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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8k views

“all the way (through)” and “to the end”

I haven't watched the movie all the way through. I haven't watched the movie all the way. I haven't watched the movie all the way to the end. I haven't watched the movie to the end. Do ...
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15 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?
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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 ...
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1answer
18 views

“Stay / sleep for the night” VS “Stay / sleep overnight”

What is the difference between: a. stay / sleep overnight b. stay / sleep for the night c. stay / sleep for one night Just in order to clarify what I need, I made up two examples. Please let ...
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1answer
25 views

Using the adverb “again” after the idiom “repeating oneself”

I was wondering whether it would sound superfluous if I add the adverb "again" to the end of the sentence: Steve Rogers: Well, what are we gonna do now? Tony Stark: You know what, give me a ...
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1answer
33 views

“inside out” vs “ins and outs”

Are there any differences in the meaning of or when we use the idioms 'inside out' and 'ins and outs'? The definitions in Cambridge English Dictionary are: ins and outs : the details or facts ...
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1answer
457 views

Is it ok to say “play well ok boy!” when you want your child to play with his toys comfortably and quietly without bothering you?

well: 1 SATISFACTORILY in a successful or satisfactory way Did you sleep well? James reads quite well for his age. All the team played very well today. Simon doesn’t work well ...
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4answers
4k views

“My aunt is coming to tea tomorrow.” (idiom “to come to tea”?)

My mother has decided to make a cake today since my aunt is coming to tea tomorrow. Source: my English grammar book. Google gives little results involving the given expression "to come to tea". Is ...
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1answer
41 views

“Hold still” Vs "Don't move

Within an episodic instructive comedy named "Extra", when one of the characters saw a hazardous insect is moving on the other character's shirt, she got panicked and said: Hold still, Hector. I ...
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1answer
27 views

Someone who has been awarded full authority

I wonder what do you normally call someone who has been granted the full authority to do all legal affairs and decision makings on behalf of "someone else" or "an organization" in AE? I have two ...
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2answers
42 views

Is it colloquial to say “You like to wear Elsa, don't you?”?

Your child likes to wear shorts or Tshirts that have pictures of Elsa on them (see the picture). Is it colloquial to say "You like to wear Elsa, don't you?" or "You are in Elsa now" the same way ...
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7k views

This is (a) team work

This is team work. This is a team work. Which is correct? You work or collaborate together with someone is the intended meaning.
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1answer
62 views

What does “kind enough to die” phrase mean?

What does "kind enough to die" phrase mean? Rocket told this to Thor in avengers endgame, not to save her mother(when they came to the past), and to prioritize their task to save the half of the ...
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1answer
30 views

What do “Glad our discussions are resonating with you” mean?

I was texting with a friend after talking with her about some topics and then she answered with: Glad our discussions are resonating with you. What does it mean? First I thought it means that I ...
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1answer
24 views

“give a shot” vs “have a go”

Are there any differences in the meaning of or when we use the idioms 'give a shot' and 'have a go'? The definitions in Merriam-Webster Dictionary are: give (something) a shot : to try to do (...
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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 ...
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“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 (...
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367 views

Make A Receipt From?

If I purchased something a merchant, then, according to members of this forum, I could write this: I made a purchase from the merchant. as standard English, with the preposition "from" denoting ...
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36 views

What does the idiom “Putting the pedal to the metal” mean here?

Please help me figure out the meaning of the idiom "putting the pedal to the metal" in the following sentence from the description of the game "KartRider Rush+" (not available online): Putting the ...
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2answers
29 views

How to express “to draw or write messily” idiomatically?

My kid "drew or wrote messily" on the paper (look at the picture) all over the place (British English also all over the shop) (US English also all over the lot) (informal) 1-​everywhere ...
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1answer
33k views

Is “fugazi” an English word?

The British rock band Marillion has a song called Fugazi, which is also the title of the album. This is one of their lines: Do you realise, this world is totally fugazi. By context I can deduce ...
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3answers
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“not to know A from B” VS “not to know a B from a bull's foot”?

I've been doing some research and I came across the idioms "not to know A from B" and "not to know a B from a bull's foot". As far as I know they seem to have the same meaning "to be ignorant" or "to ...
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1answer
72k views

‘Concern of’ vs. ‘concern about’

Commercial builders downplayed ______ a bust in the superheated housing market. 1) The concern of 2) Concerns about The answer is number 2, but why does number 1 not work?
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27 views

“So you could” or “for”

"I didn't raise you for 15 years so you could go to war". I found this frase and it didn't sound idiomatic to me. Is there another way of expressing the same idea in the following sentense? "I didn'...
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22 views

Is “have a lock on something” same as “having something on lock”?

And from what I understand they're informal; am I right?
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23 views

is it okay to say “Be careful, it may flip your face” or “Be careful, it may flip into your face” in this case?

flip [intransitive, transitive] to turn over into a different position with a sudden quick movement; to make something do this The plane flipped and crashed. (figurative) She felt her ...
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34 views

What is meant by “set bang”? [closed]

What is meant by "set bang" in the following sentence: The tasteful and triangular green is set bang in the middle of the large village. Thank you.
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2answers
7k views

What is the Kool-aid reference?

I’ve heard the expression “someone’s been drinking/drank the cool aid” multiple times. I know coolaid is a drink or something but it doesn’t really make sense in the context. I feel like there’s some ...
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1answer
20 views

Using the idiom “the other way 'a'round”

I wonder if the phrasing within the following context is semantically correct or not: Can someone tell me why my life is a disaster? Why things always go the other way around to what it should ...
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1answer
271 views

What does “Make my life easier” meaning?

"Make my life easier" and "Make life easier" are the same thing? Could I putting a pronoun or determiner between "Make" and "Life"? Example: I wanna make her life easier. Example: He want to make my ...
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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/...
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58 views

Does the phrase “no sh*t” imply the same meaning as “no kidding”? [closed]

Used sarcastically, does "No sh*t, Sherlock." imply the same meaning as "no kidding"?
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About nick your beer

My Twitter listening parties are like gigs-but nobody nicks your beer. What's "nicks your beer" here? I can't take it straight. Source: https://amp.theguardian.com/music/2020/apr/10/tim-burgess-...
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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 ...
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1answer
139 views

Is there an idiom that means working hard and continuously?

Is there an idiom that means working hard continuously? Preferably, I would like an idiom that means "work 24/7 without rest", but I can accept something that means "give as much effort as possible". ...
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23 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?
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24 views

is it okay to say “Please go get it under the bed for me”?

get [transitive] to go to a place and bring somebody/something back SYNONYM fetch get somebody/something Quick—go and get a cloth! Somebody get a doctor! She went to get help. I ...
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1answer
21 views

How to express “to go to the other side of the room in the direction that we want”?

Ok, this is a picture of my apartment. There are 2 adjacent rooms. There is a balcony. The child is standing in Room 1. The child can go from Room1 to Room2 through route 1 (the child can walk down ...
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151 views

Force the lid, open or closed?

I encountered the poem below, which ends with force the lid. I recognize this phrase, but I'm not sure if it means forcing the lid closed, or forcing yourself inside. Or can it be both? A system is ...
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can we say “to wrestle/throw someone over”?

"To push/knock someone over" means "​to make somebody/something fall to the ground by pushing/hitting them" Sam pushed me over in the playground. Similarly, can we say "to wrestle/throw ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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25 views

¨be given out¨ meaning

The cricketer was given out leg before wicket. What is the meaning of the idiom ¨ be given out¨ in the sentence above?
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2answers
48 views

Using “It's about time” in Future

I've been trying to use the idiom "it's about time" followed by a situation that might occur in the future. For example, "It's about time my parents find out about my felonies and throw me out of the ...
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48 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 ...
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1answer
30 views

A quiet man with quiet ways

could you, please, help me to understand what kind of person is "a quiet man with quiet ways"? May it be, that this man is quiet and self-collected? Here is the context: "A quiet man with quiet ...
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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?
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1answer
30 views

Is it appropriate to use “pre-covid” in a formal situation when talking about COVID-19?

I found people use "pre-covid" to refer to the days before COVID-19 spreads. Of course, it makes sense. The question is whether it is appropriate to use the term in a formal situation, something like ...
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42 views

Is it idiomatic to say “**nice** answer”?

In one of my posts (Are "found" and "discovered" interchangeable in context?) I said In my review queue, I received a nice answer I guess different people have different ...
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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 ...

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