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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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36 views

Proper spelling/saying

My 90 year old father has a saying, "I've been dragged through an auger hole and beat with a sut rake." It means you're worn out or have been treated badly. "Sut" pronounced almost like "soot." Not ...
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26 views

Why is the US referred to as “the Union” in “State of the Union”?

I wonder about the use of the word "Union" in the name "State of the Union", which is the US President's annual address to Congress. The phrase appears in the Constitution: He [the President] shall ...
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22 views

Word or phrase that everyone knows or has heard of, but no one knows its underlying meaning

What word or phrase can describe terms like: Wi-Fi AM/FM AM/PM RSVP "etc." "i.e." and so on? In other words, what word or phrase could be used to describe a word or phrase that "everyone knows ...
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17 views

spend or have an unforgettable weekend

Is it correct to say: I promise we are going to spend an unforgettable weekend. Or I promise we are going to have an unforgettable weekend Or both are ok?
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28 views

Should say “his own wife” or “his wife”?

I was narrating a movie to my friend where I made a statement like “his own wife killed him” where my friend said it doesn’t sound right to say “his own wife” and corrected me to say it as just “his ...
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26 views

Usage of 'in comparison with' when comparing features (adjectives)

I have a problem with an expression of the form "[Adjective1] [Noun1] and [Noun2] in comparison with [Adjective2] and [Adjective3] [?]", when all adjectives are features of the given nouns and we want ...
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47 views

When the ass is feeling too good, it goes dancing on ice

This is the literal English equivalent of the German proverb Wenn es dem Esel zu wohl ist, geht er aufs Eis tanzen The proverb commonly describes the behaviour of people who are comfortably well-...
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20 views

Word for working with two parallel work instruction system in a company

If living two lives, one for outside world and other in the closet is double life. What would you call preferably pejoratively for when employees are working with two procedures rule book & ...
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52 views

How to convey a meaning of 'comfortableness in shopping' in a more concise way or descriptive but meaningful way (not superfluous)?

What I mean of "comfortableness" is a combination of these elements: Easy access to the products and services. (also responsive service) Clean environment and atmosphere (the air is healthy and clean ...
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185 views

“Curdle me sour”

I am reading a children’s book called gerinimo Stilton, the curse of the cheese pyramid. I found an expression “curdle me sour” in the book. I thought it was an idom so looked it up. I got nothing ...
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73 views

'The Secret People' a poem by G.K. Chesteron: Is “Blood runs red” a proverb or is it literary language?

The line I am referring to is as follows: The fine French kings came over in a flutter of flags and dames. We liked their smiles and battles, but we never could say their names. The blood ran ...
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48 views

Phrasal variations for “advance warning” and their origins

I just used the phrase "just giving you a heads-up" for the first time in years, and it got me thinking about the origins of the expression and variations of it. Heads-up (nominal) is essentially the ...
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58 views

Before the 20th century, how did people express ideas like “X isn't going to happen anytime soon”?

Something I was writing recently included the phrase "They aren't going to disappear anytime soon." I was a bit unsure about whether to write "any time" or "anytime", so I looked that up and found ...
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51 views

How to say putting knee on a table

What I am doing in that picture? I couldn’t describe it in English? In the attached picture, you will see my leg, my knee is on the table. Images are not visible I think. I put my knee to the left ...
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83 views

What does “skimming the cream off the milk” mean?

Some context: The physicists Prandtl and von Kármán had a competition to solve an open problem in the field. Prandtl shared his unpublished data, as well as his "lieutenant" physicist, Frank ...
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388 views

The expression,“You lie like a dog in straw”

My father was originally a country boy, born in Australia at the beginning of the 20th century. He had a number of typically Australian expressions (e.g., "stone the crows"), but the one I remember ...
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43 views

Usage of phrase “I maintain and satiate a healthy appetite”

I was planning on using a sentence like this in my resume/jobmarket summary: "I maintain and frequently satiate a healthy appetite in machine learning, neuroscience and mathematics." (Basically ...
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61 views

What does “shareholder” mean in the Guy Ritchie's movie “Revolver”?

I sure it doesn't mean "an owner of shares in a company". In translated movie in my native language this word was missed, and I don't understand what does in mean in this situation. One character asks ...
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82 views

Term for first person complement of the “Royal We”

The "Royal We" or nosism refers to the usage of "we" to mean "I", ("We are not amused", meaning "I am not amused"), or "you", ("We need to mop that floor", which may mean "you must mop the floor"). ...
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42 views

In statistics' confusion matrix, why does 'recall' have that name?

There are a number of words used very frequently to describe properties of a confusion matrix (or contingency table). Among them there is the word 'recall', this is to describe: tp ――――― tp+tf ...
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93 views

Is it okay to say 'margin of survival'?

I read a sentence 'Most animals lived very close to the margin of survival.' And the writer wanted to say: 'Most animals lived in conditions that were hard to survive.' I wonder whether his ...
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362 views

Idiom/expression that indicates that you can do something conveniently/quickly?

I'm not sure if I'm being clear enough with my question, but there's this expression which goes like "you can do this at the... blank" which means you can do it easily, but I don't remember what it is....
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282 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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99 views

Grammar question: Which one does “as A as B” part modify?

Renewal and reform always depend on a capacity for going backwards to go forward. Key to this process is a search within one’s own mind for a model according to which reformed practice can be ...
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67 views

Ding ding I'm on the tram

My dad would say this if I helped myself to something with out offering him any. Such as a cup of coffee. Is this an English phrase?
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35 views

Usage of “[value] dollar industry”

I'm looking for some guidance on how to describe an industry according to it's revenue, and I'm seeking clarity around the correct usage of assigning a dollar value to an industry. First and foremost,...
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102 views

What would be an equivalent meaning expression?

There is a saying in portuguese: Pare de guardar gelo no bolso! Something like "Stop keeping ice in your pocket", meaning that you should stop doing something that is useless. Is there an ...
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166 views

“local staff” in a shopping mall

Someone used this in a sentence: local staff in a shopping mall to highlight the employees of that shopping mall are locals. I admit that I've never heard expressions such as "local staff", is ...
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0answers
2k views

Does the phrase “perceived slight” indicate a slight is not real?

Can the phrase "perceived slight" be used to mean any slight a person perceives, whether that slight is grounded in reality or not, or is it synonymous with an "imagined slight" (a slight that is only ...
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130 views

the usage of “will” and “be going to”

Which expression is preferencial? It is going to be the year of horse next year. It will be the year of horse next year.
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71 views

Is there a phrase for doing a particular thing only to have a formal right to deny somebody something?

I know that the title is rather unclear; basically, let me describe the situation this way: You have been assigned by your teacher to choose students for a school project many would like to take ...
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0answers
66 views

What does 'vibrations in the muck' mean?

My question: Does the expression have a figurative meaning? (Basically, what does it mean?) I'm also curious about the origin and when it is usually used. Any ideas? The expression is used in the ...
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720 views

“I'm thinking of” vs “I'm wondering” vs “I wonder”

When we want to say that we have been thinking (for days) before taking a decision, I'm use to saying I'm thinking of hiring another employee... Are there any other ways of saying the same thing? ...
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2k views

Word for gesture of pinching cheeks

Is there a word / expression for the gesture of pinching someone's cheeks to show affection. It is often done to kids although people with dimples are also a frequent target for this kind of gesture.
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113 views

Relation between 'As a matter of fact' and 'Matter-of-fact

I'm aware of the meanings of these expression. I'm just wondering if there is any relation between the two. I've looked into many dictionaries but haven't understood much about their similarities,if ...
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368 views

What's the meaning of “turn the needle on”

Here is the quotation, said by Audun Martinsen, the VP of Oilfield Service Analysis of Rystad, on December the 7th as a press statement. But OPEC production cuts will turn the needle on the FID [...
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619 views

“It was not before several years since/after” construction…is this even correct?

I am writing a text and I have a doubt related to the construction of a sentence. I am not sure whether this is an idiomatic expression in English, or simply a commonly used construction (if even). ...
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90 views

“Semantics-independent” or “semantic-independent”

I am trying to describe a module, that is considered to have independent functionality. In other words, the processing of such module does not rely on the assist of other participants. I am thinking ...
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316 views

Word or phrase for customers won from a competitor

In the context of a company that makes or sells a product (e.g. accounting software) where there are many alternatives on the market, is there a word or [short] phrase to describe "new customers that ...
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181 views

Ways of saying that “you can get A at a cost of B”

It is impossible to be perfect on everything. Sometimes if we want to do well in A, we cannot do well in B at the same time. I do know the phrase "at the cost/expense of", which can be applied to the ...
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0answers
570 views

Social Paradigm

It is come from the 7 habits of highly effective people book (2004) by Stephen Covey. He have mentioned Character Ethic & Personality Ethic are the examples of social paradigms. (Page 23) I ...
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1k views

“These kids I tell you” or “kids I tell you” expression meaning

I have read them in few disconnected articles and in conversations but could not understand them completely. "These kids I tell you" or "kids I tell you" expression meaning. What do they mean ?
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107 views

“Tested Recently” or “Recently Tested”?

Is there one term that is clearly better than the other? Here is the use case: I have a computer system which shows when certain machines have been tested. The possible values are "Ready For Test", "...
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66 views

“effective and efficient estimation” or “accurate and efficient estimation”?

In math, we always need to derive some methods and strategies to estimate an unknown thing. For a good method, first it should get an estimation that is as accurate as possible, and second it should ...
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2k views

Came “into” fruition?

My friend wrote some copy, explaining that her "company came into fruition because she realized the opportunity..." I've never used "came into fruition" -- only "came to fruition". Is "came into ...
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0answers
750 views

What is the meaning when someone say “it doesn't get much weird than Lynda?”

Lynda made a dance performance, it's very weird and many audiences couldn't understand it. Then a guy made a comment "It doesn't get much weird than Lynda?". What does he mean ? Is that "Lynda is ...
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2k views

A word for saying exactly what you meant/wanted to

It seems to me that I've heard it before but it escapes me.. If I remember correctly the definition is relating to 'saying exactly the right thing at the right time' 'saying exactly what you meant ...
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2k views

Cracking your head to find OR Cracking your head over?

Which is the right way to say it? Got caught in a disagreement over this blog title. Example usage: Cracking your head to find the perfect Christmas gifts? Vs Cracking your head over the ...
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5k views

How to use “have an impact”?

I was wondering whether saying "have an impact" instead of "have an impact on" is idiomatically correct. "He aspired to have an impact through education and hard work."
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576 views

"it's a long time that.'

This question was posted here "It's a long time that" - correct or not? a few months back and an answer was selected. The answer given is hardly satisfying, and I feel that the question ...