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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2answers
60 views

<Go down on bended knee> Vs <Kneel> Vs <Kneel down>

I was wondering what is the difference between the following items: a. to go down on bended knee b. to kneel c. to kneel down To go down on bended knee - In a position in which the knee of one ...
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1answer
18 views

An idiom for “as far as it is related to me,…”

Scenario #1: Let's suppose a top student is going to give a speech at school and would like to express his gratitude to his teacher for all his efforts in one educational year. I was wondering how he ...
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1answer
318 views

An idiom for “Until you punish the offender, they will not give up offenses”

In writing I've come across an idiom of my language that means: Until you punish the offender, they will not give up offenses. What is the English idiom for this? Let me add some explanation to ...
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58 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 ...
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1answer
18 views

“Hoarseness” Vs “frog in one's throat”

Do the two expressions/idioms: to have a frog in one's throat to be hoarse mean the same thing or they have different connotations and usages? If they differ I wonder if you kindly let me know ...
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1answer
52 views

When a youth's voice becomes “manly”

I wonder how would you talk about a voice breaking in young males - around the age of puberty? This is when they lose their high-pitched voices and start to produce deeper sounds. What shall I say: ...
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1answer
41 views

What does 'the devil knows what" mean in this sentence?

I am translating a story but I couldn't find the right words for "the devil knows what” in these sentences. Can anyone explain this a little? Maybe that can give me some ideas. This is the full ...
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2answers
364 views

When one problem is added to the previous one

Let's assume has a big problem and is dealing with it. While he has not solved the first problem, another problem comes up and adds to the previous one. I wonder how you would explain this situation ...
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9answers
946 views

To get so rich that you are not in need of anymore money

I wonder if there is an informal idiom to say that someone made so much money that became needless of any more money and retired themselves (meaning that from then on they work only for fun / pleasure ...
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1answer
133 views

at a loss (meaning) [closed]

I would like to know the meaning of "at a loss" in the following context. I had a friend, a girl. One day I asked her to stop being friends. So she sent me a message saying: "Only God will know ...
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1answer
28 views

To include something in your daily routine/plans/schedule/timetable

Let's imagine someone is giving some pieces of advice to a person who is looking for some hobbies for their leisure time. He says: Have you ever read about the benefits of reading books?! Did ...
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26 views

Looking for an English equivalent to the following Spanish term [duplicate]

The term "paga fantas" is a person who does whatever it takes to gain a girl's approval, in hope that upon paying for a girl's drinks, doing her favors, carrying her bag/purse/handbag, listening to ...
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1answer
32 views

How do we use the idiom “come down on”?

How do we use the idiom "come down on"? Looked up a dictionary and found the following: come down on (someone or something) To scold or reprimand one harshly. It was a mistake, so don't ...
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2answers
54 views

A similar term to “paga fantas”

In my country, we use the informal term "paga fantas" which refers to a man who buys stuff or is willing to get anything for a girl with the intent of seducing her. In some particular cases, a man ...
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1answer
81 views

“Overcome” Vs “Get over” Vs “Get the better of”

To me, all the three choices: Overcome Get over Get the better of mean so much the close things that can be often used interchangeably (at least in my two made up examples below.) I would ...
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62 views

“Besides” Vs “Plus” Vs “On top of that”

As you know, both of the adverbs "plus" and "besides" and also the idiom "on top of that" are all informal and a as far as I'm concerned, mean the same thing. (I know they have other meaning! I'm ...
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1answer
47 views

(As you mentioned / pointed out) and (Thank you for mentioning / pointing out)

I know that when you 'point something out' you have already found something important with that and would like the listener(s) know about it too in order to draw their attention to it. Now, please ...
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4answers
114 views

How do you use “smooth sailing” idiomatically?

How do you use "smooth sailing" idiomatically? Can someone explain to me how to use "smooth sailing" idiomatically? I thought it was a verb, but being an idiom I am wondering if you can use is as if ...
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52 views

A current equivalent for “I'll eat my hat if…”

When I was going to emphasize that something seemed to be truly unlikely to take place, I used to say: "I eat my hat if...", but I just noticed that it is an old-fashioned phrase! As an example, I ...
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1answer
21 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 ...
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1answer
39 views

To step up to a broken promise

Could anyone help me understand the meaning of this apparently idiomatic expression: "To step up to a broken promise." I did not find it on the net. I'll appreciate it.
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2answers
33 views

Is there a formal idiom that means “fed up with something”?

Is there a formal idiom that means "fed up with something"? I am wondering if there's a formal idiom, because the expression is an informal expression. After doing some research, I found "be sick ...
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2answers
57 views

An idiom for a “new beginning”

I am looking an idiom that describes new beginning. For example if someone failed in any task and is going to start it again from beginning, with new plan.
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0answers
30 views

{Something} as expressed by {someone}

Confidence and self-respect as expressed by members of a group. Few things are funnier or more shocking than moral indignation as expressed by a total bastard. But he does still have a heart ...
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0answers
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Is “add two and two” an idiom?

"Somebody Stupefied a Death Eater on top of the Tower after Dumbledore died. There were also two broomsticks up there. The Ministry can add two and two, Harry." Harry Potter and the Half-Blood ...
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1answer
42 views

“I'm rubber; you're glue”

I don't really understand the rubber and glue reference in the idiom: I’m rubber, you’re glue. Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you. since as we all know glue does stick on rubber.
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1answer
47 views

When one has a spouse that they do not deserve him / her

There is a hyperbole which says always a best husband/wife belongs to somebody who really doesn't deserve him/her! For instance, a quite gorgeous girl with a high educational degree and good family, ...
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2answers
928 views

“In charge of” vs “Responsible for”

I would appreciate it if you could let me know what phrase can ne used in the following blanks: 1- Everybody is ................. their own actions. So you cannot blame others for what you did in ...
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2answers
255 views

“Off the top of one's head” or “by heart”

I wonder which expression can be used in my following example? Our teacher was a really smart person. At the second session, he know everyone's name ................ off the top of his head from ...
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1answer
33 views

When you are going to formally or politely express your regret

I would appreciate if you do me a favor and let me know which structure can be used in polite/formal speech in my following context: Restrictions and punishments there which violate ...
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2answers
223 views

Is 'to commute on foot' grammatically right?

Is it okay to say, 'He usually commutes on foot and hence he always gets 10,000 steps by the end of the day'? Do commute and on foot match? In my effort to get an answer to this question, I googled ...
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1answer
24 views

The night of VS the night after

Let’s say you have a wedding on a Thursday. If someone says they booked a hotel for “the night before and the night after the wedding”, do you understand that to be Wed/Thu or Wed/Fri? If the former, ...
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1answer
35 views

Is the idiomatic “didn't bat an eye” losing its sense if used slightly differently?

The expression didn't bat an eye is well recognized. As an idiomatic such, one has to be careful not to tamper with it too much risking its integrity. However, I did use it in a bit different ...
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1answer
31 views

What's the meaning of “make it rain X”?

What's the meaning of "make it rain X"? Looking up the idiom I found the following definitions: (idiomatic) to bring prosperity or work to an enterprise by selling, inventing or other productive ...
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1answer
32 views

The meaning of “be in touch about something”

I heard a line in British TV series "peep show" that is It's a logo, for when people are in touch about doing baseball caps with my initials on. I suppose it says 'for when people are in contact ...
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1answer
73 views

Is there any idiom that means “that's good enough”?

Is there any idiom that means "that's good enough"? I thought "that will do" meant that's good enough in that it's good enough for the job, but it seems to mean "there's enough for the job" or "there'...
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2answers
37 views

Is the phrase “all my breath and being” an established idiom?

I read a sentence in a chapter in my book which was: And I studied hard, with all my breath and being, in a frenzy almost. Is the highlighted phrase an established idiom. I am asking this because ...
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2answers
10k views

Explanation for a joke about a three-legged dog that walks into a bar

I came across this joke on the internet: A three-legged dog walks into a bar and says to the bartender, 'I'm looking for the man who shot my paw' It is meant to be a "dad joke" but I don't ...
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1answer
21 views

Meaning of “have got it to”

What does have got it to mean in this sentence: I've got it to work in the emulator running Q image I know that we use have got to when we are saying that something is necessary. But I don't ...
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2answers
38 views

Is there an idiom that means “I am compliant with the law/regulations”?

Is there an idiom that means "I am compliant with the law/regulations"? I can only think of "I am on the safe side", but it's too general, I am wondering if there's an idiom that's more specific to ...
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1answer
18 views

Is there a more idiomatic expression than “the more he becomes into x”?

Is there a more idiomatic expression than "the more he becomes into x"? I was trying to form a sentence, but I couldn't find the right words. I know there's the expression "the more x he becomes" as ...
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1answer
20 views

Can you use a noun + the possessive marker ('s) in the expression 'to make someone's day"?

Can you use a noun + the possessive marker ('s) in the expression 'to make someone's day"? Looking up the dictionary, it seems that the expression is only used with possessive pronouns "his", "her", "...
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1answer
24 views

Playing for bragging rights

What does playing for bragging rights mean in English and is it common and understood in everyday speech by all people? I have found some dictionary definitions, but I couldn't understand its precise ...
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1answer
34 views

Is there a restriction in the use of the idiom “I am done with”?

Is there a restriction in the use of the idiom "I am done with"? For example, when we say "I am done with the paper", can it mean you finished reading it, writing it, copying it or burning it, etc.? ...
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1answer
47 views

The meaning and the usage of the expression “Dare I say…”

Macmillan dictionary says: Dare I say: Used when you are saying something that you think other people may not like: This famous novel is a little, dare I say it, dull. Or as Longman says: ...
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1answer
30 views

The meaning and the usage of the expression “Don't you dare”

To me, "Don't you dare!" is an expression that communicates a warning to someone. For instance: Don't you dare talk to me like that! Don't you dare follow me! (ete...) But I wonder if you ...
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1answer
28 views

The meaning and the usage of the expression: “I dare say”

Some dictionaries have defined the expression "I dare say / daresay" as spoken one and some other ones have defined it as a formal expression! Meanwhile, some dictionaries consider it to be old-...
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0answers
40 views

What does the phrase “She looked sixteen going on twenty-five.” mean? [duplicate]

I have found in the novel 'The ladykiller' of Martina Cole the following sentence: She looked sixteen going on twenty-five. Does this sentence mean that she is twenty-five but when somebody has a ...
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1answer
20 views

How is “from the top” synonymous to “from square one”?

How is "from the top" synonymous to "from square one"? According to the dictionary, it means "from the beginning", but I don't see any valid entry for "redesigned from the top", which means "...
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2answers
51 views

Get up enough nerves to do something

I wonder what does the expression "get up enough nerves to do something" mean as in the following context? My mother was feeling very bad as she sat on the couch looking at all of her children, but ...