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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1answer
14 views

Looking for an idiom

I need to know which one of these idioms fits this description - you unwittingly adopt the views, habits of a person with whom you socialize or are on friendly terms/close intercourse with people ...
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2answers
34 views

Is “unconfident” the exact opposite of “self-confident”?

The word "confident" means to have trust, not necessarily in one's own abilities, but also in the abilities of others, the effectiveness of a plan, the future, etc, which accounts for the ...
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2answers
65 views

“So you like ducks” what does this mean?

Here is the conversation: A: I like software testing “QA”, it's my language B: so you like ducks Does A mean that B is like a sitting duck https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/like+a+sitting+duck or ...
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When do you call it when someone gets benefit (direct or indierct) to be biased

It's not a conspiracy since they all act in their individual self-interest. What is a saying to describe this? I recall hearing "He is on the books" but that doesn't sound right. It's not ...
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31 views

Is it strange to say “One get only life”? [closed]

Is it strange to say "One get only life"? as meaning like YOLO If it does, please explain why. Thank You!
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2answers
37 views

“I'm not crowding you, am I?” figuratively

In Persian, when we are criticized for our presence somewhere, we sometimes say "I'm not crowding you, am I?" It is used figuratively to mean "Why should you feel uncomfortable about my ...
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5answers
4k views

Why are black people referred to as “colored people”?

When someone calls a black person "a colored guy", I can't help but think about the question "are white people colorless? Isn't white a color too?"
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30 views

What does “ROCKET IN MY ROLLS” mean on a toy slot machine?

When I was a kid, I got one of these one lucky Christmas. Needless to say, it fascinated me for endless hours and was a major highlight of my childhood. (Which perhaps might be a bit sad, but I ...
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13 views

What does “to one extent or another” mean? [migrated]

Example: The German Ideology is the first work that can be read as a reliable exposition of the essential views of Marxism (except in economics). In that sense it is the first “Marxist" work, ...
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0answers
16 views

Using “the” for institutions

I would like to know when we use "the" for the institutions particularly when it is written in letters or newspapers as title/body. As far as I understood, you don't put "the" for ...
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1answer
27 views

What is the historical/etymological connection between nerves and the litany of expressions pertaining to anxiety, agitation, and audacity?

After a nerve-racking day, a nervy man may well get on our nerves. Nervous about offending him, we nevertheless work up the nerve to tell him he has some nerve to so freely enervate us. After arguing ...
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1answer
57 views

Does the term “in able to” exist

I came upon some texts where in able to is used where instead also either to be able to or in order to could have been used. In able to doesn't sound quite right to me. I also didn't hear it anywhere ...
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1answer
45 views

Idioms or expressions defining either getting paid fully or being appreciated

I am looking for a common English expression/idiom that defines a situation below: I have done some work for someone, and in return, they are not going to pay me the full payment. Then I will tell ...
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1answer
52 views

What is a word to describe a teacher who has a habit of giving high marks to their students (even if they are not doing well)?

I was wondering if I could say "a giving teacher", but I couldn't find that word having been used in such a context. Also, I have the word "generous" in mind, but I think that word ...
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1answer
40 views

Does it sound idiomatic to say “Regretfully, I won't have the privilege of being with you that day, but I do wish you all good luck.”

There is a very common expression in Farsi that translates to something along the lines of "It's my bad luck that I wasn't there to enjoy your company" or "I will not have the good ...
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1answer
44 views

What is the real meaning of coitus [closed]

I want to know the real meaning of this word. I searched this word on google, but there are porn images are there. I don't want see that. Hope kind explaination on here.
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2answers
43 views

Does any of the following sound metaphorically correct?

"This data has been sitting on my hard drive for years." OR "This data has been sitting in my hard drive for years."
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1answer
28 views

Why do they keep saying “an alien race” instead of “an alien species”? [duplicate]

An "alien race", when speaking about non-Earthly beings, make no sense. They would not be a "race" (of humans), but a different species. Just like a dog is not a "race" ...
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2answers
59 views

Is there a word that can describe someone who says a lot but takes no action? [duplicate]

I know that "doer" is used to describe a person who does things rather than thinking or talking about them. Is there any word opposite to "doer" that can describe someone who ...
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2answers
51 views

The more times you watch that movie the better it gets

The more times you watch that movie the better it gets. Is this sentence correct? You know when you watch the same movie for the second time and discover small details that you didn't notice on the ...
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2answers
42 views

Is this an established phrase?

It would’ve guaranteed that he never again ate alone in Washington. Does to eat alone have idiomatic usage? Would like to see some established reference attesting to its meaning and usage. The ...
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1answer
24 views

Rule for words/set of words that fit “Others with the same *”?

For example some words fit and feel aesthetic to read : Others with the same height, Others with the same marital status, Others with the same publisher While some words don't fit Others with the same ...
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What is the term for saying something negative fishing for positive comments?

Help me! There is a term for when people say or post something negative or complaining but in reality they are fishing for positive (compliments). What is this term?!
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0answers
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Can “there” be a coreference?

If I understand correctly, "there" can be a noun and thus be a subject or object. I therefore assume that it can also be a coreference like in the following example: Slurpilicious is a ...
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2answers
43 views

Is there an expression or word for emotional/spiritual arrival?

I am looking for an elegant expression, or better a word, to describe emotional arrival, to be settled down spiritually, to have come home in a sense that you know what you want, you are at peace with ...
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1answer
36 views

Is there any phrase or idiom for “impossible to find out about something”?

In Persian, when we think it is almost impossible to find out about or discover something, we usually say "even a genie wouldn't find it out!" For example: "They had stashed the drugs ...
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1answer
20 views

How to mention that I'm good at utilizing both old/classical method of learning along with new ones (e.g. MOOC) on my résumé?

In the last 2 years I've completed quite a few books as well as online certification courses relevant to my field of expertise, and those have helped me a lot in expanding my breath and depth of ...
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1answer
25 views

How do we express unability for not doing something by a short and nice-to-hear way?

Can I use statements like "I can't not to admire his power" to express that I actually dare not to underestimate one's power or is there any more clear way to say that? Can the same be used ...
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1answer
29 views

Plural form of “out of the goodness of his heart”

If I want to refer to a group of people, which one of these two sentences is correct? They're not doing it out of the goodness of their heart. They're not doing it out of the goodness of their hearts....
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1answer
31 views

Meaning of “placing a high price” in this context

I recently received an invitation to review an academic paper. In the letter, the editor indicates “we request you place a high price on length”. What does that mean???
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1answer
55 views

An expression for section of leg just above the ankle

Correct me If I'm wrong - As far as I understand, the ankle is the region where the foot and the leg meet or the bone/bump right above the heel. Is there a single word or a simple expression for a ...
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0answers
19 views

Name for expression like “as cool as an ember is hot”

A statement such as "as bold as a lion" is a simile. Is there a specific name for constructions like "he is as honest as the day is long" or "he was as short as she was tall"?
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1answer
25 views

worry vs worries

I saw them go through unemployment and worry about putting food on the table. I saw them go through unemployment and worries of putting food on the table. Which is grammatically correct?
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0answers
32 views

Is it correct to say “I feel terrible”?

I was told that we shouldn't say "I feel painful" and should say "I feel pain". Because "I feel painful" sounds like I cause the pain. If I want to express that I experience a physical feeling of pain,...
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0answers
35 views

What is the provenance of this expression regarding luck

I heard the following phrase in conversation: "Luck is cruel to those that see it" Is this (or a variation of) a common idiom or well known quote, and if a quote, who is attributed to it?
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21 views

What is the meaning of “partisan estrangement of impeachment”?

I took the expression from this paragraph: But earlier this year -- even amid the partisan estrangement of impeachment -- no one could have foreseen how his reelection race will now be shaped by a ...
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1answer
36 views

“For both of them to go …”

In the following dialog at a funeral for the parents of two children who died in an accident: They were in an accident... For both of them to go... I heard the other person wasn't watching the ...
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2answers
60 views

That shade of green isn’t really workin’ for you [closed]

So I'm reading a book, there's some humour on a page where there's an 'Advice guy' that says things. Here's three of the things he says: 1)"Treat yourself to a cold one! You deserve it!" That I know ...
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3answers
4k views

Kettle to pot, Hello? Come in, pot

In the tv series Mentalist S03E1: the character Rigsby uses the phrase Kettle to pot. “Hello. Come in, pot.” I wonder what it means. You can see the timestamp at the Quodb website.
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18 views

Futur perfect Tense

Is this sentence grammatical and idiomatic? I will already have eaten when you get back. To say that when .. ,let's say Mary, come back home, I will have already finished eating, I mean I will ...
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0answers
158 views

What is the origin of the use by Texans of “them” to mean one person?

I have always wondered about a use of the pronoun "them" that is characteristic of many Texans, and would like to know if it has been documented by linguists and, perhaps, had its origins explained. ...
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0answers
12 views

Too..to & such in expressing results

It was....hard question to solve a) too b) such a I’m a little bit confused but i think the form (too + adj+ to) can’t have a noun after the adjective unless it’s (too + adj+ a/an + noun), also I ...
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3answers
49 views

Word for someone who pities, insults or complaints about their situation or life just to make the other person flatter them [duplicate]

I want to know a word or a phrase that would describe a person who "intentionally" (because some people hate themselves even when they don't want to, or some people are insecure - making some ...
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1answer
29 views

“to be” or not “to be”

In a sentence like this: I did not find it [to be] ... 1) hard 2) anything hard 3) hard to do 4) anything hard to do 5) etc. when is including [to be] necessary, desired, acceptable, not ...
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22 views

threatened loss of, “threatened” modifying “loss”?

In the sentence The threatened loss of specific tastes and the local cultures that produce them animate this movement. is "threatened" modifying "loss"? I thought that analyzing it so was wrong, ...
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1answer
72 views

Is this fiction or non-fiction?

Suppose I write a "story" of the earth, taking a perspective with stream of consciousness (first person perspective). Would this be fiction or non-fiction? Because I will be using facts (like global ...
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1answer
83 views

which is suitable for wine, “sourness” or “acidity”?

Which adjective is suitable for tastes of wine? And why? I'd like to know which expression you usually use and if there is any difference. More context: I had a chance to translate ”酸味”, which ...
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3answers
44 views

I understand the meaning of the phrase “passive aggressive”, but I'm having difficulty interpreting what it means in the following context:

"We idealize the person who broke our heart. We spend hours remembering their smile, how great they made us feel, that time we hiked up the mountain and made love under the stars... All that does is ...
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1answer
22 views

Why does “to keep someone posted” mean “to keep someone updated”?

What's the logic behind the meaning of the above phrase?
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1answer
32 views

Is this right? : “Distinguish controllables from uncontrollables.”

when you google 'controllables', you can find some examples which use it as 'things can be controlled.' And I feel comfortable with it. So, does this phrase make sense? : 'Distinguish controllables ...

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