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.

83 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
3
votes
3answers
4k views

“stretch something to its limit” meaning

I have encountered this sentence: Science can explain how gravity works between two objects, but why should it be based on the exact equations we find rather than others? In fact, why should ...
2
votes
2answers
40 views

What does “I am who I am” mean?

You may or may not know about Family Guy. But in this youtube video of Family guy animated series, around 3:30, Stewie [son] was accidentally beaten by his father, Peter. Then he yell his father like ...
2
votes
3answers
3k 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
9k 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
43 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
1answer
51 views

Understanding sentences from The Ferryman

I'm having trouble understanding of this passage from The Ferryman (Jez Butterworth) What are the meanings of these sentences according to the passage: "get a bead on", "I’m a ways past ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

When do we say “move it” and When do we say “move out of the way”?

This was the context I saw. A kid has been attending in an English speaking school in Vietnam (a non-English country) since the 1st grade. I am pretty sure that he can speak Vietnamese very well. His ...
1
vote
0answers
25 views

How do I ask for the buzzer code when I move to a new apartment

I am moving to a new apartment this weekend and I need to go to a person who mostly likely is sitting in the lobby of the apartment and works for the apartment for the buzzer code that can connect to ...
1
vote
0answers
24 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
24 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
22 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
1answer
35 views

How to learn to speak idiomatically?

As a non-native speaker, I struggle a lot to come up with quick responses that sound idiomatic. It sucks because it also means it's harder to express some thoughts in fast-paced situations like ...
1
vote
1answer
25 views

What's the meaning of thinking they not?

South African fast bowler Dale Steyn made a statement on Twitter recently: "Apologies to Virat and a billion people for thinking they not" What is he apologising for? What's the meaning of the ...
1
vote
1answer
46 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....
1
vote
1answer
83 views

What does “on the clock” mean/imply here and why?

I have checked the dictionary, "on the clock" means : 1) Working or getting paid 2) Of a taxi (and by extension, its driver), currently engaged to carry a passenger and having an active meter. 3) ...
1
vote
3answers
50 views

ask for help in finding an idiom or expression

have you ever faced with this situation? You suggest people to do something but they reject it! after a while the other people suggest the same thing and they accept! can you tell me any expression or ...
1
vote
3answers
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"
1
vote
3answers
396 views

Through and through

This word means the complete degree of penetration and you seem to double the "through" to make it sound stronger. I wonder, in Russian you say "along and across" to mean that you know something "...
0
votes
1answer
18 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
22 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
40 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
26 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
18 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
43 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
39 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
28 views

Do justice to the film's name

Example: The director added a scene with a dinosaur to do justice to the film's name (Jurassic Park Armageddon). It was the only scene with a dinosaur funnily enough. I am not sure if I am ...
0
votes
0answers
14 views

What is the meaning of “wound up” in this context

Max: Hmm. Ben’s been gone a while. Well, I guess he can’t get into too much trouble out here. Gwen: Unless he wound up bear food. (Max frowns at her) Hey, I can dream, can’t I?
0
votes
0answers
17 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
184 views

Meaning of “broken shell of a man”

Rachel: So, got any advice? Y'know, as someone who's recently been- dumped? Ross: Well, you may wanna steer clear of the word 'dumped'. Chances are he's gonna be this, this broken shell of a man
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Your child's shorts are sagging. Do you say “Your shorts are coming out. Fix them!” or “Your shorts are coming off. Fix them!”?

We say "You put the shorts on" & "You take the shorts off"? I am not sure if we can replace "put" & "take" with other verbs such as "slide", "come", etc. For example, Your child's shorts are ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

The meaning of the sentence “We don't all have to go down the line here”

“We don't all have to go down the line here! I'm not playing around!“ The context of a cartoon situation is: a guy waving a fake gun (but everyone thinks tis real) yells at his hostage the following ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

“someone would give anything for something” vs “be dying”

Are there any differences in the meaning of or when we use the idioms 'would give anything' and 'be dying'? The definitions in Cambridge Online Dictionary: someone would give anything for something (...
0
votes
1answer
29 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
26 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
1answer
13 views

Is there an idiom that means it's possible and not impossible?

Is there an idiom that means it's possible and not impossible? I could only think of "within the realm of possibility", which is a mouthful, and I am wondering if there's any good idiom I might have ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

How to understand fall off the menu?

It's never been cheaper, but home cooking has fallen off the menu. What's "fall off the menu" here?
0
votes
0answers
25 views

What is the idiomatic way to express “The man is supporting himself by placing his palm against the wall”?

Look at this picture "The man is standing and supporting himself by placing his palm against the wall" Do we say "He is standing with his palm against the wall"? or is there any idiomatic way to say ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

The American English learning counterpart of 'Cambridge English in Use'

I am seeking help on searching resources for learning American English collocations, phrasal verbs, idioms, and pronunciation skills. For work-related reasons I am seeking exclusively resources on ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

Meaning of “the awesome sweep of the scenery”?

What's the meaning of this statement: "the awesome sweep of the scenery"? I know meaning of awesome, sweep, scenery but I can't understand this sentence at all! Is it an idiom?
0
votes
0answers
39 views

Do you have an idiom that is similar to this “You don't scare / cry if you don't see the coffin”

This is literally translated from Vietnamese "You don't scare / cry if you don't see the coffin" which roughly means you underestimate things that are actually dangerous. For example, young people ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Is it idiomatic “She is sitting with her hand / hands under the chin / the temple / the cheek”, etc?

Look at these pictures & Is it idiomatic to say: 1- "She is sitting with her hand under the temple / chick" or "She is sitting with her temple / cheek on the hand" 2- "He is sitting with his ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

What are the rules of “on me” in sentences like “You fell asleep on me?”

There are some phrases I have heard, such as "Don't sleep on him" meaning don't disregard/neglect him EX: Billy might have been the best kickball player last week, but don't sleep on Jimmy. (gives ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

What does ’I’m told’ means as a complete sentence

I was watching MasterChef UK at https://youtu.be/8uuy_fPO2jg . If my explanation is not clear you could jump to 14.05 to find what I’m confused. At 14.05, there’s this conversation where A is a ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

Is it idiomatic to use 'fall' to express 'happen', 'occur'?

I see an example somewhere A: Can you come out with me for dinner at 7 in the evening? B: What about my English class that falls on the same time? I guess 'fall' here means happen, occur. My ...
0
votes
0answers
130 views

Meaning of the idiomatic “biscuits and gravy”

In the movie Line of Duty (about 45:30 in), a guy huge gets a weight thrown at him in a gym. Surprisingly not very bothered nor hurt, he says: "Biscuits and gravy, bitch!" and then starts to fight ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

General term to refer to acquiring knowledge of news or an event

I am trying to find a way to refer to acquiring the knowledge of something new or to be aware of something that recently happened. Usually we can say, I heard on the news... I read on the ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Idiom “Do the best”

Does the second sentence mean the same as the first one? They are doing all possible to further the passage of the Senate. They are doing the best to facilitate the passage of the Senate.
0
votes
0answers
15 views

How do we say add through CGI video edit?

How do we say add through CGI video edit? I am sure there's a proper way to say this, but I have no idea how to say it in an idiomatic way. Someone need to make a video and add in a CGI hat of ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Idiom: It follows that

Since non-count nouns like "sugar" take singular verb agreement it follows that the verb must be the singular "has". How do you parse the structure of it? Does "it" serve as a dummy subject, with the ...
0
votes
0answers
6 views

Can I say “empower toward”?

This is a one line description about how I am trying to describe my work. However afraid the grammar is not correct and can't find anything about it on the web. "Empowering teams toward efficient &...