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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26 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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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
28 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
21 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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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 ...
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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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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
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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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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 ...
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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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“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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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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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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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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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
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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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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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1answer
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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¨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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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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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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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
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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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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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What is the idiom in English which express “you only started to do things when it already happened, there was no preparation”?

What is the idiom in English which express "you only started to do things when it already happened, there was no preparation"? For example, America only started to make more masks and ventilators ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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What does “wear a different aspect” mean?

Look at the following excerpt of THE DESCENT OF MAN by Charles Darwin: During many years I collected notes on the origin or descent of man, without any intention of publishing on the subject . ....
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How to express “Please don't put the clean stuff where the dirty stuff is put”?

I have a clothes rack that is used to hang dirty cleaning cloth (see the picture) Today my child hung my Tshirt on / from the rack (not sure "on or from"). What should I say to him? "Please don't ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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Can “headfirst” be used in a positive sense?

Can I use head first, head-first or headfirst in a positive sense in a sentence like: He's not affraid of anything. He delved head first into his own bussiness. Thanks!
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4answers
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Meaning of “Who should I say is calling?” + Grammar structure

I have problems with this sentence. First of all: What does "Who should I say is calling" mean? Does that mean: To whom should I say is calling? Or it means: Should I say who is calling? And ...
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“Bang on the hammer”?

It says, "The next day, Hem and Haw returned with tools. Hem held the chisel, while Haw banged on the hammer until they made a hole in the wall." I don't really get why it says "...Haw banged on the ...
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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 ...
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Is it idiomatic to say “could only be used”?

In my another post (What prepositions could be used to describe the position relevant to water?) I said "Under" could only be used with "water". I meant that other prepositions, such as "below, ...
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'be said to be' what does this mean?

Here goes example, "The earliest recorded use of "queer" as a form of homophobic abuse is said to be a 1984 letter by John Sholto Douglas, the Marquess of Queensberry."
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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 ...

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