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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need a short idiom/phrase or word for two people/things that are complete opposites

I am trying to describe two people with opposite personalites and the sentence is structured so that I need the idiom/phrase to act like an adjective. The sentence is "... events of the summer ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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What is the native word for describing an expression or gesture

What will be the perfect word for expressing huff, pride or sulking like when children angry with their parents and sit in the corner and don't want to talk with them . What word generally a native ...
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4 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is the phrase or expression which has the word ‘finger’ in it and means very easily or quickly

Long ago the Internet could not be accessed …. I am looking for a word to use in the above sentence. I want it to mean ‘easily’ and ‘quickly’. I remember there was a phrase or proverb which had the ...
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-1 votes
0 answers
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Is it correct to say: "When do you have the time" to tell someone he can do a thing when he has the time [closed]

I asked someone to do something for me, but he cannot do that thing right now. I want to reply him back that it's not an urgent thing, he can do the thing that I want whenever he has the time in the ...
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0 answers
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Words and expressions request for order

My mom bought home some fruit last week and before we are able to finish them all she got some more today so she told me, translated to English from my first language, that I should eat the fruit that ...
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0 votes
1 answer
37 views

need an idiom or phrase that means that the same event resulted (or results) in contrasting outcomes for 2 different inividuals

The sentence, as it now stands, is: "The bizarre events and offbeat personalities of an acid-fueled summer push two high school lifeguards in opposite directions." The part in italics is the ...
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1 vote
3 answers
83 views

Looking for idiom or phrase similar to "for dummies" [duplicate]

I'm looking for a short commonly used phrase with meaning "very simple, straightforward, without unnecessary details, with basic terminology" in context of explanation of some idea or ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Taking no action is easier than taking some action

I can choose between two options, A and B, that are about equally beneficial. However, B requires me to take some action, while A will happen by itself if I don't take any action. Therefore, in my ...
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0 votes
0 answers
28 views

Wrestling with someone "chest to chest"?

I am looking for an expression which would enhance the idea of wrestling. This is a text I am translating from another language (Greek) where the expression (ἀντιπαλαίω στῆθος με στῆθος) means ...
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0 votes
3 answers
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need an idiom or phrase that means "you're up early"

I am writing a screenplay and one of the characters picks up the phone and says "you're up early" but I need something to replace it. It doesn't have to be a real idiom or commonly used ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What do you call a flat with a small yard with no roof?

So I want to bring my dog with myself traveling and I don’t keep my dogs in closed areas with a roof, because he doesn’t like it. So I always look for renting flats with small yards which are not ...
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3 votes
5 answers
120 views

Idiom for gift or gesture that isn't good enough

I'm looking for a term used when a gift/gesture/allowance of some sort isn't anywhere near good enough, and was done largely for the sake of appearance. Often used in a political context. For example,...
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1 vote
0 answers
41 views

I need an idiom that means "be cool"/relax

I just need something that connotes calming down from an exaggerated state. The next line afterwards is "I am cool" so I don't want the preceding line to be "be cool" but I want to ...
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0 votes
0 answers
27 views

Phrase like "margin of error" or "buffer" but specifically about spare team capacity?

I am trying to think of a phrase that means something like "margin of error" or "buffer," but specifically applying to spare capacity of a working team within a company. "...
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0 votes
3 answers
134 views

Is there an equivalent to the assertive/polite expression "je me permets de ..." in English?

Is there an equivalent to the expression "je me permets de ..." in English? I think this expression has two usages: to convey an assertive tone: Je me permets de vous rappeler que la date ...
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0 votes
3 answers
59 views

I need a word whose meaning is somewhere on the spectrum between 'too scared' and 'too dumb'. Or a phrase/idiom

The sentence (from a screenplay) writes: "Bart, we’re literally here buying you drugs cus you’re not able to buy your own high" I want to replace the words "not able" with ...
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1 vote
1 answer
40 views

What is the proper term for a "physical event"? [duplicate]

I want to express the idea that an event, which has been conducted as a virtual event for a while is now resuming back to a normal event where people actually meet. In other words, I want to emphasis ...
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2 votes
1 answer
68 views

What is the expression for stating that it isn't for us to say something?

I often use and here an expression that goes something along the lines of "who is it for us to say that ..." But it looks like I must have picked it up wrong, because that is definitely not ...
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2 votes
1 answer
88 views

What would you call a specialised object unique to a person?

I was hoping to get some help with a general word or phrase meaning or specifying an object unique to its owner. E.g. A special sword owned by a knight, a special instrument owned by a musician, or a ...
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0 votes
0 answers
37 views

Word or phrase (M-W sense) for power fantasy

What's a word or longer phrase that can be used to talk about living out a fantasy of power? Getting high on power? "Power trip" comes to my mind but I think there's another one Do you ...
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0 votes
2 answers
39 views

What is a literal rephrasing of "that builds on our foundation of"?

The phrase: this new journey that builds on our foundation of relentless innovation and entrepreneurial spirit is understandable and sounds good, but I am wondering what a more literal rewording ...
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0 votes
1 answer
47 views

Is there a word/phrase to describe when people think like the situation is normal while it is not normal [closed]

I want to say "since they made it seem normal the coronavirus spread vastly". Is there a better way to rephrase the part "making something seem normal"? Thanks.
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0 votes
1 answer
52 views

Translate "Lengua Bífida" to English [closed]

I am trying to translate "Lengua Bífida" from Spanish to English. The text "Lengua bífida" in Spanish expresses that someone has a tempting form of talking, normally in a bad way. ...
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4 votes
4 answers
219 views

What's the English equivalent for the French academia-related expression "hors sujet"?

In the French high school and university system, when students write an essay about a precise topic (e.g. "Is discussing renouncing violence?", Bac 2021), and the content of the essay is ...
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0 votes
2 answers
49 views

What is a 'softer' word/phrase for take or grab?

I am looking for a way to say that someone took or grabbed something from someone while communicating that it was done delicately/gently or at least in a neutral or non-aggressive way. Not sure if it'...
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0 votes
0 answers
57 views

Rhyming answers with implicit irritation to the words like "where", "who", "well", etc

‎Are there any rhyming words with which one answers to or comments the words like "where", "who", "how" or "so" and "well" or "like" (which ...
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0 votes
1 answer
98 views

Is there a phrase for "the boy who cried wolf" when the boy stops crying wolf because the townsfolk won't believe him anyway?

In the Fable of "The Boy who cried Wolf", the townsfolk end up not believing the boy when there actually is a wolf because he lied about there being a wolf so many times, leading to the ...
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0 votes
5 answers
56 views

Describing a selection process as strict or lenient [closed]

I have a question about how to refer to a particular concept. The concept is that a hiring system (or any system in which you select individual elements from a population with a lot of noise) can be ...
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1 vote
3 answers
44 views

Is there a term for an experience that causes someone to change their beliefs? [duplicate]

I'm wondering if there is a term for an experience or event that causes someone to develop new beliefs or change existing beliefs. Some examples: After a person has negative or positive experiences ...
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0 votes
3 answers
47 views

What is a word/phrase that describes someone condemning another person for something that they also do, without realizing their hypocrisy?

I'm thinking of a phrase that describes someone with a holier-than-thou attitude while being unaware (or not addressing) that they are, in fact, no better. For example, a person who vapes criticizing ...
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0 votes
2 answers
48 views

What's the American or British English equivalent to "take a download from", meaning get to know the information from someone?

In Indian English, we often use the phrase "take a download from" which isn't common outside India or at least South Asia. This phrase means to get to know the information from someone. For ...
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0 votes
0 answers
55 views

A phrase (or idiom) to show that something holds no value to you [duplicate]

I'm currently translating a novel on my own, and I came across a sentence that seems rather strange in English if I were to translate it word for word. A man says that something is "as important ...
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18 votes
16 answers
5k views

What is a word or phrase that describes something that looks grand from the outside but in actuality, it is very bad on the inside?

I'm looking for a word/idiom/phrase that describes a situation where the front side has been held up for a show/event to function but the back stage that is holding it is a complete chaos/mess and is ...
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1 vote
3 answers
199 views

How do I express that a set of objects is numbered in ascending order starting from 0 with increments of 1? [closed]

I need to express that a system is creating objects. The number of objects can be specified. And the objects are numbered from 0 to number of objects minus 1. How do I express that? Example: The ...
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0 votes
1 answer
35 views

Phrase or word for "Guarantee with expected verification"

I'm writing a set of instructions targeted towards a person. Each instruction has to be followed exactly as it is written, without any deviations. The order that the instructions are to be performed ...
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0 votes
4 answers
65 views

Word meaning (or similar to) 'able to take care of yourself'?

What's a word (or failing that a short adjectival phrase) describing someone as being able to take care of themselves? Or something in that vicinity? Competent is somewhere in the same mile, but I'm ...
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10 votes
4 answers
1k views

A proverb that expresses the idea that an unaddressed problem will lead to consequences? [duplicate]

I'm trying to translate a proverb that roughly translates to "a wound untreated will fester," but I'm having trouble thinking of an English equivalent.
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0 votes
3 answers
99 views

Colloquial name for the airport-like fences (pictures attached)

What is the colloquial name of this type fences? Tape fences? Internet suggested "retractable belt stanchion set" and "airport fence", but they aren't used only in airports and &...
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3 votes
2 answers
63 views

English equivalent for the Aramaic idiom "eyes so jealous they cannot carry"

That isn't a literal translation, but it's essentially similar. When someone is jealous of you or your success and are resentful about it, in response we say "their eyes cannot carry"; Which ...
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3 votes
2 answers
107 views

English equivalent for the Chinese idiom "to pass off fish eyes for pearls"

Are there any (general) English equivalent for the Chinese idiom 鱼目混珠 (to pass off fish eyes for pearls) which basically means to pretend something fake is real? IE: To try and pretend to be someone ...
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34 votes
2 answers
2k views

What do you call periodic negative reports to circumvent bans on transparency?

In some cases companies are not allowed to report on certain events happening, e.g., the US Government requesting to hand over customer data. My understanding is that some companies tried to ...
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1 vote
3 answers
43 views

Word for content that sounds useful but is devoid of value [duplicate]

I'm looking for a word or expression that describes a text, a presentation, or a speech that sounds meaningful and attractive, but in fact, it is devoid of any real value and does not lead the reader ...
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2 votes
0 answers
51 views

What is a word or phrase for "feeling gleeful for myself but feeling pity for you?"

I see this most often with people who've owned houses for a long time, talking to young people who are seeking to buy. They have a sense of scarcely controlled glee for themselves as they describe how ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
32 views

Unfair assessment of someone's intentions?

I'm assuming someone may have dishonourable intentions. But I want to say that I may be mistaken and they may not have dishonourable intentions. How do I express that? Is there a word or phrase which ...
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  • 493
1 vote
2 answers
89 views

Pithy English phrase that precisely means "only and all" the items in a category

How can we ask someone to display "all the items that are fruits and only items that are fruits?" If we ask someone to display "all the items that are fruits", then the display ...
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0 votes
1 answer
46 views

Does "paradoxical" acceptably describe this sentence, or is there a more suitable descriptor?

"We are all making assumptions, as none of us except ____ were present..." In such context wherein the italicized portion of the sentence has not actually been validated by the speaker, ...
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