Questions tagged [phrase-request]

This tag is for questions seeking a phrase that fits a meaning. If you are looking for a word, or don't care, see the "word-request" tag too.

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13
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3answers
2k views

What do we call the process of cutting pencils down to expose more lead?

We call the following a pencil cutter. But what do we do with it? Do we cut the pencil? Cutting the pencil sounds odd to me, like it means actually we are cutting the pencil into pieces which is not ...
13
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3answers
3k views

What is this cute pose called in English?

What do you call this cute pose that usually young babies adopt?
12
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8answers
7k views

What is an idiomatic way to tell someone to put their hands on someone's eyes in order to not let them see?

I would like to know how do you say this action in common spoken English. Suppose that someone puts their hand on someone's eyes in order not to let them see. So, someone is ordering someone else ...
12
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4answers
8k views

Someone who invites other people to another religion

I was wondering if you could let me know how shall I describe someone who tries to convert people to another religion. The only word I know is "missionary" who attempts to invite people to a specific ...
12
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9answers
5k views

What is a word meaning “with a low possibility”?

A simplified example: — Do you think you can come? — Yeah, unless (word here) I have a visitor. "not very likely" seems like a solution, but is there any other shorter word/phrase to use? ...
11
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4answers
2k views

How do you describe an anomaly in the car body! deformation? Sunken?

Suppose you had a very slight car accident and a point of the car's door looks as if it's pushed in, something like this However, without any scratches, just a simple anomaly that can be easily fixed....
11
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6answers
21k views

Will you be my friend?

I used to meet foreigners at work in Taiwan and wanted to express my willingness to make friends with them, but I didn't know what to say or how to express, so I googled on the web and it usually ...
11
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3answers
2k views

Idiom or phrase for a situation where someone asks for advice from the worst possible person?

You found that one of your friends is asking some advice from someone, but you find it hilarious because that someone is the worst adviser in the history of the universe, even though there are many ...
11
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5answers
3k views

Using an idiom, how to describe a two-faced friend who speaks ill of you behind your back?

In Arabic, there's a handy expression that literally translates as A mirror to your face, a prickle to your nape (back). It describes a two-faced friend who is so nice to your face that you'd see ...
11
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5answers
2k views

What is the equivalent expression for this Italian phrase?

In Italian, when somebody speaks using words that are too erudite, too formal, or too complicated for the context, we say "parla come mangi" (literally, "speak as you eat"). What phrase should I ...
11
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7answers
9k views

What do you call a person who usually talks about a matter he/she doesn't know much about?

I thought to terms below and found them inappropriate: Ignorant = A person who doesn't know generally = incorrect Talkative = A person who may know a lot too! = incorrect Awkward = A person who may ...
11
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4answers
72k views

What do you call a person with a good memory? Does 'intelligent' work?

Can a person with great memory power be called intelligent? Or is there any other word or phrase to describe such a person?
11
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6answers
340 views

A meeting of an administrative body far from its usual meeting place (headquarters etc.)

Native Russian translators have trouble translating one stock phrase which means "a meeting of an administrative body (Parliament, State Council, etc.) conducted not at the body's usual location". ...
10
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8answers
4k views

Is there an idiomatic way to say “go to the path of no way out”?

It seems that only "no way out" or "there's no way out" is common used, but I want to emphasize the action of entrapping/entangling oneself in the path of no way out. "Down to the rabbit hole" is ...
10
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12answers
2k views

What do you call a situation where you have choices but no good choice?

How do you call a situation in which you seemingly have a choice, but whatever you choose it will be to your disadvantage in one way or another?
10
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3answers
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Stubbed my toe… which preposition?

How to say table was the thing I kicked into using stub? Is it one of these? A. I stubbed my toe by the table? B. I stubbed my toe onto the table?
10
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3answers
4k views

He is fixing his car

My friend is visiting a mechanic now, the mechanic is fixing his car. Someone asked me, where is your friend. What should I answer? A: Where is your friend? B: He is fixing his car. He is ...
10
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5answers
3k views

Natural way for saying 'buffer period'

Let's say I am leaving for a place and, since there is a huge traffic hassle in my city, I am leaving 2-3 hours earlier. Can I use the following sentence to describe what I am going to do? I am ...
10
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4answers
430 views

Is there a word/slang for 'keyboarder' - irresponsible internet critics

In Mandarin Chinese there is an internet slang, literally keyboarder, which refers to people (especially internet users) who express a lot of groundless and irresponsible opinions but disguised as ...
10
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2answers
1k views

Does the saying “speaking English like a Spanish cow” exist in English?

In French we have an expression which is: Parler (une langue, l'anglais par exemple) comme une vache espagnole which literally translates to: Speaking (a language, like English) like a Spanish ...
10
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1answer
7k views

“relevant for our purpose” or “relevant to our purpose”

I wrote the following sentence We use a subset of XPath axes which are relevant for our purpose. To check its validity I searched the phrase in google (I always do that trick) "which are ...
9
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6answers
5k views

Why does the phrase “cross my fingers' mean just ”cross middle finger over index finger"?

Originally, I thought "cross my fingers' would mean something like this picture shows: But by a search for the phrase "cross my fingers images" on the web, I get most of pictures like this: So, I ...
9
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4answers
2k views

A word for “all the great attributes or achievements of you and/or your family”

When Arabs talk about how great a person is, relative to others, they talk about the person's family (birth or descent, or nasab) and the person's or his family's achievements or attributes (hasab). ...
9
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4answers
2k views

What is the word for “event executor”?

If a company runs a service as "one who arranges, holds, and executes planned events", what's the term of it? "Events executor" seems a rather grim name, "Events arranger" seems lack of fume because ...
9
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3answers
2k views

Is there a word for pant sleeves?

Is there a word for pant sleeves? I know that 'sleeves' is used for sweaters, but what about pants? I don't think the phrase 'sleeve pants' is idiomatic. Is it? By pant sleeves, I obviously mean the ...
9
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6answers
3k views

A phrase for “ashamed”

Is there a figurative phrase for "ashamed" to mean to bend your head downward or look down, as you can't look at others? In Persian we say سر افکنده which almost means Head Down, or Head fallen
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4answers
2k views

What is a person who gets pranked called?

Someone who pranks someone else is called a prankster. What is a person who gets pranked called? Is the term "prank victim"?
9
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7answers
4k views

How to inform other people of your real name?

I usually use a nickname (e.g. John, and other people know me as John). Lets say I want to inform another person about my real name (the name that is on my ID card), how do I say it? My full name ...
9
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5answers
3k views

Is there any term about morning laziness?

As we all know, some people are lazy when they wake up in the morning. Is there any term in English expressing "laziness in mornings", maybe like "hangover without alcohol"?
9
votes
8answers
300 views

Word for “gradually removing the vacuum”

I'm translating a description of a lyophilization procedure. One of the sentences goes like this, in my translation: After keeping the samples in the vacuum for 24 hours, we gradually relieved the ...
9
votes
3answers
31k views

How to answer “What would you like to drink?” in this case

If I visit a friend, and he/she asks me a question like this: My friend: What would you like to drink? Me: I’ll have an orange juice, please. I understand we use “I’ll” (“I will”) when we ...
9
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7answers
24k views

What can I say politely when something bad happens? [closed]

I am looking for a short phrase that I can say when something bad happens. For example, when my mouse breaks or my computer is hanging. I know the expression damn it but I need something more polite.
9
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5answers
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How can I say that not noticing something was very difficult?

How can say that something was very difficult not to be noticed? I was thinking of the opposite of "I could barely notice that." on the lines of "I could not not notice that." which doesn't seem ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

When a person (child) should cover something in soap

In Russian we have a verb "Намыль", which means take soap (assuming either wet soap or dry soap depending on context) and rub it to have it cover something. What is the equivalent in English? I ...
8
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5answers
2k views

Some equivalents for “saving face”

Suppose a a woman has a very impolite, naughty and bad-tempered child; once a number of relatives come by to their house as guests. Before their arrival, mother speaks to her child. She wants to ...
8
votes
4answers
837 views

When something is temporary and you try to benefit from it as much as you can (In a positive way)

When something is temporary, but it is beneficial for you, you try to get the most for it and profit from it as much as you can. For instance: Scenario 1 - We all are well aware that time flies and ...
8
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4answers
2k views

Is there a concise way to say “all of the X, one of each”?

So when you want to buy all of the donuts in a shop, but only one of each. You say: I want all of the donuts. The employee then ask you "all of them?" You tell him "No, one of each." Is there a faster ...
8
votes
9answers
3k views

A word or phrase describing feeling bad about something changing after you've become used to it

We say: "I got used to it" when we know that something has always happened the same way and I'm agree with that. That's correct, right? If there's a situation where you've gotten used to something ...
8
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3answers
43k views

When you remember some past sweet memories and want to mention to them

Suppose you are recalling a sweet memory from the past and you remember a specific person / event in which you e.g. laughed / was very happy a lot. How would a native call that moment / event / person ...
8
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8answers
4k views

How would you say “to scold” in a less formal way?

Luke’s mother scolded him for having spent too much money last weekend. I've read in the Cambridge Dictionary that to scold is an old-fashioned term in British English, so I guess it wouldn't be used ...
8
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1answer
2k views

Looking for opposite expression to “She looks twice her age”

She looks twice her age. How to express the opposite of the sentence above, i.e. the fact that she has youthful appearance. Is it "She looks twice less her age"?
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5answers
5k views

What do you call it when someone searches through your stuff?

This is one of the things that I don't really know the proper name for, because I've never heard anyone say it, but I know how to explain it. Let's say a toddler is searching through your backpack, ...
8
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4answers
4k views

how to say the sentence “I am walking on the steps of bus”?

When I catch the bus , I say I caught the bus (or) I got the bus. But I need to say I am walking on the steps of bus. how can I convert that into a sentence? I don't have a clear idea.
8
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1answer
70k views

Is 'slip out of my mind' correct in this context?

Let's say my friend asks me to buy something form the grocery store but I forget about it. Friend: Did you get that thing? Me: Oh, so sorry, it completely slipped out of my mind. Is the ...
8
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3answers
2k views

What is the term for titles such as “Alexander the Great”?

Is anyone aware of how one might refer to this sort of title ? I would like to submit this question: What would your <insert word I don't know> be if you were a monarch? (e.g. Frank the ...
8
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2answers
2k views

The 'glory details' or 'gory details'

Are people saying the 'glory details' or 'gory details'? I thought it is the 'gory details', but I found many examples saying the 'glory details' from here as well. What's the correct one? Or ...
8
votes
7answers
625 views

What is an equivalent expression for “having the moon across” (Italian)?

When somebody is nervous, or easily irritable, in Italian you would say avere la luna di traverso which Google Translate translates with "have the moon across." (It seems Google Translate gives the ...
8
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4answers
5k views

Phrase for states having a common border

In Italian, the word for two states which share part of their border is confinante (its plural is confinanti). For example, I could use that word for Italy and France, Spain and Portugal, or France ...
8
votes
3answers
256 views

A brief response to salespeople's leading questions?

How to respond shortly to suggestive questions such as: Do you want to buy this one or this one? Those are very popular among tradesman and are of manipulative nature. I don't want to explain each ...
8
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3answers
2k views

What is the best way to describe “fixed, routine gag” by comedians?

I think every comedian has "the fixed patterns of actions or lines" or "the routine way of getting a laugh", which are repeated many times. What is the normal way to call them? Basically I want to ...