Questions tagged [phrase-requests]

This tag is for questions seeking a phrase or an expression that fits a meaning. If you're specifically seeking only a single word, see the "single word requests" tag too.

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Is there any alternative words or phrases in English for 'challenge someone to a fight with rubbing spittle on the forehead'

If you dare to smear spittle on someone's forehead, it signifies a challenge to engage in a fight. Such challenges often occur among children. When one child challenges another to a fight, they ...
Mawia HL's user avatar
  • 225
0 votes
2 answers
66 views

What is a word (or phrase) to describe someone opening their hands in reply to obviousness of a question being asked? [closed]

Additional Context: Consider someone in a running shorts and shoes, near a jogging track being asked loudly from distance, "Where you going?" Instead of shouting back the obvious answer, the ...
Pratik Mishra's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
182 views

Gender independent term for address a superior or higher up

For times when I am unaware of whether my superior is male or female, it would be very convenient to have a gender neutral term for addressing them. For example, in the sentence: Hello _____ , I have ...
Bongo Man's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
85 views

Discover an event isn't the first instance, and that isn't good

I'm looking for a word or phrase, preferably English or at least using English characters, to describe an event or feeling about an event that is one of many, but that the person thought was the first ...
vulpineblazeyt's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
53 views

A word or phrase for a task which can't be neatly defined by a process

I'm looking for a word or phrase for a task which can't be neatly defined by a process. By process I mean a series of steps to be followed exactly. Writing a good stack exchange request would be an ...
MichaelJK's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
92 views

Phrase for offering first choice from only options where you don't mind the rejects?

Here's the scenario: I have been sent to get takeaway food or drinks for, say, two friends or co-workers and myself. I do not know their food preferences. When I get to the counter, I find three ...
Oddthinking's user avatar
  • 3,253
0 votes
2 answers
99 views

How do you describe someone who pretends to know the answer to their question after it's been answered?

I have a coworker who constantly asks questions, obvious ones and sometimes not so obvious, and always pretends to have known the answer but it accidentally slipped their mind. example Coworker: How ...
user496959's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
168 views

Phrase for a person in town known for being insane?

This is my first post, forgive me if it is unorthodox. So, I’m looking to title a video, and this is bothering me: I could’ve sworn there was a phrase to describe a local crazy person in a town or ...
Randy's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
2 answers
465 views

Is there a term for when people use a definition from a different context?

This type of thing happens a lot online. People will say something like "strawberries aren't actually berries technically" or "tomatoes are actually fruit" when people are taking ...
Schuyler's user avatar
  • 121
14 votes
13 answers
6k views

Word for declining to answer

Is there any single word or short expression that could be used similarly to "yes", "no", "maybe", but that indicates an unwillingness to answer a question? Bonus points ...
Stephane Bersier's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
48 views

What is the word for a cut down said with a grin?

When someone is grinning at you while cutting you down. A snide comment is the best I have found. Or cheshire cat grin. There has to be a better word for this common occurrence.
ParisMarina's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
60 views

Is 'Bring forth' archaic? [closed]

I'm not a native speaker and this is what it feels like to me, probably because of the 'th' ending. What would be a good modern alternative?
Nova's user avatar
  • 11
8 votes
5 answers
2k views

Why does "In the next years" sound strange?

Next is either a pronoun, an adjective or an adverb. Why do the phrases "for the next years" and "in the next years" sound so weird to me? Coming years, following years, future ...
InSonia's user avatar
  • 81
2 votes
3 answers
143 views

Looking for an opposite for the term 'tunnel vision'

What might be the opposite of tunnel vision? What I mean is instead of seeing only one's direct path, the person is so distracted by the texture of the sidelines, goes so far as to obscure the goal at ...
Samuel DuPont's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
68 views

Alternative phrase to Mohammed must go to the mountain

In the phrase: "If the mountain won't come to Mohammed then Mohammed must go to the mountain." I am looking for an alternative phrase for just the second part, "Mohammed must go to the ...
Steve Shute's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
93 views

Phrase that is more business-appropriate than "got screwed"? [closed]

What is a more business-appropriate phrase that has the same meaning as "got screwed" (the non-sexual meaning). In all the examples below, the people "getting screwed" were ...
End Anti-Semitic Hate's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
59 views

word or phrase to describe wanting to ask how someone is coping with something difficult but not asking due to respect?

Is there a word or phrase to describe the longing to know how someone is coping with something hard - illness, death etc - but not wanting to pry due to the painful nature of the person who is going ...
erika w's user avatar
  • 11
0 votes
3 answers
76 views

Simile or metaphor that describes constant change over the years

I'm writing an essay about the amendments and how the situation is different now than when they were created and because of those changes, the amendments must also change to protect the citizen's ...
hannah's user avatar
  • 11
3 votes
4 answers
300 views

What's a good expression for a problem where a good solution exists but where people choose to ignore said solution? [duplicate]

To avoid disputes over politics, I'm going to list a few made up examples below. The people of Ambrosia live in a hot desert climate. A/C is a known technology, however the politicians of Ambrosia ...
JonathanReez's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
146 views

What's an alternative term for "nip off to"?

I am thinking of an alternate way of saying I [nip off] to the local store with my dog every day. The alternative should include a replacement for the verb ‘nip off to’ and give the meaning of going ...
mueen khurshid's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
582 views

Word for nonce antonyms formed by reversing idioms

Someone recently used "on-limits" to describe something that was allowed, i.e. not "off-limits." The same person subsequently described unplugging something as "plugging it ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 113
4 votes
2 answers
309 views

What do you call the covered area of the drive-through at a bank? Not really a Porte Cochere, banks are typically open on 3 sides

The drive-through area that has a solid roof over it and not just an awning or canopy extruding from the side of the building. Typically seen at bank branches that have more than one drive-up teller ...
Brendon's user avatar
  • 41
-2 votes
1 answer
79 views

What is a phrase for a person who changes their story to satisfy whoever they're addressing?

What is a phrase to describe a person (especially a woman) running for office who tells different political factions what they want to hear in order to win their vote?
Lois Danks's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
61 views

How to modify the title "All paths lead to hubs: the case of water isotopologues" such that it will be one statement only? [closed]

We are in the process of publishing a paper in Communications Chemistry, for which we devised the following title: All paths lead to hubs: the case of water isotopologues However, the editor asked ...
TobiR's user avatar
  • 119
1 vote
0 answers
51 views

What's another way to say something has happened prematurely?

I’m trying to write a bit in a story that’s describing a person who has weather beaten clothes that have been rapidly aged by salt water, but for the life of me, I can’t remember the fitting or ...
Dreamheart's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
57 views

Is there a word or phrase to describe indulging deeply in sorrow, wantingly? [closed]

Specifically, by "indulging in deeply negative emotions," I envision a process wherein you're experiencing a deep, wretched kind of emotional pain, but ultimately... almost want to? Not ...
StarkRights's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
162 views

What is the city equivalent of 'hillbilly hell"?

As you may have already known, and for those of you who don't know, hillbilly hell is a term used to mock the countryside in the USA, with all of its perceived flaws (insular, racist, decaying ...). ...
Carl Warren's user avatar
0 votes
4 answers
130 views

Another way to say "I identify as"

I was hoping this group of educated people could help me find another phrase for "I identify as". Ideally I'm looking for a phrase to replace this one that's used in the transgender ...
sundawning's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
94 views

To make people get used to and accept the bad by showing them the worse

I am searching for an idiomatic expression for making people accept and get used to what they normally wouldn't by showing or making them experience a worse one. Edit; when authority wants to increase ...
Ghazwan Al Ahmed's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
49 views

Another phrase for "he is a very easy person to scare"? [duplicate]

Can I have another phrase for the sentence/phrase; He is a very easy person to scare. Please I need this because I am writing a story which I'm going to produce when I'm finished...
Adesewa's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
116 views

Is there a word or phrase for when you're at the whim of someone?

I'm writing a short bio of my character who has made a contract with a demon and is now required to do her bidding. He's not necessarily a slave, he still has the freedom to do whatever he likes, I ...
EQUINOX's user avatar
  • 11
0 votes
2 answers
149 views

What is a phrase to describe asking a question that you’re afraid to know the answer to?

I’m writing a line where a character is very anxious, and asks a person a question, but is sort of afraid to know the answer. I’ve written it as “[Question]?” Character X asked character Y, but I feel ...
Obama2020's user avatar
  • 101
1 vote
0 answers
147 views

More common terms for "tall poppy syndrome"

I came across this New York Times article: Ms. Hathaway could simply be a victim of what the British call “tall poppy syndrome” — the bloom that pokes above the others is the first to get cut. I ...
Qiulang 邱朗's user avatar
8 votes
6 answers
2k views

Is there a (current or historical) word for the extremes on the left-right axis?

Is there, or has there ever been, an unambiguous word for "the leftmost extreme" or "the rightmost extreme"? Such words exist for the other two dimensions. Imagine you are ...
crb's user avatar
  • 256
1 vote
4 answers
126 views

How can I describe different directions of hatching in a scientific diagram?

I am writing a scientific article and I need to describe the two hatched areas in the Figure below. How do you call these? Upward hatching and downward hatching? Or what? E.g. The upward hatching ...
Tomas's user avatar
  • 839
0 votes
2 answers
98 views

Inspiration catalyst? Looking for a term that describes seemingly out of the blue inspiration

I'm looking for a term for a curious situation that I've found myself in a couple of times. A person discusses a new concept/invention. I am a part of that conversation or simply overhear it. I ...
Lamar Latrell's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
59 views

A term (or phrase) for when a person tries to represent the rarest scenario as the most common

For context: This term or phrase is what it's called when a person (very often used in political debates) will try to take the rarest occurrence of any particular topic and present it as if it's the ...
Will Haynes's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
45 views

Is there any idiom in English for when something good happens, but you can’t be hopeful about it. Because it is temporary [closed]

An idiom in English for when you can’t be hopeful about something good. Because it is temporary, better not be hopeful. Is there something like that?
Bahara's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
2 answers
142 views

Colloqial idiomatic metaphor for incomplete logic?

Seems like[1] I vaguely recall some colorful expression for conveying a rhetorical failure to complete a logical argument. Something along the lines of “failing to tie the knot” or “complete the ...
Shelby Moore III's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
66 views

How to convey the point (on a resume) that you solved a problem that lasted for years?

I want to say that I solved a programming bug and has been around for years in my resume. I currently have something like "Debugged long standing bug" but I don't think it conveys that ...
user5965026's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
78 views

How to convey a relation between a parameter and two things that it controls in opposite directions?

In writing the user manual for a piece of software, I'm trying to communicate the relationship between a numerical control, which I'll call frob, and two properties, which I'll call foo and bar. ...
margalo's user avatar
  • 99
3 votes
17 answers
3k views

Word for 'eroded' with a positive connotation

The context is a path being eroded with use, except it's more like the path is being crafted with love by use. Are there any better words or phrases to fit this use?
Guest's user avatar
  • 31
0 votes
0 answers
58 views

Phrase Request: Lyric Subversion [duplicate]

I've noticed this quite often from Disney sound tracks. Lyrics are in a certain rhyming scheme - one line happens and the next line approaches the end of the line, but the last word subverts the rhyme....
goodguy5's user avatar
  • 239
1 vote
0 answers
46 views

Expression for a strategy of waiting for a small transgression that can be blown out of proportion?

Imagine that Alice is the President of Arstotzka. Alice has a lot of enemies but she's generally an upstanding President so her critics have a hard time building a campaign against her. Instead, the ...
JonathanReez's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
96 views

Word for someone who is attracted to people without make-up

I'm wondering what native English speakers call a person (man or woman) who is attracted to a no-make-up look and dislikes it when people wear a high amount of makeup. I can think of no-makeup lover ...
Snack Exchange's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
64 views

What is the turn of phrase for a woman who is always working/busy?

I believe I heard someone refer to a woman who is always busy as a "Busy Bettie", but I can't remember the expression, and it is surprisingly relevant to my life 3 years later. It was a ...
NexGenNerd's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
114 views

What’s the name of a fallacy where a proposed solution is only discussed in terms of benefits?

As an example, mandating that every single car driver wears a motorcycle helmet would probably reduce the number of deaths and head injuries from car accidents. But of course it would be highly ...
JonathanReez's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
57 views

How to emphasize wide range of something (in two different senses)? [closed]

In a scientific abstract, I have a sentence like this: Yet, numerous capture-mark-recapture data sets, across wide taxonomic range, feature transient individuals. I want to emphasize that there are ...
Tomas's user avatar
  • 839
1 vote
0 answers
149 views

Specific type of deception or logic error

The word I'm looking for should describe a case where, during a logical argument, a person uses a word with multiple definitions in sense (1) in one part of the argument, but in another part of the ...
bielawski's user avatar
  • 163
4 votes
1 answer
145 views

Word for dangerous semi-knowledge, equivalent of German "gefährliches Halbwissen" [duplicate]

In German, there is a phrase like "dangerous semi-knowledge" gefährliches Halbwissen. Wiktionary definition: a degree of superficial knowledge that becomes dangerous or deceptive because it ...
Portree Kid's user avatar

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