Questions tagged [phrase-requests]

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

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3
votes
16answers
2k views

What is the English equivalent of 干物女 (dried fish woman)?

Literally meaning dried fish woman, the popular slang 干物女 is used to call a woman in her twenties or older who, as nicely summarized in Wikipedia, has many of the following traits: メールの返事が極端に遅い、短い (...
38
votes
19answers
5k views

Is there a word for a message that is intended to be intercepted by an adversary?

There is a kind of message in espionage that is meant to be intercepted by an adversary for the purpose of spreading false information: For instance, by sending a letter stating that troops are moving ...
-1
votes
2answers
27 views

Active sounding variant of “in the process”

Given the sentence: The company is _________ of selling off many assets. The best I could think of to replace "in the process" here was "in the midst of." It reads kind of underwhelming for my ...
4
votes
3answers
943 views

What are the indigenous English words for a prostitute?

Prostitution is referred to as the oldest profession, but the English word "prostitute" is a borrowing that started being used in the English language around 1600. I would like to know what the ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

Sound of gnawing a bone [closed]

I want the audience to be sure what was crunching was torn apart deer bones, not the crunch of the joint capsules of the old wolf, whenever it bent its knees to take another bite. What word or phrase ...
1
vote
1answer
27 views

A word or phrase for a “goal” wherein the experience along the way is really the goal?

As he wrote in "The Snow Leopard", when Peter Matthiessen set off with his friend George Schaller, it is clear that spotting a snow leopard wasn't Matthiessen's ultimate goal. Rather, the goal was ...
2
votes
2answers
58 views

A word/phrase to mean 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder' without sounding old school/erudite/pretentious

To tell someone you don't agree with their view on what is good looking in a light-hearted way. For instance, you visit a very skilled tattoo artist but his view on what looks good is not the same ...
0
votes
2answers
80 views

looking for a succinct way to describe a book one can never grow tired of reading

I am writing an essay. In my essay, I am describing how I have gained a new understanding of a book at different ages. At the end of my essay, I conclude this is a book one could never grow tired of ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

First use of phrase, “That’s not going to fly.”

Would anyone one be able to ferret out the first-known use of the phrase or idiom, “That’s not going to fly”? Thank you.
1
vote
1answer
66 views

How to translate FIAT into English?

I am translating a text in Portuguese to English from a Message of Our Lady, and there is this expression on the URGENT APPEALS Message nº 2,797: "O Senhor dirá: Faça-se; e tudo será transformado." ...
2
votes
2answers
44 views

Idiom for promoting someone to get rid of them

I feel certain that there is a common phrase for this, but for the life of me, I cannot remember it: What idiom is there for the concept of promoting someone as a way of keeping them out of the way? ...
1
vote
2answers
59 views

Better way to refer to a purchase paid in installments?

I'm trying to translate the phrase "Pagar a meses sin intereses" from spanish. I have searched for translations and the most convincing for me is "to pay in installments" but I'm not sure it expresses ...
0
votes
2answers
37 views

Does it sound strange to use “hands-on background”?

Does it sound strange to use "hands-on background" to describe someone who is informally educated but have an in-depth knowledge in a certain field of study. Not necessarily hands-on experience ...
0
votes
1answer
21 views

A better way to phrase it succinctly

I would like to describe a meeting with business owners. These business owners run different sizes of businesses. The conversations with them is a real eye opener. I've learned so much from them. ...
21
votes
10answers
6k views

How to idiomatically express the idea “if you can cheat without being caught, do it”

What is an idiomatic way of saying that there is no reason to be honest just for the sake of being honest. That is, if you can benefit from a dishonest action and know that you definitely won't suffer ...
1
vote
0answers
27 views

Killing with Kindness?

Is there a name for the strategy of weakening your enemy via generosity, such that they become dependent upon your kindness and thereby unable to confront or disobey you? Taking that one step further,...
2
votes
1answer
34 views

Is there a phrase/proverb/idiom to describe selecting the right set of tools and methods to solve a problem

or you have to select the right set of tools and method in order to solve the problem optimally. or you have the insight/ability to identify/select the right set of tools and method to solve a ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

What is the origin for the phrase “Lend a hand”?

does anyone know the origin of the phrase "Lend a hand"? I'm working on a paper about phrases and idioms and can't seem to find any history about it.
0
votes
1answer
27 views

What is the word/phrase that is used for 'that is all you get'?

For example, "Guess vegetables are ____ for me since my mom banned any sort of meat in the house." I was thinking of the phrase 'in stock' but I would like to know if there are any other phrases or ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

How to properly phrase “can't fall back on anyone”

I am in the process of asking for a salary adjustment. I am trying to state in a letter that I am able to accomplish certain major tasks without being able to fall back on anyone for help. Basically,...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

word/phrase for items added to an active contract

Background: A contract between Mr. X and company Y includes a list of tasks that the company needs to complete. In the middle of the project company Y discovers that a few more tasks are needed, that ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

What is the old phrase meaning that two people do not meet that involves a weather house or cookcoo clock?

I have a faint memory of an old phrase that my mother would use when I was young. It was to do with two people that would happen to just miss each other repeatedly. She would compare them to the man ...
-1
votes
2answers
50 views

word for standing up slowly? [closed]

I'm writing a very short story in English and I'm stuck on how to explain the main character getting up from the ground. She is in a forest and has just been pulled to the ground and now I need her to ...
1
vote
5answers
75 views

What is a phrase/word to describe someone who is oblivious to the bad in people

What phrase/word would describe someone who cant see the bad in people? A phrase/word other than With rose colored glasses that would fit in the blank below. Stop looking at the world ________! Or ...
1
vote
3answers
47 views

Good phrase for a company being “self-centered”

I'm looking to replace the phrase "self-centered" in the following example sentence: The board members did not care about anything but their profits. The company was polluting the environment, but ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

One word for 2 or 3 people related by unusual qualities like (cloned/shared/identical) abilities/powers, but not by blood or lineage

Need to know single word for accurately describing two Men/Women related not by blood or lineage but by unusual qualities like telepathic powers or paranormal abilities or any abstract(i.e. non-solid ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Feasibility Study

What is an alternative for the phrase "feasibility study"? It does not need to be a phrase already in common use. The replacement(s) need to be more approachable and free of industry jargon (in this ...
0
votes
2answers
72 views

What's a polite way to say I will not be working? [closed]

I want to let my co-workers know that I will not be working on a given day due to a national holiday. However, just saying I will not be working Thursday, due to a national holiday Feels a little ...
0
votes
0answers
16 views

What is the document called that documents warranty repairs?

When you bring a device to warranty repairs, the repairmen fixes it, and then hands it back along with a document that states what was done. What is this document called (titled)? "Warranty repair ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

looking for a word or phrase meaning the strive, or striving for, excellence in the potential of human ability

With all the talk of, and advances made in, the striving for excellence in our bodies and minds (nutrition, exercise, mental, psychological, etc--eg. bio-hacking), isn't there an expression of some ...
2
votes
1answer
119 views

I seek a word for the expectation that any arbitrary group of people can be held morally accountable as though they're a single moral agent

I think this must be a cognitive error of some kind. I just now read the phrase, "the hypocrisy of the left", and it occurred to me that hypocrisy is a moral action, which can be taken only by a moral ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

Term for “bending in multiple directions at the same time” - “mind bending”, actually

I want to extend the expression "mind bending" to mean "mind bending in multiple directions at the same time". My intuition to "mind bending" is an object becoming curved to roughly a quarter ...
4
votes
1answer
72 views

Phrase for group with no actual power

There is a phrase for a group of people who don't hold any actual power but are put together, like in a committee, to seem powerful. But they are only a symbol... A something something. Two words. Can'...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

What do you call a robe that's parted in the middle and is longer in the back?

I have a reference picture of what I'm actually talking about, it's the.. coat/robe that the elf is wearing below. It's got like this tear-drop skirt, and I'm not sure whether 'coat' or 'robe' is more ...
5
votes
6answers
208 views

What is a word or term for extreme questioning?

Could someone tell me please the word for when someone reports a crime, but under extreme questioning they change their story as they are made to doubt the other persons intentions and relents and ...
1
vote
2answers
66 views

Formal sounding word or phrase for “punish”

In my writing I encounter topics about regulations and I am forced to use the word "punish" very frequently. The tone of my writing should be formal / professional, and I am at my wit's end as to how ...
2
votes
2answers
51 views

Term for sports in which the competition is directly against the actions of a rival

Is there a word or short phrase describing sports such as football, tennis, fencing, martial arts in which the competitors act directly against each other? I would like to distinguish these sports ...
19
votes
15answers
4k views

Someone whose aspirations exceed abilities or means

What would be a clear and concise way to describe someone whose ambitions or aspirations far exceed his means or abilities?
-3
votes
1answer
50 views

Word for person who takes care of something [closed]

I'm making a software form in which the user needs to specify the person from within the organization who needs to address a certain repair or other technical issue (e.g., custodian) as well as the ...
0
votes
5answers
118 views

Polite form of “red herring” or a word or phrase meaning unintentional distraction

In another life I posted a comment calling someone's answer a "red herring" because I felt that it was distracting from the true problem: D3 is a red herring here. Your solution works because you ...
1
vote
2answers
50 views

A word/phrase for someone who finds significance in anything/tries to rationalise anything

I'm looking for a word to describe someone who makes themselves believe that anything that happens to them is for a reason, or believing "it's a sign!!" For example: "that person is a (noun)." or "...
1
vote
3answers
58 views

Idiom/phrase for “example picked purposefully”

For example, when one is talking about a chemistry equation and they use values one wouldn't see in real life to illustrate a point better, or give a specific example that requires extra steps that ...
20
votes
16answers
6k views

Opposite of “Squeaky wheel gets the grease”

I want a fun and playful retort to use against someone who says "The squeaky wheel gets the grease", which, according to the so-named Wikipedia1 article means: The squeaky wheel gets the grease is ...
0
votes
3answers
46 views

Word meaning not to do something for a while to get a different feeling once you do it?

What would be a word or short phrase meaning not to do something for a certain period of time in order for it to feel better, or stronger, once you finally do it? I'm looking for a better way to say ...
1
vote
4answers
113 views

Is there another way of saying “to take refuge in alcohol”?

Is there another way of saying "to take refuge in alcohol"? something idiomatic or so? For example, under the pressures of life, he took refuge in alcohol!
1
vote
2answers
53 views

Is “false concedence” a thing? If not, is there an established term?

concedence /kənˈsiːd(ə)ns/ noun 1) The action of conceding; concession, agreement. Here's what I describe as false concedence: Expressing that you concede a less consequential point, but only ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Standard (legal?) phrase for a clear mind

Is there a standard (possibly legal) phrase to denote that a person has a clear mind and is capable of doing things well and understanding the consequences of their actions (as opposed to being e.g. ...
1
vote
2answers
57 views

Phrase for saying we can only speculate

I am looking for a more formal variation of this sentence: "We can only speculate at this point." Perhaps what is taking away from the professional feel that I want is the first person "We." ...
3
votes
6answers
266 views

An adjective to replace “so random” (to describe one who is apt to say random things)

Among friends, we describe a person as "so random" (he/she is so random) if that person says random things (often in group discussions). That is, we do not use it as defined below (i.e., he/she is "so ...
0
votes
3answers
54 views

Any idiom similar to “Hunger wall”?

Hunger Wall was a fortification project which had questionable strategical importance, but it allowed anyone to work there for food thus avoiding famine without handouts(might not be 100% historically ...