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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3
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1answer
45 views

Is there an idioms for “nothing is yet clear”

I usually say that something is not clear yet like "it is still in the wind" when something is uncertain. Is there any English idiom or proverb that describe this saying?
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2answers
42 views

“Keep Something In The Know” meaning

I am reading "Head First Design Patterns" book, chapter 2 ,entitled "Keeping your Objects in the know" but the title doesn't make sense to me. what "Keep Something In The Know" means in this case and ...
2
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1answer
40 views

“Performing one's working duties” or “Pulling one's weight”

I wonder whether as for an employee who neglects their working duties we can say: 1- He doesn't pull his weight --> I doubt if it works in this case, while according to the dictionaries "pull one's ...
2
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2answers
28 views

An idiom/expression to imply “rebuilding and beautifying a destroyed area”

Please imagine a large destroyed area which has become ruined due to a war or an earthquake or simply because it was uninhabited for a long time or even from the outset. I wonder what idiom/verb or ...
0
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2answers
17 views

Meaning of 'when it comes from'

I know the meaning of when it comes to but not familiar to when it comes from. My dictionary says nothing about the from idiom.Can from be replaced with to in the following sentence for the same ...
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3answers
32 views

Paying/spending just from pocket money

I wonder what idiom, expression or set-phrase do you normally use to carry the message of spending money from pocket without earning any money (without having any business)? Please have a look on my ...
1
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2answers
33 views

A rich and family which is living in comfort and luxury

I Wonder what do you call a family which is most of the time rich and all its members are living a good life and have whatever they need? The idiom/expression/set phrase or even the adjective in my ...
0
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1answer
127 views

Meanings and uses of the words “numerous” and “innumerable”

My question concerns proper use of the word numerous and of the word innumerable. I am in a problem which is rare: which one to choose even if I consult thesaurus. This is what I have learned so far: ...
3
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2answers
423 views

What does Trap Queen means?

I'm new in learning English, so I want to know more about idioms and some words that I can't understand. What is the meaning of trap queen? And how and when the situation we can say that. If you ...
0
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1answer
29 views

When someone acts obstinately / stubbornly towards you

I have a very long-lasting question about some quite close concepts which I am sure they have some equivalents in current English. I really appreciate it if you could do me a favor and let me find the ...
0
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1answer
37 views

What is called singing with a song?

When you sing with a song, for example, sing Wings of Birdy quietly or loudly by yourself when you are listening to it. What is the phrase of doing this?
0
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1answer
18 views

“the” or “one's” in an idiom?

I've been learning idioms related to body parts, when some like these struck me: 1 A lot of young vandals who go looking for trouble are not right in the head. 2 Can you do this calculation ...
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1answer
30 views

Making up illogical, unreasonable and unimportant excuses/objections

What do you call the the action of making up or seeking very illogical, unreasonable and unimportant ("excuses") or/and ("objections"). I wonder what idiom/expression/verb do you normally use for that?...
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1answer
21 views

which is the right idiom?

Keep a tab on the website for any activities. Keep tabs on the website for any activities. Which of the two, keep a tab/keep tabs, is the right idiom?
2
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1answer
19 views

How to say that you smoke sometimes and only for fun?

I wonder what do you normally say when you as a smoker would like to indicate that you do not smoke too much and you just do it sometimes and for fun? I'm not a heavy smoker. I......................
0
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1answer
48 views

Modern substitutes for saving your (presence / reverence)

Edited: I wonder in modern English what we can say prior to uttering something that might sound offensive or disapproving to the person/people you're talking to? I know two phrases: Saving your ...
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2answers
25 views

A child who acts playfully

I am looking for a verb/idiom/expression to describe a specific mood/action of people. The term in my question is most of the time used for children in which they are not serious at all and just have ...
0
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1answer
84 views

Meaning of “is getting on me..”?

What's mean "is getting on me"? For example: "Mom is always getting on me about not finishing my breakfast."
1
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1answer
47 views

A person full of complexes

I wonder what would you normally call someone who has a chip on their shoulder informally? (What I am looking for can be considered as an offensive idiom/expression/adjective by most people.) Such ...
0
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3answers
3k views

What exactly does “is a pre” mean?

In the context of a job advertisement, what does "is a pre" mean? Top and only useful result on Google was this, only guessing "pré-requis" (requirement), which makes it odd to include sporadically ...
0
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1answer
14 views

Some ways to encourage a discouraged person

Which choices below do not sound natural when you want to say someone "be hopeful" using a hopegiving sentence: Don't lose your hope. Don't be hopeless. Why Ngram doesn't show any ...
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2answers
216 views

<As usual>, <As ever> and <As always>

I wonder how should I distinguish between the three idioms: As usual As ever As always While dictionaries say: (As usual) in a way that often happens normally and is expected or exists ...
3
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1answer
219 views

grammars on “shoot me an email” vs “shoot me with an email”

According to several online pages, there are different grammatical interpretations of the structure of the phrase - shoot someone an email. To complicate it further, I've seen online a similar phrase "...
2
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1answer
37 views

Are both “wipe us out of existence” and “wipe us off of existence” idiomatic?

Are both "wipe us out of existence" and "wipe us off of existence" idiomatic? To me, the first one seems to be more correct, but the second one doesn't seem to be wrong either, because "wipe off" also ...
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0answers
23 views

How to refer to a foreign-language student's ability to use his/her good listening comprehension in conversations?

What's the idiomatic way of describing a foreign-language student's ability not only to understand things, but also to use that knowledge and understanding in conversations? For example, Her ...
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1answer
35 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....
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2answers
30 views

What is the meaning of “lay it on” in this sentence?

I read a sentence in "The Tempest" which was: Lead, monster; we’ll follow. I would I could see this taborer. He lays it on. And it is translated to: Lead on, monster. We’ll follow. I wish I ...
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2answers
39 views

what's the difference between these two expressions: “for good” and “for keep”

what's the difference/relation between these two expressions: "for good" and "for keep"? I'm not an English mothertongue, so for me these are very similar in meaning, but couldn't find any clue that ...
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0answers
17 views

Entering through legal / illegal solutions

Let's say that as a business man you have some problems with the tax ministry of your country. You are a very wealthy and influential individual that have friends in high places. Therefore it would ...
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1answer
62 views

“I could eat a horse” - Why 'could'?

"I could eat a horse" is a well-known phrase. I wonder why the modal-verb 'could' is used. According to this source (EnglishPage), "Could" is a modal verb used to express possibility or past ...
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1answer
65 views

What is the most common sarcastic response to something you already know?

How sarcastically imply someone who is trying to teach you something that you are well aware in that case Edited: I am going to find an up-to-date English metaphorical and sarcastic expression or ...
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2answers
65 views

An English equivalent for “all truth will not bear telling”

We all believe that telling the truth is fine. But sometimes there are some occasions in which you'de better keep someone in the dark about something (possibly on their own or someone else's favor) or ...
0
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1answer
35 views

An expression / a proverb to say: “liars often forget what they said”

As you may confronted some liars, you possibly would confirm that usually they forget what they have made-up and then related to you in the past and it's not unlekely that once they will forget in the ...
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1answer
33 views

To do somebody a favor

The Free Dictionary says: To do (someone or oneself) a favor means: To help someone else, typically at their request. In this usage, the person being helped is stated between "do" and "a." ...
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1answer
127 views

“A cold fish” vs “an icy person”

How do the similar expressions below can be distinguished from one another? Icy person: If you describe a person or their behaviour as icy, you mean that they are not affectionate or friendly, ...
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1answer
21 views

A modern substitue for “kith and kin”

In old-fashioned English, the term "kith and kin" encompass all the people you've been connected with, including the nuclear and extended family members. What is its modern substitute if exists? ...
0
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1answer
12 views

A place composed of many nations and races

What do you call humorously or in casual English a country / city which is comprised of many races from various provinces of the same country or other countries? Is there any specific term, expression ...
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0answers
31 views

Can other adjectives be substituted in “Left you awed”?

In awe is an idiom that means: Having a great amount of respect or admiration for someone, sometimes to the point of feeling nervous or fearful around them. It can take other forms and means the ...
4
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1answer
212 views

The usage of “run a mile” in a sentence

The phrase "run a mile" means: To try to avoid a situation or a person because you are embarrassed or frightened. Based on this definition, I wonder if you could let me know whether the following ...
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2answers
401 views

“look forward in” or “look forward to”?

We are looking forward in knowing you, helping you achieve the best oral health ever. Why did they put 'in' here instead of 'to'?
2
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1answer
19 views

An influential person / a very influential person who can pull strings in your favor

What do you call an influential connection in an organization or a governmental entity who can help you out of problems related to that organization or even more powerful one who has relations in ...
0
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2answers
20 views

When you're going to discover the amount of someone's financial loss

Let's suppose you have lost a specific amount of money in a deal and your partner is going to find out how much it had been. What shall he ask you? Once, I had a close American friend who had ...
0
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2answers
46 views

An expression/idiom/proverb to say “losing a small amount would be much better than losing everything”

Is there any common English expression, idiom or proverb which implies: Stop and accept a small loss, rather than continue and risk losing everything. When someone is losing or possibly would lose ...
0
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1answer
24 views

Beating one's head against the wall / a brick wall

Dictionaries say that the idiom "beating one's head against the wall" means: To attempt continuously and fruitlessly to accomplish some task or achieve some goal that is or seems ultimately ...
0
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1answer
43 views

What does “see himself off” mean?

The definition of see someone off is the following: to accompany one to the point of departure for a trip and say good-bye upon departure. However, that begs the question what does "see himself ...
0
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1answer
41 views

When you are a role model for children

What does a child do (the verb / idiom / expression) when they look at their elderly and try to do what they are doing? E.g. it is said that you'd better be careful when you're smoking etc. so that ...
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2answers
50 views

An obvious model/example/type of someone or something

There is an expression in our current language which has entered from legal jargon into the common language. (I'm trying to translate it.) We say something like: He/she is an obvious example/...
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1answer
37 views

Can “Down to business” be a shortened version of the idiom?

Can the idiom Now, let's get down to business. be shortened to Now, down to business. ? I don't want the part "let's" as it is, to some extent, a friendly approach when the speaker is far ...
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2answers
48 views

Can you replace “come to think of it with ”thinking of it"?

I've already used "thinking of it." Example: Thinking of it, maybe I shouldn't knock on that door. I made a Google Books search. There are similar phrases but I couldn't find a sentence that ...
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1answer
51 views

What does keeping one's arms covered up mean?

I was reading Eurotrash by Irvine Welsh. Richard in the novel says "You know what I mean. You keep your arms covered up." and I don't know what it means.