New answers tagged

0 votes

Idioms indicating symbiosis rather than conflict

A phrase that's often used in this sort of context is a win-win solution Oxford Languages: adjective of or denoting a situation in which each party benefits in some way. "we are aiming for a win-...
user avatar
  • 20.7k
1 vote

Idioms indicating symbiosis rather than conflict

It sounds as if they have to "learn to live with each other". (This is fairly close to the etymological roots of "symbiosis".)
user avatar
1 vote

Idioms indicating symbiosis rather than conflict

Paul Hoffman, writing for the Daily Maverick {March 2022}, addresses what he sees as the need for a negotiated peace in the Ukraine: The sooner the mediation route is explored between Russia and ...
user avatar
1 vote

Idioms indicating symbiosis rather than conflict

Some suggestions: Put aside (our) differences forget about or put aside the things that one argues about, disagrees with, or dislikes about the other side, usually in order to achieve a common goal ...
user avatar
  • 1,946
2 votes
Accepted

To remove someone's sins

Professor John Lawler wrote in a comment: The verb is absolve, and it takes the forgiver as the subject and forgivee as the object; the reason for the absolution is expressed in a prepositional ...
1 vote

Origin of “Peace Through Superior Firepower”

“Peace Through Superior Firepower” In cases like this, Google Ngram is sometimes helpful, however it is not definitive. As you can see, the earliest usage in print in English as a phrase probably ...
user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

Meaning of sentences begining with "such is..."

Such is an allomorph of so and is used in many of the same constructions. Such introduces predicate nouns and so introduces predicate adjectives It's such a loss! It's so soft! (intensifier use) He's ...
user avatar
3 votes

What is the meaning of "paying in buttons"?

If you are in a setting when donations or payments are expected, a button can pass in the moment and easily be explained if detected and an explanation becomes necessary. “Who put these buttons in ...
user avatar
4 votes

What is the meaning of "paying in buttons"?

Poor rural people are often cash strapped even today in places like the US and England, it was much worse in the past. So, it’s common to hear tales of professionals (particularly Doctors) being paid ...
user avatar
  • 1,223
2 votes

What is the meaning of "paying in buttons"?

It's a way of expressing something of little worth, and I don't feel that either of the examples quoted by Noelia sits comfortably with British usage as I know it. Are the sources from elsewhere? My ...
user avatar
1 vote

Why do we talk of 'spoiling for a fight'?

This is a very common expression in Ireland, especially of the generation that I knew who were born around the 1920s. Perhaps lesser so as the following generations came to be. It wouldn't surprise me ...
user avatar
  • 11
10 votes

What is the meaning of "paying in buttons"?

Being / get paid in buttons. It's probably not common enough to be classed as an idiom, but it's one of the most transparent metaphors imaginable. Cambridge Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, AHD and R H K ...
user avatar
5 votes

What is the meaning of "paying in buttons"?

It means paying in actual buttons, but facetious because they would not be enough to pay a doctor's bill. Small amounts of currency in the UK used to be acceptable as buttons or pins. There is an ...
user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

Does the idiom "dotting your Is and crossing your Ts" have a negative connotation?

Most dictionaries of idioms that I've checked do not give space to any negative element that may lurk at the extreme end of "dotting your i's and crossing your t's." Here, for example, is ...
user avatar
  • 151k
5 votes

What is the origin of the idiom "get/be shot of"?

Because "get shot of" and "get shut of" are so similar orthographically, phonetically, and in everyday meaning, my answer looks into the origins of both. Modern reference work ...
user avatar
  • 151k
3 votes
Accepted

What is the origin of the idiom "get/be shot of"?

The OED ("shoot" 37 b) says "get shot" is from a dialectal passive form of the verb "shoot", here meaning "to rid (of)". This (mostly obsolete) sense of "...
user avatar
  • 4,520
1 vote
Accepted

Can a single word be an idiom or an expression?

Can a single word be considered an idiom or an expression? From Lexico: Expression /count noun/ A word or phrase, especially an idiomatic one, used to convey an idea. ‘we have an expression, ‘You ...
user avatar
2 votes

Is Einstein's geodesic a metaphor or an idiom?

An idiom is a lexical and/or syntactic fixed phrase that does not work like normal phrases, and does not mean what it looks like it should mean. For example, no buckets, books, or hands are involved ...
user avatar
0 votes

Are the cats and dogs of the idiom "it's raining cats and dogs" plural in usage?

Grammatically, "It is raining cats and dogs" makes the verb "rain" transitive. In fact, the verb "rain" is intransitive. In this respect, this archaic idiom is ...
user avatar
  • 1
0 votes

Proper use of "out to lunch", "out for lunch" and "out at lunch"

“Out to lunch” is an idiom which means ‘inattentive’, ‘crazy’ or ‘mad’: ”So do I take this guy seriously or is he out to lunch?”(Cambridge dictionary) Even ‘out for’ is unclear. We need to include ...
user avatar
0 votes

Phrase for getting distracted by other things and turning away from the true purpose

Both "(to) digress" and "(go) off topic" appear under idioms on "The Free Dictionary". The public has been focused on pressuring the judiciary to be more diverse but ...
user avatar
  • 4,428
0 votes

Origin of "Under the weather"?

I agree with @Greybeard and @colt4x5 that the ship etymology feels a bit far-fetched. “Under the weather rail” seems still more plausible, but I couldn’t find any attestations of “feeling” “under the ...
user avatar
1 vote

What's the idiom for doing something in vain

Flog a dead horse is a common idiom in such situations. flog a dead horse [The Free Dictionary]
user avatar
  • 6,610
1 vote

Which one is correct/idiomatic?

All arrangements are idiomatic and result in the same meaning. Which you use is a matter of personal preference in this particular case. (CoGEL § 8.14) There is a sharp difference between A [the ...
user avatar
  • 13.5k
0 votes

When can we use "This/That is how we/you do it"?

You can think of that phrase as short for If you want to operate a restaurant well, this is how you do it. where "this" refers to the way the restaurant being reviewed is run. The rest of ...
user avatar
  • 16.4k
0 votes

When can we use "This/That is how we/you do it"?

You can use this expression whenever you like, and you may expect at least US teens and young adults to understand and relate to it. It means, in this case, that this restaurant is a model for other ...
user avatar
  • 20.7k
-1 votes

When can we use "This/That is how we/you do it"?

In a comment John Lawler wrote: Using that sentence as a compliment requires a specific intonation and stress pattern. This must be heavily stressed and lengthened (with a pointing gesture if spoken, ...
-1 votes

get up and running with something

I found you a definition in Collins: up and running PHRASE If something such as a system or place is up and running, it is operating normally. We're trying to get the medical facilities up and ...
user avatar
  • 20.7k
-1 votes

Where does the idiom “root for something” come from?

I've alway thought the term came from watching pigs root around in the dirt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRz1tvx-6eQ
user avatar
  • 1
0 votes

What does “Obama goes big” mean?

To go big means to do something in an elaborate manner to achieve the best possible result for the desired results or set goals.
user avatar
1 vote
Accepted

get up and running with something

To me they mean different things. If I "get Julia up and running" that means I install her on my machine so that she is operating. But to have "got up and running with Julia" would ...
user avatar
  • 63.7k
1 vote
Accepted

Idiom/Phrase to fight someone else's war?

"To fight someone else's' war" sounds a little like ... proxy war/fight/fighter A proxy war is an armed conflict between two states or non-state actors which act on the instigation or on ...
user avatar

Top 50 recent answers are included