Questions tagged [idioms]

Use the idiom tag for questions which a dictionary cannot answer about set phrases with unusual meanings that can't be properly understood just from the separate words in them.

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What do you call someone who does not drink alcoholic beverages at all?

Could anyone please let me know, what do we usually call an individual who never drinks alcohol? It can be either for health issue, or health care or even some personal barriers like religious beliefs....
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What does "not everyone is born with their tails facing the moon" mean?

Context: Someone compared a Hollywood singer with a Portuguese singer on YouTube (The Voice Portugal). They said that this international singer still sang her original song better than the contestant. ...
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2 answers
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What does the idiom "blood out of stone" mean?

I just happened to come across this idiom while reading a book a few hours ago; I've looked on some dictionaries but each one gives a varying definition of this idiom. Take The Free Dictionary, for ...
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-4 votes
0 answers
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They injured or destroyed her chastity

They...........her chastity when they accused her of having extramarital sex with the ex-manager. (a) spoiled. (b) hurt (c) injured (d) destroyed (e) polluted (f) broke (g) damaged Which of the ...
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2 votes
3 answers
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What does the idiom "looking through a prism" mean?

Just a few hours ago, I came across the idiom "through the prism of sth/sb" and looked up said phrase on the internet. I only managed to find one entry entitled "Through The Prism of ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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They organised a coup and once more took over the country. 'once more'

They organised a coup and once more took over the country. 'once more' : once more/once again (https://www.ldoceonline.com/ko/dictionary/once-more-once-again) a) again, after happening several times ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Embodied by vs. Embodied in

Give the correct passive form of - "My teacher embodies all the good qualities" (a) All the good qualities are embodied by my teacher. (b) All the good qualities are embodied in my teacher. (...
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1 answer
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What does giving someone a lollipop mean?

A quote by Alan Perlis says, When someone says "I want a programming language in which I need only say what I wish done," give him a lollipop. Such a programming language doesn't exist and ...
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1 answer
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What does the stock phrase "unto itself" mean?

I've looked through several online dictionaries to discover the meaning of the parent phrase "unto itself". But alas, all my efforts at discovering the original definition of the preceding ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
41 views

What does the idiomatic phrase "stare down the barrel" mean?

I'm not referring to the idiom "stare down the barrel of a gun", but rather its parent stock phrase "stare down the barrel of sth". I found a Q&A form entitled "What does ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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A specific case of sexual harassment

How can we refer to the action where a lady is a subject to the sexual harassment with a man when the man touches the lady's private organs with hand at a public area? She came to me with tearful ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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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?
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1 answer
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"Keep one's fingers crossed" VS Wish

I am wondering how the following sentences differ in meaning: I wish you success. I keep my fingers crossed for you. I cannot come up with any nuance myself.
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3 votes
2 answers
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An idiom for "making one's final / last attempt / effort"

I am wondering what are the nuances among the following options and whether they all work properly in this sentence: After so much work, just keep it up a little longer! You've got this far. If I ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Cold hard truth [closed]

I am wondering what does the idiom "cold, hard truth" mean. Example: “The atmosphere on Jupiter doesn’t support Netflix,” I said. “That means you won’t be able to watch Peppa Pig.” His face ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Keep on eye vs Keep an eye on [closed]

I know the idiom "keep an eye on" and everything is clear about it. Today I just saw this sentence: "Keep on eye on the bathtub so that it doesn't run over". Is there something ...
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The meaning of "Your self worth down"?

Would you please tell me what does "your self worth down" mean? Here's part of the context you know what we have created a void inside our mind, the dog big space, which we constantly try ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Not a moment’s worry

Above all, you’ll be free of fear and desire. And how long your body will contain the soul that inhabits it will cause you not a moment’s worry. (Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, translated by Gregory ...
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Use of the verb "edge"

How clear are these sentences? Fighters are often edged to injuries. She is prone to edge herself to threat. She has started to edge herself to feel the wind. In slang, the verb to edge has the ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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Is it correct to say "How many more sets do you have?" at the gym?

Is it correct to say "How many more sets do you have?" at the gym? I think what I heard from native speakers was something like: "How many more sets you got to do?"
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2 answers
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No preposition in "Why can't you get a girlfriend your own age" before "your own age"?

While I was re-watching a Friends episode (S6E21), I stumbled the line as below. Why can't you get a girlfriend your own age? I can understand what he meant (a girlfriend from your own age group), ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Sounds nice/fine is the same as saying sounds good/great? [closed]

I'm in doubt if 'sounds nice/fine' it has the same meaning: 'used for telling someone that their idea or suggestion seems like a good one.' I know 'sounds good/great' it has. Examples: That sounds ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Expressing hard work with idioms

Consider the situation where I am handling a project, and now my manager assigns me one more. So I want to express to him that it will be hard work. I am in software, so taking on two projects will ...
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2 answers
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Why does the following sentence use "get to grips with" with "ing" added after "get"?

The following text is of DI (Dependency Injection) in programming languages which I grabbed from a book called The Complete ASP.NET Core 3 API Tutorial by Les Jackson: Dependency Injection Dependency ...
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16 votes
4 answers
4k views

How to interpret 'a friend in need is a friend indeed'?

In both the Free Dictionary and the Collins Dictionary, 'in need' means 'lacking something'. So, the proverb 'a friend in need is a friend indeed' should mean 'a friend lacking something is a true ...
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2 answers
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"in replacement of" vs "in place of"

What is the difference between "in replacement of" and "in place of"? I was using "in replacement of" in this sentence: Shah and his team managed to devise a system that ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Tip the balance

I wanted to know that as the definition of “tip the balance” is (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/tip-the-balance); Does this statement make sense? “Being addicted to computers cuts ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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What's the difference between 'In a way of her own' or 'in her own way'?

What's the difference between 'In a way of her own' or 'in her own way'? I'm going to make an example for clarity. Brenda is always very funny, although in a way of her own/in her own way. What I ...
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1 answer
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Is "Flip by" an idiom? What does that mean?

In a work chat someone (a native person) wrote this: Flip by the Android Community meetup at 12:15pm today to hear about my explorations into different types of Android animations But I can not find ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Can "(T)here you are!" be used as exclamation to a discovery?

I have often heard and always thought that people exclaim "(T)here you are!" when they, for example, found someone they've been looking for. So much so that I was pretty surprised to learn ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
36 views

Idiom for "I thought about it a lot"

I am wondering what are the alternatives for "I thought a lot about it" in English using an idiom or fixed expression? I thought a lot about it, but I couldn't find any answer to it. I ...
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what is the meaning and function of "we represent" in this phrase?

According to him, freedom is a basic fact of human existence. We represent, says Sartre, "freedom which chooses, but we could not choose to be free. We are doomed to freedom." We are thrown ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is 'puts it on speaker' the most natural way to expess when...?

Jeff's phone rings. It's Billy. He doesn't pick the phone up, just answers, and puts it on speaker. Jeff: Hi, Billy. Is 'puts it on speaker' the most natural way to express this? And is it enough ...
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1 vote
4 answers
90 views

Is there an idiom that refers to the money paid to get a killer to kill someone?

Is there an idiom that refers to the money paid to get a killer to kill someone? I thought blood money was that expression, but it doesn't seem like there's an idiom that refers to it and blood money ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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What category does the statement "sounds like a plan" fall in?

Is 'sounds like a plan' a phrase or an idiom?
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1 answer
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I wish you well

I wish you well. 'well' is an 'adverb'. How the sentence above is acceptable in English? I think 'I wish you (a) well-being(ness). or I wish you your well-being.' is grammartically correct.
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0 votes
1 answer
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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
0 answers
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Construction: "Is also to do."

This is a construction that lingered in the back of my mind for my entire life. But for me "is to do" does not mean "has to do" as in: "Surely this is also to do with ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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How to say "I am not the person you think I am"

How to say it when: Somebody thinks you are Jack but you are Bob. I know it's wrong if I say "you got me wrong". But what can I say to say you have found a wrong person? Also the same ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Using the term "hog" metaphorically [closed]

When a basketball or soccer player tries to do everything alone and avoids passing the ball to their teammates, we normally call them a "hog". I am going to be a little creative and expand ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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When someone is falling out of favor with someone else (Informal equivalent)

I am intrigued to know how would you normally imply the following notion in everyday speech? When you do something which makes people stop liking you or admiring you you might fall out of favor with ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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A lawless and anarchic society / country

I am curious to know what do you call a country in which people people do not respect rules and disobey regulations? In such a country, injustice, immorality, breaking the law and so on, (in Russian ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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When someone suddenly slows down or stops doing what they started passionately and vigorously

When a runner gets exhausted during a competition, they might slow down either: to save energy to keep back going after a short time (intentionally) or just due to the lack of adequate and required ...
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1 vote
2 answers
32 views

A verb to imply something has made you feel not tired anymore

Work can wear you out, whether your job requires physical labor or not. Imagine you feel really tired due to a long time of hard work either (either mentally or physically), or when you are back home ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Idiom structure

I’ve got a problem with the usage of some idioms, which can be replaced by some simple words; I wanted to know that the structure remains the same or not? For example in this conditional statement: “...
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1 vote
1 answer
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meaning of 'over the weekend'

Did you see your mom over the weekend? Would 'over' imply more than one day, maybe the whole weekend, or would it just mean at some point during the weekend?
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0 votes
0 answers
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Thank you for + ing or thank you for having + past participle

I'm wondering if there is a difference between the following forms: Thank you for downloading the file (for + ing) Thank you for having downloaded the file (for + having + past participle) Both ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
34 views

Dialed in and unplugged in formal English

Actually, I kind of understand the meanings of "dialed in" and "unplugged" in the following context, but it strikes me that they are a little informal. I am intrigued to know what ...
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1 vote
1 answer
29 views

The verb for overtaking in a specific way

I am wondering what is the verb, expression or idiom which is used when a car tries to overtake its adjacent car and since there is another car ahead, the driver has to deviate their car and pass ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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What does "from 1% all the way up to 100%" mean?

I have question regarding the meaning of "from 1% all the way up to 100%". This sentence might not be formal or grammatically correct, but i heard people using it quite often. Does it mean ...
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