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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18
votes
11answers
5k views

How do you say to someone that you will reuse a sentence you've just heard from them?

How do you say to someone that you will reuse a sentence (or a joke) you've just heard from them, as-is, because you liked it a lot ? In Italian we say "Questa me la rivendo", that translated is "I'...
17
votes
9answers
19k views

Is there a term for simultaneous snow and rain?

I'm from Australia where we don't have so many kinds of precipitation. I'm familiar with these: rain hail snow sleet As I understand it, sleet refers to frozen rain but I'm not totally familiar with ...
17
votes
9answers
3k views

Is there any idiomatic expression with the meaning “show all the hidden stuff”?

Which idiomatic phrase can be used to express 'showing all the hidden stuff' (it's supposed that nobody should find that out, some scandal things)?
17
votes
7answers
8k views

A wife who knows and accepts her husband's infidelity

What do you call a wife or woman who knows their spouse or partner is unfaithful but pretends either to (1) not care or (2) to not know? In this scenario it's important that the cheating spouse or ...
14
votes
13answers
18k views

Phrase for criticism/insults concealed with humor

Passive aggressive people will sometimes veil insulting, critical, derogatory or generally aggressive comments with humor. The patina of humor makes the comment seem like a joke, not to be taken ...
13
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6answers
5k views

Alternatives to “break a butterfly on a wheel” [duplicate]

The phrase "to break a butterfly on a wheel" is very evocative, but I can't bring myself to use it: I find the "wheel" too disturbing. So: what are some good alternatives? (For those who are ...
13
votes
12answers
21k views

Is there a word (or phrase) that describe a series of mishaps/misfortunes in one's life?

I don't mean something like 'many hardships' or 'several tragedies'. I'm looking for a word or short phrase that would describe just a really rough spot or time frame in someone's life. For instance, [...
11
votes
8answers
2k views

Near-universally applicable alternative to “sanity check”

The phrase "sanity check" is ableist language as it implies that there is something wrong with people who have mental illnesses and the word "sanity" has been used to discriminate against such people. ...
7
votes
9answers
22k views

What would you call a person who doesn't like questions being asked of them?

My sister says I ask too many questions, such as "What have you been up to lately?" She is the only person who says that. What do you call a person who doesn't like questions being asked?
7
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5answers
1k views

What do you call it when a name/word is better known by a pejorative?

A while back, the US Congress passed a bill called the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”. The bill quickly became known as “Obamacare”. During the time prior to when cannabis was made ...
7
votes
10answers
2k views

word or phrase for pursuing a losing argument in a certain manner

Is there a word or phrase for describe the action (or the actor) of pursuing a losing argument,not conceding any points, but rather trying to win on legalisms or pedantry? I don't mean starting out ...
4
votes
7answers
144k views

What is the expression to suggest a few dates and times to meet?

Let's say a friend of mine tells me the following: Nice! Let’s meet up for a drink this week. And I want to say, "Sure let's do it. I will propose a few ..., and you tell me if either of them ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Word for phrases that are examples of what they describe

Is there a word (or phrase) for phrases that are examples of what they describe? For example, "You the verb" to tell someone they forgot a verb in an online posting, or "spacesmakethingseasiertoread".
2
votes
6answers
136k views

What do you call a person who always has a pleasant smile on his face?

What do you call a person who always has a pleasant smile on his face. Is there anything better than calling him a "Pleasing personality"?
2
votes
4answers
347 views

A term that describes high-order ordinal numbers

primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary, quinary, senary, septenary, octonary, nonary, denary, duodenary, etc. are ordinal numbers as answered in this question. However, I'm looking for a word/...
24
votes
13answers
4k views

Name for “having no concern about the truthfulness of one’s own remarks”

Take the following statement: I hate the ease with which X makes disparaging remarks about their rivals without the least concern as to whether they are truthful or fair. Now I would like a word ...
17
votes
8answers
138k views

Academic way of saying “On the other hand”

I have two paragraphs in my paper, the previous paragraph ends with This shows that TF-IDF is still an important feature for text analysis task and my next paragraph starts with On the ...
17
votes
9answers
3k views

Words or phrases that describe a person who knows the answer to a problem but is not believed

I'm trying to find either a word or a phrase that describes a person who knows the answer to a problem or problems but is never believed, even though the person is actually correct. The nearest I ...
14
votes
7answers
1k views

Winners, Losers and ____________

If someone wins a match, that person is called a winner. If someone loses a match, that person is called a loser or runner up. But if the match is a draw, that is, no one has won or lost, what do ...
10
votes
7answers
58k views

What is the word/phrase for someone between expert and novice?

I come across various people within my field (software developer) and people who are related to my field (the marketing/business people). Many a time when I want to opine or express my question/answer,...
10
votes
3answers
37k views

Word or phrase for literally and figuratively?

Say, for example, you and a group of people were all sailing out in the ocean and something happens...then you say, "I guess we are all in the same boat" You are literally in the same boat with ...
9
votes
6answers
12k views

What is the white smoke-like fog called?

It's not really fog, mist or haze. I used to think that it's mist, but from what I've read here, it turns out that it isn't. It's the white smoke-like fog that is close to the ground. I've seen it ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Is “to anagram” an established verb?

To his amusement, Jason realized that the words Madam Curie anagrammed to Radium Came. Is the above sentence idiomatic? I am not sure if I can use anagrammed to. If this is inacceptable, what is the ...
8
votes
10answers
83k views

Phrase for something that is always out or reach/you almost have but never can get

I believe there is a two-word phrase for something that is always just out of reach for you and which you cannot ever seem to get. (It is not Tantalus or anything having to do with Tantalus, please). ...
8
votes
6answers
4k views

How to say that the phone is held between shoulder and ear?

What are common phrases an English native speaker would use for the pose of speaking on the phone where you use your shoulder to keep the receiver against your ear (and mouth), so your hands are free? ...
8
votes
2answers
8k views

What do you call this sitting pose or position that sad or depressed people adopt?

What do you call this pose/ position that we adopt when we are very sad or depressed? (For example; when we feel heartbroken or have lost someone or something important.) P.S. I know that some people ...
7
votes
7answers
43k views

What is the synonym/antonym for “feminist”/“feminism”?

I am looking for a word or phrase that are to men's rights as the words feminist/feminism are to women rights. And will the word or phrase be called a synonym or antonym?
5
votes
3answers
5k views

Word for killing off or attempting to kill off an entire bloodline?

I would like to know if there is a word or phrase for a systematic campaign to annihilate every descendant of a particular ancestor. We have the word 'genocide' for killing off an entire race, and ...
5
votes
6answers
4k views

What's a word for someone with low level of knowledge in an area, and no intention of going further?

Over on Photography Stack Exchange, people often describe themselves as "beginners" or "newbies". Nothing at all wrong with that — in fact, it's great. Both of these terms have the implication of ...
4
votes
2answers
856 views

Words that define a type of word and also obey that definition [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is a catchy word that means (non-)self-descriptive There are plenty of names for word sets: synonyms: words that have the same meaning palindromes: words that read the ...
4
votes
2answers
400 views

Does the “she was found in violation of…” <-> “she was violated” equivalence have a name?

This is a follow-up to this question: Why is "violated" being used as future perfect with a person as the object? At that question, it was established that there is a jargon/slang usage of ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Is there a word or phrase for when you break a word in a different place to give a different meaning?

I'm thinking similar to a compound word, but you could break the word at a different or multiple places. Granted I cannot think of a real-world example, but I have included two situations where this ...
2
votes
4answers
5k views

What are some colloquial English phrases for 'a child acquiring its parents' characteristics or features'?

I am not sure if the title is clear enough to you, so let me briefly explain what I'm looking for. We sometimes see children who look very much like their father or mother, or even behave typically ...
2
votes
4answers
938 views

Idiom/Phrase for “results without work/effort”

I'd be greatly appreciative of a cleverly devised idiom/phrase that depicts the following concept: Results without work/effort. ...and/or... My Work/Effort; Your Result. Any idioms/phrases you ...
1
vote
2answers
838 views

Word for making an assertion without knowledge of its truth? [closed]

As opposed to lying which is to assert a false statement knowing that it is untrue, with the intent to deceive. Is there a related word for making a statement as if it were true, with the intent to ...
17
votes
10answers
12k views

What is the expression for the process of getting over the loss of a loved person?

The term mourning usually refers to the sorrow felt because of the death of a person: Great ​sadness ​felt because someone has ​died: Shops were ​closed as a ​sign of mourning for the ​...
16
votes
14answers
866 views

Is there a pejorative alternative to “improvise”?

I'm looking for a word or phrase that implies improvisation in a negative context. "Jury rigging" comes to mind, but I'm in need of a term that can't be mistaken as anything but pejorative. The ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

A term or phrase for speaking as clearly as possible to non-experts [duplicate]

How can I describe the difficulty of somebody who is trying to explain something to people who are not in his/her professional field, and is afraid of using professional terms that will be unclear to ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

What do you call someone who is addicted to a Q&A website?

I was looking for a term for someone who is addicted to a Q&A website but I came up with general terms like nethead, cybernaut, netizen, internet addict etc. You can think of adjectives like ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

Term to describe the relationship between two people when they share an Alma Mater

Is there a Term to describe the relationship between two people when they share an Alma Mater? For example; Neil Armstrong is an alumnus of Purdue University. I am an alumnus of Purdue University. ...
7
votes
10answers
50k views

Word or Phrase for “Easily Swayed”

What word or phrase best communicates the idea that a human (or other sentient being) is easily swayed, particularly between moral good and evil? Words I have found that are close are: Impressionable ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

Better way to say “cover our a***s”

I'm looking for a couple of good coined phrases that I can use in front of business people, apologies if the one I had in mind offends anyone. I'd use "can sleep at night" but I want the phrase to ...
7
votes
3answers
54k views

“expecting a baby”

Can I say "we are expecting a baby" when my wife is pregnant or does that sound funny to native English speakers, saying it as a man? (In German, the phrase has become somewhat common, but it stills ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the English counterpart to 'Binboyusuri' - keep jiggling one’s legs during conversation sitting on the chair?

There are persons who keep jiggling their legs sitting on the chair during conversation or being interviewed. This motion is annoying and seen as the indication of the speaker’s tension, weakness to ...
6
votes
3answers
13k views

Idiomatic saying for “just over” and “just under”

Is there an idiomatic saying to say that a distance is about x kilometer, including the connotation of "a little bit more than" or "a little bit less than" as "just over" and "just under" respectively ...
6
votes
6answers
3k views

Is there a simpler or better way of saying “promises that hold no meaning”? [closed]

Is there a simpler or better way of saying "promises that hold no meaning" or "promises without meaning"?
6
votes
7answers
3k views

What's a word for knowing something from experience?

I'm trying to figure out a word that describes subconsciously knowing something from experience. My initial attempt was "instinct", but that has more gifted and primal connotations. The use case I ...
5
votes
7answers
4k views

Expression for a “smiling face tiger”

The Chinese expression "smiling face tiger" (笑面虎) is defined in English at one website as "an outwardly kind but inwardly cruel person". More broadly it doesn't need to refer to someone who is ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Animal with no predators

We have apex predators for animals that have no natural predators. But it only applies to animals that are themselves predators. Are there more concise or pithy terms for "animals/organisms with no ...
4
votes
10answers
2k views

How to describe a person in a situation in which he does not completely know what he is doing?

How can we describe a person doing or communicating something without (really) knowing what he is doing or talking about? This could be either because of some indisposition like for example ...