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

Is there a verb in English for "connecting heterogeneous pieces together in a fast and careless way to build something" to be used against "careful and systematic construction and ...
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0 votes
1 answer
25 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 ...
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0 votes
2 answers
41 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 ...
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  • 585
1 vote
1 answer
23 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?
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  • 403
1 vote
1 answer
36 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 ...
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  • 199
0 votes
1 answer
30 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, ...
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0 votes
1 answer
30 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 ...
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0 votes
1 answer
41 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 ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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  • 1,589
0 votes
0 answers
34 views

Idiom/slang for the expression "to use in an unwitting fashion/manner"

In the following video (2.12), the commentator is using the expression "to use in an unwitting fashion", whose meaning is perfectly understandable. My question is about how the same idea ...
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0 votes
2 answers
79 views

An incompetent person in some actions (Informal AE) [closed]

Edited: I was wondering what is the AE idiom / expression in casual / informal speech which describes someone with little or no ability to do something well? Such people often have a great difficulty ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is there a word, phrase, or expression that refers to a dying person by directly describing a physical state (e.g., weak breath)?

In Chinese, we have the phrase "气若游丝" which, translated literally, means "breath being as weak as a wisp of silk" to describe a dying person. The characteristics of this Chinese ...
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  • 283
1 vote
2 answers
96 views

"Check, please" VS "Check out, please" [closed]

When I finish a meal in a restaurant, which expression to pay for the food is more idiomatic? Check, please. Check out, please. If they're both not idiomatic enough, please list the alternatives. ...
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4 votes
4 answers
527 views

Is there any idiom that means "delicious"?

I'm writing a letter and I've already used the word "delicious" in my writing, I'm just looking for a phrase or idiom that completes my sentence, in my mother tongue we have a phrase that ...
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1 vote
2 answers
222 views

What do you call a person who takes up a new hobby and then gives it up?

What do you call a person who takes up a hobby, feels very passionate about it, but then loses the passion, and takes up another hobby? For example, a person learns to sew a little, starts making ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
140 views

Is there an expression or idiom to express that your brain has temporarily stopped working because you've been overwhelmed by something?

I am looking for an informal idiom or expression to imply that my brain has stopped working temporarily because say I have dealt with a heavy math question or I have gone through an overwhelming ...
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0 votes
1 answer
23 views

word to say that something that is impressive

He climbed the Everest, none the least. He climbed the Everest, none ____. He climbed the Everest, ____. Forgot what the idiom was, but it's used to accentuate the fact that it's the most impressive ...
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18 votes
3 answers
12k views

Can I say "Oh boy" to a girl?

I've known that "Oh boy" is similar to "Oh my goodness", but can I use it when speaking to a girl? Also, what are the popular alternatives?
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0 votes
1 answer
36 views

What's the phrase that mean "eating without restriction"?

She let off loose after marrying him and gained 40 pounds. Is it let off loose or is it another phrase? I don't remember the phrase used to mean "eat without restriction". It was a slang I ...
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0 votes
1 answer
23 views

A phrase meaning without intent or unintentionally?

I was able to make everyone unintentionally. I know there's a phrase that basically means "unintentionally", but I can't remember it and I can't find the synonym strangely enough. I think it'...
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0 votes
2 answers
35 views

How can we describe a group of things as having just the right number, i.e., not too many, not too few?

I'd like to use a single word or an idiomatic expression to express that the school's breaks are well-spaced and not too many. Is there an adjective that mean just the appropriate number?
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3 votes
4 answers
98 views

An English proverb or idiom that describes you shouldn’t condemn the weak

Do not ever condemn a straw/dust that comes under your foot. If it ever rises up and goes into your eye, it will cause a lot of pain! That’s an English translation.Kabir Das says that you should not ...
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16 votes
11 answers
7k views

Is there an idiom that says not to change a perfectly good thing?

Is there an idiom/word/proverb that says not to change a perfectly good thing or something that works?
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  • 169
0 votes
1 answer
35 views

Is there an idiom that means that someone has an advantage over you in a fight or competition?

Is there an idiom that means that someone has an advantage over you in a fight or competition? I can think of "I have the higher ground", but I can't think of anything else. I don't like ...
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2 votes
1 answer
66 views

Is there an idiom for fake affection?

Is there an idiom for fake affection? Sometimes, people pretend to care about someone else just to go along with the flow. I can think of two-faced, but two-faced is being the opposite and doesn't ...
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2 votes
2 answers
63 views

Is there an idiom for not "applying a double standard"?

Is there an idiom for not "applying a double standard"? I hope that if we find out his dad is the guilty one instead of her dad, he doesn't apply a double standard and does what he told her ...
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1 vote
0 answers
31 views

Any idiom for "having experienced something long before someone else"?

For example, when someone is trying hard to win a competition, but someone else has won a similar one years ago, there's this expression in Persian that says "What someone is trying to do now is ...
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0 votes
2 answers
36 views

An idiom for someone vainly full of themselves

In Arabic, there's an expression likening an arrogant delusional person to a lizard. As long as a lizard doesn't see the clog, it will continue to think itself a crocodile. It's common practice in ...
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0 votes
0 answers
21 views

Idiomatic expression that means: "for good reasons, but also for not so good reasons"

Let's say someone gets furious for the slightest reasons, for example if the door didn't open immediately or if he didn't have enough money at the supermarket (not very good reasons) but also if he ...
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  • 1,385
0 votes
1 answer
21 views

Another way to say seizures or make someone panic?

The erratic behavior of AI traders gave Wall Streets a good dose of seizures. This doesn't sound idiomatic. Is there a better way to say this? I am trying to find something like "made them panic&...
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2 votes
0 answers
99 views

To be the envy of

Let's say someone is the most successful person in their neighborhood and everyone is very jealous of them. Can I say that that person is the envy of the neighborhood? I am wondering if "to be ...
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0 votes
1 answer
22 views

better way to say "And over again"

"He hit his head and then his body and then did the same over again." "He hit his head and then his body and his his head and then his body..." How do you say this properly? I ...
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14 votes
7 answers
6k views

English equivalent for the expression "only iron can cut iron"

In my native language we have the expression "only iron can cut iron" which means: a force is best confronted with a force of the same nature, or: it takes someone at the same level as ...
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  • 1,385
1 vote
1 answer
46 views

Looking for another expressions of "strike"

How do you say when some idea(s) or thought(s) arouses some feeling or when you have some certain feeling or thought on something? Maybe what I'm looking for is rather a literary expression. I ...
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  • 403
2 votes
3 answers
64 views

Idiom/expression for "haven't understood completely"

Suppose I ask a question and someone gives me an answer. I partially understand it but not completely. Is there an idiom to say that you have understood something partially/ not completely? I can say &...
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3 votes
1 answer
110 views

Idiom request for help

What Idiom can we use in this circumstance? I ask someone for a little help but I get more than what I anticipate. Thanks
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13 votes
8 answers
3k views

English equivalent of the Russian idiom "притянуть за уши" + opposite of "to abbreviate"

I have encountered a couple of problems regarding the proper translation from the Russian language into English. Here are 2 cases: There's an idiom that literally translates as "pull the ears&...
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35 votes
7 answers
5k views

English equivalent of a Spanish expression that translates to "iron fist, crystal jaw"

There is an expression in Spanish Puño de hierro, mandíbula de cristal whose English translation is iron fist, crystal jaw. But that doesn't make sense to an English person (I suppose) because I used ...
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  • 353
1 vote
3 answers
47 views

Idiom for "this made me step into a new world"

Let's say someone sent me a link to an article that discussed a certain topic and I liked that topic so much I couldn't get enough of it and I just kept reading one article after another until I was ...
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  • 1,385
1 vote
2 answers
92 views

Idiom or verb for "it didn't affect me the least bit"

I am looking for an idiom or a verb that is used to say: "it didn't affect at all" when, for example, talking about a movie that someone suggested to me for being funny and then when I ...
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  • 1,385
2 votes
1 answer
78 views

A humorous response to a 'good old days' sentiment

If someone paints an excessively rosy picture of the past, what are some possible sarcastic or humorous responses in English? In my native language I could say something like 'sure, and the grass ...
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0 votes
2 answers
120 views

Is there a correct way to use the idiom " from then on " + future ? Example : From then on, they'll be friends for life

Meaning: " From a particular day / event ( still to come ), they'll be(come) friends for life. " I've read here that the idiom " from then on " is only used to describe an event ...
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2 votes
2 answers
272 views

Doing something quickly and perfunctorily and carelessly

I was wondering what is the AE idiom / common verb which is normally used when you want to indicate that someone is intentionally skipping some needed steps in doing something and works or acts so ...
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1 vote
2 answers
50 views

A way to say "in any direction" with the phrase "all 360 angles"?

The casters allow the chair to rotate freely. The casters allow the chair to rotate ___ all 360 angles. I am wondering how to say this grammatically? I think "to" and "in" are ...
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  • 1,916
1 vote
2 answers
44 views

An idiom for "race to the bottom", but instead of bottom use a word like top?

There was a race to the top* for the best nuke between the U.S. and Russia. It seems there's no right way to say it. The idiom "race to the bottom" exists and is widely used, but there's no ...
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0 votes
1 answer
21 views

Is there an expression that means "the worst of the two combined"?

Is there an expression that means "the worst of the two combined"? This is like merging CNN with Fox News while only taking their worst sides. The above doesn't sound very idiomatic. There'...
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  • 1,916
0 votes
1 answer
65 views

Is there a saying in English to do ‘now’ or ‘today’?

There is a saying in Hindi implies do not wait for tomorrow to do anything that you can do today. Kal kare so aaj kar aaj kare so ab. Pal men parle hogi bahuri karoge kab? Literal translation: ...
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  • 381
0 votes
1 answer
25 views

Is there a shorter way of saying "turned up in a timely fashion" or "turned up just in time"?

Is there a shorter way of saying "turned up in a timely fashion" or "turned up just in time"? As in: The DJ turned up just in time to appease the crowd. If she didn't come in time,...
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  • 1,916
0 votes
3 answers
38 views

Is there an expression that means adopting someone's perspective? [closed]

Is there an expression that means adopting someone's perspective? Looking for an expression, phrase that means exactly that or something similar.
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1 vote
0 answers
38 views

Is there an idiom to describe when the person who should be the most worried about a situation is the least concerned?

I need an idiom or a proverb to describe a situation in which the concerned party shows little or no interest while others who hold no stakes in the issue show a lot of enthusiasm. For example, a ...
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