Questions tagged [idioms]

Idioms are a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words. Use [idiom-requests] if you are searching for an idiom with a particular meaning.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
1
vote
1answer
29 views

Does “stand” have the meaning of “be helpful for”?

"something stands somebody in good stead" is a common idiom, which means "something is helpful for somebody in the present and future". However, under the entry "stand" in the OXFORD dictionary, ...
0
votes
2answers
124 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 ,...
0
votes
2answers
99 views

Why are there so many American phrases about derrières?

Some examples: Piece-of-ass Move that ass Haul your ass Your ass is mine I'm gonna beat your ass Get that ass in gear Get your ass over here put a cap in that ass cover my ass kick ass ass kicking ...
1
vote
1answer
47 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

I am looking for the correct expression for being happily and shocked/confused about an experience mostly about a culture

I am a native turkish speaker and trying to add an English translation to my youtube video. I am trying to say both shocked/confused and happy about having a meal with Japanese family when we are ...
2
votes
2answers
140 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
120 views

Is there a name for an idiom that intentionally reverses key words for dramatic effect?

I have in mind a particular kind of expression which employs a repeated sentence structure, but with key words reversed for dramatic or emphatic effect. Here are two examples: "It's not the size of ...
-2
votes
4answers
120 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
115 views

The dog started barking after the thief had left the place six months ago [duplicate]

It is like a dog barking six months after the thief left. This is an Indian Idiom and is used when someone fails to do their duty at the right time and makes unnecessary fuss very late after the ...
3
votes
2answers
119 views

What is the equivalent proverb/idiom for Hindi saying in English?

Muh mein ram ram bagal mein churi It means Speak praise on the face and stab him from behind.
-1
votes
0answers
56 views

Is there a conflict in this clauses?

Today I've watched the video from Youtube and I don't understand the following: ...you're new here, do yourself a favor and subscribe. You're currently missing out." [time 00:17 - 00:19] https://www....
0
votes
0answers
36 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
67 views

Did anyone actually use the expression “Go to Jericho!”?

https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/go+to+Jericho go to Jericho Go away. Oh, go to Jericho, you're annoying me here! I found this expression randomly. But I could not even find one ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Which regions say “on the button” vs. “on the nose” vs. “on the dot”?

Anecdotally, I've noticed that Brits/Aussies favor "on the nose" (though sometimes in a sarcastic way), while mid-west/west-coast Americans say "on the button", and east-coasters say "on the dot." Is ...
19
votes
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
134 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 ...
25
votes
7answers
7k views

English equivalent of the Malayalam saying “don't stab/poke the dead body”?

ശവത്തിൽ കുത്തരുത് (śavattil kuttarut) is a Malayalam saying that in literal translation means "Don't stab/poke the dead body". The meaning would be something like: don't humiliate a person when he is ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

When does the idiom 'breathed new life into' originate from?

My assumption is it derives from Genesis, but even if that's the case, what I'm really wondering is at what point did it become a common idiom in English, that could be used in contexts that don't ...
1
vote
0answers
29 views

What does the exact phrase “on part with” mean?

I encountered that phrase in the following context. The first numbered item in an unofficial translation of the "Casablanca Protocol"of 1965 says: "(1) Whilst retaining their Palestinian nationality, ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Using commas and pronouns correctly in “Not only because, but also” construct

Firstly, I know that there are plenty of questions concerning "not only, but also" construct on StackExchange. However, none of them could give me an explanation for what I am trying to figure out... ...
1
vote
3answers
46 views

Idiom request:putting forth an effort but it isn’t doing any good

Context: when someone thinks they are in control but they aren’t. Like a captain steering his ship in a storm. The captain is trying to control his ship but it isn’t doing any good because the ship is ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

lose track of (the) time

Which is right: lose track of time or lose track of the time? In CAE, when practicing in transforming key words: "I'm so sorry, I didn't realise it was so late. TRACK. Sorry, I have lost track of the ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

“Argues how” or “argues that”?

The phrase "argues how," as in "the writer argues how essays are not taken seriously," sounds incorrect to me, and I would say "argues that." Similarly, "I am irritated how writers use commas" seems ...
1
vote
3answers
94 views

Can an inanimate object “get something wrongˮ? [closed]

The following is an excerpt from an article about spelling mistakes: Can you spot the mistakes? Building signs which get standard English phrases wrong; posters and other material featuring ...
1
vote
0answers
60 views

Confused of “beat around the bush”

I have searched "beat around the bush" but it seems that it has two meanings based on my understanding. First is it's like you're insinuating or implying a topic/question to someone so it is not ...
2
votes
1answer
41 views

Biding their time to reveal their hidden depths

Is there a phrase for what a person is or is doing who is underrated by people but then shows themselves to contain hidden depths? Not quite a diamond in the rough. Sort of like dark horse. Hmm? Not ...
-1
votes
0answers
36 views

What's the word / expression describes a good name of a bad thing?

Something is not really good, give it a name that makes it better. so we say: "Y" is just a ..... for "X" what should go in the blank? Thanks
1
vote
1answer
39 views

What is it called when one believes to be superior but objectively is not?

On a television documentary, a small group of people declared and truly believed themselves to be superior to other groups. They referred to themselves as "thoroughbreds" citing physical, mental and ...
-1
votes
2answers
47 views

What is the meaning of To Keep Tally

Here is a quot from Bloom's essay on Whitman: His knowledge and sexuality are one, and we need to ask: how does that sexual self-knowing keep tally with the meaning of all things? It refers to ...
-1
votes
0answers
59 views

modal negation with the idiom “not guilty”

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language , page 176, reads Equivalence between pairs of clauses expressing modal necessity and possibility: He must be guilty = He can’t be not guilty....
0
votes
0answers
21 views

Narrowing Down a Phrase

In a story I am reading the narrator overhears snippets of someone else's conversation. In context, the sentence looks like this: Most of it was about story arcs and podcasts and montages and ...
0
votes
1answer
53 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Usage of the “too … to” structure

Do the following sentences make sense to you: (1) "No people are too old but too lazy to learn." (2) "There are no people too old but too lazy to learn." What I mean to say is you can always learn ...
-1
votes
0answers
42 views

Proverb on helping someone else

Proverb that you help someone else and then it backfires. So basically means don't get involved. Don't get your fingers burned. Not sure what else to write here.
14
votes
8answers
5k views

What is an idiom, phrase or expression for situation such as “throw a pigeon among cats”

Normally there is a idiom "throw a cat among pigeons" but what is being inquired here is "throwing a pigeon among cats" where cats are predator and pigeon is the prey and pigeon is trapped between ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

Can I say “empower toward”? [migrated]

This is a one line description about how I am trying to describe my work. However afraid the grammar is not correct and can't find anything about it on the web. "Empowering teams toward efficient &...
0
votes
0answers
16 views

Repeating “can” in this context [duplicate]

I am writing to inquire the correctness of the following usage of "can": ...can cause much confusion and can be potentially used by adversaries Or can I just omit the second "can"? ...can cause ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

come up with a present / souvenir / item

Recently I learned the idiomatic expression "come up with". Does this sound odd when I use this expression with nouns such as presents, souvenirs, items, etc. like "I came up with a unique present / ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

The usage of “with of” in a sentence

I am writing to the following sentence written by a native speaker: ... and build a corpus with of effective tests, reports, analyses and evaluation results. What's really confusing me is the ...
0
votes
2answers
65 views

Why “Now is the time” 50 years after “Donald in Mathmagic Land”? [closed]

Reading about leet speak on Wikipedia in Spanish I stumbled upon this "Now is the time" text among several other examples of it. Why this one caught my attention? I clearly recalled having read it in ...
0
votes
0answers
33 views

What do the expressions “Not-Quites” and “Never-Get-It-Rights” mean?

These are the words from the song - Why You ever chose me Has always been a mystery All my life I’ve been told I belong at the end of the line With all the other Not-Quites With all the ...
4
votes
1answer
70 views

The origin of the expression 'move heaven and earth'?

The link on an answer on this website (Going through a hard ordeal) states the first record of the hyperbolic expression 'move heaven and earth' to be 1792 but the link gives no precise details of ...
1
vote
0answers
63 views

What does slipped over sausage mean?

I was watching "Dad's army" trailer/teaser and at 0:58 one of the actresses says something like I saw that you just slipped over sausage(s) What actually this means? Is it like other "slipped over"...
0
votes
4answers
78 views

Is there an idiom for a pair of things, one interesting and one boring?

I'm trying to describe two kinds of mechanics in a game, one kind that is rather boring, bland and simple, and one that is more rich, complex and flavourful. I'm trying to figure out an idiom / phrase ...
1
vote
2answers
44 views

What is the origin of the phrasal verb “rope into”?

e.g. “I was roped into doing it” From what I can find on the web, “know the ropes” originates either from sailing or theatre. “On the ropes” may originate from boxing. The one article I found ...
2
votes
0answers
53 views

“Gentle confines”

Where does this phrase come from? It's something I use (usually ironically) and something that's "just there" in my lexicon like "fit as a fiddle". However when I Google it, no origin pops up. It ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Baldur's Gate: EE What does this sentence mean? [closed]

I'm playing a PC game 'Baldur's Gate:EE' and I can't understand this sentence. It is from a character in the game. "I bet those rank-ridin' bandits are hired by the Amnian. It'd be like those ...
1
vote
0answers
27 views

Is there a term to describe a word or idiom that translates literally as one thing, but is actually a specific word?

Is there a term to describe a word or idiom that translates literally as one thing, but is actually a specific word in the translated language? My best example would be 'pomme de terre' from French ...
1
vote
0answers
59 views

Meaning of “bear and forbear”

It's a idiom and i couldn't find the definition. It isn't even in a sentence so i'm really confused now..
7
votes
5answers
198 views

Idiom for making fun of an unpleasant situation?

I am looking for an idiom that can be used when someone is trying to make fun to alleviate of a unpleasant situation. Example: Stockholm City has a big construction in its center that clearly affects ...