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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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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  • 1,005
0 votes
0 answers
59 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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  • 180
0 votes
1 answer
101 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
59 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
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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
50 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
53 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
200 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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  • 21
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
68 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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  • 111
0 votes
3 answers
105 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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  • 604
3 votes
2 answers
65 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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  • 1,279
3 votes
2 answers
119 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
45 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
33 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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1 vote
1 answer
76 views

Elegant English term for performing a "fausse manoeuvre"

I'm looking for a descriptive, elegant English term or phrase for fausse manoeuvre, which is when a technical operator (a human) performs a "bad" operation or sequence of actions. For ...
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  • 111
-1 votes
1 answer
41 views

Does the word "variation" mean the changing cooking recipes according to one's favorite taste? [closed]

I have a question about everyday English expressions. Do you cook? When you cook, do you ever change the recipe according to your favorite flavor, such as "add milk according to your taste" ...
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  • 101
0 votes
2 answers
76 views

Adjective for the major threat of an imminent cyber attack

I am making a presentation in which I wish to say that I am going to talk about the ______ of present-day cyber security threats. I want to fill the blank with an adjective which describe two ...
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  • 113
0 votes
0 answers
41 views

Saying or expression about modesty [duplicate]

I am looking for a saying or expression in English that is equivalent to "what is an ant that you want to make a meal from?" meaning that, I dont consider myself that important to make such ...
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1 vote
2 answers
55 views

What is the term/phrase for a logical/moral paradox?

I seem to remember a specific word, or a two-word phrase being used for Encountering or coming across a question that you were sure you could answer, such as to explain something being right or wrong,...
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0 votes
0 answers
67 views

The initialism 'TMI' gives too little information to the uninformed - is there a term for such occurrences? [duplicate]

Note: TMI stands for "Too Much Information" This shower thought came to me a few years ago, and just popped into my head again - I've searched on this site and Google and came up empty. ...
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  • 21
-1 votes
1 answer
54 views

What do you call a person who has basic knowledge or some basic experience in some programming language? [duplicate]

I am proficient in ReactJs (which is a Javascript framework for creating web applications). I want to mention that I have basic knowledge, and some experience, in other programming languages as well. ...
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0 votes
2 answers
79 views

Phrase expressing the notion that good luck often is no mere coincidence

I'm looking for an English version of the German Nicht die Zufaelle machen den Meister, der Meister macht die Zufaelle. Literally: Not coincidence makes a master, a master makes coincidence. It ...
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0 votes
1 answer
48 views

Is there a single word that means “helpful and interesting”?

I’ve been reading a lot of applied psychology and find myself frequently describing an exciting idea as “both interesting and helpful”, to connote that the idea is intellectually fascinating and also ...
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30 votes
9 answers
6k views

What is the formal name for the "buy cheap, buy twice" effect?

I am looking for the proper term for the effect in which a lower price solution leads to higher hidden costs. For example, Batteries that are slightly cheaper than the leading brand, but have a ...
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0 votes
4 answers
105 views

Looking for a phrase, word, etc., to describe tendency towards choosing an easy solution

I am curious whether a specific phrase or similar exist. E.g., modus vivendi characterize "an arrangement or agreement allowing conflicting parties to coexist peacefully". I am looking for a ...
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  • 147
6 votes
2 answers
155 views

Word or phrase for the phenomenon (or thinking error) where people will be satisfied with an answer simply because it was difficult to arrive at?

As per the title, I'm looking for a word or short phrase that describes the phenomenon where people will accept an answer or solution that was difficult to arrive at, simply because it was difficult ...
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3 votes
6 answers
162 views

When you've been doing something wrong because that's the way you've always done it

Example word-senses: when you've been pronouncing a word a certain way just because you've never heard another person pronounce it when you've been doing a physical exercise wrong because you've ...
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4 votes
2 answers
938 views

What is it called when you call someone on the phone over and over again? [closed]

What is it called when you call someone on the phone over and over again? I'm looking for a slang word or phrase.
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  • 49
1 vote
2 answers
65 views

Word that describes someone belittling themselves or their actions while actually thinking the opposite

I'm looking for a word or a phrase that would best describe someone who criticises parts of themselves or actions they have taken while secretly thinking the opposite, be it to boost their ego by ...
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  • 13
1 vote
3 answers
187 views

Word for seeing both sides of an argument, part 2

As I have read the dialogue for this question posed by Henrik Erlandsson, and did not see a word that encompassed his desired search, though many tried, I wish to ask again, since it has been 10 years ...
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0 votes
3 answers
82 views

Is there a word for someone who sells false hope to calm nerves?

Rainmaking is a superstitious belief that performing a dance will make rain come. I guess it's somewhat analogous to the term snake oil salesman but, whereas snake oil salesman sell their bill of ...
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  • 101
0 votes
0 answers
73 views

I am happy for and slightly envious of someone who is the same place I used to be in because I was unhappy when I was there

I'm a trans woman... but I met a guy who is a lot like how I was. This person is who I tried to be while identifying as a male. He simply is that way and perfectly happy the way he is. When I was ...
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6 votes
5 answers
609 views

Word or phrase which means purposely playing below your skill level?

I am looking for an idiom or expression which can be used to describe the action of someone deliberately playing below their skill level. For example, a pool or billiards expert missing a few shots on ...
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  • 1,438
8 votes
5 answers
703 views

English equivalent to the Portuguese expression “entendedores entenderão”, “those who understand understand”?

In Portuguese, “entendedores entenderão”, which literally can be translated to “those who understand understand”, is often used on the internet. Someone might write this when (s)he posts something ...
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  • 1,438