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Questions tagged [expressions]

This tag is for questions about expressions. Expressions are words or phrases used to convey an idea, or else a particular term used conventionally to express something. Consider phrase-requests and expression-requests if you are looking for an expression, phrase-meaning if you are unsure about the usage of a given phrase.

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How to respond to "sorry for taking so long"? (After someone finishes a task, not in email) [closed]

After a plumber finished his task, he said to me "sorry for taking so long". I wanted to say that it's not long, and I think he finished everything quickly and I appreciate that. What should ...
Quincy's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
63 views

Repeating a clause in a question [duplicate]

I’m groping for the name of the construction where one directly repeats all or part of a clause in a question as a way of expressing whimsy or making it wistful. Aren’t we all just people, Jim, aren’...
M E's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
33 views

Is it patronising and infantilising to always include the term "we" when working in hospitality? [duplicate]

I have to say I feel really uncomfortable at the approach of one of the bar staff in a village pub I visit. He will refer to customers, new or regular, male or female as "my love", "...
Trebor's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
56 views

Harry Vandiver's comment on the infinitude of Wilson primes

Wilson primes are prime numbers that meet a specific criterion. Only three such numbers are known: 5, 13, and 563. In Paulo Ribenboim's book "My Numbers, My Friends: Popular Lectures on Number ...
Zubin Mukerjee's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
49 views

Is there a word for problems that arise from solving another problem? [duplicate]

For example plastics were invented to make life easier. However, the invention of plastics created a new problem for us; plastic pollution.
Sadiq Khalil's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
47 views

Looking for a word/phrase for "fidgety" [closed]

I am looking for a single word or phrase to describe someone who mindlessly fidgets with things constantly.
Dorothy Ivey's user avatar
-1 votes
0 answers
24 views

Reasons for doing something and reasons to do something :do that make a difference? [duplicate]

You attended a XXX workshop...Your teacher has asked you to write a review… The content should include: … The reasons for joining it … This is my writing task and I am pretty confused about ...
sativaoryza's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
81 views

Stop blowing your load in the Golden Arches

While doing some research I came across the following phrase: “Young men do not need to proactively freeze their sperm,” says David Ryley, a reproductive endocrinologist at Boston IVF. “If men want ...
Prometheus's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
73 views

Why do phrases "By fair means or foul" and "By hook or by crook" have such different use of preposition 'By'?

Both idioms have pretty much the same meaning. Both are centuries old idioms. However, one uses preposition 'by' twice while the other doesn't. Why? Can someone please explain what am I missing here?
EMS's user avatar
  • 339
3 votes
1 answer
433 views

Death in the saddle

Is it ok to characterize someone's death as "in the saddle" if he died (naturally, after a long and adventurous life) in the course of a military campaign, without having necessarily been ...
EMS56's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
59 views

What is "with the larger group being the first to flee" called? [duplicate]

I've been reading about the lore of Red Dead Redemption 2, I came across a certain phrase that I wonder about its name and what is the kind of function it serves. I have seen it elsewhere many times, ...
Shady Badr's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
207 views

In the sentence "What am I, chopped liver?" what is the grammatical term for the "chopped liver" phrase?

The meaning of the entire statement is obviously rhetorical and exaggerated. But what I'm specifically wondering is what the correct label is for the "chopped liver" phrase. It follows ...
Jordan Reiter's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
55 views

Is "I pass the trimmer" correct?

When we use the mower, we say we mow the lawn. When we use a trimmer, what is the phrase or expression we can use? Is it something like in French as We pass the trimmer or other expression? Thank you ...
gerardfevre's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
46 views

Availability with "for" or "in"

Could you please tell me if the following sentences are correct? We are currently offering availability for late June onwards. We only have availability in late June onwards. Thanks in advance.
Jan04's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
47 views

What is the usage for constructs like "men at work", "children at play", etc

One sometimes sees road warning signs cautioning of "men [sic] at work" or "children at play". The meaning is clear, it's the same as "men working" or "children ...
Jim Davis's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
54 views

How to use " I have got to hand it to you " [closed]

I just want to know how to use this idiom as I came across it yesterday.
Henya's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
71 views

Is there a word or phrase that describes when there is a mismatch between a standard call and response type interaction e.g. greetings & farewells

I have noticed this especially in children when they reach around 5-9 years old, when you ask them questions like, "What's up?", they will automatically respond with, "Good!". Or, &...
TurboDork's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
38 views

Off the top of your head, or heads? [duplicate]

When addressing a group of people, should the idiom 'off the top of one's head' be used with singular or plural forms? As in, Off the top/s of your head/s, is Kolkata more populous than Hyderabad?
Jonathan Y.'s user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
36 views

What does this use of 'median' mean? [closed]

I was reading Paul Graham's latest essay https://www.paulgraham.com/google.html: If you're not sure what technology to get good at, get good at programming. That has been the source of the median ...
Alvin Cao's user avatar
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12 votes
7 answers
4k views

People who frequently travel in planes are called…?

What do you call people who travel in a plane? I know "passenger" is appropriate but that is also true for travelling in taxis, trains, ships, and buses. Also, a passenger suggests someone ...
Mari-Lou A's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
394 views

What’s going on with John 7:16, “My teaching is not my own, but his who sent me”?

This seems unusual. Particularly, the odd part is “his who.” Is it correct to use a possessive and a relative pronoun in this way? If so, what similar phrases are also allowed? It seems like this is ...
Matthew Cortese's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
384 views

Speaking of a fitted bed sheet, would you call it “inside-out” or “upside-down”if you wanted to indicate that the stitches are facing up?

As the title says, while I’m fairly sure about the answer, I am looking for a valid explanation of which term is correct and why. I believe that the correct term is inside-out because it’s clearly ...
Neeku's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
47 views

What is the term for look that asks for thinking? And the question that incites thinking?

Imagine this scenario. Two people are having a conversation in which one is trying to explain something to the other. During the course of conversation, the exponent asks the other person a question ...
EMS's user avatar
  • 339
1 vote
2 answers
44 views

"Being in advantage", as used in the video gaming world of fighting games

In fighting games such as Street Fighter, it is common to say that you're "in advantage" to say that you're "in an advantageous state" as opposed to your opponent. Is it ...
Stefan Schouten's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
205 views

What does "do windows" mean in this passage?

Yet, despite the rhetoric of “common humanity,” Auster already acknowledges sexual difference: “New York can be dangerous, so you must be careful. If you prefer, smile only at female strangers. (Men ...
Chelsea Qiu's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
68 views

Usage of "spend time"

I live in Japan and have noticed that a lot Japanese people are prone to say/write "I spent a good time with my friends/family/kids." It has always rubbed me the wrong way, and when I can, I ...
TFlo83's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
61 views

How do you interpret 'high risk eggs' in this context? [closed]

I was watching a documentary about border control at an airport. One woman was carrying prohibited foods. The relevant part of the original sentence is as follows: This woman ... has been caught with ...
SuperDuperMario's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
116 views

Discover an event isn't the first instance, and that isn't good

I'm looking for a word or phrase, preferably English or at least using English characters, to describe an event or feeling about an event that is one of many, but that the person thought was the first ...
vulpineblazeyt's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
216 views

Phrase for a person in town known for being insane?

This is my first post, forgive me if it is unorthodox. So, I’m looking to title a video, and this is bothering me: I could’ve sworn there was a phrase to describe a local crazy person in a town or ...
Randy's user avatar
  • 21
0 votes
1 answer
141 views

What's the meaning of "Consumption hung low in the air"?

So, in Bojack Horseman, Season 1 Episode 9, Mr. Peanutbutter is making his toast (wedding) and at some point, he starts saying a story: It was winter in Prague, and the consumption hung low in the ...
Reasonable_Doubt's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
81 views

"what an oyster is to a butter mushroom", meaning?

I don't know what an oyster is to a butter mushroom looking at your stall. Does it mean that I can't tell the difference between an oyster and a butter mushroom?
Kevin Cheng's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
102 views

What is a word/ expression for a cut down said with a grin?

When someone is grinning at you while cutting you down. A snide comment is the best I have found. Or cheshire cat grin. There has to be a better word for this common occurrence.
ParisMarina's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
125 views

What does "They found themselves standing on a platform" mean?

There is some argument over on german.stackexchange.com. Many users there believe that the sentence is ambiguous. My opinion is that this sentence would be used to describe how someone unexpectedly ...
user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
432 views

Looking for an opposite for the term 'tunnel vision'

What might be the opposite of tunnel vision? What I mean is instead of seeing only one's direct path, the person is so distracted by the texture of the sidelines, goes so far as to obscure the goal at ...
Samuel DuPont's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is this usage - "to stay home of an evening"? [duplicate]

I've been reading a selection of short stories by Kafka (translation by Michael Hoffmann). In one of stories The Sudden Walk, I encountered this phrase When it seems we have finally decided to stay ...
mewl 's user avatar
  • 67
-5 votes
1 answer
336 views

Is there a more professional way of saying "yes" or "no"?

I am currently writing a scientific publication in which the conclusion answers overarching questions. These questions are directly stated with question marks, like: Is there a meaning to life? I ...
mathematica_guy's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
18 views

Go talk vs Go and Talk [duplicate]

what is the difference between the expressions "I will go talk to Mr A." vs "I will go and talk to Mr A."?
anjan 's user avatar
  • 721
0 votes
2 answers
90 views

"Some folks are born made to wave the flag." Is this sentence in the passive voice? [closed]

I have to do a text study, a text interpretation, and I chose the song "Fortunate Son" by the American rock band Creedence. At starting it, the sentence: "Some folks are born made to ...
MariaD's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
1 answer
63 views

Do I use by, for or to in this sentence?

The sentence is I shared the resource link with my colleagues so that this link would be accessible for all members of our team. The word I am asking about is highlighted. Should it be by, for or to?...
Yasmine BZ's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
606 views

'My bad' vs 'My bag'

Over the years I've noticed a non-insignificant amount of people use the term 'My bag' to admit guilt when getting something wrong (i.e. 'Mea culpa'). For example: Happy Birthday! My birthday's not ...
Daniel's user avatar
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1 vote
3 answers
191 views

Ignorance is the opposite of bliss

The proverb "ignorance is bliss" is used to express that somebody feels better by not knowing all the details about a topic. In an existing thread titled "ignorance is not bliss", ...
Mew's user avatar
  • 289
0 votes
0 answers
52 views

how to properly use expression '3000 strong' army?

i recall reading some phrase to express when one wants to assess the size of a group or army: "he has 3000-strong army", not in a sense "strong army" but to estimate the size of ...
ERJAN's user avatar
  • 376
4 votes
3 answers
921 views

What does 'that looks about it' mean?

(I'm South Korean, so non-native question here.) I saw the sentence 'that looks about it'. Does it mean that something is seemingly almost done? I searched this expression on google but I couldn't ...
Subin Kim's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
107 views

Inspiration catalyst? Looking for a term that describes seemingly out of the blue inspiration

I'm looking for a term for a curious situation that I've found myself in a couple of times. A person discusses a new concept/invention. I am a part of that conversation or simply overhear it. I ...
Lamar Latrell's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
74 views

Was "wasn't Chaplin in that one?" an expression in the 1920s?

Boardwalk Empire has Nucky saying to his showgirl ("Billy Kent" a smart person who made little jokes often) girlfriend as he describes helping feed his impoverished family as a child when ...
releseabe's user avatar
  • 603
-1 votes
1 answer
168 views

Use of 'Cheers to that" [closed]

I have a doubt concerning the usage of the expression 'Cheers to that'. I know it's usually used to celebrate a statement. But, I have sometimes heard it being used more as a reply to show agreement. ...
ItsJustMe's user avatar
  • 105
1 vote
2 answers
256 views

Is it idiomatic to say "call of the blood"?

I've been struggling with this one... I'm trying to figure out whether it's okay to use the expression "call of the blood" to describe the phenomenon of doing something naturally (or coming ...
Ley's user avatar
  • 11
0 votes
1 answer
72 views

"my stomach told me" VS "my guts told me"

I'm an English learner and I came across this sentence: My stomach told me that this was unprecedented. Does this expression mean that I had a feeling or my instincts told me that something that had ...
Ali.twoforkstower's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
56 views

How to characterize Machiavelli's phrase, "The ends justify the means"? [closed]

This question has been raised and thoroughly discussed: "How to characterize the phrase, 'The ends justify the means.'" I wish to add a thought. As I was writing a book for publication, I ...
Jeffsbooks's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
30 views

Which one is appropriate when describing belonging?

Talking of memory, which is correct? To my heart Or In my heart If talking of belonging, which one is correct? She always belong to my heart Or She's always in my heart Can I use "always ...
Olly's user avatar
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