Questions tagged [idiom-request]

For requests for an idiomatic English expression for a certain situation, i.e. a word or phrase which is 'typical' for English and doesn't necessarily have an equivalent in other languages.

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1answer
22 views

Looking for an Idiom - Great Minds having great demons?

I think I recall some Idiom about great minds having great demons, but I cannot seem to find it anywhere online. Does it not exist or am I misremembering a different one?
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1answer
15 views

The trading team was disbanded. Is this sentence idiomatic?

The situation is this: A trading team made a big loss and was broken up. And all the team members get fired. I want to tell this situation to others. What would be the best word for the blank to ...
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2answers
36 views

Formal alternative to 'what are you doing here?'

As far as I know, there is a fixed phrase/idiom for saying what are you doing here? but I have forgotten it. It is a very formal and polite way of saying that. What are you doing here? can sound ...
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1answer
42 views

an idiom about moving to somewhere

I want to ask someone why on earth he moved from A (a city with high standards of living) to B (a disastrous one), because it's unreasonable and I'm nosy, through a polite idiom. Is there anything for ...
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2answers
39 views

Is there any saying about “learning by messing up things”?

We Spanish-speakers have a saying that we learn or gain experience when we mess up things: "echando a perder se aprende", that can be translated literally as: "you learn by messing up ...
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1answer
35 views

I am searching for an idiom for a chaotic bedroom [closed]

I am searching for an idiom for a chaotic and irregular bedroom. Consider a situation that your mother enters your bedroom and encounters with that scene. At that situation, what does she say?
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1answer
22 views

How to express “favorable presumption”?

I remember there's an English idiom, but I can't recall it clearly. That idiom says if you feel uncertain about whether someone's performance is good or lousy, you might as well give him/her more ...
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9answers
5k views

What's the English saying for “That the ancestors are successful is inferior to that the descendants are successful”?

There goes a Chinese maxim "前人 强 不如 后人 强". 前人= former generation, ancestor; 后人= later generation, descendant; 强= strong, powerful; 不如= not as good/well as, inferior to, less desirable than. ...
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1answer
19 views

Idiom for the situation 'when people call it a big mistake but it actually is a small one"

I want an idiom for a situation like this: when I do a small mistake and people start telling other people that I have done a big mistake when the mistake is really small.
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0answers
14 views

A phrase similar to “empty talk”, but is intended at propagandizing or praising someone?

A phrase similar to "empty talk", but is intended at propagandizing or praising someone? I forgot the phrase, but it was something talk, but I don't remember what that adjective was. Does someone ...
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2answers
55 views

A phrase for 'something that happens rarely'

Is there a phrase or idiom to describe a situation which happens rarely? I want to use that phrase in these sentences: You have rarely beaten me in wrestling. Crimes used to happen rarely in ...
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2answers
30 views

Is there an idiom or expression saying or implying that gambling is a good thing?

Is there an idiom or expression saying or implying that gambling is a good thing? I am pretty sure there are idioms about gambling, but I am not sure if any of them are "positive".
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3answers
50 views

What do you call the act of answering a question in a unsatisfactory way so that the we're compelled to ask another question?

What do you call the act of answering a question in a unsatisfactory way so that the we're compelled to ask another question? Is there an idiom or word associated with the action?
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0answers
14 views

Is there a word or idioms for “political necessity”?

Is there a word or idioms for "political necessity"? For example, let's say politicians need to do something or enact a policy no matter how unpopular it is, because of a political necessity. What do ...
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0answers
34 views

goes on to infinity?

There's a doll inside that doll and inside that doll there's a doll and inside that doll there's a doll and it goes on to infinity. There's a doll inside that doll and inside that doll there's ...
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5answers
2k views

Idiom for a fallacy “who are you to judge”?

I'm looking for an idiom / name describing a fallacy in which the opponent's opinion on X is discarded on grounds that the opponent doesn't know how to do/make X. Examples: How can you say this ...
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3answers
53 views

Is there an idiom for “proposing her for marriage”?

"He gave her a ring while proposing her for marriage." This sentence feels long winded. I am sure there's a more idiomatic way to say this. Is there? I am looking for an idiom a native speaker may ...
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2answers
22 views

Is there an idiom that means “to be doing something at all time”?

Is there an idiom that means "to be doing something at all time"? Like the antonym of the expression "stay in the backseat (at all time)", something that means "be proactive at all time"?
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2answers
27 views

How to express “to draw or write messily” idiomatically?

My kid "drew or wrote messily" on the paper (look at the picture) all over the place (British English also all over the shop) (US English also all over the lot) (informal) 1-​everywhere ...
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1answer
67 views

Is there an idiom that means working hard and continuously?

Is there an idiom that means working hard continuously? Preferably, I would like an idiom that means "work 24/7 without rest", but I can accept something that means "give as much effort as possible". ...
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1answer
13 views

Is there an idiom that means it's possible and not impossible?

Is there an idiom that means it's possible and not impossible? I could only think of "within the realm of possibility", which is a mouthful, and I am wondering if there's any good idiom I might have ...
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2answers
39 views

Common phrase or idiom for “reductio ad absurdum”?

I am looking for a phrase or idiom that means roughly like "reductio ad absurdum". Specifically, taking an otherwise logical argument to irrational length, that it starts to look logically absurd. ...
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1answer
169 views

In everyday English, How to express “to pull the drawer open so hard that it falls off”?

You can move the drawer in and out easily because of its glide bars, but sometimes you pull it so hard and the drawer "goes off the track". In everyday English, How to express "to pull the drawer ...
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2answers
39 views

Is there an idiom for when two things don't interact with each other? [closed]

Is there an idiom for when two things don't interact with each other? For example, two bacteria next to each other don't interact with each other and behaves like they are not near each other. It ...
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2answers
29 views

Is there an idiom that means something is inconsistent with the contexts or facts?

Is there an idiom that means something is inconsistent with the contexts or facts? Like when a book is written and the plot and the world-building doesn't go hand in hand and are inconsistent with ...
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0answers
39 views

Do you have an idiom that is similar to this “You don't scare / cry if you don't see the coffin”

This is literally translated from Vietnamese "You don't scare / cry if you don't see the coffin" which roughly means you underestimate things that are actually dangerous. For example, young people ...
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1answer
36 views

How to use the phrase “draw a (clear) line between” for more than two things?

When we need to express differentiating two things we can say "draw a (clear) line between A and B", but can we extend two things to three or more things? Can we say something like "draw two lines ...
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1answer
21 views

Expression for doing something too much in a very specific way

We have an expression in Hungarian that literally translates to "falling off at the other side of the horse" meaning approaching something in a single way without thinking of any other approach. An ...
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1answer
41 views

And idiom for “You were right”

Is there an idiom to say "You were right", in a regretful way, when for example you didn't listen to what someone kept telling you and now he's proven to be right. As in: You were right about it. I ...
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1answer
22 views

How would you describe thinking in the dark?

It happens usually in the bed, when all the light is out. This would reduce all stimuli significantly, so you can analyze/use your imagination best. I take a look a some synonyms for "think" but don't ...
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2answers
30 views

Expression for physical stress-reaction

I'm looking for an expression that describes an unconscious physical reaction to an extremely stressful event where one would put both hands on the top of their head. My phrase would look something ...
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0answers
23 views

Idiom to express “solution to any kind of problems”?

I want to know if there exists an idiom that conveys the meaning of one solution fitting all problems in all scenarios? What swim into my mind are two phrases: 1) silver bullet, 2) one size fits all....
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4answers
161 views

To beat someone in a competition/debate/etc in a humiliating way

What is the most common informal/casual idiom / expression / verb to imply making someone feel defeated in a humiliating way in AE? For instance, let's say two youngsters are playing soccer against ...
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4answers
131 views

Idiom using the metaphore of “shouting in the dark” & English equivalent

In Czech, we say something is a "shout in the dark" when you do something without expecting it to fulfill the purpose (usually, it's used when someone is pushing for a change and gets no response). Is ...
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1answer
46 views

'As the dot on the i' used as an expression

Since I am not a native speaker, I would like to know whether you use such an expression 'as the dot on the i'? If not, which expression could be similar? For example, after a series of unfortunate ...
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1answer
14 views

To think…I think

I am wondering if this is the correct usage To think I thought I had seen everything when she slipped on her own spit, I think I cannot be surprised anymore. I am wondering if this is the only ...
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0answers
118 views

I know full well that VS I know fully well that [duplicate]

I know full well that he is scared of speaking English I know fully well that he is scared of speaking English. I know that know full wel is idiomatic and means to know something without any ...
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2answers
46 views

Different people like different things - how to say it in a more informal way?

I am translating a text, and I should be as precise as possible. I am wondering whether there exists such an expression 'who likes what' (it sounds weird to me) meaning 'different people like ...
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1answer
54 views

Is there a word that means holding your gun low?

Is there a word that means holding your gun (rifle, handgun, machine gun, etc.) low? By that holding a gun under the belt in order to "aim inaccurately", "shoot" a gun towards any direction (back, ...
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1answer
46 views

Is there an idiom that means “easy to destroy”? [closed]

Is there an idiom that means "easy to destroy"? I thought about the idiom "easy pickings", but I realized "easy pickings" is used for things that are easy to get, steal or refers to people who are ...
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2answers
42 views

Ending a conversation with someone you don't want to talk to

Is there an expression/word for to get someone to stop talking by lying to them or an excuse or otherwise cunning ways so that you end the conversation with them? As in the contexts below, John ...
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1answer
21 views

Is there another phrase or way of saying “preceded someone to a room”?

Is there another phrase or way of saying "preceded someone to a room"? I thought of "leading someone to a room", but I think it doesn't imply that you went inside the room first, can "leading someone ...
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1answer
337 views

An idiom for “Until you punish the offender, they will not give up offenses”

In writing I've come across an idiom of my language that means: Until you punish the offender, they will not give up offenses. What is the English idiom for this? Let me add some explanation to ...
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3answers
1k views

Is there an idiom expressing the idea that “things never change”?

Is there an idiom expressing the idea that "things never change"? By that I mean, there will always be war, bad people, etc. Is there an idiom that you can use to mean that? The closest phrase, idiom ...
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9answers
958 views

To get so rich that you are not in need of anymore money

I wonder if there is an informal idiom to say that someone made so much money that became needless of any more money and retired themselves (meaning that from then on they work only for fun / pleasure ...
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2answers
36 views

Word for words created or coined to harm or create havoc

What would you call a word created or coined to harm someone or some group of people or cause havoc. I think there is a need for such a word as a from someone's point of view there are always words of ...
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1answer
29 views

Is there any idiom that means “go ahead with something”?

Is there any idiom that means "go ahead with something"? I thought about "giving oneself the green light", "get a jump on something", but the first one is contrived and the second one means something ...
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2answers
62 views

Is there a formal idiom that means “fed up with something”?

Is there a formal idiom that means "fed up with something"? I am wondering if there's a formal idiom, because the expression is an informal expression. After doing some research, I found "be sick ...
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2answers
198 views

An idiom for a “new beginning”

I am looking an idiom that describes new beginning. For example if someone failed in any task and is going to start it again from beginning, with new plan.
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1answer
52 views

Similar expressions to “jump for joy”

Is there an expression along the lines of "jumping up to the ceiling" which could be used to describe a situation when someone is so happy he's jumping very high?

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