I think your reference to “from your lips to God’s ears,” or also “from your mouth to God’s ears” is a little too positive when viewed from the essence of Yiddish, and has been used through the years to placate in some way the frustrations of the Jewish speaker to his family or friends. “You said it...” with its positive nuance is certainly there in the ...
A half-crown is an obsolete, pre-decimal British coin. A crown was worth 5 shillings old money (= 25p now) so a half-crown was worth 2s 6d or 12.5p decimal. There were 8 of them to the pound sterling.
A half-crown enclosure would have been a spectator area where the admission fee was a half-crown, probably with a better view of the track or finish line.
In the context of begging the question, a question is not a question
one asks but
a point or topic to be investigated or discussed; a problem (OED)
It is a proposition that one is trying to prove (a proposition in
question, the ''point at issue''). To beg the question is simply to ask
(or beg) one's (real or imaginary) interlocutor to grant one the
One possibility that I don't see considered is that the phrase is connected to 'beggar belief', which roughly means to defy belief (something can also beggar description, which means to defy attempts at description). This is more or less exactly the same meaning as 'beg the question' - namely defy the question, by presupposing an answer. I find it doubtful ...
"Are you a real man?" is certainly a common expression, but it's meaning has changed as cultural norms have changed. It once would have meant "Are you sexually potent enough to satisfy me?" but now it means almost the opposite: "Are you sufficiently in control of yourself to not burden me with your sexual drives?"
Given the above, the sentence you would ...
You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear
The saying "you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear" means that the person cannot accomplish a goal with the materials on hand. The phrase indicates futility, hopelessness and impossibility.
How about, “Never send a boy to do a man's job” or some variant thereof?
From The Big Apple:
“Don’t send a boy to do a man’s job/work” means that one should not have someone do what that person cannot do. “Hire a boy to do a man’s business; he will make up his wages in the spoiling of your tools” was cited in 1860.
From tvtrope's ...
No. it is not a set or standard phrase, but a context-specific usage.
The grammatical and antecedent of "all around itself" is the "complex form"; however, the author appears to blur the lines or distinction between the person (he/him) and the form described.
It seems to me that most of these answers are correct to a degree. I became interested in the phrase after coming across it in the folk-song "Mick Maguire". Here is the last verse (or last refrain):
Johnny come up to the fire come up you're sitting in the draught/
Can't you see it's ould Maguire and he nearly drives me daft/
Sure I don't know what gets into ...
One possible phrase is "tarred with the same brush". It has been suggested that this has racist connotations, but is more likely to refer to tarring and feathering of criminals or the practice of marking sheep with tar.
John: System A is wonderful, and System B is horrible.
Eric: Actually, both systems are horrible, they are tarred with the same brush.
When someone praises a particular system but condemns the other, if we think they're pretty much equal, in practice, we can express this by saying
Six of one, half a dozen of the other.
Dictionary.com gives this meaning: "The alternatives are the same" and this example: “During rush hour, it's six of one, half a dozen of the other.”
It’s probably a variant of the old expression It’s a gas which ultimately referred to the discovery of nitrous oxide and its power to give euphoria to those who inhaled it:
Scientist Humphrey Davy noticed that nitrous oxide produced a state of induced euphoria which led to laughter followed by a state of stupor and, finally, a dreamy and sedated state. ...
As OP has noted in a comment, the origin of the phrase may have originated in James Joyce's 1914 anthology Dubliners, specifically the short story "An Encounter" (emphasis mine, link to story here):
When I had been sitting there for five or ten minutes I saw Mahony’s grey suit approaching. He came up the hill, smiling, and clambered up beside me on the ...
As noted by @Cascabel, your question is currently a bit unclear. However, if we interpret it as something like this:
John: System A is wonderful, and System B is horrible.
Eric: Actually, both systems are horrible. [insert idiom]
Then you could use the grass is always greener on the other side, or a variant.
From The Idioms:
to think ...
It is important here to separate the meaning of the phrase, in the narrow sense of meaning, from the meaning, in a broad sense of that word, that it gets from the social setting in which it is used. The phrase salt of the earth metaphorically denotes somebody who embodies the values that were alluded to in the biblical passage in which it originated. There ...
It can refer to dark humour, which according to Wikipedia is:
a comic style that makes light of subject matter that is generally considered taboo, particularly subjects that are normally considered serious or painful to discuss. Comedians often use it as a tool for exploring vulgar issues, thus provoking discomfort and serious thought as well as amusement ...
'Fighting with an open visor' would express openly combating without any attempt at disguise.
'Nailing one's colours to the mast' has the same connotation.
The phrase originated in England and it is generally agreed that the expression was coined in reference to the exploits of the crew of the Venerable, at the Battle of Camperdown, a naval engagement ...
Treasure hunter would seem to fit the bill.
A treasure hunter is a person who, as either a vocation or avocation, searches for sunken, buried, lost, or hidden treasure and other artifacts.
Giovanni Battista Belzoni (1778–1823, Italian). sometimes known as The Great Belzoni, was a prolific Italian explorer and pioneer archaeologist ...
You're going between 3 (!) distinct expressions that look similar but are functioning differently.
First, in the relevant Merriam-Webster entry, here is the example sentence:
he had just gotten married when he was shipped right off to war
Right off is an adverb that describes when or how he was shipped to war: right away or immediately.
The word "right" has many meanings, and your examples touch on several of them (Dictionary).
As an adjective in the first sentence ("a right turn") it means, of course, "on the right-hand side."
As a noun, "right" can mean the right-hand part, side, or direction when paired with a definite article ("the right"), or a right turn with an indefinite article ("...
As Minty notes in a comment beneath the posted question, Mike Pompeo's quote uses two idiomatic phrases side by side: "to do diligence" and "to err on the side of caution." The latter is much more common in modern English than the former, but both may be found (in various permutations).
'To err on the side of caution'
The idiomatic phrase "to err on the ...
The Washington Post may have misquoted Secretary of State Pompeo. The San Francisco Chronicle covered the same news story, US tightens sanctions on sales of Iranian oil as follows:
The waivers had allowed the five nations to avoid major sanctions
against Iranian oil exports that were imposed by the United States in
November. Those exceptions will ...
I have found lots of posts using "fingers to keyboard." Here are a few examples:
Putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) (source)
Motivation to put pen to paper - or fingers to keyboard. (source)
Writing tips for anyone who puts pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. (source)
This new old idiom sounds quite modern now, doesn't it?
Perhaps addressing the differences between the processes of implication and inference might be helpful.
An implication is a statement (or a whole bunch of statements combined) which suggests indirectly (or implies) a meaning which, for whatever reason, might not be appropriate, tasteful, or polite if stated baldly or bluntly.
A waiter in a hurry to ...
3 The presentation of information in a particular way; a
slant, especially a favourable one.
‘he tried to put a positive spin
on the president's campaign’
‘he was sick and tired of the
Government's control freakery and spin’
Spin is a term often used in politics to refer to manipulation of information:
In public relations and politics, spin is a form of propaganda, achieved through knowingly providing a biased interpretation of an event or campaigning to persuade public opinion in favor or against some organization or public figure. While traditional public relations and ...
A fact is something actual, real whereas spin, according to The Free Dictionary can mean
(informal), definition #23: the practice of presenting news or information in a way that creates a favourable impression
This said, the information presented in national statistics may not be as accurate as described.
One word for this would be self-serving:
serving one's own interests often in disregard of the truth or the interests of others
egocentric, egoistic (also egoistical), egomaniacal, egotistic (or egotistical), narcissistic, self-absorbed, self-centered, self-concerned, self-infatuated, self-interested, self-...
I believe that there is no word or phrase to define what you've asked for. But if I could create one, it would be oblige someone's opinion on the other.
For example: He kept on repeating his question in order to oblige his opinion on her.
Or better, simply: He kept on asking her to oblige his opinion.
To expand a bit on TaliesinMerlin’s great answer: the original analogy was to casting a statue by creating a hollow mold and pouring molten metal into it. If the mold is intact, you can make an exact copy by sealing it back up and filling it with bronze again. Breaking the mold means the work of art can never be duplicated.
The British political usage ...
What he doesn't know could fill a book.
This is an idiomatic way of expressing the breadth and depth of one's ignorance. It should be used to express someone's lack of knowledge in an area that they ought to know something about. If you want to be hyperbolic, replace book with library for greater effect.
As stated in a comment, I typed "doesn't know his" into Google to see what it came up with. It liked "head from a hole in the ground".
know one's head from a hole in the ground
Synonym of know one's ass from a hole in the ground
This is going to be a difficult one to justify, you don't want the history of the word but the emotive idiomacy, which may be different for every variation.
I am old enough to remember its uses and connotations prior to those most commonly given.
It is said that it became a British catchphrase in the 80's when popularised in the press meaning to put an end ...
The Oxford English Dictionary attributes the early uses of the phrase to Orlando Furioso, where breaking the mold means basically creating an excellent and beautiful work of nature that is made unique and unrepeatable when the mold is broken.
Natura il fece, e poi roppe la stampa.
(Ariosto, Orlando Furioso, canto 10, stanza 69.)
This is the goodly ...
Dig to China
As Americans have a general notion that China is on the other side of the world, the hyperbole dig to China, emerging in the late 19th c., seems an inevitability:
When the shaft, which is 14x6½ feet, had reached a depth of one hundred and eleven feet below the surface, Mr. R.'s foreman and other experienced miners were of the opinion that ...
It depends on one’s interpretation of the Russian aphorism and I don’t have Russian or know much about Russians but if the opposite of "Every cloud has a silver lining" is needed, I cannot improve on anything suggested other than what came to my quirky mind which is "Every silver lining has a cloud" which gave me a bit of a chuckle.
This answer contains opinion.
A concise solution, I believe, would be "spark up" as in "Spark Up Big Data In Economics".
One, this directly prompts (commands) your audience to get active, i.e. to use your tool, which the more impersonal "Lighting/Setting the spark" doesn't do.
And two, this dominant effect contrasts somewhat amusingly against the ...
Hello SAFEX welcome to EL&U. I looked for examples of "light a spark" online and found a few, although I couldn't find a definition of it as an idiom. Similarly I tried "Set a spark" which seemed more natural to me as a spark is a transitory thing which is used to light something else. This returned a similar number.
I then ran a Google Ngram to find ...
It doesn't convey what you're trying to say. I'd use of rather than for: "Lighting the spark of Big Data in...".
There's also a transitive form of the verb "to spark" which has the meaning you're looking for: to cause something to happen or cause something to become animated.
You can also spark a flame, which basically means to light it, so "Sparking the ...
Well, it seems possible that context may gild the flavor, but taking in these quotes I get a fairly distinct whiff.
Let's see, there is someone
burning the candle at the other end, who further
feels good after, irresponsibly, taking off some pressure, and who
spends quite some time relaxing and enjoying himself
Could the great art of self-gratification ...
It's poorly expressed. Hitchens sometimes had editing that was slighlty sloppy.
Here it is expressed more clearly:
Jesse Jackson said in 1992: ''I can maybe work with him but I know now who he is, what he is. There is nothing this man won't do. He is immune to shame. Move past all the nice posturing and get really down in there in him, you find ...