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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100 views

What is a word/expression for useless advice?

In Czech there is an expression "hraběcí rada". It refers to meaningless/useless advice - something which is factually true but cannot be meaningfully applied by the recipient of said advice....
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1answer
52 views

Meaning of “in the blur of” [closed]

Example: > Don't lose who you are in the blur of the stars My two guesses about the meaning of "in the blur of" in this context are: no uniqueness, these are stars but they are all the ...
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1answer
38 views

If you slowly get farther and farther up on your tiptoes, are you actually walking closer and closer to yourself? I'm writing a book and it came up [closed]

I thought it was obviously no, at first, but after thinking about it, the way it's worded, I wanted another opinion. I'm writing a book and the question came up to one of the characters. The way it's ...
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0answers
30 views

“Red-marked copy”: A draft text with changes highlighted?

I always thought of "red-marked copy" as a standard way of referring to a draft text in which the changes from a previous draft are highlighted. After casually using it when talking to a ...
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0answers
20 views

Is there a word to indicate something that is more dangerous than it appears to be? [closed]

Is there a phrase to indicate something that is more dangerous than it appears to be?
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1answer
23 views

“I prefer living as a pained human being over living as a happy animal” Does it sound natural?

Does this sentence sound natural? "I prefer living as a pained human being over living as a happy animal" Can we call a person who is in pain "a pained person"?
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1answer
49 views

Is there an idiom/phrase that describes the act of trying to fix something unfixable?

Most of you probably heard the phrase "gild the lily", which describes the act of trying to improve something that is already perfect. What I'm looking for is the opposite of that, is there ...
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1answer
59 views

How would you describe a situation where you can only stop something by doing it first?

I'd like to know what this situation is called. The gist is the only way you can stop something is by doing it first. A real world example is a MS Windows feature called sticky keys. You can turn on ...
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0answers
12 views

How can I express that I'm registered at faculty of physical therapy but actually I'm self-studying English to become an English instructor?

If I want to express that I'm registered at faculty of physical therapy but I actually want to become an English instructor -I'm, currently, self-studying English-, how can I phrase that if I'm ...
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2answers
20 views

“Humanities studies is my zone of interest.” Is that sentence natural?

"Humanities studies is my zone of interest." Is that sentence natural? I want to express that I love anything related to the humanities division. Should I use "is" or "are&...
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1answer
20 views

Does that sentence sound natural ==> “I'm glad you specialized me with your inquiry.”?

If someone contacted me to ask about something and I want to express my gratitude to them for choosing me in particular to ask, can I say ===> "I'm glad you specialized me with your inquiry?&...
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2answers
62 views

Does the word “algebraic” mean something is easily solvable? [closed]

When someone describes a solution to a problem and they say with a hand flourish, “It”s algebraic!” it certainly gives the impression the solution is simple. But the base word algebra often has ...
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1answer
26 views

Is there a better word or phrase to describe ‘exercise’, as in, working out?

The best I can think of is physical training, or physical discipline.
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1answer
54 views

Confused by “presently came in for” in a sentence [closed]

I was reading Security Analysis and I was confused by the following sentence: what was left of them presently came in for rough handling of the first Roosevelt administration I know that the meaning ...
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0answers
18 views

Idiom to express 'being good at something'

I am currently working on a translation project for university (nothing profressional) and I have a question regarding the translation of a French expression which goes "je ne crains personne&...
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1answer
41 views

With or without FOR? “The last thing I want is (FOR) anyone to…”

I am doing Proficiency exam practice and came across the following sentence transformation: As you can see, according to the answer key, my answer is wrong. However, I did some research and found out ...
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2answers
88 views

Questions about Trump's speech in Long Island [closed]

Two questions about the passage below. What does "Trump riffed" mean? What does "take the hand away" mean in this context? When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of ...
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2answers
36 views

Unexpected business?

When I have something unforeseen to do, what noun or expression can I use to name this activity? In general, not specifically for this case. Unexpected business is what I have found. But this sounds ...
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2answers
53 views

A word or expression to describe a person who tells someone else how to do their work

In Portugal, we have an expression to designate this, which literally translates to something like "coach from the audience". This is a figurative expression related with those people on the ...
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1answer
43 views

What is the meaning of “on the side of the future”? [closed]

I just came across this article titled "ON THE SIDE OF THE FUTURE". Tried to google it, but couldn't find any relevant meaning of this expression.
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0answers
34 views

What does “I have been out late the night before” mean?

What does I have been out late the night before mean? Does it mean that I come back home late?
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1answer
34 views

Is there a word or fixed phrase / idiom for a vicious circle of obtuseness? [duplicate]

I recently told my father-in-law that I thought he was being obtuse, and he then acted as if he didn’t understand the concept of being obtuse. I feel like there’s a word for this. What would we call ...
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1answer
40 views

What does being “duckbilled” mean? [closed]

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/duckbilled duck +‎ billed Having a bill like that of a duck. The entry doesn't explain anything?
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1answer
32 views

“I don’t mind getting to know you more.”

A friend of mine told me I don’t mind getting to know you more. What does it mean? Does she want to know me better or doesn’t she care?
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2answers
152 views

What does “uggin’ bumplies” mean?

Here's an example sentence: How long do you think Rick and Michonne been uggin’ bumplies? What does “uggin' bumplies” mean and where does it come from?
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1answer
36 views

time expression for hour ending in 00? [duplicate]

I have the following case: "This will be triggered from hour to hour". So if it is 9:32 the trigger will activate on 10:32. My question is: If I want to say from hour to hour BUT I want to ...
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2answers
32 views

When a substitute response is given, although it does not address the main issue, is called?

This is not done to evade the question, but rather offered perhaps in consolation. Such as when one is looking for the doctor, who is currently out of reach, and you say, "how about I give you a ...
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0answers
19 views

Mouth Ballooned Up in Disgust - Alternative Word?

I was wondering is there a word for a "ballooned up mouth right before a vomit; or to suppress a vomit". The expression would be like holding your mouth shut to suppress a vomit. I've ...
0
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1answer
34 views

Difference between sentences starting with “don't you…'' and ”do(did) you…" [duplicate]

"Look, some buses are coming this way, don't you see them?" "Look, some buses are coming this way, did you see them?" What is the difference between them? Context: I was doing some ...
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0answers
23 views

use of the phrase “as with”

The phrase "as with" presumably stands for "as is the case with." But sometimes it does not fit the sentence: for example, I think "As with any other skill, the art of ...
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1answer
43 views

What is the meaning of “all in the matter”?

The full sentence is: "The priest seems all in the matter, and the people nothing; while the great attention paid to bowing, crossing and genuflexions appears to reduce the whole service to a ...
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4answers
70 views

Single-word/Expression/Phrase for a name which pretends to be represent a thing that it is not. Example: PATRIOT Act

"The Patriot Act is anything but patriotic, it's a _____________." Not the greatest example depending on your political view (sorry AuthRight), but I'm going off of the interpretation that ...
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0answers
41 views

Turk Fair: Meaning?

I was recently told that a term, which seemed to sound like 'Turk Fair' - used in the past - to describe something chaotic. I can only imagine that it relates to the chaos surrounding a street market. ...
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3answers
812 views

Is the phrase “stone-throwing devil” actually a slur?

Inspired by this question. What is the etymology of the phrase "stone-throwing devil"? Is there any evidence that it has been used as either a racial or religious slur historically or in ...
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3answers
79 views

Does “know more about something” really mean “more” (implying that one already has some prior knowledge) or just a customary phrase

It is a question resulting from a translation attempt of this sentence: Many, however, may wish to know more about this remarkable people from the outset. (Lord of the Rings, Prologue) From here we ...
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0answers
30 views

Comparative adverb

I was taught that object of a preposition is always a noun, but I have often seen that a comparison adverb comes immediately after a preposition, then a noun phrase preceded by an adverb comes, which ...
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1answer
40 views

Is there a word I can use to replace textual “finger quotes” instead of 'per se'?

When it comes to writing, I don't like to use the phrase per se, as it's hard to fit into what I'm trying to explain sometimes, but I don't like using quotes to mean per se (what I'm referring to as ...
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1answer
40 views

What is the meaning of 'successive dynasties'?

I know it means one after another, but dynasty means a series of rulers or leaders who are all from the same family. how could one family have two dynasty? I mean, it is same dynasty then why they ...
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1answer
34 views

Will readers easily understand the following sentence, or should I express it differently?

What happened, happened, and the past cannot be changed. Are the commas correctly used? Also, I'm concerned some readers will believe I mistakenly typed the word "happened" twice. Is there ...
2
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2answers
45 views

Word for a “false idea with a pragmatic outcome better than that of the truth”?

Reading an article (https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2021/02/bad-air/618106/) regarding historical responses to pandemics and the author brings up an interesting point contrasting our modern ...
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0answers
96 views

What is the meaning of the term “backgrounding against someone”? [closed]

Like in this tweet: Last week I revealed the PMO was backgrounding against Brittany Higgins partner. I could not find the meaning of this term. What are the meaning and origin?
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2answers
57 views

Why do we hang on “like grim death”?

The idiom to "like grim death" is widely understood to mean something such as: like grim death = With great determination. Oxford Lexico ‘we had to hold on like grim death’ Hence we find: ...
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3answers
83 views

English equivalent of the Greek “When Muhammad does not go to the mountain…”?

In Greek, there is an expression which translates literally to When Muhammad does not go to the mountain, the mountain goes to Muhammad. The expression is used when the speaker believes that they ...
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3answers
104 views

How to indicate that a function is exponential?

This may be a very specific question and honestly I am still unsure whether I should be asking this here or in the Math Exchange. Maybe it is something very specific to mathematics, I don't know. So ...
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0answers
130 views

How are greetings in 18th century done?

So I'm writing a book and I was wondering how are the above question usually done in 18cen way. A brief greeting maybe old time friends or to a noble. Yea I agree this question can be a little vast. ...
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2answers
50 views

“Take the train” vs “Get in/out the train” vs “Get on/off the train” which one is right? [closed]

I have a question about some verbs - take in, take out, get in, get out, get on and get off. Assuming a passenger is boarding a train or an airplane, Which one is right expression among these verbs: ...
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4answers
77 views

“You go and dry yourselves while I polish the car.” or “You go and dry yourselves while I'm polishing the car.” [closed]

context i/Cleaning_the_Car/Transcript Oxford Dictionary says: "while-at the same time as sth else is happening eg: You can go swimming while I'm having lunch." so I am confused. Why doesn't ...
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2answers
44 views

What is a term/phrase for an event that never occurred, as it was dealt with before it happened, then the original event seriousness is questioned?

What is a term/phrase to describe a potentially serious event where prior mitigation has resulted in either nothing, or little, happening, causing people to question the actual seriousness of the ...
0
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0answers
32 views

Idiomatic meaning or allusion of “twirl a mustache” [duplicate]

“I have a mustache but I have not started to twirl it yet” What is the implication of having a mustache, but not yet twirling it?
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0answers
44 views

what's the meaning of “occupying one's skin”?

The excerpt is from the following lines: Mules and other brutes had occupied their skins. But now, the sun and the bossman were gone, so the skins felt powerful and human. They became lords of sounds ...

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