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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2
votes
10answers
19k views

Someone who just thinks they know what they're talking about

What is a word or phrase that means a speaker (or writer) is talking about something they know very little about, but they think they know more than they do? An example: If you read diet message ...
1
vote
2answers
35 views

When a limited but working version of something is better

There is a Persian proverb ("One habitable village is better than one hundred desolated towns") which emphasizes that a limited and small-scale but working thing (e.g. a solution or an achievement) is ...
1
vote
2answers
43 views

Word or common short phrase for an intentionally hasty initial proposal to group?

Is there a preferred word or common short phrase (or multiple) for a proposal made to a second party or group that is merely a first draft, intentionally hasty and likely poor quality, in order to ...
1
vote
0answers
19 views

I have a problem but don't know how to ask for help

There are lots of words that I could use here. Flummoxed, Stuck, Perplexed, Lost, etc. But is there a word or short phrase that actually means (or is a good fit for): a situation where in attempting ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

How do you describe eating a large fruit with multiple pits/seeds?

For instance: I ate one durian This is unclear if the person is eating the entire durian by themselves or just one seed of it. I ate two seeds of durian When someone said that, generally, ...
0
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2answers
41 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
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3answers
77 views

Is there a word for missing the point due to literal interpretation of figurative phrases

Figurative language is when people use words or phrases to communicate an idea not meant to be taken literally, such as speaking in metaphors. Sometimes, people do not realize the figurative nature ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Term for men in their twenties or thirties?

Is there a term for men in their twenties and thirties? I'm specifically asking in the context of men although I imagine there might be a gender neutral adjective. "Young man" seems like it could ...
-1
votes
0answers
26 views

Another word for Adventurous or Fearless [on hold]

I am looking for a word or two words that describe someone who is adventurous. One who likes to be daring such as doing extreme sports like snowboarding or skydiving. Weird request but I am looking ...
2
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 (...
2
votes
2answers
5k views

Is there a term for an anniversary that falls on the same day of the week as its original date?

An anniversary refers to the yearly recurrence of a date of an event. However, being an incredibly sentimental person who also takes notice of all sorts of minor details, I find myself placing ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

English equivalent of Polish saying “You let a boor into office and he will drink ink”

I'm looking for English equivalent of Polish saying "Wpuścić chłopa do biura to atrament wypije" literally meaning "You let a boor into the office and he will drink ink". Explanation This saying is ...
2
votes
6answers
147 views

Word to describe action of an audio indicator

Wondering if there is a good word to fit the following: Indicate is to lamp (or LED, light, globe, display) or Prickle is to electrical shock (or wire brush) or Buzz is to vibrator as _____ is to ...
3
votes
5answers
3k views

A word or phrase to describe events that happen alongside major historical events

I am looking for a word or phrase that could be used to describe events that happen in at the same time as major historical events. Examples include the darkness that occurred during the crucifixion ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

What does a cat's tail do?

A friendly dog will wag its tail, especially when it's happy to see his owner. Cats can communicate their approval and appreciation too, but I don't remember ever hearing a cat wagging its tail for ...
5
votes
1answer
118 views

Phrase for snipping of scissors between actual cuts that a barber makes

A barber generally keeps on snipping the scissors in between the actual cuts. There is a particular phrase for this behavior. I have come across this phrase before, but can't recollect it now. The ...
18
votes
4answers
3k views

Is there a word for colloquial forms of address?

For example, "dude," "man," "buddy," "pal," etc, when used to stand in for someone's name. "Hey, pal, how's it going?" Is there a word for terms like these? Or is "colloquialism" as close as we can ...
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
vote
4answers
3k views

Satisfying Demand

Certain expressions rely on pairs of words. We have some word-pairs as such: Quench Thirst Sate Hunger Satisfy Desire Satisfy Demand It seems strange to me that satisfy would be used for ...
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
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
949 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 ...
1
vote
5answers
4k views

Synonyms for “get off medication”

How would you say "I'd like to get off the medication" not using the colloquial phrasal verb "get off"? I.e., something that you'd hear someone well-versed in the English language say. For example, ...
1
vote
7answers
42k views
20
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9answers
19k views

What do you call the wooden bridge-like structures that make up a harbor?

I’m referring to this: image: Harbor Island Marina in Port of Seattle (probable source: portseatlle.org) I added a red arrow. Example sentence: Boats lined both sides of the [. . .], bobbing ...
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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
9answers
34k views

A word/phrase for an unexpected change or turn of events in a person's life

I am looking for a single word similar to a turn of events, changing one's stars/destiny, passing a crossroads or doing something that would cause someone's life to have a dramatic change. From a ...
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
82 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
72 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
46 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? ...
0
votes
2answers
39 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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the word for “job-hopper” with a positive connotation?

How do you call people who change jobs frequently but in a good way? For example: Mary is a ______ who has acquired a wide range of skills from short stints of employment.
1
vote
2answers
51 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 "...
6
votes
5answers
779 views

English equivalent for “easily blaming the person you dislike”

In Malayalam/Indian, there's a saying "Istam illatha achi thottath ellam kuttam". It literally translates to: You find fault with anything done by a woman you don't like. It means that if there is ...
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
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. ...
2
votes
2answers
355 views

Describing people who jump hoops to get a good deal

What is a precise and concise way of describing a person who goes out of their way to find deals or discounts for their purchases? Suggestions which I'm not 100% happy with: Smart buyer Bargain ...
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.
3
votes
6answers
846 views

The word for “professional system” or “task system”

I work with software engineering and in norwegian (I'm from Norway) we have a word, "fagsystem", which refers to a software system/application that is specialized to handle a certain kind of business ...
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
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,...
1
vote
2answers
113 views

What's the difference between from and on vs on

Although few facts exists regarding the life of the Native American named Sequoia, the information that is available paints a colorful picture of this man on the plains. Its one of those SAT ...
0
votes
3answers
730 views

Is there a noun for “someone who has access”?

I'm building a data model for a computer program, and I'm in need a noun (a short compound noun is acceptable) for "someone who has access". The information will be provided as an answer to the ...
0
votes
0answers
33 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 ...