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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referring to specifically the game theory definition of "game"

I need to reference "games" in the context of game theory. My current sentence is something like "... This method applies for any type of game. For example, this is how it might apply ...
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3 votes
7 answers
289 views

What's it called when a factual account spins itself in "folklore" (e.g., refers to wildlife as "legendary creatures")?

We decided to watch a "documentary" about "legendary creatures" because they seemed like contradictory terms to us. What are these "legendary creatures"? Bigfoot, Nessie…...
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-3 votes
1 answer
188 views

When an African-American hero says 'enough already, you are asking too much of me'

Is there a phrase that expresses the rebellion of the "native" troops protesting yet another battle against daunting odds when they have already proven themselves to be beyond compare... ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
51 views

Expresses feeling of security or safety with positive inflections

First of all thanks to that great community here! We are trying to find a word or phrase to represent 'strong secure feelings' in a 'content & elated' way - (network security and safety / open ...
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13 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is there a term or expression for elements that are aligned like a watch face?

When you arrange elements in a circle, you can either keep the initial orientation of each element, or align them similarly to a watch face. Is there a term for elements that are aligned like a watch ...
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  • 133
0 votes
2 answers
93 views

An Idiom to describe the action of botching a job when it is almost complete [duplicate]

I am looking for an idiom/phrase which is used to describe the action of botching up a job when it is almost complete. A similar idiom in another foreign language is "to drown/wreck a boat when ...
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  • 335
1 vote
3 answers
358 views

One word for "The original person who experienced an event"

The person whom the story belongs to is not telling the story, but someone else is telling it on his behalf. In that case, what's one concise word or phrase to replaced the bold part above? This ...
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3 votes
5 answers
634 views

What verb can be used transitively with the noun "bridge"?

Imagine an unsurpassable abyss between you and some kind of other side. And although you know you can't possibly make it, you still jump with a mad hope to make it to the safety of that other side. ...
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16 votes
2 answers
2k views

Idiom meaning similar people tend to gather

I've got a phrase in Japanese that I want to translate. The original Japanese is as follows:牛は牛連れ馬は馬連れ。 The meaning is that similar people are naturally drawn to and group with each other. The literal ...
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  • 275
-1 votes
4 answers
77 views

Idiom/word for seeming misleadingly encouraging

I’m looking for a word to use in the following sentence: Upon deeper contemplation, the news struck me as a ______ warning. I’m trying to say that the news isn’t being perceived as a warning, ...
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0 votes
0 answers
58 views

What is a student called that completed high school and is about to start college/uni?

What do you call a student who has completed year 12/senior year of high school and are about to begin 1st year/freshman year of uni/college but have not started yet? Happy for both US and UK versions....
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-1 votes
1 answer
60 views

What word or phrase describes "badly executed but ultimately successful"?

Like the title says, what word or phrase describes a task that was badly executed, but the task was completed anyway?
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1 vote
0 answers
59 views

Is there a word or phrase for an obvious and unhelpful remark? [duplicate]

For example, if after you touch a hot pan and pull your hand away, someone says "Careful, that's hot.". Or if you dropped something and are fully aware of it, "You dropped something.&...
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  • 111
0 votes
1 answer
51 views

What phrase likely matches monkey and assistant? [closed]

I came across this phrase a long time ago but have since forgotten it. It sounded something like worm monkey or screw monkey. it basically refers to someone whose only job is to help the mechanic or ...
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-2 votes
3 answers
111 views

Word for the range between two ends of a spectrum

I’m looking for a word to fill the gap in the sentence: An exploration of the mechanical–organic _______. or An exploration of the ____ between the mechanical and the organic. The context is ...
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0 votes
2 answers
381 views

Is informated a word?

On Season 1 Ep 5 in the TV Show Good Omens, a US military soldier guarding a US base says: I was not informated on any surprise inspection sir. Clip of video here: https://streamable.com/l6acv6 Then ...
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4 votes
3 answers
1k views

Opposite of preparation / is there a word for winding down after an event? [closed]

Idea I am wondering, if I prepare before an event by getting into my running clothes and we call this "preparation". Is there a word for then getting out of my running clothes after the ...
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1 vote
10 answers
4k views

What do you call a person who keeps talking to someone even though they're clearly not interested in talking with that person? [duplicate]

What do you call (a noun or an adjective) a person who keeps talking to someone despite the fact that they're clearly not interested in having conversation with that person? The most typical (but not ...
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2 votes
0 answers
301 views

What’s the meaning behind the lyric from Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy “and the ‘68 festival wallflowers are thinning? [closed]

Elton John/Bernie Taupin’s lyric line from Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy “and the ‘68 festival wallflowers are thinning” has continued to confuse me in its meaning. I understand “‘68 ...
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2 votes
3 answers
332 views

A word, gesture or expression for a confident "shrug"

I am trying to look for a word, gesture or expression that represents a state of confident not knowing. So far I am using a shrug for this but when used often it starts to come off as very apathetic ...
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  • 1,005
2 votes
2 answers
155 views

A multi-word verb which is the opposite of 'stress out'

I ran a bunch of errands today that involved dealing with people who don't know what they are talking about, and when I got home there were six letters from the US government sitting in my mailbox, ...
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-2 votes
2 answers
98 views

A person who pretends to dislike a particular subject when in actuality they do like it

What is the English phrase used for when a person pretends not to like something, but in actuality they do. I wasn't sure if it is a French phrase that has been adopted into the English language.
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0 votes
0 answers
65 views

ways to express something is too precious for one to use

Something like this wine is too precious to drink by myself now, I need to save for later. Water is too precious in the desert, I need to save it for my children.
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1 vote
1 answer
86 views

My idea is ignored when I say it, but listened to when someone repeats it [closed]

Is there a word or phrase to describe the situation when one person makes a comment or suggestion in a meeting and is ignored, but a few minutes later someone else makes essentially the same comment ...
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  • 4,512
0 votes
1 answer
43 views

Term/phrase to describe a word that develops divergent (often context-specific) meanings [duplicate]

There are certain cases where a single word takes on more than one meaning. This is ostensibly the same word and, superficially, it often seems to have a single definition (it certainly started with ...
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3 votes
1 answer
110 views

less scientific or clinical sounding yet reassuring term for a gas that's okay to breathe than "breathable gas"?

In the first sentence of the SE question In simple terms, how does the way space suits manage breathable gas differ from how scuba gear does it? I explain: I say "breathable gas" because ...
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  • 851
1 vote
0 answers
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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  • 399
0 votes
1 answer
42 views

Is there a phrase like 'in my joy'? What about 'feel the hours passing by'? [closed]

Are the phrases in bold in the following sentence correct? "In their joy of finding a friend in each other, they did not feel the hours passing by." I'm not a native speaker. I feel like the ...
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4 votes
6 answers
560 views

Is there an idiom for "something that occurs for zero or infinite times"?

I'm looking for a word or phrase for the warning "If you do it for once, you will do it next time, and until infinity", usually with a negative connotation (like warning someone against ...
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  • 1,264
1 vote
2 answers
87 views

Word for "benefitting all humanity" or "the desire to act for the benefit of mankind"

I'm working on a core values course and a value that comes up often is the desire to act for the benefit of humanity as a whole. Example usage; My core values include curiosity, creativity, and X. ...
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  • 121
0 votes
2 answers
117 views

Idiom for addressing the most important point

What's an idiom for getting right to the most important point? Someone clever/wise always gets right to the heart of the matter. An educator who understands their audience perfectly and always says ...
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  • 2,611
11 votes
6 answers
2k views

What's a term for someone who held a position that's in the process of being handed over?

I am/was the Vice President of Finances for a club at my university. Over the summer, someone new was elected who will become the new VP Finances. The position is still being transferred, meaning that ...
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0 votes
5 answers
118 views

Word or idiom for something that can either be helpful or harmful, depending on how it's used [duplicate]

For example, consider the following: Knives are a [blank], because they can either be used as a tool or a weapon. I don't think "double-edged sword" is appropriate in this context because ...
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0 votes
1 answer
71 views

Word or a phrase that describe both type of departmental store with typical business model

I want to differentiate between two department stores. Let's say a department store which for each product like a jeans or printed shirt with a particular design and color has all the available sizes. ...
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  • 2,909
4 votes
3 answers
152 views

Word or phrase for describing something negatively but only lightly to detract from how bad it really is

i.e. an old rusted car that barely starts and the used car salesman says: She's a little worse for wear, but [insert pitch] acknowledging the car has negative qualities or traits, but minimizing the ...
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  • 162
2 votes
5 answers
988 views

Name for the "space between the sky and the earth" [closed]

What is the correct name for the space between heaven and earth? I thought of ether but it seems to have a prevailing chemistry meaning, whereas its second connotation is described by OxfordL as ...
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  • 12k
0 votes
1 answer
142 views

Is the phrase "he sucks in something..." offensive in UK? And US? How this can also be expressed? [closed]

The literal translation of the slang "He sucks", in some languages, can have a very different meaning. First: is it offensive or it's ok to say? Second: how can we say the same in UK/US but ...
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0 votes
1 answer
39 views

Single word or phrase alternative to a "tongue poke"? [closed]

I am looking for a single word or phrase alternative to a tongue poke, whether that's another expression or gesture or an adjective which describes a show of the same feeling. The feeling I am trying ...
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  • 1,005
2 votes
2 answers
81 views

Three verb term for joining in order to neutralize [closed]

I'm trying to recall a three word term used to describe joining an organization, committee etc. in order to neutralize or disrupt it. For example, by changing the scope, insisting on arbitrary ...
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0 votes
1 answer
61 views

Formal-sounding substitute for "stuck at"

Here is the sentence I'm working with: Product manufacturing has (been) ________ (at) one unit per month for nearly a year. Clearly, if just any old word/phrase would do, we could insert "stuck ...
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3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Does "how dare you" imply a question?

To say "how come you (didn't shut the fridge)?" or "how did you (forget to call)?" implies an obvious question. So my question is: does "how dare you" mean why do you ...
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0 votes
2 answers
290 views

What'd be the more common equivalent to Tolkien's "the young perish and the old linger"?

The young perish and the old linger, withering. The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien Is there a common English phrase for when an old person, unfortunately, watches a young person die before them, even ...
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1 vote
1 answer
84 views

Are there any words or terms when 'a small daughter dancing with her dad with her feet on top of his'?

I'm writing my story and I had the idea to have both the characters to dance with one of them standing on the other's feet. But whenever I tried to search the word or term nothing showed up. The only ...
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0 votes
2 answers
59 views

What will be a good expression/idiom/noun form for "external problems"?

Question from a economics researcher: What will be a good idiom/noun form for "external problems"? The idea is, to charge for some services, there is no problem inside the company, as all ...
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0 votes
5 answers
360 views

"Evil always wins because it stops at nothing": A phrase or expression to reflect that ideology

This springs from the many comments which over the years I have heard from adolescent students that appear to reflect the views of their supposedly upright and moralist parents--people who in ...
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