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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What does it mean to take effect to somebody? [migrated]

I heard this phrase in a song called "LA love" by Fergie, she says "the whole damn world took effect to Ferg". There's no definition in the dictionary. Is it just slang that nobody ...
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5 votes
9 answers
1k views

What is an expression you can use for when you're getting close to the end of a time-sensitive project?

I want to say something like, I am getting down to the chopping block but that means more like, I am deciding who to keep and who not to, it conveys being harshly decisive. That's not quite the ...
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-1 votes
0 answers
8 views

Is "divergent popularities" an acceptable phrase? [migrated]

Let's say we have two silent films released in the same year. One went on to become a classic, and the other one fell into oblivion. Should I refer to the "divergent popularities" or the &...
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1 vote
1 answer
30 views

Disadvantages of X over, against, or versus Y? (Or something else entirely?)

"The advantage(s) of X over Y are numerous" is a perfectly valid and common phrase (as far as I know, at least). But what's the equivalent phrase for disadvantage(s)? Each of the candidates ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Just as significant an impact

What is meant by phrase "just as significant an impact? I can't understand this sentence: Video games had just as significant an impact on popular culture, from Fort nite invading schools across ...
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0 votes
2 answers
52 views

English Used Phrase for Don't try to solve too many problems at the same time and you will mess up and have no time for real work

I faced a situation, where my naive/clueless) new boss in the company started to take up all the long pending internal issues that our department is facing and started tackling them all at the same ...
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2 votes
4 answers
68 views

Looking for a slang term to describe the act of picking valuable minerals from mining tailings

Someone once saw me picking out cashews from a bowl of mixed nuts and said I was [forgotten slang verb here]. I asked what that verb meant and she explained that it was a slang term that miners used ...
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0 votes
0 answers
6 views

What does this mean or what this is mean? [migrated]

I'm learning English and generally used "what this is mean", but I see many using "what does this mean". Is the way I speak incorrect or informal?
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-5 votes
0 answers
19 views

https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/469562/what-is-the-word-for-saying-a-scenario-in-which-all-choices-lead-to-the-same-outcome [closed]

i don’t know what words to describe it. it’s a TikTok and it was about the “carrying your love with me” trend. she was showing her body shaking. and somebody said •“i don’t get it.” a reply •“she got ...
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-1 votes
0 answers
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Can someone arrange this very sentences with a grammatical diagram? [closed]

The posts you share here on your timeline have good articles with better experiences and wonderful pictures, I feel ecstatic in going through your page worth disseminating, this is my first time ...
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0 answers
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What Verbs can Gerunds Follow?

Throughout my life, I have relied on intuition to ensure that my sentences are intelligible and grammatical. I like using gerunds because they can shorten sentences and avoid redundancy. Recently, ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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How would a student express that they are not having the first class today and that the classes start with the second? [migrated]

Imagine that something happened to the schedule (e.g. teacher got an emergency and had to leave for the day) and now the student has to come to classes later, how do they express that it's the second ...
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0 votes
0 answers
23 views

Word for when someone intentionally ignores someone's valid excuse from a punishment and then enforces that punishment anyway?

Is there a word (or legal term) for when someone (usually an authority figure) intentionally does not acknowledge a person's justification from an adverse action, then enforces that adverse action ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Word/phrase/idiom/expression for "keep in the back of my mind"(essentially, some idea/concept kept as secondary/ something to be aware off?

I'm trying to find a Word/phrase/idiom/expression for "keep in the back of my mind"(essentially, some idea/concept kept as secondary/ something to be aware off. ) To elaborate, Let me ...
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3 votes
4 answers
593 views

On top of my head?

When I saw or knew something, but currently I don't remember it, and after someone talks about it it revives my memory, what expression(s) may I use? For some reason, probably heard someone saying but ...
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8 votes
2 answers
3k views

Meaning of 'glass that's with canary lined'?

The 17th-century poet Alexander Brome wrote a poem called The Resolve (anthologised in the Oxford Book of English verse. What is the meaning of the phrase 'with Canary lined' in last line of the poem ...
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0 votes
2 answers
52 views

What is the word/phrase for what the end user of a computer sees and interacts with?

If you were to divide everything that makes up a computer and its software into what the average user interacts with, and everything else that works "behind the scenes", what would the "...
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1 vote
2 answers
59 views

What's the meaning of "so in"?

I couldn't find anything about "so in" in my research on Google. I heard people say it. And today I saw that on a Facebook post. So here's the context- You want long hair but short hair is ...
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-2 votes
4 answers
59 views

I need explanation for a meaning of "was on borrowed time"

I'm studying English and I know a lot of words and wanted to read a book for my first time in English but there is sentence in the beginning of it that I can't really understand the meaning: And now, ...
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0 votes
2 answers
68 views

What is the difference between "as tall as" and "just as tall as"?

What is the difference between I'm as tall as my father and I'm just as tall as my father? I know they are similar, But they make sense to be a little bit different. What is that difference?
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-2 votes
2 answers
116 views

Stop being a pu@$y ... divergence from original meaning and current usage? [closed]

The Latin word pusillanimous was too long, so it was shortened to "pussy" while holding its original meaning "cowardly" [feel free to edit the question and bring a longer ...
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-1 votes
3 answers
68 views

Idiomatic way of expressing the action to exchange the roles of two objects?

What is the idiomatic way of saying exchange the roles of two objects? For example, let A play offense and B play defense, and then _____ , let B play offense and A play defense. -- EDIT -- I ...
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  • 481
0 votes
1 answer
76 views

Word/expression for the inherent ambiguity or difficulty of defining what constitutes a good outcome

TL;DR: I am in a need of a good, precise word or an expression capturing the notion that a computer science problem P remains open (just) because it is virtually impossible to specify/define what a ...
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  • 141
1 vote
1 answer
27 views

What is the meaning of "as a touch of elegance"?

A calligrapher is called upon to design and write announcements, place cards, etc, as a touch of elegance. What does "as a touch of elegance" mean? what does it modify? Does it modify the ...
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0 votes
2 answers
72 views

What do you call work or tasks that are Not part of the main(highest priorty) work that a person is doing at the present time?

What do you call work or tasks that are Not part of the main(highest priority) work that a person is doing at the present time? In lexico.com ,there is a term called side work: ( Credited reference: ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
59 views

To remove someone's sins

Is there a phrasal verb or an idiom that people use, especially in religious contexts, to wish that God would remove someone's sins? Something like: Hassan used to rape girls, but he repented of his ...
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0 votes
0 answers
35 views

Grammatically correct way to restart a thought in a single sentence

There exists an oratory technique where a sentence or thought that might be highly complex, too complex even to risk maintaining the listeners' understanding throughout it, where such a complex ...
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1 vote
1 answer
40 views

Meaning of the construction noun + "but" + phrasal verb

I came across some usages of the construction noun + "but" + "can" of which I can only recall one: No truth but can be pried away from this book. Actually the full example is ...
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5 votes
5 answers
788 views

Translating "wessen-dessen" sentences [closed]

I'm struggling a bit with the translation of the German "wessen...dessen..." To clarify, here's the full German sentence, which is not idiomatic at all, it's just phrased to sound like it is:...
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0 answers
32 views

What is a phrase or analogy for something that has both fixed and customizable parts?

I am looking for a way to describe to my students that some of their courses must be taken at a certain time while others can be taken whenever. Therefore, I am trying to give an example or phrase ...
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2 votes
1 answer
119 views

Can a single word be an idiom or an expression?

Can a single word be considered an idiom or an expression? If so, how does one tell the difference? For instance, words like, "dope!", "lit!", "sick!". These words mean ...
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1 vote
5 answers
82 views

Word or phrase to describe bashing one's opponents to make oneself look good

Is there a word, phrase or expression that would describe the action of defaming or speaking ill of someone just to raise your own standing or reputation? I'm looking for something like what you ...
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0 votes
1 answer
68 views

"What we are going to do is we are going to VERB"

I see people using this redundant phrase a lot. How/why did this phrase become so popular and where is this used most frequently? I personally hear this frequently in academia (STEM) on the east coast ...
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0 votes
3 answers
74 views

When can we use "This/That is how we/you do it"?

I found a restaurant review while searching for google maps, and this is an excerpt from it. This is how you do it. Delicious with a very nice outdoor space. Parking on the street was very vacant. We ...
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2 votes
1 answer
27 views

Is "as ... go[es]" correct, and what is this form called? [closed]

I'm a German native speaker. Think I remember hearing an expression of the form "as ... go[es]" somewhere. Do I remember it correctly? Is the meaning I deduced correct? Example: As mirrors ...
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0 votes
0 answers
40 views

Why do people use this expression? [migrated]

Lets say someone states "Tom runs fast, how fast is another question." Why do and can people say 'is another question' even if there is no previous question explicitly stated?
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2 votes
4 answers
547 views

Is there an expression for ‘bad news’ when meant literally for negative news we get from the media?

We are checking bad news every day. Should we constantly be informed about all that _______ ? I need an idiom or expression for a context like the above.
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  • 2,881
2 votes
1 answer
52 views

what does the expression "I was feathered" mean?

I'm reading "A Day No Pigs Would Die." I’d just wound up running away from Edward Thatcher and running away from the schoolhouse. I was feathered if I was going to run away from one darn ...
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0 votes
0 answers
21 views

launch an attack in soccer game?

Can we say 'launch an attack' in the soccer game when I kick off? Thanks. eg As the goal keeper, you need to launch an attack quickly and effectively. Is this expression correct? Or just 'kick the ...
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0 votes
0 answers
24 views

Words and expressions request for order

My mom bought home some fruit last week and before we are able to finish them all she got some more today so she told me, translated to English from my first language, that I should eat the fruit that ...
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0 votes
1 answer
60 views

What does "forty-four tears hell out of a man" mean

In "East of Eden" the Sheriff tells Kate that Adam Trask is "a forty-four tears hell out of a man". Is that an expression in English? I've never encountered it before, neither has ...
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1 vote
1 answer
134 views

How old is the expression "walking distance"?

I'm curious about how long we've described distances as "walking" and if it's been used over a long period, what distance did it refer to over time? The Online Etymological Dictionary, while ...
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2 votes
1 answer
117 views

What's the meaning of 'couldn't make your car'? [duplicate]

It was a situation that the police were trying to stop a driver who ran two stop signs. The driver finally got out of the car and said "I couldn't make your car". From a publication article ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
29 views

What does "inside references" mean?

All commencement speakers who shamelessly pander with cheap, inside references designed to get childish applause, will be forced to apologize It's from Conan's commencement speech and I'm not sure ...
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0 votes
0 answers
29 views

Phrase like "margin of error" or "buffer" but specifically about spare team capacity?

I am trying to think of a phrase that means something like "margin of error" or "buffer," but specifically applying to spare capacity of a working team within a company. "...
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1 vote
1 answer
62 views

"Neither wonder" - is it a thing?

In response to a surprising realisation, one might say something like "No wonder {x} is {y}". However for a great deal of my life I was apparently erroneously saying "Neither wonder&...
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3 votes
1 answer
61 views

Meaning of add texture to something (a plan, discussion, etc.)

I was having a conversation with a senior executive about launching a new initiative. He said he would like to get behind it, but I need to add a bit more texture to the whole proposal. What does ...
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  • 133
1 vote
2 answers
61 views

What is the meaning of "He scowled ahead of him"?

Reading Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse, I just found the expression “He scowled ahead of him” and it struck me as something I'd never heard or read before. The context is that this guy is sitting ...
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0 votes
0 answers
16 views

What's a name/term for someone who bases their opinions and speech on being liked by as many people (or most accepted) as possible? [duplicate]

A "consensus filter" where their main concern is "will people be alright with me thinking this?"
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0 votes
1 answer
55 views

"Agriculture" including only plants and excluding animals

In English, "agriculture" includes the cultivation of both plants and animals for food. In some languages, a cognate such as "agricultura" (in Spanish) may contemplate only plants ...
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