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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.

1
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3answers
30 views

What should I name such a to-do list?

I'm confused about the name of one list in my to-do lists. In this list, I want to include important things that belong to quite different categories and happen irregularly or only once. For example, ...
1
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2answers
23 views

What is another word for perspective?

In the sentence: This experience gave me a new [perspective]. What would be an eloquent word (or short phrase) that I could use instead of "perspective"?
-1
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0answers
28 views

What is the polite way to ask for age? [on hold]

The company I work for has a website form that asks for information from our user. The first question is "How old are you?" followed by four options: 18 - 39 40 - 49 50 - 59 60+ It is my opinion, ...
6
votes
8answers
2k views

Word for the sound of keyboard typing

Is there any word or phrase denoting the sound of typing on the keyboard? I made my research, through which I found two words from Quora — a Q&A site; those two words are: "clicking" and "tac tac....
3
votes
1answer
48 views

A better way of saying “inventions are invented” [on hold]

“It is a great privilege to be born in the century of innovation. This is a time when revolutionary inventions are invented daily.” I need alternatives, but I've already used "created" as a word, don'...
3
votes
5answers
80 views

What's the opposite of “last-minute (Christmas) shopping”?

The question is in the title. I'd like to know if there is an idiom or phrase used for someone who does not buy at the “last minute”, the hyperbolic expression is often used when purchasing gifts, ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

What are some phrases similar to “And yet.”?

I really like the short sentence "And yet." I first saw it in Ender's Game near the end, and for me it is one of the more beautiful concise sentences in English language. Which brings me to my ...
0
votes
2answers
60 views

Word for a woman who manipulates a man?

Is there a single word other than manipulator for a woman who uses her sexuality to get a man to crush on her and then act as her champion for idiosyncratic reasons that have no basis in fact?
0
votes
1answer
43 views

What is the politically correct way to ask someone about their ethnicity/where they're from? [on hold]

When getting to someone, I can be curious to know about where someone comes from, and I don't mean necessarily them but perhaps their parents or further back lineage. However I don't know the proper ...
0
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2answers
46 views

Is there a less adversarial way of saying “choose your battles”?

The phrase "choose your battles" conceptualises encounters as adversarial. Any suggestions for less adversarial alternatives?
3
votes
1answer
26 views

A way to express that less expertise in a field is necessary to achieve similar results? [closed]

I am a student mastering in machine learning. When I read papers describing older machine learning algorithms and frameworks, I often see that a lot of very advanced domain knowledge is poured into ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

What is a better way of saying “Self-guided tour”? [closed]

I'm writing out a survey on what kind of campus visit students participated in. I want one of the answers to include students who did not go on a officially tour directed by faculty/staff, but who ...
0
votes
2answers
31 views

“draft invoice” or “upcoming invoice”?

If I have a provisional document that is listing the items that will be billed for this month (subject to change, because the month is not yet finished), then what is the better term? "draft invoice" ...
-2
votes
3answers
105 views

What is the contradictory proverb to “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”? [closed]

Sweet lemons and sour grapes tend to be used by people who have a reactionary outlook on life. They reason that things are just the way they are and we are bound to our circumstance. They will often ...
1
vote
0answers
27 views

Usage of keep and keeps [closed]

Is the below sentence correct? He keeps asking me the same question
1
vote
4answers
64 views

Alternative to “winner takes it all” or “first-past-the-post”

Consider the scenario of two scientists independently and concurrently working on a problem. The first one to achieve the breakthrough and have his or her results published will eventually be the one ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

Is there a generic word or short phrase for “while taking into account both the [probability/amount] and the [effect size]”

For example, the word could be used like this: -This decision will likely help, but it is a [foobar] bad choice: The result of the decision is most likely positive, but if it does end up negative it ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

Word for “starting a horse”

Is there a word or phrase that means "to start a horse" or "make a horse start moving"? Something like "he [started] his horse". I thought of "urged her horse on" but that sounds like the horse is ...
0
votes
0answers
18 views

What am I distinguishing between when parsing names / sounds that could be phrases? [closed]

What am I distinguishing between when parsing names / sounds that could be phrases? Like, "My name is Applejack." Or "Never say Never" Are both distinguishing "Applejack", and "Never" as a sequence ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

How to express a self-diminishing recursive property. Elegantly

In the following, I can't find the right way to express my meaning for the part in bold: Studies show that high IQ individuals are more susceptible to drug addiction than the general population, ...
-2
votes
2answers
75 views

Gender neutral term for “This Guy” when referring to myself

Is there a gender neutral alternative to "this guy", to refer to yourself in the third person in a gender neutral way? Example of use: Guess who just got a raise? {This guy!}
3
votes
2answers
55 views

A better alternative to “taking out pomegranate seeds by hands”

Today, I found the usage of the verb "peel" in OffSet site, which says: Man's hands peeling a pomegranate. I am sure that "peel" can easily be used in "peeling potatoes", as we strip off their ...
2
votes
4answers
69 views

so called without the negative connotations

The context is a book on the interactions of pagans and Christians in antiquity. Sallustius is a pagan, but he put together a catechism of various pagan beliefs, which some of his contemporaries found ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

What word describes a person who gains the trust of people on behalf of an adversary?

What word or idiom describes a person who gains the trust of people in an organization to identify potential threats to that organization? Example: Say Company (Organisation) "A" wants to know how ...
41
votes
8answers
15k views

What informal English expression would you use to let a couple know that they are being too intimate in public?

I am looking for an expression used in the US or the UK for that situation, for example, where you are in a park where there are people of all ages, and a couple starts to be intense with the kissing ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Wild vs Overactive imagination

In a typical scenario, where someone finds out their best friend started dating, they start fantasizing (in quite vivid and colorful details, sometimes outloud) how their friend will do bunch of ...
12
votes
4answers
634 views

Job market that is structured in favor of people looking for a position

seller's market (noun) A market in which goods are scarce, buyers have a limited range of choice, and prices are high. buyer's market (noun) A market in which goods are ...
15
votes
7answers
3k views

What do you call a question that is meant to make you look bad? [closed]

What is it called when you are asked a question that has nothing to do with the subject at hand and is sometimes meant to make you look bad? I think it is a legal term used in a court setting.
0
votes
0answers
9 views

Range of days - dates

I was writing an email the other day and I ran into a problem when expressing a range of days I want my accommodation for, can I use **in the range of days 2.3 - 9.3 **? Or is there any other ...
1
vote
3answers
45 views

What is another phrase to describe people “on the front line”?

Another way to say it is that these are the people in an organization who are “in the trenches”. They are doing the hardest or most important work. I would like to find a non-militaristic way of ...
15
votes
9answers
2k views

What is a synonym for “perfect storm”?

I am composing a letter to the owner of my company. In the letter I am trying to describe a situation where a problem occurred due to a confluence of failures. E.g., our tom-foolery server crashed, ...
12
votes
5answers
5k views

Is there an idiom that means to “slow” or “stop the hemorrhaging”?

I have two related words in my head, “flow” and “haemorrhage” (US hemorrhage), but I can't remember the exact phrase (or idiom) that fits perfectly. It should suggest impeding or blocking the flow of ...
0
votes
0answers
54 views

Word for the perception of an unexpected taste

We've all had moments like this. Taking a sip of what we believe to be iced tea, but is in fact Dr. Pepper, for a moment the liquid in our mouths surprises us, and doesn't really taste like either one....
2
votes
2answers
83 views

What's the best English term for a person who is psychologically attracted to extraordinary beliefs? [closed]

I know several such people, and what characterizes them is that they fall in love at first sight with any belief that involves extraordinary theories and occurrences or unseen entities. Natural ...
2
votes
0answers
47 views

How do I go back to the first hand?

If you think of depression as biochemical, you may use it as an excuse not to act the way you should. On the other hand, if you think of it as psychological, you may blame yourself for what is outside ...
0
votes
3answers
34 views

Looking for an adverb/adjective describing a person that gave up on something

Considering the context: She was stating the obvious, looking >insert descriptive adverb< I am looking for an adverb/adjective that could describe like "looking like she gave up". The closest ...
1
vote
0answers
24 views

Is there a word/phrase to describe a person “who hates someone rather than hate their views”?

Let's say there is a person called X. X is a good person, in general. He has a problematic view about something, let's say, homophobia. So, here is the conversation between Y and Z. Y: X is ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

Word to describe someone who is unintentionally entertaining because of their lack of eloquence or intelligence?

Essentially an "entertaining oaf by accident", but I imagine there is a more complex word to describe that.
0
votes
2answers
50 views

I am looking for an expression, idiom or proverb for a Hindi saying “ulta karobar” which literally means “turtled business” or “upside-down acts”

I am looking for an expression, idiom or proverb for a Hindi saying "ulta karobar" which literally means "turtled business" or "upside-down business" and relates to the disorderly handling of an issue ...
0
votes
2answers
54 views

Is there an analogy for 'pangs of hunger' when it comes to thirst?

Does this sentence make sense? He was struck with pangs of thirst. Or is there a different word (specifically a noun that replaces pangs) that makes more sense in this context?
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Word for accept or refuse a request

Ok, a user receives a partnership request from another user and can either accept or refuse it. Is there a word for that? I mean, a word to indicate the action of taking a decision about it without ...
-1
votes
1answer
49 views

What could an expression similar to “bridge the gap”/“walk up to” be? [on hold]

What I would like is bit more complicated. Essentially, when there is a wedge between two ideals, people, etc, you can metaphorically bridge a gap between both via actions taken. What I'm looking for ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

The best word for “falling backwards” in the context

The situation is: you suddenly see something horrifying in front of you (big spider, poisonous snake, etc.) In terror, you "fall/lunge backwards" while still facing the "horrible being", and you try ...
2
votes
3answers
57 views

Adjective for someone who disregards ideas and opinions of some people but not others?

I am struggling to find an adjective for someone who disregards the ideas and opinions of anyone that they think are not at the same level as them. For example, a brother or husband who disregards ...
0
votes
2answers
26 views

Phrase for describing something with many pros and cons

What's an appropriate phrase or idiom to describe something (e.g. a concept, tool, device, etc.) with many pros and cons. In fact, both parties have rational facts about their opinion and they are ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

Describing a group of mismatched characters

I'm trying to remember the description that is often used to portray a group of characters that wouldn't quite belong together under normal circumstances, something analogous to a dysfunctional family....
1
vote
3answers
40 views

Word/Phrase for a laughter-like reaction

I'm trying to find a word or phrase for a particular type of reaction similar to a laugh. The reaction is hard for me to describe, but an example of it can be found in this video. The reaction is ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

How would you describe these two types of knowledge with an adjective?

I like to think about knowledge as coming in two types: First, there is knowledge like physics, math and the like, which is about the inner workings of things. As such, it easily tends to become ...
2
votes
3answers
64 views

A word that means “dependent on the order of items”

I'm trying to find a word that means "dependent on the order of items". For example, the list of letters "ABCDEF" and "FEDCBA" contain the same letters. If order is NOT considered, both lists ...
3
votes
1answer
84 views

Is there a word, phrase or expression similar in meaning to sophistry, but with a much greater implication of utter lack of morality?

This question is prompted by the movie Operation Finale, about the capture of Adolph Eichmann by Israeli agents in Argentina. Important scenes in the movie show Eichmann arguing that his acts in WWII ...