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An idiom's figurative meaning is different from the literal meaning.

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1answer
31 views

What does 'The Thick End Of' mean, and why?

I came across this phrase around 20 years ago, and have always understood it to mean 'most of'. I might complain about having to pay "the thick end of £4" for a coffee, when it cost somewhere between £...
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0answers
29 views

Deep state versus cabal [closed]

I ran across the term "deep state" and web searching (including a link to the term in the NPR page above) seems to indicate that it is the same as a cabal. Political/government cliches that influence ...
2
votes
3answers
93 views

“The cat that got the cream” - is there any innuendo?

I think this is a British idiom. The American version would be, "The cat that killed the canary." I was about to say this to a female friend, intended as a "well done" sort of compliment, ...
0
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1answer
28 views

What is the meaning of “as classic as they come”?

These shoes are as classic as they come. I am not sure if it means that its style won't be affected whether the trend changes as time goes. Does it mean that this item is a timeless piece?
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2answers
54 views

“Tip of the iceberg” negative or positive

Does this idiom indicate the negative side or positive side? Example: what you have seen about his character is just the tip of the iceberg... Does this example show whether he has so much good ...
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1answer
75 views

Origin of phrase “dollars to doughnuts” [closed]

What is the origin of the phrase "dollars to doughnuts", and what is the phrase trying to convey when most commonly used?
49
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7answers
13k views

Meaning of the phrase “womp womp” in American English?

I'm British, I'd like some assistance understanding the meaning of the American idiom "womp womp" in this context: PETKANAS: “I read today about a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome who was taken ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Meaning of the expression “Ain't no trip we can't get past”

"Ain't no trip we can't get past" Does anybody here know what it means? This expression sort of resembles a saying in Spanish that goes something like this: "there is neither a sickness which ...
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0answers
19 views

Sweet-spot in computing sentence [duplicate]

What means "sweet-spot"? Those temperatures may be sustainable, but they are higher than they should be. In a well-ventilated computer case, an SSD should be showing temperatures close to room-...
1
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1answer
70 views

What's an idiom or a phrase that can be used to explain something's versatility? [closed]

What's an idiom or a phrase that can be used to explain something's versatility ?
3
votes
3answers
119 views

Is there a positive counterpart of “Showing one's true colors”?

Showing one's true colors applies to a situation where a person did something that you perceive as negative. For instance: I thought Jake was a nice guy, but at the club, he showed his true colors. ...
1
vote
1answer
173 views

Is it possible to say “I take myself with a grain of salt?”

Does the phrase "I take myself with a grain of salt?" mean "I think about myself sceptically"? Or it doesn't? Either the first phrase have no sense at all?
2
votes
2answers
87 views

What does it mean when someone says to “deliver the eyeballs”?

Skimming through the following article on Guardian I stumbled upon the following sentence: So if someone asked “What’s your space?” and you had a deeply unfashionable job like, say, writer, it ...
1
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2answers
116 views

Meaning of “What's in it for (someone)?” [closed]

On another SE site, I wrote in a comment What's in it for X? (X is a person.) I was asked what this phrase meant. I looked in three online dictionaries of idioms and couldn't find it. It showed ...
3
votes
2answers
147 views

In “pedophilia,” why philos rather than eros?

Greek carefully distinguishes between philos (non-sexual love) and eros (sexual love). There are 100s of "phile" words (e.g. an audiophile is a person with a non-sexual love of stereo equipment) and ...
1
vote
1answer
24 views

“On your own block”

You belong on your own block, where I can whistle for you. I am totally confused by “belong on your own block”, could anyone please help me understand this sentence? Your help would be greatly ...
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3answers
158 views

Difference between art and science [closed]

I see this phrase used in lot many places: is as much art as it is science However, I am not sure what it means. Can someone please help me understand?
1
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2answers
87 views

What does the sentence “Please don't drop this from your radar” mean? [closed]

What does the sentence "Please don't drop this from your radar" mean. I searched for this in Google I found some idiom named drop off the radar but still I need some clarity on this. I want to learn ...
-1
votes
1answer
127 views

What does it mean if someone says “this man I think u are up to something”? [closed]

this man I think u are up to something One of my friends asked me this question because he got this text from his girlfriend. So, can anyone help me out to understand this phrase?
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2answers
40 views

Does “head start” imply a comparison or competition with others?

I'm working on an application for a summer school. In the letter, I am explaining how I have been preparing to get into the field in question and how the summer school would further help me with that ...
5
votes
1answer
91 views

Can “much less” be used in affirmative manner?

There was the following paragraph in Washington Post (March 26) article under the headline, “The 5-minutes fix: What to make of Stormy Daniels. “Daniels is openly profiting from her newfound fame ...
2
votes
2answers
75 views

What does 'let off the hook' mean in football (soccer)?

What does let off the hook mean in football (soccer)? It appears in a Daily Telegraph article as follows: Wales had been let off the hook by Suarez in the first period, but Uruguay finally made ...
-4
votes
2answers
80 views

What does get into more difficult waters mean? [closed]

In a book that I'm reading there is a sentence like this If we focus just on our local galaxy, we know that there are about 100 billion stars, with about 20 billion Earth-like planets. Twenty ...
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0answers
37 views

What is the meaning of “head-poppingly”?

In a book I'm reading there is a sentence like this If you travel to a foreign country, you will make the charming discovery that there are many differences between the local way of life and your ...
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1answer
242 views

What does the phrase “Mind your business” mean or refer to?

I appreciate it if you respond to or comment on the meaning of "Mind your business", as used on the Fugio Cent in Colonial America. Thanks in advance for your time!
2
votes
1answer
385 views

Meaning and etymology of the “Rhodesia Solution” [closed]

An example of the term "Rhodesia solution" being used is in The whisky Priest, an episode from the BBC comedy series Yes Minister, which follows a government minister and some of his closest staff ...
3
votes
3answers
166 views

Word/expression for someone who doesn't reciprocate favors?

Is there a word/idiom/expression to refer to someone whom I have helped a lot but doesn't reciprocate any favors even though they are capable of helping me? For example: I have helped Peter a lot ...
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0answers
33 views

What's the meaning of “neon-grade memorability”?

In the article The brilliance of Richard Brautigan by Sarah Hall there's a sentence that reads as follows: Brautigan is a high stylist; his lines can be astonishing and have neon-grade memorability ...
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0answers
175 views

meaning, definition of phrase “time for time”

I am translating a text where the following appears: Dave, it's your boss. You owe me a shift this Saturday. You really need to, time for time. I was trying to look for a definition for this "time ...
0
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0answers
264 views

What does the expression 'you can shake a bunsen burner at' mean?

I am reading the following article https://www.oxford-royale.co.uk/articles/read-enhance-general-knowledge.html . In the first paragraph there's the following sentence: You’ve memorised more ...
0
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1answer
46 views

“Hock the Rembrandt”

I read that expression recently. It was used more or less as follows: It is very expensive: so, if you really want to acquire it, be prepared to hock the Rembrandt. I would like to know if this ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Does 'I took the trouble' have a negative cognotation?

Example phrase: When I became aware of IBM I took the trouble to learn more. Does the idiom "I took the trouble" have a negative connotation in business writing? Does it convey a thought of ...
1
vote
3answers
108 views

Is Trump's 'cracked up' expression a special AmE version of the idiom?

The British Press have pointedly made reference to Mr Trump's quote : "I think I would have said that the European Union is not cracked up to what it’s supposed to be," What would have been ...
3
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5answers
464 views

Has “call on someone” meaning “pay a short visit” fallen out of usage?

It would appear that the usage of call on someone meaning to visit someone, usually for a short time, as in “We could call on my parents if we have time” has become somewhat obsolete according to ...
4
votes
4answers
89 views

Is there an idiom or saying for an act that on the surface appears extending the olive branch but in reality it means to abscond responsibility

A couple of us have been trying figure this out. Two parties have a conflict in a form of a proven betrayal that has come to an impasse so both remained conflicted. Then one party extends what ...
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2answers
44 views

Have you never loved again [closed]

I am trying to understanding the lyrics of Django Unchained 2012 soundtrack and in one line there is a phrase. "Django, have you never loved again?" Unfortunately, I cannot make sense of it. ...
3
votes
3answers
127 views

Off with ya meaning [closed]

I am watching Django Unchained (2012) and there is a dialog between King Schultz and Speck Brothers where one of the Speck Brothers says: -I do not care, No sale. Now, off with ya. Could anyone ...
0
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1answer
3k views

What does it mean to “give somebody a pass”?

In The Wolf of Wall Street there is a comical scene with Donnie Azoff and Brad Bodnick, where Donnie gets into a public brawl with Brad. Their talk: Brad: I’m gonna give you a pass. Just give me ...
1
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1answer
107 views

Coming round to dinner

''In fact, she is coming round to dinner this evening'' I've done my research on the web, but I can't find its meaning. My question is, why did they use this idiom instead of just going to dinner? Is/...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Origin of “I'm gonna tan your hide”

If I were to take this literally, I might think this meant that someone was going to strip me naked and tie me to to a palm tree on a sunny day. I also understand that tanning refers to the process by ...
1
vote
1answer
233 views

What is the origin of this phrase? [closed]

I would like to know the exact origin of the "blow hot and cold" idiomatic expression and when it was first used in English. The following source says it is of Greek origin.
3
votes
2answers
294 views

They want paint by numbers. What does it mean?

Everybody wants the copy-and-paste templates. They want paint by numbers. But they also want big profits. They want scalable ad campaigns that don’t quickly burn out or take tons and tons of ad ...
1
vote
1answer
193 views

The meaning of “difference out”

I have never heard of this phrase, and am assuming it is not idiomatic, which Google also seems to agree. I came across it in an academic paper. My question is which idioms is it closest to in meaning?...
4
votes
2answers
304 views

What is the meaning of 'to shadow forth'?

Example usage: With what fairer and nobler emblem could any man desire to shadow forth his character? or In time the bells ceased, and the bakers were shut up; and yet there was a genial ...
25
votes
1answer
4k views

What does 'Big Hand, Small Map' mean?

I heard someone saying that a few days ago, but provided the context, I still couldn't grasp what he meant with that. By the way, I didn't find it on the internet either.
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vote
0answers
48 views

What is an Idiom for badgering by asking if a person is well when no illness present?

Continually asking an individual questions below when there is no reason to believe a person isn't okay with the purpose of picking on them. Or to question sanity of an idea. Are you feeling okay? ...
3
votes
1answer
579 views

American slang: “to give a girl the time” (in J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye)

In J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, chapter 6, Holden, who is worried sick because one of his school mates, Stradlater, some kind of sexual predator, went on a date with Jane Gallagher, a girl ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

origin of idiom “small dice”?

I've been using an idiom ambiguously: "That's small dice." Does this refer to unfavorable outcomes in games of chance? (equivalent to "chump change", like "those are small dice"?). See also "no dice"...
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2answers
84 views

What does it mean by “grizzly image”?

Recently I watched a video and here is one of the line: The grizzly image has since been immortalized as shorthand slang for single-minded cult-like thinking. When I searched the meaning of "...
0
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1answer
247 views

Hook someone up with vs fix someone up with something

Is there any difference between the two, meaning to provide someone with something they need or want? Which is used more often, and is it a British/ American difference ?