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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Simple term for a group of things that were isolated from other things to mitigate bad cross-effects

Suppose you have a bunch of things; every thing has a certain performance; and one thing's bad performance negatively impacts the other things' performances. For example, links in a chain, or school ...
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1 vote
2 answers
150 views

Non-negative idiom for someone arriving the moment you were talking about them?

In several languages, there is a positive idiom or expression which is uttered when someone coincidentally walks in while people were talking about him/her. In some cultures, it is considered to be a ...
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0 answers
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What would be a suitable word for "The ability to accept rude things that are being told"? [duplicate]

Could anyone please help me find a word (preferably single word) in this situation: I want to praise someone for the following two things: The way they say rude things The way they accept rude ...
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0 votes
2 answers
67 views

What is a word or term with an opposite or complementary meaning to "flaky person"? [closed]

One good candidate would be "reliable", but I am looking for a word with more direct connotations to social behavior like flaky has.
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16 votes
7 answers
2k views

Word/phrase for talking tough when afraid

I often notice this as a psychological response/defense mechanism that people do when afraid. They will talk tough about the thing they are afraid of. They will say that they will do horrible things ...
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4 votes
8 answers
820 views

Phrase for a kind, but unnecessary gesture

If somebody is sincerely taking part in a futile or unneeded task with/for somebody, but rather than giving up, not bothering or flat out refusing they go along with it, not to humour them, but to ...
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6 votes
13 answers
2k views

What’s a word or phrase that means “to reduce ambiguity”?

Specify is the best I can think of, but it doesn’t by itself capture the change from ambiguity to less ambiguity. For example: "I spent my entire net worth to ride a ship", said Blake. &...
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6 votes
11 answers
251 views

What is the idiom for "trouble came from somewhere no one expected it to come from"

Is there an English idiom/expression for "a problem came from a place no one expected it from"? As in "we were not even paying attention to this part, because it was supposed to be ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
68 views

Is the question "did you request for the bill" correct? [closed]

Really confused here and can't find anything online. I think the correct usage will be "did you request the bill", but not sure if "did you request for the bill" is correct too?
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1 vote
0 answers
57 views

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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0 votes
3 answers
89 views

Perforability - a correct term similar to Russian "перфорированность", meaning "relative area of a surface occupied by pores"

I'm looking for the correct translation of the Russian term "перфорированность" and find the "perforability" but don't know, is it correct? From the physical point of view "...
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7 votes
3 answers
129 views

Is there a word for the phenomenon where explicitly stating assumed things, unprompted, makes you question their validity?

An example might be if someone were to say they were, "A tooth dentist". As a dentist, I assumed they worked on teeth, but as they explicitly stated 'tooth' you would question why they felt ...
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0 votes
0 answers
29 views

Word for "he signed up for this work for his resume without intending to do it"

I'm trying to write a paper where I point out that a certain type of work is taken on more by people who want to do it for resume building and thus do not do the work well, when the focus should be on ...
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1 vote
3 answers
139 views

Term for thinking you can't do something?

There is a term I've heard (the closest I remember is "willful incompetence") for someone who is unable to do something because they think they can't and thus refuse to even try. E.g. The ...
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8 votes
3 answers
706 views

Is there a good equivalent for the Italian proverb "Non tutte le ciambelle riescono col buco"?

One of my favorite Italian sayings is Non tutte le ciambelle riescono col buco (literally "Not all donuts come out with holes"). It usually gets a smile from another Italian speaker, ...
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1 vote
2 answers
73 views

A word to represent a sound type, e.g. mono or stereo? [closed]

What could be a word (or two) that I could use generically to refer to a sound being mono or stereo? I am looking to name a column that can contain either "mono" or "stereo" as the ...
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0 votes
1 answer
42 views

Employee-supervisor skill inversion word/phrase request

I'm seeking either a word or phrase that captures the phenomenon in an organization that relatively junior employees possess far more skills germane to the organization's purpose than supervisory and ...
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4 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is there a word or phrase that describes old articles published again?

Say there is a journal that publishes new articles every month. But now say the journal decides to dedicate a section to include very old articles from years ago. The journal might decide to do this ...
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0 votes
0 answers
20 views

What word/phrase means "the feeling of the time/era"? [duplicate]

I think I recall encountering a phrase that means roughly "the characteristic feeling of a particular historical time". For example, this word/phrase could be applied to the French ...
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0 votes
1 answer
81 views

Word or phrase for any sort of visibility-reducing weather or condition (like blizzards, sandstorms, fog, smog)

I'm looking for a more general term to describe any sort of weather or weather-like condition which includes reducing visibility, specifically those which do so to what might be considered a dangerous ...
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1 vote
0 answers
34 views

English equivalent of Russian "понаберут по объявлению" [duplicate]

In Russian, there's an idiom "понаберут по объявлению". Directly it can be translated as "[they] recruit by ads". The intention behind this idiom is to derogate the one who was &...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Is there a term for "inner circumference"?

A box will have an outer circumference and a smaller "inner circumference". Is there a common word or technical term for an "inner circumference"? This presumes that a "...
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0 votes
5 answers
82 views

Can you think of a way to replace "high time" in the sentence, "It's high time I took a shower"? [closed]

"High time" is too formal for the voice I'm using in this work.
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4 votes
7 answers
279 views

Is there a better phrase for something that is new/inspiring?

I am new to English StackExchange so please let me know if there's anything to be aware of. I'm looking for a better word or phrase that can describe something that is new/inspiring/ - specifically, ...
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0 votes
2 answers
49 views

Phrase for taking a group of people to a "higher culture"?

In a story I'm translating, a character says this (literally translated). I will bring idols to the heights of culture. This particular character often talks about (and acts upon) revolutionizing ...
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  • 3
0 votes
2 answers
46 views

Referring to the quality of doing the best in what one does

What is the single-word or phrase referring to the attitude or quality of someone desiring to do the best in whatever they set out to do (regardless of the end goal). Example: The new employee John ...
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0 votes
0 answers
48 views

Word or phrase to describe a person's taste in media and entertainment?

I am looking for a word that encompasses a person's taste in a wide variety of media and entertainment, including but not limited to movies, shows, music, musicians, actors, and anime. Sample Sentence:...
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0 votes
0 answers
37 views

A word for a business that makes supporting products for another, specific business?

Is there a business term for a company's whose products and services are entirely in support of another company's product or service? For example Companies that sell door fronts, door pulls and couch ...
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0 votes
2 answers
74 views

A phrase meaning trail blazing without being concerned about the consequences to others

I'm trying to remember or think a new of s phrase to describe somebody who both forges a path a head of them, trail blazing in a way, but does so at the consequences of others. This isn't just the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
79 views

Word for a feeling about something you weren't supposed to see [closed]

I'm looking for a word or phrase that describes the feeling of seeing/knowing something that you weren't supposed to. Like learning someone's secret or reading their diary. I think I recall there ...
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0 votes
0 answers
28 views

Alternative expression for "in association with"

We're hosting an event soon. The event is hosted by x, in association with Y. For visual or presenting purposes I wanted to know if there was a "fancier" or more eloquent way of saying "...
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0 votes
2 answers
75 views

What word or phrase do you use for not doing something that you intended to do because subconsciously you did not want to do it?

What noun or noun phrase do you use for not doing something that you intended to do because subconsciously you did not want to do it? In speech it is called 'a Freudian slip'. (Merriam Webster online ...
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  • 3,806
1 vote
1 answer
77 views

More formal way to say "all-nighter"

What is a more formal way to say "all-nighter" in a sentence, such as "I pulled my first all-nighter, when writing a report with my group"? Rewording "my first all-nighter&...
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2 votes
0 answers
51 views

Word like "underlined" but for wiggly/squiggly/wavy/snaked lines [closed]

Consider the following picture: The text stream->readBytes is …? In my native language, German, it would be called "unterschlängelt", literally "under-snaked". Does English ...
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18 votes
14 answers
3k views

Idiom or phrase for expressing one's skill/talent has not decayed

I am wondering what standard phrase or idiom expresses that one's skill or talent in a particular area has not decayed through the passage of time. I believe a related idiom is, "[the person] has ...
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0 votes
0 answers
45 views

Is there an idiomatic expression for "treating a story freely"?

I'm looking for an idiomatic expression which means "treating an original story freely". For example, a film director takes an old traditional story and treats it freely in his/her ...
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3 votes
1 answer
228 views

What is the word or phrase to describe the action of pursing one's lips in a tight rounded shape in a happy mood?

As the title says, what is the word or phrase to describe the action of pursing one's lips in a tight rounded shape in a happy mood? Merriam-Webster: purse(verb) defines it as (quoting from English ...
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0 votes
0 answers
58 views

What to call the building blocks of something?

I'm an Asian teacher (in the field of business and investing). I'm trying to educate my students to think in the level at which things get done, think in the math, the reasons, at the level of details ...
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0 votes
0 answers
64 views

Is there a term for the rhetorical technique of repeating an interlocutor's ideas while making it sound like their own?

Is there a term for the rhetorical technique of repeating, either spoken or written, the interlocutor's ideas or opinions, without acknowledgement, while making it sound like either something new or a ...
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0 votes
2 answers
151 views

Phrase for describing someone who ended up buying something much more expensive than what was originally needed

Is there any popular phrase (proverb/idiom/slang) describing someone who ended up buying something much more expensive than what was originally needed? Somewhat like, need a bike, paid for a Mercedes. ...
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0 votes
2 answers
47 views

To be worse off for 'missing' or 'longing for' something

The reader ____ a more concrete example of ... In the same vein as "finds missing", how can I say the reader is left worse off for not being given a concrete example of [...]? The reader ...
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0 votes
0 answers
58 views

What do you call a person who purportedly represents the best qualities of a nation?

In Russian there is an expression "conscience of a nation" (совесть нации) which means a person who embodies best qualities of that nation (according to one's subjective opinion). In the ...
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3 votes
3 answers
389 views

Word that combines "indicator" and "metaphor"

I feel like there's a word I can't put my finger on that captures the idea of: an object or entity which can be taken as a case study of a larger phenomenon, a lens through which to view the ...
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  • 5,611
0 votes
3 answers
73 views

What’s a better way to word “times are hard” [closed]

In a sentence it would be “Even when ___, she remained persistent”
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-1 votes
3 answers
60 views

How can I write the theme “try your hardest at everything you do” in one or two words? [closed]

For example, I could describe “put others before yourself” as “selflessness”. Or “Do not let fear hold you back” as “courage”.
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8 votes
11 answers
3k views

How would I describe the theme “hardships only make you stronger” in one or two words?

For example, the theme “never give up, no matter how hard things get” could be condensed to “perseverance”. How could I do that with the theme above? In a sentence it would be “This book’s theme ...
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0 votes
2 answers
99 views

What do you call the tendency to leave out important implicit assumptions in written communication?

When we write to communicate something, often we miss out on certain details because we implicitly assume it to be obvious and that the reader would comprehend it without seeing it in words. Is there ...
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0 votes
1 answer
30 views

A word or expression to introduce one of different example cases

Section 2.3: Quirks Relative paths are displayed as absolute Example: Tools > Options > Load/Save > General > Save URLs relative to file system = True Insert a linked image (Insert > ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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How to describe someone who gives to others but takes from closest ones?

I am looking for a term that would fit the following 2 descriptions at the same time even though they sound opposite: Someone who gives and helps others, not for looks but because it makes them feel ...
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