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68 votes
Accepted

Adding "dot com" to the end of a sentence?

According to Urban Dictionary, it’s for emphasis: Used to add emphasis to the ending of a phrase. Usually spoken with a slight pause prior to it, and with a deeper voice than normal. Lets ...
Laurel's user avatar
  • 66.6k
65 votes

What does “two-by-six crashing" mean?

As the other answers have noted, "a two-by-six" should be interpreted the same way as "a two-by-four", just a slightly larger version; it refers to a particular size of cut lumber. ...
Miles's user avatar
  • 797
57 votes

What's a positive phrase to say that I quoted something not word by word

Paraphrase is the perfect word. To paraphrase Churchill, we will fight them everywhere. Or Paraphrasing Churchill, we will fight them everywhere. There are plenty of examples at Lexico. Or, less ...
Old Brixtonian's user avatar
56 votes
Accepted

Why is there "a Romeo" but not "a Juliet"?

A Penelope is defined as "as faithful wife" (here). It can probably be used more loosely to mean any faithful female lover. It comes from ancient Greek mythology; Penelope was the wife of Odysseus. ...
DyingIsFun's user avatar
50 votes

Correct way to say 'everywhere in the hotel'

A common way of saying this is: Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel.
Lemma's user avatar
  • 1,327
47 votes

Opposite of "As early as possible"

I would say "at your convenience". This gives the impression that the person should complete the work but within the time period he is comfortable and fits into his schedule. E.g., Please complete ...
Srikanta's user avatar
  • 571
44 votes
Accepted

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

He's still got it. He hasn't lost his touch.
Old Brixtonian's user avatar
41 votes

Why is there "a Romeo" but not "a Juliet"?

It is the atypical nature of a character that makes for an informative literary eponym. In this context, I think the thing that makes Romeo remarkable is not the fact that he fell in love with Juliet ...
DeveloperInDevelopment's user avatar
40 votes

Why is “bat down” not listed in any of major English dictionaries as an idiom, set phrase, collocation, no matter whatever it is?

The expression doesn't come from baseball, but from the more general sense of "strike with a baton". When you "bat" something, you hit it with the palm of your hand, and generally without much concern ...
Michael Lorton's user avatar
38 votes

What sparked the figurative usage of “short fuse” in the 1960s?

"Short fuse" was used metaphorically before the 60s Here's an example that seems to be exactly matching the modern sense: The Navy must needs cross the water and protect our interest, hence ...
Laurel's user avatar
  • 66.6k
37 votes

What does “puncture veneer” mean? Is it a common idiom?

It's headlinese, once you add all the articles and prepositions that would be in the normal version of that sentence you get: "The wiretapping claims that Trump made have punctured his veneer of ...
Oosaka's user avatar
  • 2,091
34 votes

Opposite of "As early as possible"

The question is a little unclear about the request. Some readers have interpreted it as "finish at any time you like", some as "finish any time you like, as long as it is before the deadline" and some ...
Oddthinking's user avatar
  • 3,273
31 votes
Accepted

Is "Good boy!" still appropriate for a child?

Yes, it's still in use. However, in my experience, it's used most often alongside baby talk, only sometimes with the youngest school age kids (5–9 or so), and very rarely with kids older than that. ...
Laurel's user avatar
  • 66.6k
26 votes

Why is “bat down” not listed in any of major English dictionaries as an idiom, set phrase, collocation, no matter whatever it is?

I think the real answer is that "bat down" is not listed as an idiom because it is a natural figurative phrase that uses the first verbal sense of bat defined in the OED: To strike with, or ...
RaceYouAnytime's user avatar
23 votes
Accepted

Go "from zero to hero", usage and origin

Regarding who made "from zero to hero" popular during the 90s. This phrase was used as the tagline of the 1994 movie The Mask, starring Jim Carrey. The tagline is visible in this movie poster: It ...
DyingIsFun's user avatar
23 votes

What does “puncture veneer” mean? Is it a common idiom?

No, 'puncture veneer' is not an idiom. Here 'puncture' is used as a verb and the meaning of 'veneer' is 'facade'. Thus the meaning of the entire headline, by assuming its literal meaning, is Trump's ...
Janki Desai's user avatar
23 votes

“pig book” – when, where & why has a booklet of college students with photos been called a “pig book”?

The only slang dictionary I've found that includes an entry for "pig book" is Tom Dalzell & Terry Victor, The New Partridge Dictionary of Lang and Unconventional English (2006), and its ...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
  • 165k
22 votes

“pig book” – when, where & why has a booklet of college students with photos been called a “pig book”?

Here is a lead, from 35 Slang Terms from the Victorian Era That Are Real Humdingers at https://dustyoldthing.com/35-victorian-slang-terms/ Keep a pig: a college term meaning to let a room to a ...
Justin Thyme the Second's user avatar
21 votes
Accepted

Is the phrase "source code" intrinsically plural?

It is very definitely "source code". There are many uncountable nouns you will encounter in computing. However as non-native speakers contribute increasingly to the literature, it's ...
Mark Allen's user avatar
20 votes

J. Oliver's usage of the word 'bog'

From Tony Thorne, The Dictionary of Contemporary Slang (1990): bog-standard adj British totally unexceptional, normal and unremarkable. Bog here is used as an otherwise meaningless intensifier. From ...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
  • 165k
20 votes

Interesting use of "so much"

This is the OED's sense 39 c. under head-word so: c. adj. An equal sum or amount of (something). One of the examples given is : 1885 E. Lynn Linton Autobiogr. Christopher Kirkland I. 219 Even ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
  • 77.3k
19 votes

Why is there "a Romeo" but not "a Juliet"?

I question the premise of your question. Perhaps you are just looking in a skewed dictionary: Juliet The perfect girl. She will light up your life from the moment you meet her. She's smart but not ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
  • 1,174
19 votes

What triggered the slang term "epic fail"?

This is internet slang, pure and simple, and you can't find out about that through normal channels, such as OED, your parents, or any hidebound source that never "pwned" or got "pwned&...
Robusto's user avatar
  • 152k
19 votes
Accepted

“Out of the mouths of babes”: Is this idiom strictly used to refer to children?

Most dictionaries explain that this biblical passage has survived in modern English as a proverb about children. For example, Dictionary.com points out two qualities of babes this proverb refers to: ...
fev's user avatar
  • 34.5k
18 votes

Go "from zero to hero", usage and origin

SUPPLEMENTARY TO Silenus' ANSWER: The earliest instance of "zero to hero" I find in Google Books is from 1893, on page 5 of an "Address Before the Second Biennial Convention of the World's Woman's ...
18 votes
Accepted

Interesting use of "so much"

You threw them away like so much trash means You threw them away as if they were trash. like so much idiom : like something that is // The explanation sounded like so much nonsense. // The house ...
Tinfoil Hat's user avatar
  • 17.7k
17 votes

Why do so many people speak 'to' topics rather than 'on' or 'about' them? Is this a recent phenomenon?

The Oxford English Dictionary has references to such a sense of the phrasal verb to speak to going back as far as 1610. It is listed as sense 5. To treat of or deal with, to discuss or comment ...
WS2's user avatar
  • 64.7k
16 votes

Why is there "a Romeo" but not "a Juliet"?

Asking "why isn't there X" is often unanswerable. Why isn't there a word for female cousin distinct from male cousin, like brother is distinct from sister? Why isn't there a good gender-neutral ...
Mr. Shiny and New 安宇's user avatar

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