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Questions tagged [idiom-request]

The tag has no usage guidance.

33
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14answers
9k views

Is there an English equivalent for the Italian saying “It's another pair of sleeves”?

In a meeting an Italian told a puzzled English audience: "It's another pair of sleeves". It's an Italian way of saying: "it's another thing", or "this new argument is something different or off topic"...
29
votes
12answers
9k views

Idiom request for describing a situation in which people pay attention to their minor problems rather than the fundamental related ones?

I'm looking for an idiom, proverb or saying that can be used for describing a situation that someone focus on the minor problems in their life rather than the basic problems that have caused those ...
28
votes
16answers
11k views

Sarcastic Idioms for being slow to notice something

The scenario: The power was out but it came back up. However, a friend or family member noticed that late and said: Oh, the power is back up! You noticed that long before they did (sometimes ...
25
votes
5answers
4k views

Assigned to a job I know nothing about it - is there an idiom for that idea?

I'd like to know an idiom that let me express the idea of being assigned to a job/task you have no clue at all. My first language is Spanish, and we have a cool idiom for this situation (rough ...
23
votes
11answers
7k views

Is there an idiom that means that you are in a very strong negotiation position in a negotiation?

Is there an idiom that means that you are in a very strong negotiation position in a negotiation? If there's no such idiom can you think of an idiom that means that you are in a stronger position than ...
23
votes
10answers
6k views

An idiomatic expression for the situation when a punisher in fact punishes himself rather than the one he intended to punish

The context: Someone wishes to punish somebody, and the wish is so strong that whatever they think will do a lot of harm to the one planned to be punished, they do it obviously at the expense of ...
22
votes
9answers
16k views

Phrases that express “afraid of wife” in English

Are there any English idioms that are used to describe a man being afraid of wife? In Chinese there are lots of ways to express it, formal ways, condescending, or colorful. Please describe the ...
19
votes
2answers
3k views

“The victory, within four days, was just reward” - why not “was just a reward”?

Source The victory, within four days, was just reward for skipper Kohli's insistence on playing five bowlers. Kohli led the way with a superb 200. We did not use was just a reward because was just ...
17
votes
13answers
4k views

What do you call someone who likes to pick fights?

What do you call someone who likes picking fights? The only expression I've heard so far is "shit stirrer" (sorry for the curse word). Is there anything out there that's less slang-like? Something I ...
14
votes
14answers
3k views

How to idiomatically suggest someone should live the day and forget about tomorrow?

In Arabic, we literally say: Give me life today, and kill me tomorrow. We use it to say we should only care about the present time and forget about the future. For example, when my mother advises ...
12
votes
7answers
5k views

Is there an idiom about how humanely killing something is better than letting it live in pain?

The thing in question can be a wounded animal or a dysfunctional relationship. In mild sense, it can be an object or idea that requires a lot of investment for it, and when it turns out that it not ...
12
votes
3answers
6k views

Is there an idiom that means “revealing a secret unintentionally”?

I am thinking there could be an idiom that states that you or someone revealed a secret unintentionally? Can you think of an idiom like that? I am looking for an idiom I can use to write a blog post ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Idiom or phrase for a situation where someone asks for advice from the worst possible person?

You found that one of your friends is asking some advice from someone, but you find it hilarious because that someone is the worst adviser in the history of the universe, even though there are many ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Have you brought a head?

When we see someone in such a rush to do something or in such a hurry to say something like good/bad news and they act all weird moving or talking fast and loud we say 'Have you brought a head?!' ...
10
votes
8answers
4k views

Is there an idiomatic way to say “go to the path of no way out”?

It seems that only "no way out" or "there's no way out" is common used, but I want to emphasize the action of entrapping/entangling oneself in the path of no way out. "Down to the rabbit hole" is ...
10
votes
12answers
4k views

An idiom describing a strong desire for alcohol

Is there any idiom in English describing a strong desire to have a drink or two (or more) of an alcoholic drink? EDIT: I am interested more about an idiom describing a case of an alcoholic wanting ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

We're waiting in a BIG or LONG queue?

What's the idiomatic adjective for the noun "queue"? I waited there in a very long queue. or I waited there in a very big queue. Or maybe something else?
10
votes
5answers
3k views

Term for making fun of somebody else's weakness when you have the same?

Is there a term or an idiom for something similar to pointing at somebody else's weakness when that person has the same weakness?
9
votes
11answers
3k views

Idiom for “I have just finished a great job and I'm proud”

What is an idiom of: "I have just finished a great job and I'm extremely proud of that" For example, I had been building a house for 20 years and finally built it (and want everybody to know) I ...
9
votes
6answers
9k views

Idioms of shame and embarrassment: along the lines of “lose face”

If you recommended someone for something, for example, a job, as an adult obviously, they would be responsible of their own actions. However, unacceptable misbehavior or unacceptable incompetence ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Does the saying “speaking English like a Spanish cow” exist in English?

In French we have an expression which is: Parler (une langue, l'anglais par exemple) comme une vache espagnole which literally translates to: Speaking (a language, like English) like a Spanish ...
8
votes
9answers
4k views

Idiom for making others feel bad to make myself feel good?

Are there a stable expression for a situation when Person A blames B and tells how B is bad in order to make himself (A) feel good? I would say something like "feed ego at cost of others", but I ...
8
votes
9answers
2k views

A word or phrase describing feeling bad about something changing after you've become used to it

We say: "I got used to it" when we know that something has always happened the same way and I'm agree with that. That's correct, right? If there's a situation where you've gotten used to something ...
7
votes
9answers
4k views

Is there an idiom that supports the idea that “inflation is bad”?

I am thinking there could be an idiom that states that you can't just print money out of thin air and expect it to magically fix the economy? Can you think of an idiom like that? I am looking for an ...
7
votes
8answers
1k views

Pouring from empty to empty

How to translate to english from a foreign language an idiom that uses two different words that have the same meaning “empty”, to say “pouring from empty to empty”, which means if you pour something ...
6
votes
3answers
349 views

What do you call tourists who visit “extreme” holiday destinations?

I'm speaking about tourists who choose to spend their vacations (holidays) in places that push their limits to the extreme; such as the Antarctic, Mount Everest, pluvial forests, jungles, etc. They'...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Searching for the idiom to express this

I can say almost anything what I want in English by simply thinking it first in my regional language. That's easy but the trap is idioms. In every language idioms are so wonderful as they convince the ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

A word/phrase/idiom for 'going & coming back'

In my mother tongue, there is a word that describes the entire event of... your going to one place and coming back. The beauty of this word is it is very useful as in one word, you describe the ...
5
votes
11answers
2k views

An idiom describing you need commitment from other people to reach some goal

In Spanish, we have an idiom: "poner el hombro". The literal translation is "Put the shoulder". You use that idiom when you are asking for help AND commitment from other people. You are, ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there an idiom that means that an item of clothing fits perfectly?

I am pretty sure there has to be some sort of idiom that means "fits perfectly," since trying on clothes to see if they fit is something that everyone does. Is there any such expression?
5
votes
6answers
3k views

What is a word or an idiom for “an act that makes alive something inanimate”?

I am seeking after either a word or a phrase or an idiom to convey that an act brings alive something inanimate. Is there such thing in English? Much appreciated for every suggestion. I think about ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Idiom for trying to avoid misfortune, but it happens anyway

Is there an idiom, proverb or expression in English describing a situation in which a person is trying really hard to avoid misfortune (by taking precautions) but what exactly he`s trying to distance ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Idiom for “you can't undo the effects of having said something”

I once read an idiom which means you can't undo the effects of having said something, but couldn't recollect it now. I searched on google and also on stack exchange to find out but in vain. Can you ...
5
votes
1answer
850 views

What do these phrases in the game of cricket mean?

I like watching cricket. I hear phrases like: He played a great innings and brought his team home. He remained there till the end to ensure he sees his team home. And: He is in the form of ...
5
votes
2answers
495 views

A proverb meaning, “he wanted to do a good thing for others, but he ended up being blamed/hurt”

In my native language when someone is well-intended to help someone else and does something but he ends up taking the blame or getting hurt, we say, "he wanted to be blessed by God, but got burnt by ...
5
votes
2answers
410 views

an idiom or verb for “pretend to great learning”

What is a verb to describe the act of pretending that you know a lot of things? In other words, is there a verb that describe how a 'sciolist' behave? He always [pretends to great learning]. ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the English word(s) for “eating salt and sour fruit”

What is the English word(s) for a true experience when someone has been through a learning process during her/his life. In my native language, it's commonly said: She/he has been "eating salt and ...
4
votes
4answers
459 views

Improve translation: You are nobody and your name is no one

In Russian culture there is a saying: Ты никто и звать тебя никак Which means that the person is of no importance (in this society) and even his name doesn't mean anything (to this society members)...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

The opposite of “to fall in love”

What is the opposite of "to fall in love"? I mean two people fall in love but in a year they stop loving each other.
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Snowing hard - idiom

There is an idiom for raining hard: It's raining cats and dogs. But is there an idiom for snowing hard?
4
votes
1answer
265 views

What is an idiom used for when we say something unfortunate and it comes true?

There is a Chinese idiom 乌鸦嘴 or Crow's Mouth which means saying something unfortunate, and then it comes true. For example: Anthony: I think there will be a thunderstorm later [Some time passes ...
4
votes
1answer
111 views

Idiom - insistent, obtrusive person?

I am looking for idiom/phrase/proverb showing a moderate disdain for somebody insistent, obtrusive. There are idioms in other languages like (literally) You mean that business traveler? Very ...
4
votes
1answer
154 views

Looking for a particular word

I'm looking for one word, phrase or idiom that means the following "a female (woman,girl) who did a bad thing but it was cute and amazing, something surprising but not pleasant" I invited a girl to ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

Idiom for having bad things happen to you because you did something bad

Are there any idioms in English that express something like: If you try to sabotage someone's life or work, someday the same thing will happen to you
3
votes
5answers
375 views

Wanted: an idiom to direct/point someone's attention to a specific point/location

In German, there is an idiom "Hier spielt die Musik!" (with intonationally emphasized "hier"). Translated literally: "Here is the music playing!" It is used with an accompanying pointing gesture to ...
3
votes
6answers
1k views

Look down one’s nose at somebody or something

I came across this idiom and can understand from the dictionaries that it refers to X disregarding Y. In my language using “nose’s length” would literally say: “one can see one’s nose’s length” or “...
3
votes
3answers
725 views

Expressions used to boost someone's energy/enthusiasm in doing their work

Suppose you see someone you set to doing something are doing it half-heartedly, without much if any enthusiasm. What could be the expressions to boost their energy/enthusiasm? Searching for the ...
3
votes
3answers
7k views

What is a better English idiom that can be used to express a love of learning?

I am looking for a better expression or idiom that can serve as an analogy to 'I love learning' in this sentence: The literal translation would be: I love learning. I absorb new information as a ...
3
votes
2answers
585 views

Tricky questions aimed at failing a student in the exam

During an exam, an examiner can put to an ordinary student a question that may be quite difficult even for the best of the group. What if, for some reason, the examiner has a predetermined intention ...
3
votes
2answers
919 views

Traffic lights and state of the lights

If I'm at the red light on the traffic lights and the light turns green in this exact moment could I say: The traffic light just got green? Is there a better way (or more common) to say this? Besides ...