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.

93 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
2
votes
4answers
2k views

use of idiom “to see eye to eye”

I wonder whether I could use "see eye to eye" when I agree with someone spontaneously like this, " I see eye to eye with you" or when I disagree with someone " I don't see eye to eye with you"
2
votes
2answers
58 views

Is “button down” a real idiom?

I was watching a former Watergate prosecutor interview on CNN and heard the following passage: one of the things that the House Judiciary Committee, the House Intelligence Committee absolutely ...
2
votes
2answers
5k 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 full ...
2
votes
1answer
11k views

How to use “make” and/or “make for” in this sense?

Which of the following sentences are grammatically correct? Which ones are formal, idiomatic and proper to use in writing an essay? What makes for a good job? What makes a good job? What does make a ...
1
vote
0answers
19 views

'Never caused hassle' - does it 'break' an idiom?

Is the sentence 'She never caused hassle' correct? If so, does it sound unnatural? 'She never caused any hassle' seems like a much more common choice and I do not know if the rarity of the former (in ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

Please contact our office and we will arrange for a sales representative to call on you. (call on = visit)

Please contact our office and we will arrange for a sales representative to call on you. He will be glad to explain our terms, discount policies, and sales procedures. call on sb : visit Wonder why '...
1
vote
0answers
28 views

brink of error vs brink of mistake

How to fill the gap "Musician should teeter on the brink of ___ while playing." error mistake failure Is any of these alternatives more "idiomatic" for the expression? The ...
1
vote
0answers
12 views

Idiom to indicate accepting culpability for an action

Is there any idiom which resembles similar meaning to as you make your bed so you must lie in it (one must accept the bad results of his action)
1
vote
0answers
27 views

Do Idioms such as “all the more” function as adjectives or adverbs?

All the more reason to value these beautiful little creatures and their habitat, right? (From TOEFL) In the sentence above, I think "all the more" is functioning as an adjective. In Merriam-...
1
vote
0answers
31 views

Is “at the edge of” natural in the context?

The cemetery is located at the edge of the city. Is "at the edge of" natural in this context? Or are there other options that would be more natural?
1
vote
0answers
126 views

Wearing the proverbial “pants”?

But appearances of gender equality can be deceiving. In my most recent study, I asked 114 young adults about their heterosexual relationship experiences. Unsurprisingly, power was skewed in favor of ...
1
vote
0answers
53 views

Meaning of Go Home

I know literal meaning of 'go home'. In the following talk it's vague to me. “Let me guarantee you this, based on everything that I know and understand, and the help that [Biden] has already gotten ...
1
vote
0answers
34 views

Come to think of it vs Now that I think about it

Are 'now that I think about it' and 'come to think of it' used in the same way. According to a dictionary: 1) Come to think of it is used for adding something that you have just remembered about a ...
1
vote
0answers
26 views

Metaphorical reference to someone bad to doing good and being praised more than a good person

I'd like to point out the following phenomenon that frequently occurs in the daily life. Take a mischief, culprit, someone unreliable and well-known to be a lousy piece of manure. Basically a bad ...
1
vote
0answers
67 views

Is it idiomatic to say “the goal is to serve as”?

A post says The goal of this post is to serve as a nice introduction to ... which appears to use a pattern "the goal is to serve as". With the meaning of "an aim or purpose", Cambridge Dictionary ...
1
vote
0answers
896 views

Grate on someone's ears / nerves

What does the sentence below mean? His voice grates on my ears. His voice grates on my nerves. Please have a look on Longman's definition below: To grate on (to annoy someone):  - Mr ...
1
vote
0answers
11k views

Ways to say “My phone ran out of power”

What are some other ways to say "My phone ran out of power", meaning my battery got depleted. What is the level of formality of each one?
0
votes
0answers
16 views

not the least of sth (is this a widely used expression or idiom? not the least of sth?

This is true for several reasons , not the least of which is the fact that Massachusetts had the highest ratio of bodily injury claims to the number of accidents in the United States. 'not the least ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

The meaning of idiom: to hay with them

I find this sentence on a mobile game Kids, we need to talk. Never mind my childhood memories, to hay with them. But all of this is going to lose us money! What's the meaning of "to hay with ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

take too nicely with

Squidward doesn't take too nicely with SpongeBob until he tells Squidward of the millions of tiny TV people watching. https://blaze-and-the-monster-machines.fandom.com/wiki/User_blog:Puppylove1257/...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

Squeeze something out of a state

He squeezed it out of its inflated form by squeezing the balloon too hard. Is this idiomatic? I couldn't find any similar sentence, so I have no idea if this is a good usage, or if there's a better ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

burn the midnight oil [doing something entertaining]

Can we burn the midnight oil doing something entertaining? Is the following natural? John is burning the midnight oil playing video games.
0
votes
0answers
41 views

Who cut the coat - an idiom, a metaphor?

Frequently I have to ask myself in the street for the name of the man I bowed to just now, and then, before I can answer, the wind of the first corner blows him from my memory. I have a theory, ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

How can I say that I perfectly know a subject even because it is not a very broad one?

There are two subjects, one is very broad and the other is not so broad, I would say for example that the Italian grammar is a subject wider than the English grammar. What is an idiomatic expression ...
0
votes
0answers
37 views

Idiom for when you're bad at something

What are some idioms for when you're bad at something? Like: I can't (do something) to save my life. But aside from that what are other idioms. Maybe something similar to the one above.
0
votes
1answer
18 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
0answers
16 views

Meaning of: Make that leap

In the Dictator movie, Alaeddin says to his double: How would you even make that leap? Tamir to Dennis? What does make that leap mean? I can't understand based on the meaning of leap in dictionaries....
0
votes
0answers
24 views

【Idioms】 get something over with = get something over and done with

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/ko/%EC%82%AC%EC%A0%84/%EC%98%81%EC%96%B4/get-something-over-with https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/get+(something)+over+and+done+with https://www.merriam-webster....
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Is it “I slipped through the cracks” or “I fell through the cracks”?

One of my friends said to me: "You have such a good job though." And I responded by saying: "I slipped through the cracks." I was trying to imply that my interviewers went easy ...
0
votes
2answers
21 views

I'm in a place where

The truth is that things have been a little difficult for me after my accident last year, but now I finally feel that I'm in a place where I can enjoy life again, so I'm great. Is "in a place&...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

<a colloquial expression> and all that / and (all) that / and all (that)

Happy New Year. Indeed, I have learned "and all that" / "and (all) that". <and all? or all but?> Well, the thing is he is really attractive and all but he is not funny. I ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

Idiom or phrase to indicate celebration of unlawful activity

Are there any idioms or phrases to describe a celebration of an unlawful activity Sentence: His celebration for the crime was short-lived as he was captured by the police after the incident
0
votes
0answers
34 views

Idiom or phrase to express too late to be remorseful

Are there any idioms or phrases to express a situation where it is too late to be remorseful. I am thinking of the ship has sailed or flogging up a dead horse or look before you leap. But, i dont ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Find one's bearings

Find one's bearings: To recognize or determine one's orientation, position, or abilities relative to one's surroundings or situation: Example: It took me a little while to find my bearings in the ...
0
votes
0answers
18 views

An idiom or expression to describe an atmosphere where everyone in the group is in a creative mode

I am looking for an idiom or an expression to describe a creative vibe in a group. Here is what I mean by a creative vibe: "The group feels elated, lively and in good spirits. They want to go ...
0
votes
1answer
19 views

be on a hiding to nothing

The "to" in the idiom "be on a hiding to nothing" means "or." I'd like to know whether it is found in other expressions.
0
votes
0answers
35 views

“I wouldn’t say no” VS “I wouldn’t mind (it)”

For me the two expressions "I wouldn't say no" and "I wouldn’t mind(it)" (where "it" as an optional pronoun can be omitted) mean more or less the same thing and most of ...
0
votes
1answer
14 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
1answer
49 views

the meaning of “Hit the ground”

what's the meaning of this sentence in "Billie Eilish - She's Broken": "You see them talking but hear no sound to hit the ground"
0
votes
0answers
82 views

Can we use the expression “trash somebody” to mean “to ruin somebody”?

I know that we can use the expression "trash somebody" to mean "to criticize somebody severely" in American English. My question is, can we also use the same phrase to mean "...
0
votes
0answers
70 views

Feed someone with something or feed someone something

Which one is correct? To feed him with meat To feed him meat
0
votes
1answer
31 views

Let the new year be an excuse

What does this sentence even mean? I think this is an idiom, right? Does this mean: I will improve and won't repeat the mistakes I made the previous year. OR reason for doing something nice https://...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

Either look or 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
0answers
84 views

What are some common expressions with brick Lego when talking to a child, e.g, “to put a pyramid together”, “to take the pyramid apart”?

What are some common expressions with brick Lego when talking to a child? For example, Can we say "to put a pyramid together", "to take the pyramid apart", and "to build / make a pyramid with ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

Is saying “she was but 15 years old” grammatically correct and idiomatic?

She was but 15 years of age. Is this grammatically correct? For more context: Lavitsia sighed. As diligent as she was, she was but 15 years of age and attending to his maladies had become more ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

Does the following sound natural: “Please hold the bottle upright! Don't tip it upside down as you might spill water in the stroller”?

A child's sitting in a stroller holding a bottle of water without a cap. Is it natural to say to the child: "Please hold the bottle upright! Don't tip it upside down as you might spill water in ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

What's the alternative to “laugh track” for particular phrases?

What's the alternative to "laugh track" for particular phrases? For example: He repeatedly played "I choose you Pikachu" track on his laptop, which annoyed me. It doesn't sound right, but I am ...
0
votes
1answer
51 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
0answers
49 views

can do worse than . .

Does it make sense literally to say the following? You can do worse than ask John for advice. What does "can" mean here? I know it's used to make a suggestion, but I want to know if the meaning ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

How to express “to pressing random different keys or buttons on a mobile phone”?

Your 2-year-old child is holding your mobile phone and he is pressing randomly different keys or buttons on your phone. chaotically adverb /keɪˈɒtɪkli/ /keɪˈɑːtɪkli/ ​in a completely confused ...