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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Is there a word for "the king who has a regent"?

As the title says: Is there an established word or phrase for a "regent-ee," as distinct from a reigning monarch who does not have* a regent? From 1811 to 1820, the future King George IV was ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Term for "a solution that's just barely good enough to stifle better solutions"?

There's an expression that, "Perfect is the enemy of good". What is the opposite of that expression? I'm talking about times when "marginally adequate" is also "the enemy of ...
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3 votes
1 answer
78 views

What is the term for belief that economic outcomes are entirely deserved?

What is the name of the ideology that posits everyone's individual financial position (and the societal distribution of economic inequality) is already entirely justified, that is, individually earned ...
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3 votes
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Word or phrase for things that are only noticed when they break? (or are pointed out)

E.g. the engineering that goes into the roads we travel on, the railways we use, the negative space in a painting, or any of the many systems that we depend on.
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3 votes
1 answer
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What do you call it when someone exposes themselves by speaking first out of tension when addressing a group of people about a culprit?

Example: Someone in a group committed a crime or a wrong doing. No one saw them doing it it. Upon discovery of the wrong doing, everyone is brought together to bring the matter to light. The ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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What are parents with a living child called, compared to "Shidu" parents (parents who have lost their only child)?

The parents who have lost their only child are known as Shidu parents (失独父母) in China, I don't think ‘normal parents’ is a good phrase, do you have any suggestions? I want to use this phrase in a ...
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2 votes
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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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2 votes
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107 views

What's the expression meaning violate someone's interests?

I used to think that, for example, "He moved her cheese", would mean that he violate and threatens her interests. (I believe this expression comes from the popular book) Today I found out ...
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2 votes
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What's the term for (tech-)companies discouraging integrating with other companies' ecosystem or through public protocols in general?

Especially when it causes said other companies to look bad? Example: Google services and apps are (as far as I'm aware) available for all kinds of devices, Android, Apple, etc. For messaging and ...
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2 votes
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86 views

Idiom/proverb or phrase about never forgetting wrong doings

I could have sworn there was a catchy idiom/proverb in english about how you can be kind to something always, but the moment you do one mean thing, it will never forget that (or hate you forever for ...
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Idiom for Change in Game-plan or strategy

In light of the coronavirus, I am making a professional presentation about how my company can change its strategy to suit the new situation. Is there a fun idiom or phrase I can use to title this ...
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2 votes
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What's a word that describes a person who reminds you of the good things they did for you?

I don't know if such a word exists in the English language. In the Bisaya language of the Visayas region in the Philippines where I belong, there is a verb that describes exactly that. I can't find ...
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"Unless instructed to do so" vs "Unless instructed otherwise" preferred usage

I want to give a short but clear instruction like: 1. Please do NOT perform X unless instructed to do so. 2. Please do NOT perform X unless instructed otherwise. Which one would be a better option ...
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2 votes
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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 ...
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is there a word or phrase meaning "to falsely believe one's opinion/feedback is being considered"?

Here is an example: In a conversation, one is asked their opinion regarding a decision, but the decision has already been made—so the individual being asked is led to believe (falsely) that their ...
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2 votes
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275 views

What are the British and American expressions for “falso d’autore”?

A Falso d’autore, literally “author’s fake”, has the following characteristics: Riproduzioni di opere note non solo pittoriche, ma più in generale figurative, eseguite da artisti contemporanei che ...
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2 votes
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364 views

A thing whose name is hard to track down

Is there a word/phrase for a thing whose name is hard to track down? Sometimes there is a concept which I believe must have a name, but I can't find that name; it's hard to track down ; I don't know ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Simpler synonym for serial monomania

I read a book years ago in which one character described another succinctly in one or maybe two words. Sadly, the book was lost in a flood and I cannot recall the vocabulary used. Nor can I recall ...
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2 votes
1 answer
298 views

Term for someone who is dead (or dreaming) and does not know it

Looking for a word or phrase that refers to someone who is unaware of their state, as if they were dead or dreaming but not knowing it. Closest I've come is something like "walking dead"/"dead man ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What is the name of a written legacy of personal wisdom?

I am collecting the wisdom of elders, publishing in books their insights and stories, focused on the theme "What does your life stand for?" I wonder if there is a name for such books. Or if we can ...
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2 votes
3 answers
912 views

Is there an idiom for "it was just an example"?

Are there any idioms or succinct ways of expressing your resignation when you give an example the other person reacts with: "that's not what I meant". …but your intention was for the example to be ...
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2 votes
1 answer
127 views

Looking for a term, similar to "epigraph," meaning a quotation given in order to explain another text

For an English Lit. essay I am writing on TS Eliot and Joyce, I wish to use a Biblical quotation I find useful in illuminating certain themes common to their work (1 Corinthians 13 if anyone is ...
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2 votes
1 answer
136 views

What do you call an area where people can pick up flyers/pamphlets?

What do you call an area/corner where people can pick up free flyers/pamphlets/brochures? Sometimes they're on catalog stands and sometimes they're just in stacks on a table. My non-native speaking ...
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2 votes
2 answers
338 views

Word for "doing/getting away with something only because you're 'concealed' in a big group..."

Is there a word for this behavior? Doing or getting away with something just because you're in a big crowd setting where you don't perceive your actions to be noticeable to most people and therefore ...
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2 votes
2 answers
752 views

The state of not knowing and/or ignoring each other

I'm looking for a word that expresses the state of not knowing and/or ignoring each other. In a blog post, I've found the term Principle of Mutual Oblivion. This is supposed to be a rule in software ...
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1 vote
2 answers
85 views

What term would be most appropriate for a secluded passage/courtyard?

You could think of this space as landlocked by surrounding buildings, exposed to the environment vertically but having no (intended) connections to paths or streets. The only ways to enter and exit ...
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1 vote
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Is there a term for the following type of conduct: someone only responds to one part of your message instead of the whole message?

For those who know german: Die Person geht nur auf einen Teil der Nachricht ein Here's an example to further elaborate: A (about something B said): She doesn't even sound rude. Maybe if it's said in a ...
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1 vote
2 answers
71 views

Term or phrase similar to ghost town but without remaining structures

I'm a local historian and I was wondering what the term might be for former railroad communities/mill towns with no remaining structures? I realize ghost town is the wrong term because they have no ...
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1 vote
0 answers
76 views

What common name can be used to classify LaTeX and office suites together?

If someone wants to put LaTeX and office suites (especially the applications related to document preparation: Word, Publisher, Powerpoint, etc.) together in the same line in his CV/resume in the ...
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1 vote
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How to express "at least one" or "at least some" (of a countable or uncountable collection respetively), as in antivacuous statements?

Discrete (countable) case example: All/Some of the trees on this block are oak. [And there is at least one oak tree on the block, but possibly two or more.] Continuous (uncountable) case example: All/...
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1 vote
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51 views

Term for when seemingly-random or loosely-related words form a unique, descriptive sentence or phrase?

Is there a term for when a series of words come together to form a unique, descriptive sentence or phrase? A few examples I can think of: XKCD comic about strong passwords: As an example of a strong ...
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1 vote
0 answers
64 views

Phrase for jokingly pretending that someone's good point is a flaw?

Is there a phrase for complimenting someone by jokingly pretending that their good point is a flaw? Let me give an example, précised from a recent WhatsApp conversation: A: That bike ride was way too ...
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1 vote
1 answer
103 views

How would you describe a situation where you can only stop something by doing it first?

I'd like to know what this situation is called. The gist is the only way you can stop something is by doing it first. A real world example is a MS Windows feature called sticky keys. You can turn on ...
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1 vote
0 answers
32 views

Any popular phrases that urge the hearer to help a good cause even if help seems unnecessary

What I'm hoping for is something along the lines of "better safe than sorry," but instead of urging the hearer to take possibly-unnecessary safety precautions, my context is one of shared ...
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1 vote
0 answers
228 views

Single word when you know destination but not path

Is there a single word which describes knowing the destination but not the path? Knowing the objective but not the method? Knowing the 'what' or 'where' but not the 'how'? In a sense this would be the ...
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1 vote
0 answers
52 views

A phrase for "Turning a match around" kind

I wanted to know a phrase for the purpose of the doing of an event which is unlikely to happened. Like if a football match is being lost by team A by a huge margin, something like "It's X's time ...
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1 vote
0 answers
76 views

What is the opposite of leftovers?

Like some family cooks, I often prepare more than is necessary to feed a hungry family; however, I hate throwing away food, and always try to re-serve creatively the following day. Today, I was ...
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1 vote
0 answers
32 views

Head twitches (?) when screaming

Example sentence: "She screamed in a shrill voice, her head (...) from the force of which she had screamed." I've searched the words shake, twitch, convulse, jerk. However, if any of these ...
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1 vote
0 answers
50 views

Word that means "adding money to a phone payment account"

I am looking for a word that means "adding money into a phone payment account". I thought of these: "recharge" Disadvantage: Indian English. Only used in South Asian and Southeast ...
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1 vote
0 answers
47 views

Saying "favorite dish(es) to cook" in another way

I'm having trouble saying "favorite dish(es) to cook" in a more concise manner. One or two words would be preferred! Ex: I hope to hope to try my friend's ______ at the potluck tomorrow!
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1 vote
3 answers
177 views

Is there a word for someone who inadvertently makes your point for you?

For example: If a person tells another person, "You're racist" and the other person responds, "No, I'm not racist. But I just don't like to see Black and White people dating because it'...
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1 vote
0 answers
44 views

Any word for battling of leaves in the wind?

Is there any sound word to describe the battle against leaves in the windstorms?
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1 vote
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1k views

Would it be correct to say "thank you to everyone"?

Would it be correct to say "Thank you to everyone"? It seems like there would be two direct objects to the verb "thank".
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1 vote
0 answers
46 views

Phrase for a feeling of relief upon finding a solution to a long term irritant

I'm looking for a phrase that would explain the feeling of relief that one sometimes feels when removing a minor irritation, whether physical or mental. For example, settling into a nice bubble bath ...
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1 vote
0 answers
179 views

What's the other common expression for "You get what you pay for" in reference to high quality?

I’m looking for a familiar saying that I can use for If you pay more money, you get more quality. Because Google has been giving me the same result — that the meaning of the saying You get what you ...
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1 vote
0 answers
42 views

A hint with a description reminding me of the past

A hint with a description reminding me of the past How to call that hint? Something about physical ,about time For example: Look at the bag( a hint) on the tv screen, it is good and reminds me of ...
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1 vote
0 answers
55 views

A phrase for "flip the bozo bit" for generic situations

I've only recently heard of flip the bozo bit in the last six months or so, and I find it very useful to understand that aspect of human behaviour (deciding that someone's an idiot and never worth ...
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1 vote
0 answers
39 views

What is best word to shout "hide him in safe place"

A leader is delivering a talk on a dais and one of the security officers finds a threat to him and shouts from the distance to alert the leader or other security officers around him. What is best word ...
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