Questions tagged [idiom-requests]

This tag is for questions seeking an idiom that fits a meaning. If you're also seeking a phrase, see the "phrase-requests" tag too.

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20 views

Idiom/phrase for acting surprisingly passive [duplicate]

I'd be greatly appreciative of an idiom/phrase that depicts a subject (e.g. a governmental organisation) that acts surprisingly passive in relation to a given situation. Context: The governmental ...
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0answers
21 views

What is the word for the action of making sense out of things you witness in the context of something else? [closed]

For instance if you heard someone say something like "wheatherapore" and you think in your head weather report, like wheatherapore doesn't necessarily mean anything but perhaps somebody would still ...
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1answer
27 views

What is the idiom for keep practicing something?

Not practice makes perfect. That's a proverb. Something with the word "saw" i think
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3answers
92 views

Is there a phrase or idiom for a physically attractive person who lacks charisma or personality? [closed]

Sort of the opposite of 'more than a pretty face'. Are there others aside from 'just a pretty face'?
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3answers
58 views

Idiom for “totally watered down” [closed]

Is there an idiom in English for cases where something is so watered down (figuratively or literally) to the point there is no substance left, just the "bare" water?
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2answers
68 views

Word for “doing/getting away with something only because you're 'concealed' in a big group…”

Is there a word for this behavior? Doing or getting away with something just because you're in a big crowd setting where you don't perceive your actions to be noticeable to most people and therefore ...
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6answers
115 views

Idiom for unheard individual voices banding together to become a group with a voice that is heard

Consider for example many tiny little charities that are too small to have their concerns recognised when there is a threat to them. They band together and create a bigger organisation and through ...
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0answers
58 views

What's a word that describes a person who reminds you of the good things they did for you

I don't know if such a word exists in the English language. In the Bisaya language of the Visayas region in the Philippines where I belong, there is a verb that describes exactly that. I can't find ...
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1answer
89 views

Is there any English equivalent to the idiom “cat always dreams of meat”?

We have an idiom in Urdu that could be translated as, "cat always dreams of meat". The meaning is something like, "one always sees what one desires". Let me try to put it in a context. Suppose, A ...
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0answers
47 views

How to express in an idiomatic and polite way that I'm accepting a suggestion and then adding my own thought? [closed]

Assuming there is a suggestion to my writing, which mostly makes sense, but would make the most sense after I accepting that suggestion and adding my own interpretation/rephrase there. I wonder if ...
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1answer
44 views

Is there an adjective to say “will be maintained up-to-date”?

I would like to say the following: an up-to-date database which will be maintained up-to-date This sentence is nested within a larger sentence, therefore I would like to keep it as short as ...
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1answer
64 views

My character always fails me

Are there any expressions or idioms in English that mean someone whose character always fails them? For example: I believe in people but they often cheat me. Every time I promise myself that I won'...
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0answers
43 views

Term for regular meet-ups in order to play team sports

I am searching for an English idiomatic term (noun, formal) that includes regular self-organized meetups of acquaintances (work colleagues, high school or college students) who engage in team sports ...
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1answer
21 views

idiom that describes similar characteristics

I'm trying to remember a particular idiom you would say to someone when you feel that that person bares a remarkable resemblance to another person or group in terms of their behaviour or mindset. "You ...
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3answers
89 views

Any idioms that describe actions now that will benefit yourself in the future?

In regards to the concept of caring about your future self, a simple example being not staying up late drinking so in the morning you don't/your future self doesn't feel awful for work. Is there some ...
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3answers
197 views

Is there an idiom for “people are the same everywhere”?

I am looking for an idiom that expresses the notion that no matter where you go, people are fundamentally the same.
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2answers
102 views

A word or idiom to describe someone who has fears or reservations when others are doing or thinking the same

I vaguely remember a quote floating on the WWW that says Be careful if everyone else is doing the same. Exaggerated example: Tom loves to ride. He has an impeccable passion in riding and ...
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3answers
91 views

Is there an idiom for a wish or fantasy being fulfilled in such an excessive manner that it might be too much to handle?

"Biting more than one can chew", is used mostly for attempting to do something too difficult. What I'm looking for is more in the style of having a wish or fantasy, imagining how goold it would be if ...
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1answer
60 views

An idiom involving walking on a branch

I am reasonably certain that once, glancing over a long list of English idioms, I saw an idiom that I now remember as "walk on a branch" and cannot find anywhere, so my memory must be wrong. The ...
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1answer
72 views

Is there an idiom for playing games with the heart?

The pop band Backstreet Boys has this song Quit Playing Games (With My Heart). I wonder what idiom can describe the phrase "play games with someone's heart"? Apparently the phrase "playing games with ...
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1answer
50 views

What's another idiom/proverb for there is more to something than meets the eye?

I have to make an idiom/proverb for 'there is more to something than meets the eye' in the context of culture; that often, traditions and customs are just symbolic/representative of bigger things. ...
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0answers
26 views

Idiom about “recognizing defeat, but continuing just to maximise the damage to the enemy”

I don't think "grasping for the straws" quite covers it, nor "go out with all guns blazing", it must be something else. Something that would describe Japan's defensive plan in 1945.
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3answers
94 views

Expression for “an argument made in the form of a question”

What is a word or idiom that means an argument made in the form of a question? For example. If one were going to make the argument that you shouldn't just follow along with the crowd without using ...
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2answers
59 views

Word or idiom to describe relief at losing a battle? [closed]

I am looking for a word, phrase or idiom to describe a certain feeling of relief at losing a battle or war. I imagine it is a common feeling. Sadness at losing but relief that the fighting can stop ...
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4answers
244 views

Is there a better word or idiom describing someone who is stuck in the past?

I know a question with similar phrasing has already been asked and closed but what I'm looking for is not something in the line of "nostalgic" or "old-fashioned" or any other way of referring to ...
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0answers
43 views

Idioms for when doing something needless when you really have many important things to do first

Are there English idioms for voicing the needlessness of engaging in a particular, low or no priority action when you already have a number of high priority tasks on your hands?
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1answer
68 views

Is there an idiom for the situation where no extraordinary people are available but mediocre ones?

I am looking for an equivalent of a Chinese saying "If there are no great generals left in Shu, Liao Hua (a military general of Shu) will be the vanguard." It can be interpreted as "the state of Shu ...
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3answers
162 views

Sarcastic way to say something is unexpected

My friend's husband once bought her breakfast and she was surprised since he rarely did that. She wanted to say something like "that was unexpected" but in a more joking and sarcastic tone. We thought ...
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1answer
39 views

Analogy of people observing something from different viewpoints without recognizing it's the same thing

I'm seeking to find this analogy which I vaguely recall. A group of four or five different people are blindfolded and touch different parts of... something. I seem to recall that it was an animal, ...
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1answer
73 views

Is there an expression that implies the same sort of idea as “what came first, the chicken or the egg?” [duplicate]

Looking for a clever title for a short paper on Oscar Wilde's humor, where the reader can never quite figure out if he stands for something or nothing at all. Any ideas are appreciated.
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1answer
95 views

Is there a better Idiom to explain airing grievances to someone who has it worse?

I was recently speaking with my boss about how I dislike my new commute to work. I also know she has a commute longer than mine. I was going to tell her I knew I was "preaching to the choir" but that ...
4
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1answer
91 views

Idiom for opposite of “chain is only as strong as its weakest link”?

Generally when working in teams, people are quick to say the common adage that A chain is only as strong as its weakest link Which implies that it only takes one poor team member to destroy a team'...
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5answers
107 views

Idiom for giving someone what they want

Is there an idiom for giving someone what they want, not in a capitulation sense but as agreement that the best course of action is to just deliver 100% of what is being requested? E.g., "After ...
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1answer
42 views

“Pitch”: the most intense state or stage of an event [closed]

I'm after an expression. It eludes me. I want to express something to the effect of, "At the pinnacle of the war", or "in its most intense fully-fledged state". But using the term "pitch"? "Fever ...
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1answer
50 views

To wholeheartedly commit to something and disregard everything but your focus [closed]

What are English idioms or phrases that mean "to take your brain out and throw yourself at whatever obstacle/task/challenge etc. is in front of you", or similarly to stride forward relentlessly. For ...
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2answers
98 views

An idiom or proverb to describe the ability to identify the best one when given a plethora of choices

I'm looking for an idiom or proverb that emphasise the availability of choices and the ability to identify the best/correct one. The ability is the result of experience, skills and knowledge. For ...
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2answers
191 views

No wife, no pregnancy, but the son is already named [duplicate]

No wife, not her pregnancy but the son's name is soma lingam (some ×) Aalu ledu, chulu ledu kani koduku peru matram somalingam. (Telugu) Some people think of the future ...
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2answers
147 views

A young woman's old husband is taken away by a crocodile

A young woman 's going for an ablution in the Ganges with her fellow women resulted in her old husband being taken away by a crocodile Telugu: Satt varito sariganga snanalu chestunte ,...
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1answer
49 views

Medicating Uvula resulted in making the tongue fall out [duplicate]

Medicating Uvula resulted in making the tongue fall out The proverb means sometimes remedying a simple problem may turn out to be a different problem of great magnitude I ...
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1answer
43 views

number of a book in a series

I am wondering if there is a generic term to refer to the number of a book within a series, but not so generic as number. As an analogy with TV Series, we can use the term episode, for example: ...
2
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2answers
149 views

Throwing a pot of water out looking at the clouds

It is like an old woman throwing a pot of water out looking at the water in the clouds The above is an Indian proverb meaning some innocent people foolishly forego what is ...
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4answers
135 views

I have really scratched my head with fire by asking the question!

It is like scratching one's head with fire I have really scratched my head with fire by asking this question I have really put my foot in it by asking the question If ...
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1answer
136 views

Alternative to “one more tool in my toolbox”?

I could use "one more tool in my toolbox" to describe a final addition to the various methods I have for doing something. However, I'm not sure about "tool" occuring twice in such a short phrase. "One ...
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0answers
37 views

“If it's not soup, it's wet bread” [duplicate]

In Italian (at least in the area where I come from) it's common to say If it's not soup, it's wet bread to say that you might call something a different way, but it's still the same thing. It's also ...
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9answers
7k views

Washing the skin of a dead rat

There is an idiom in Indian languages : There is no use washing the skin of a dead rat for even a year The idiom means a foolish person or thing can not become useful even if ...
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2answers
140 views

Touching leaves after burning your hands

I would like to know an equal idiom in English for an Idiom in Telugu it is like touching leaves after burning your hands meaning doing something to rectify the situation ...
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0answers
46 views

“Fell off X and landed in Y”

I remember hearing a phrase that meant someone had a stroke of bad luck that ended up good - "he fell off X and landed in Y" - but I can't remember what X and Y were. This was something said by my ...
1
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1answer
67 views

2 possible outcomes: 1 strongly desired

I'm looking for a powerful way to describe the fact that -after performing a certain activity- there are only two possible outcomes: 1) It's a great success (only in 20% of cases) 2) It's of no or ...
0
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1answer
59 views

“You could never tell me the odds” as an idiom of improbability

I'm currently writing a small essay for my English class and I'd like to know if this sentence would work as an idiom of improbability You could never tell me the odds when I noticed that this ...
3
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2answers
110 views

Two fight, the third benefits

What is a classic saying for a third party getting all the benefit while two others are fighting. For example (from wikipedia): Two dogs fight for a bone, but a third one runs away with it.

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