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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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Curious if there is an idiom for “so as not to deceive”

Basically the title. I wonder if the phrase “so as not to deceive” has any variations, perhaps with a figurative meaning. In Ukrainian there is “Don’t want to bring woe” to wish that positive ...
Максим's user avatar
5 votes
9 answers
4k views

An idiom that means "to carefully choose words while speaking"

Is there an idiom that means "to carefully choose words while speaking"? Her topic was extremely sensitive, so she carefully chose her words as she spoke. I asked the same question to a ...
Kaguyahime's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
153 views

An English equivalent of the Japanese idiom "be on dog-monkey terms"

The Japanese idiom "be on dog-monkey terms" means "be on very bad terms". Is there an English idiom equivalent to this Japanese idiom? Mary: Look! Brian and Kevin are quarreling ...
Kaguyahime's user avatar
9 votes
5 answers
3k views

An English equivalent of the Japanese idiom "to view (someone) through colored glasses", meaning they are viewed with bias/prejudice

The Japanese idiom "to view (someone) through colored glasses" means "to view (someone) with bias/prejudice." Is there an English equivalent of this Japanese idiom? [Note] The ...
Kaguyahime's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
134 views

Is there any idiomatic expression for accurate vs. not accurate tools?

When I want to distinguish between two instruments by their accuracy, I'm inclined to say something like "rough tool" or "blunt instrument" to point out that something (e.g. an ...
Vitalizzare's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
47 views

Is there a phrase like "there is always a tea shop set up earlier"? [closed]

The compelling ending of this article reads that: Mankind can always pride itself for the giant leap with a small step. But remember, there is always a tea shop set up earlier. I wonder if the ...
Lerner Zhang's user avatar
  • 3,539
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

Alternative idiom or phrasal verb for eating an elephant one bite at a time

Eat an elephant one bite at a time. I am looking for an alternative to this idiom that expresses the same idea. The idea expressed: If a big task is given, tackle it piece by piece
nicku's user avatar
  • 775
0 votes
1 answer
33 views

What does "he might be pitching you on the opposite of what he said" mean?

Here is the text: He’s a salesman, and he’ll say what he thinks his customers want to hear in the moment. Sure, he might be pitching you on the opposite of what he said last week, but he can explain ...
Quique's user avatar
  • 600
2 votes
4 answers
1k views

Idiom for doing something you didn't ask

Is there an idiom that means doing something unilaterally without asking? I was thinking "on their own accord"? For example: The airline cancelled my flight on their own accord Does that ...
Tomer's user avatar
  • 39
2 votes
1 answer
22 views

Clinical investigation?

In Portuguese, it is common to say that a patient is "undergoing an investigation" of their disease (meaning: the physician is trying to diagnose what they have, i.e., is "investigating&...
flen's user avatar
  • 579
0 votes
2 answers
79 views

How to say more elegantly "to move the index in a disapproving manner"?

I am talking about the specific gesture of waving an index to show disapproval to a kid, often accompanied with the sound "tss". Is there a word or an idiom for that?
Anne Aunyme's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
31 views

The "knowledge of knowledge transfer" in technical / non-technical English

I need to know whether there is any technical term to refer to the specific knowledge and ability which is used to transfer the knowledge itself; i.e. I am looking for a (perhaps) technical term that ...
A-friend's user avatar
  • 14.3k
12 votes
11 answers
5k views

Idiom for a student being purposely overly verbose only to make an essay look longer

Your teacher assigns you an essay and you write down anything that can be said about the subject. You are satisfied, but the word count doesn't reach the required minimum. So you use lousy tricks like ...
Fry Simpson's user avatar
7 votes
7 answers
4k views

What do you call a reply or comment that shows great quick wit?

In daily communications or under an online video, there may be a reply or a comment that shows great quick wit. It can be playful or not. For example, someone encounters an embarrassing situation, but ...
Michael's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
46 views

How to describe a situation where someone is prone to missing a simple error after spending too much time on something

What would be a phrase or an idiom for a situation where somebody spent too much time looking at something or thinking about something or otherwise spent too much time on a problem or in certain ...
ev-br's user avatar
  • 103
1 vote
1 answer
182 views

"Good day" in modern AmE

The phrase "Good day" used in old-fashioned English, as a greeting or when one was going to say goodbye during the day. Perhaps it is still in common use in Australian English though. I am ...
A-friend's user avatar
  • 14.3k
0 votes
2 answers
99 views

how can I give directions to the woman's restroom and man restrooms?

I work in a casino and sometimes guests ask me for directions. I usually say "it's outside the casino, on the lobby. go straight and it's on your left (for woman's) but I realize that they get ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
23 views

When you meet an overseas colleague whom you've been contacting only via email

Let's say this is the first time you meet a certain colleague of the overseas branch in person, but you have been already communicating with them only via email several times for the past two years. ...
EPRAIT's user avatar
  • 245
1 vote
1 answer
662 views

How do you describe someone who does not eat those food they dislikes?

Some people can be very picky about food, they may not eat any of the food they dislike. How do you describe this type of people except picky eaters?
Michael's user avatar
  • 3,478
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

Workplace idiom for "bei Gelegenheit" - order to do eventually, but do not provide priority

At work, I delegate a lot to people I can but generally should not order around. When a so delegated task is not of immediate importance, I want to communicate this laconically, idiomatically, yet ...
Zsar's user avatar
  • 213
0 votes
1 answer
34 views

How do you express the idea that someone drives (rides) their car (bike) in the opposite direction?

Suppose that in the US, where right-hand traffic is the practice, someone is driving on the left-hand side of the road while they should be on the right-hand side. How do you describe this kind of ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 3,478
-2 votes
2 answers
560 views

What did Musk mean by this Chinese comment?

In a comment to Hu Xijin's Tweet, Musk said that: 手整体插在口袋里的人过分自信 It seems like a saying translated from another language, but so far as I know not from Chinese (Confucius did not say that), then I ...
Lerner Zhang's user avatar
  • 3,539
1 vote
3 answers
609 views

What do you call a person that is both kind and evil?

Every now and then, we could read in news that an 'always-warm-hearted' man is actually a murderer. For another example, a great contributor in stackexchange who has devoted himself/herself to the ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 3,478
5 votes
8 answers
6k views

What do you call a 'quick' marriage?

If a couple get married shortly after they met each other and get divorced not long after their marriage. What do you call their marriage? Or how do you describe this situation?
Michael's user avatar
  • 3,478
1 vote
1 answer
64 views

What's the word or phrase that means a TV show is suitable for a family to watch together?

What's the word or phrase that means a TV show is suitable for a family to watch together, i.e., there's no NSFW content? The show does not have to be a cartoon or something like that which is typical ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 3,478
0 votes
2 answers
267 views

Is there a better way to say "closer to the wee hours of the morning"?

Is there a better way to say "closer to the wee hours of the morning"? If you sleep closer to the wee hours of the morning (like 5:00 AM instead of 11:00 PM or 12:00PM or 1:00 AM), you will ...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 13.6k
1 vote
1 answer
19 views

Can I use "wrapping" as an idiom for "the superficial presentation, rather than the substance"?

In my language, one can refer to "the wrapping" as how someone presents an idea when you refer to the form, rather than the idea itself. Is there anything similar in English?
Probably's user avatar
  • 1,599
0 votes
2 answers
30 views

Take more tasks without finishing what you already have

My company has a to-do list. Everyone can work on one item. My colleague already has 5 items which he took months ago and yet hasn't finished, but he still wants to take on more items. I told him ...
Gqqnbig's user avatar
  • 674
1 vote
1 answer
234 views

Mentioning good deeds that you give to someone else

What do you call an action (a verb word) to describe a verbal action in which you mention your good deeds to someone else that you did for them in the past, to remind that person of what you have done ...
user516076's user avatar
  • 5,022
1 vote
1 answer
33 views

How should one express the idea 'in the opinion of Japanese'? [closed]

If I want to express the idea 'in the opinion of Japanese', which of the following is correct? In Japanese's eyes, ... In Japanese eyes, ... In the eyes of Japanese, ... Is there anything I should ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 3,478
1 vote
1 answer
142 views

Another way to say "you're not to blame" without the word blame?

Another way to say "you're not to blame" without the word blame? The only expression I can think of is "You're not at fault", but is there another way of saying this? I am pretty ...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 13.6k
-1 votes
2 answers
70 views

Is there an expression for people who are not there at all? [closed]

Ideally, an expression with eye, and that tells you that the person seems to have lost consciousness or is not fully there. https://en.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Search&limit=500&...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 13.6k
0 votes
0 answers
40 views

Not less than enough and not more Expression or Idiom

I'm looking for an expression or idiom in English that expresses this context: Anything that you overdo or it exceeds its limit is annoying and unacceptable. And also the same thing goes for anything ...
Mohd Sala's user avatar
  • 433
0 votes
2 answers
110 views

Idiom for stop being super nervous, stressed out and super alert?

Idiom for stop being super nervous, stressed out and super alert? Is there an idiom for this? I came up with: Drop your guard. But it doesn't come as natural when you say it. Is there a more ...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 13.6k
0 votes
2 answers
102 views

Expression or idiom that means "But you're doing the same"?

"Are you threatening me?" "Right back at you!" Now, that's not a good idiom, and I am not even sure if this is an appropriate response, so I am wondering if there's an idiom that ...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 13.6k
1 vote
3 answers
313 views

Is there a better word/phrase/idiom for "talking too much but not doing anything"?

This is the sentence I made which undoubtedly looks wordy in my opinion. A: No, that's wrong! Be careful with the fire! You're going to burn them all! B: Do it right know then! Don't just talk too ...
user516076's user avatar
  • 5,022
0 votes
0 answers
3k views

What is a more formal way to say, "all hands on deck"?

I want to convey that there is a lot to do, and that everyone's help (who is willing) is needed. I do not think that "all hands on deck" is very formal?
bee kerns's user avatar
12 votes
12 answers
4k views

Idiom for saying something doesn't cost a lot for someone rich?

Idiom for saying something doesn't cost a lot for someone rich? 1 million is basically short change for Goldman Sachs. I thought the expression was short change, but after searching on Google, it ...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 13.6k
0 votes
1 answer
78 views

Is it correct to say "is it (a bag of chips) finished?" to mean that it's out of chips?

The person is eating out of a bag of chips in front of me and I want to ask if the bag is out of chips now when he grabs a handful. Can I simply say— Is it finished? And can I use it for other ...
user17121's user avatar
1 vote
7 answers
148 views

Remember something like a snake bite

In my native language, there is this expression - to remember something (an unpleasant, bitter experience of the past) like a snake bite. Are there expressions in English with the similar meaning?
Beqa's user avatar
  • 379
0 votes
1 answer
835 views

Is it correct to say "Do you have my voice" on phone or online meeting? [duplicate]

On the phone or online meeting is it correct to say "Do you have my voice?" Is there any other good alternative?
MENG's user avatar
  • 13
6 votes
5 answers
2k views

An equivalent verb/idiom for "taping pieces together with saliva"

Is there a verb or idiom for "connecting heterogeneous pieces together in a fast and careless way to build something", which would be an antonymous phrase of "careful and systematic ...
arash's user avatar
  • 193
0 votes
1 answer
726 views

idiom to express the feeling of being in-between two worlds

I'm looking for an expression that would connote the state of being in-between. I have found one sentence which uses the "one foot in, one foot out" metaphore - does it sound naturally to a ...
Probably's user avatar
  • 1,599
0 votes
2 answers
59 views

What is the expression with “tail” about looking at the bigger picture?

I can't seem to retrieve an expression I read, that effectively meant “look at the bigger picture and don't be distracted by the details”. It had to do with a (dog?) tail (that acted as the ...
ebosi's user avatar
  • 575
1 vote
1 answer
39 views

expressions for 'controlled/run by a right or competent person'

I'm looking for expressions that mean 'to be controlled/run by a right, competent, or trustworthy person' as in a business, organization or company. Does 'to be in good hands' do this?
pheno8's user avatar
  • 427
1 vote
1 answer
117 views

A person that floats in sea water, face up

How do you describe a person that floats in sea water, face up, without moving? FYI, in Italian we say "fare il morto", "to play dead", because as soon as you move a muscle you end ...
gboffi's user avatar
  • 259
0 votes
1 answer
148 views

Idiomatic usage of "drop the ball"

(1) OED states that "to drop the ball" is a North American idiom (probably makes more sense in baseball than in cricket), while the Cambridge Dictionary does not mark it as such. I believe, ...
paperskilltrees's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
36 views

Is it OK to create idioms similar to "brothers in arms"?

I know what "Brothers in arms" means. Can I use this idiom to get another idea across like "Brothers in mind/minds" to mean that they think similarly and of the same intellectual ...
user1425's user avatar
  • 4,468
0 votes
1 answer
392 views

Is “someone meets something” common?

Three expressions: Someone meets someone Someone meets something Something meets someone I can see that the first expression is commonly used by native speakers. I wonder if the second and the third ...
High GPA's user avatar
  • 185
0 votes
1 answer
23 views

What might be another expression for "to build that loss into something"?

The sentence is from a business talk about the amount financial loss, which is caused some of their products being damaged during transportation. The man from the company says: "Of course we ...
Yunus's user avatar
  • 7,411

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