightly” but with less emphasis on slightly?

Imagine you have a serendipitous encounter with an old friend and they made your day "that much more" interesting. What is a good phrase meaning incrementally better but perhaps a little more ...
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2answers
127 views

Specific verb or phrase for holding or transporting something in this particular way

Is there a specific verb or phrase for holding or carrying something in this particular way: Is it just "to hold or carry [something] under one's arm" (as translated literally from my mother ...
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5answers
122 views

To make malice overly clear (in Hollywood)

This is something that has bothered me for a while and probably the answer is something really simple. Nevertheless. In their depiction of evil, mainstream Hollywood films often humanize their ...
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3answers
203 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
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1answer
470 views

What would you call a person who does not understand who is his/her well wisher and who is their Ill-wisher?

What would you call a person with poor judgement who does not understand who is his/her well wisher and who is their Ill-wisher?
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3answers
213 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 ...
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3answers
305 views

How is “caballito blanco” expressed in English?

Imagine the situation in which a small child participates in a game with teens or adults. Perhaps the child doesn't know or can't follow all the rules strictly. Or in sports, this child has physical ...
2
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2answers
98 views

Expressions for not honoring a deal

I am looking for expressions/idioms to describe: 1) A person who betrays an agreement to sell something to you. Especially because he got a better offer and sold it to someone else instead. 2) The ...
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3answers
104 views

Is there a proverb/saying which means “someone in authority can break the rules”?

Is there a proverb or saying or expression that means "someone in authority will do anything they want"? Eg: My boss used to warn me about coming late to work, but he was late to work yesterday. I ...
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1answer
4k views

Is there a better expression for “not all roses”?

Is there a better expression for "not all roses"? "Not all roses" sounds a bit cliched. This is for my personal history statement. Eg: Once the design was complete, I thought the experiments would go ...
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7answers
11k views

What’s a non-vulgar alternative for “covering one’s ***”? [duplicate]

Oxford Dictionaries Online writes in their U.S. section that the phase cover one’s ass is an informal phrase meaning: Foresee and avoid the possibility of attack or criticism. ‘I like to ...
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2answers
414 views

Is there an expression to describe a situation where someone could have helped you but they didn't?

I would like to know if there is an expression that describes a situation where someone, perhaps your friend, was capable of helping you but they didn't or they chose not to? Eg: He was was free. He ...
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1answer
621 views

Term for conversation between two people when one needs help and is instructed to do a basic check, then lies about doing the check

Consider the following scenario, and bear with me because this is pretty abstract because I don't know the best phrasing for the situation -- hence the question. Person A is a user of a computer ...
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0answers
412 views

Is there a word (or expression) for when you can see someone doing something wrong

Is there a word or expression that succinctly describes/conveys the following: I am watching someone perform a reasonably complex task/activity. I can see a person doing something wrong, I ...
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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 ...
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2answers
574 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)
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0answers
195 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 ...
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7answers
529 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 ...
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6answers
226 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 ...
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4answers
3k 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 ...
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3answers
104 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
751 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 ...
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0answers
187 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 ...
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2answers
5k 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 ...
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1answer
274 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 ...
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3answers
5k 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
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3answers
211 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 ...
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0answers
910 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 ...
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3answers
450 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 ...
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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
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1answer
152 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 ...
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4answers
519 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 ...
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2answers
781 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 ...
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4answers
3k 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." ...
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2answers
776 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
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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11answers
965 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, ...
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20answers
15k 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 ...
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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   ...
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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 ...
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1answer
209 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 ...
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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 ...