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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-2 votes
2 answers
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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....
0 votes
1 answer
46 views

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. ...
0 votes
1 answer
3k views

Work on (doing) something and work at (doing) something

What's the difference between work on and work at, and what's the right way to use them? We're working on/ at our relationship. I need to work on/at my German- it's getting rusty. We're working on/...
1 vote
1 answer
6k views

The man of double deed

There is this beautiful poem I heard on "The Fall" (british tv show). There was a man of double deed, Who sowed his garden full of seed; When the seed began to grow, 'Twas like a garden ...
2 votes
2 answers
423 views

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 ...
-4 votes
0 answers
38 views

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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
178 views

What does "golden thread" mean in this sentence?

Our golden thread is always to streamline our processes and to continuously raise the bar for ourselves in everything we do. I cannot find an appropriate explanation for "golden thread" in the ...
2 votes
3 answers
1k views

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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
88 views

What's the meaning of "throw a pallet at her"?

Please tell me the meaning of "throw a pallet at her" in this context: Teachers might be using the Unit Organizer and the course map and starting to see kids that normally don’t respond, responding....
0 votes
1 answer
26 views

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 ...
-1 votes
1 answer
28 views

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. (...
0 votes
1 answer
45 views

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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
41 views

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 ...
-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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
24 views

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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
33 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?
2 votes
3 answers
2k views

Looking for an English idiom/expression related to trapping

Is there in English language an expression/idiom that reflects the idea that we make something vulnerable to be attacked because we want to trap the attacker ?
3 votes
2 answers
405 views

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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
33 views

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: “...
0 votes
1 answer
23 views

"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.
0 votes
2 answers
121 views

Expressions for live alone

I believe there are some other ways to say "I live alone". Can you provide me with some expression explaining its formality? What about these: be on (oneself). (?) live with (oneself) (?) Do these ...
-1 votes
1 answer
27 views

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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
25 views

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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
33 views

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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
63 views

What meaning of FOR is used in "stumped for an answer", "lost for words", etc.?

What meaning of FOR in "stumped for an answer", "lost for words", etc. I've gone through the OED looking for the right meaning to no avail, as well as other major dictionaries. https://www.oed.com/...
0 votes
1 answer
25 views

Chase for/after x

He played basketball alone in the park to chase after new friendship. He played basketball alone in the park to chase for new friendship. None of them sound particularly correct, but I can't think of ...
0 votes
1 answer
23 views

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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
21 views

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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
21 views

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?"
0 votes
1 answer
25 views

What is the meaning of (half a notion for something)?

What is the meaning of (half a notion for ..) in this context? What is left is attachment to yourself: a recognition of worth and the wish that it be preserved. Thus, half a notion for approaching ...
0 votes
2 answers
26 views

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), ...
0 votes
1 answer
47 views

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 ...
2 votes
3 answers
64 views

Usage of "Amen to [something]"

Does the phrase "Amen to some common sense" in the below example have a positive or negative connotation? "Students will gain that eligibility automatically; amen to some common sense.&...
0 votes
1 answer
24 views

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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
336 views

be the hospital in ten minutes

This is from a TV show. Dad and son are going to the hospital. Dad says, Relax, be the hospital in ten minutes. How can "be the hospital" be possible? It's so strange to me. Is it ...
0 votes
2 answers
28 views

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 ...
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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
22 views

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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
34 views

what does "make difficulty" mean?

What does "make difficulty" mean? in the following quote from Mansfield Park" by Jane Austen: If I had made any difficulty about fetching the key, there might have been some excuse, but ...
0 votes
2 answers
84 views

Is "in her pride she sat" grammatical and idiomatic?

Is "in her pride she sat" grammatical and idiomatic? In her pride, she sat quietly and observed the loudmouths around her. She stood there quietly in her pride. She isolated herself from ...
0 votes
1 answer
133 views

Making up illogical, unreasonable and unimportant excuses/objections

What do you call the the action of making up or seeking very illogical, unreasonable and unimportant ("excuses") or/and ("objections"). I wonder what idiom/expression/verb do you normally use for that?...
0 votes
2 answers
156 views

"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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
595 views

'In a hurry', why is this used with the infinite article 'a'?

I was so confused with this. So I look up the word 'hurry' in the Oxford dictionary and I found that it is an uncountable noun. Is it possible to use 'a' before 'hurry'? Why is it possible? Do I ...
-1 votes
1 answer
38 views

What difference does it make or what difference do it make?

Which one of the following questions is correct? Or what are the different contexts when they are used if both are correct? What difference does it make? Or What difference do it make?
0 votes
1 answer
71 views

Is it correct to say "like a look for a needle" or should it use "looking"?

Is the following sentence wrong? He had lost a ring in the sand and I help him search for it but it was like a look for a needle in a haystack. To me it sounds very awkward, though "look" means "...
0 votes
1 answer
18 views

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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
32 views

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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

What does it mean "to put a punctuation mark on something"?

I came across the idiom "to put a punctuation mark on something". Having googled a few examples of its usage, I am still not sure what exactly it means. Could you please explain its meaning? I am ...
0 votes
1 answer
37 views

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 ...
-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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