Questions tagged [expression-requests]

for questions looking for a specific expression.

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0
votes
3answers
159 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/...
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4answers
1k 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
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2answers
147 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
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5answers
936 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
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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
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2answers
178 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
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4answers
29k 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 ...
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4answers
150 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 ...
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2answers
913 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 ...
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2answers
977 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 ...
3
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4answers
360 views

Is there an expression or idiom that means “do something in secrecy but with a good intention”?

What is the most suitable expression or idiom that can complete this sentence? I want to do charity _________ (in secrecy) because I don't like showboating.
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1answer
158 views

What's a better way to say, “I picked up many interesting facts/points…”

Yesterday, I watched an educational video for an essay I'm writing, and when I began writing the intro, somewhere I wrote: I picked up many interesting points/facts from this video that I’ve ...
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1answer
13k views

Indicating someone is deceased in a list of names

I have a list of several names. Some listed individuals are deceased. Question: What are the ways to indicate that these particular individuals passed away? The most obvious way is to indicated "(...
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6answers
2k views

What do you call it when someone agrees just to avoid an argument?

(A) asks, 'Do you think this is a good idea?' (B) says, 'Yes, l do', - but (B) is more on the side of 'no' not 'yes', but (B) tells (A) what they want to hear so (B) doesnt have to talk about 'the ...
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2answers
324 views

Word or expression for one-or-more quantification, in prose writing

Suppose we have quantity that is surely at least one, but likely or possibly many, what would be the best way to say that? Note that words that simply say many, several, few, isn't what I really ...
2
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3answers
490 views

Expression for telling someone to stop being deluded/lying to themselves?

When someone is self-deluded and you would like to use an expression to tell them to basically look in the mirror and see the truth, what would this expression be? This person is the type to be ...
4
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8answers
1k views

A word for a wild, uneducated, random guess that turns out to be correct

Sometimes I find an outsider in a conversation with little or no knowledge about the subject or ground already covered in the conversation makes a random guess about a question no one can answer and ...
2
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3answers
2k views

What is the opposite of an in-house application?

In my company we refer to applications that we created as "in-house" or "enterprise" applications. I would like to refer to all applications a user could use... excluding in-house applications. My ...
3
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4answers
7k views

Idiom for something that appears to be easy but is in fact hard

I considered deceptively complex or deceptively simple (depending on how you interpret this previous post) as a way of expressing this. But, I would like to avoid the potential for misunderstanding ...
0
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1answer
510 views

Is “natural step” a real expression?

In my mother tongue, we sometimes express that the next "Natural step" can be to do something. However, this feels directly translated and not very accurate when expressed in English. Also, a Quick ...
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1answer
221 views

Antonym of “upright” to describe the position of a phone [closed]

I have an issue with describing the following way of holding a telephone. As held in the picture below, I would describe it as "upright" However, I need to describe what it is like when it is ...
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3answers
166 views

Can this be said without a negative connotation: “my goal is to be more efficient and to close more sales deals per month”? [closed]

Consider that the outcome of Alice's efforts are understood to be satisfactory or even excellent, by her peers and the upper hierarchy. Given that Alice recognises she can deliver even better than she ...
127
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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?
2
votes
1answer
145 views

What is a word or phrase for an attitude that focuses on improving the future/favours delayed gratification?

I wish to express within a word or two an attitude or way of living that sacrifices for the foreseeable future and strives to reap better long-term rewards at the expense of short(er)-term effort. ...
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1answer
2k views

Phone Conversation: "Are you going to hang up or will you …?

When, in the middle of a phone conversation, you should do something meanwhile the person you're talking to is holding, and you want to know if she/he would rather hold or hang up and call back ...
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2answers
6k views

Better ways of saying “is able to”

I'm trying to complete my English coursework and cannot find a way around using 'is able to' in this context "Throughout the novel McEwan 'is able to' convey..." and I need to find another way of ...
4
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2answers
473 views

Is there a word or short phrase for when someone brings up a topic then tries to drop it or move on from it?

I am curious as to if there is a phrase or word for when some one brings something up then tries to drop it. I suffer mild OCD and my biggest trigger and cause of a lot of ruined social encounters ...
4
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2answers
794 views

Are there any formal alternative expressions for “hold the urine”?

Is there any similar and formal expressions to say "hold the urine"? I'd like to know some formal expression to say "hold the urine".
4
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3answers
450 views

What's the phrase that is commonly used after someone says or does something embarrassing/funny that you won't let them forget?

I'm looking for an expression that's used to mean that you'll continue to teasingly remind someone of an incident after it has happened. It's not "I'll hold you to it," but is something just as ...
12
votes
2answers
311 views

Term for an explanation that seems plausible simply because it's more complex than a more widely accepted belief

I was recently on a lengthy flight and was pondering the regulations on cell phone usage. I've heard that the cell phone doesn't actually interfere with the plane's flight systems (or comms, or ...
4
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2answers
76 views

Expression for highlighting why studying is important

In my country, we have a saying that goes by "the pen is lighter than the shovel", that we use to convince kids and teenagers to overcome their laziness and take their studies seriously. Is there a ...
2
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2answers
834 views

Way to express that someone does something with a hidden purpose

Is there a common (not too formal) specific word or expression used to state that someone is doing something with a hidden, but not necessarily bad, purpose? I mean something analogous to the Italian ...
2
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1answer
98 views

Looking for another term for “reality tv”

My own opinion is that "reality tv" is a misnomer and I would feel better if I had a more accurate term. I'm unable personally to come up with anything better than pseudo-reality tv. Has anyone come ...
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1answer
96 views

What do you call technical and semantic aspects of the law?

In Russian there is an idiom letter and spirit of the law (буква и дух закона). Letter is a metaphor for technical aspects of the law. Spirit is the purpose the law was adopted for. There are cases, ...
5
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4answers
410 views

Phrase to describe the phenomenon of a minority group that becomes the majority but keeps its minority mindset?

See title. I don't want to get political in this forum so please don't take the examples too seriously. This would be in a situation like how Christianity went from a persecuted regional sect to the ...
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12answers
10k views

A phrase that basically means 'change your mind a second time to go back to your original idea'

I am interested in knowing what words/phrase/idioms I can use to express a double reversal of decision. To illustrate that with an hypothetical example to clear any confusion that may have risen : ...
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0answers
80 views

What are parents with a living child called, compared to “Shidu” parents (parents who have lost their only child)?

The parents who have lost their only child are known as Shidu parents (失独父母) in China, I don't think ‘normal parents’ is a good phrase, do you have any suggestions? I want to use this phrase in a ...
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1answer
2k views

What is another way of saying “back then”?

Such as referring to a previous time or the past. For instance, "The reason why is because back then, instead of drinking raw milk as a staple food, they turned most of their milk into cheese....
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5answers
339 views

Is there a word for “explaining away the problems of a piece of art because you like the artist”?

Is there a word for the phenomenon of explaining away the problems with a piece of art because you like the artist, aesthetic, or something else other than the actual quality? I'm as guilty of this ...
9
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1answer
739 views

A phrase, word, or idiom to describe the person who reviews as an outsider

I am looking for a phrase, word, or idiom to describe my current status in one scenario, which gave me the advantage in spotting a mistake and correcting it. I will give some example other than what ...
1
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1answer
2k views

Is there an expression to describe “waiting for someone to make a mistake so as to criticize them harshly”?

I am looking an expression that could mean "eager for someone to make a mistake so as to criticize them?". This is to be used in the instance where a famous personality has a lot of critics, probably ...
5
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6answers
1k views

What is a way to express 'a sudden need to urinate or defecate'?

If I have a sudden need to use the restroom, how should I express that? I know there is an expression in British English - be caught short. to suddenly and unexpectedly need to go to the toilet, ...
0
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1answer
43 views

Term for area affected by/endangered by a wildfire

Is there a conventional term (regardless of its level of formality) referring to the area which is (currently) affected by and/or endangered by a wildfire? — a roughly analogous term in the case ...
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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 ...
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4answers
4k views

Word or phrase for a temporary solution that ends up becoming permanent

Is there a word or phrase for something that is meant to be a temporary solution to a problem, but because it gains enough momentum ends up becoming the permanent solution? Ideally the word/phrase ...
3
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4answers
1k views

Person who never makes excuses

How do you express a person who never makes excuses under any difficult situations? Example: When he faced difficult situations, he never backed off or never complained. He was such a _____ person....
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1answer
2k views

An alternative more formal way to say: “I'll free up time to do something”

I occasionally am answering emails where employers ask me whether I am interested in applying for a position. I would like to reply something along the lines: That I am interested and I should soon "...
3
votes
3answers
245 views

Single word request and/or idiom—worse news

What is a word/idiom for worse news on top of bad news? Like when someone tells you bad news (a doctor) then tells you even worse news? Here is an example (I’m sorry it is so long! I don’t know if ...
10
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2answers
2k views

Is there a term or phrase for a person with two singing voice (male - female singing voice)?

There are some people who have distinct voices when they sing, currently when I Google it there are only phrases like "... with two voices ..." Is there a word for a person who have that ability? ...
1
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1answer
342 views

What is the term for 'guiding hand of democracy'? [closed]

I'm looking for a phrase that says "even though the voters have chosen someone in the short term who was quite toxic - there are hidden long term benefits that come out because of the collective ...