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89 votes

The meaning of "half woman, half girl"

The text has nothing to do with whether she has a spouse or boyfriend. She's referring to back to a past time when she was a youth, which is a noun meaning "a young person between adolescence and ...
Canadian Yankee's user avatar
86 votes

What's up with the "pun (not) intended" thing?

It's not required to say whether or not a pun was intended. When someone writes 'pun not intended' they mean something like this: Since this is a serious subject, I want to make it clear that I ...
ssav's user avatar
  • 6,738
81 votes

Can I say "Call it a project" similar to "Call it a day"

"Call it a day" does not mean "successful completed day"... it means "it's time to leave, let's stop for the night". There's no implication that the day was particularly fruitful... in fact, it's ...
Catija's user avatar
  • 25.4k
73 votes

What's the meaning of "break your legs"?

The usage of the phrase "break a leg" originates from within the theatrical profession. It was considered that to wish an actor "good luck" for a performance was to "jinx" them and have the opposite ...
Brian Tompsett - 汤莱恩's user avatar
72 votes

Meaning of "Sue me"

Actually "sue me" means exactly what your dictionary says. It's kind of "fighting words" that imply the speaker does not apologize for his actions, and the only option the other guy has is to take ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 88k
68 votes

What is the Kool-aid reference?

"Drinking the Kool-Aid" refers to the mass suicide of the "People's Temple" cult at Jonestown, Guyana in 1979. Hundreds of members of the cult are incorrectly believed to have killed themselves by ...
SarahT's user avatar
  • 2,442
68 votes

What is the meaning of "Dog ate my car"?

So, I heard about Dog ate my homework, but I have never heard about that excuse. That's the joke exactly. "The dog ate my homework" is an implausible excuse. Everyone knows that it's ...
hobbs's user avatar
  • 1,354
65 votes

"Add-in salt to injury"?

The test's answer “add-in salt to injury” is a mishearing and combination of two idioms: “add insult to injury,” (to mock, ridicule, or worsen something that is already bad) and “rub salt in a wound” ...
Mari-Lou A's user avatar
65 votes

If something seems too good to be true, it probably is (not?)

I understand your reasoning, but the correct expansion of If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. is If something seems too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.
James's user avatar
  • 6,499
64 votes

"Not funny 'ha-ha'", what does Siri mean?

The two meanings of 'funny' when spoken by humans are traditionally summarised as "funny ha ha" - makes you laugh - and "funny peculiar" - as in "the milk tastes funny. You'd better not drink it".
JeremyC's user avatar
  • 5,668
62 votes

"Ice cold" vs. "___ hot" in a professional context?

If you're describing liquids that are too hot for you, use scalding: very hot; burning. e.g. Watch out, the tea is still scaldingly hot! For food or liquids that are a pleasant temperature, use ...
John Clifford's user avatar
61 votes

What does "call BS" mean in the sentence "We call BS"?

The expression is used to call out (= to draw attention of others upon) a lie or a negligent or deceitful mistake. As you have found already, BS stands for bullshit, a profanity that basically means "...
Zachiel's user avatar
  • 1,340
59 votes

Why are nice picture/gif/video about foo called "foo-porn"?

A definition of porn could be gratuitous images/moving images of naked people and sex acts intended to excite and arouse. The use of foo-porn implies the use of this definition, but replacing "naked ...
SteveES's user avatar
  • 4,669
56 votes

Assigned to a job I know nothing about it - is there an idiom for that idea?

A common metaphor for this is to say you've been "thrown in the deep end", referring to the (supposed) practice of teaching someone to swim by throwing them into a swimming pool at the deep end, where ...
StoneyB on hiatus's user avatar
56 votes

Idiom for "not doing something that makes oneself look more awkward" in an already awkward situation?

The saying "Stop digging yourself into a hole" (or in this case "We should stop digging ourselves into a hole") seems to fit. It refers to someone who is already in a bad or ...
randomhead's user avatar
54 votes

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

The meaning of "paw" is an animal's foot, it sounds like "pa" (an informal word for dad/father). In cowboy movies, back in the 1940s-50s, there was always the good guy and the bad guy. The bad guy ...
Mari-Lou A's user avatar
51 votes

Does this make sense to a native speaker? "despite the real Jones is living in a cave!"

Most of the people just wanna keep up with the Joneses, despite the real Jones is living in a cave! This sentence is understandable to native speakers, but there is a grammar error. You may have ...
randomhead's user avatar
49 votes

"Not funny 'ha-ha'", what does Siri mean?

In context, Siri is saying that you've made a joke but (s)he's not amused by it, in the same general way that a human would respond if you called them by the name of a similar-looking person. It's ...
Jim Driscoll's user avatar
48 votes

What does "some type of sheep meat" mean

It is a joke "Lambda cubes" sounds like "lamb cubes" and lamb is the meat of a young sheep. So "Lamb cubes" would be sheep meat cut into blocks.
James K's user avatar
  • 195k
47 votes

What does "don't have a baby" imply or mean in this sentence?

I am not familiar with this phrase, so I can't say it's common. It might be an improvisation by the author. Judging from the context, it seems like it means something like "don't get upset", as Lou's ...
Em.'s user avatar
  • 45.3k
46 votes

What does "Rabbit hole" mean?

Rabbit hole commonly refers to either an actual rabbit burrow where rabbits live, or, as an idiomatic phrase used in your Ted-Ed example, the hole Alice went down following the white rabbit in Alice ...
RichF's user avatar
  • 2,485
46 votes

What does "call BS" mean in the sentence "We call BS"?

To call is to declare a decision or judgment, especially in a game or contest, but in any context where the participants are expected to abide by certain rules. For example The referee called the ...
Tᴚoɯɐuo's user avatar
46 votes

Idiom for a student being purposely overly verbose only to make an essay look longer

I would describe the process as inflating or padding my essay. I might call the extra words and phrases I add fluff.
swmcdonnell's user avatar
  • 5,697
44 votes

"I did my best" vs "I did the best I could"

I'm the one who made that comment. I am a native English speaker. I will explain what I was thinking, though in preparing this answer I may have talked myself into accepting that there is no ...
nnnnnn's user avatar
  • 1,884
44 votes

Saying for "Bomb proof"

As pointed out in comments, Anglophones use bullet proof as well as bomb proof. Also note that regardless of whether the usage is literal or metaphoric, we usually write the more common bulletproof as ...
FumbleFingers's user avatar
43 votes

Is "says you" grammatically correct?

It does not conform to standard grammar, but is fairly common in speech. Treat it as an idiom. It only works with "says", not other verbs.
Colin Fine's user avatar
  • 73.4k
41 votes

Are idioms not recommended in a formal situation?

The guidance in the text is, in my view, oversimplified to the point of being incorrect. Many idioms and fixed phrases are typically used in informal situations. For example "take a load off your ...
David Siegel's user avatar
  • 40.8k
41 votes

How to interpret 'a friend in need is a friend indeed'?

The Collins Dictionary definition you linked is the one to use here: People in need do not have enough of essential things such as money, food, or good health. The phrase makes more sense if you ...
Werrf's user avatar
  • 5,600
40 votes

You can contact me on/over/by Skype

Technically you can use quite a variety of prepositions with the word Skype. For instance on, in, over, by, with, through, and via. But most people prefer "on Skype" as it is similar to "on the phone"...
SovereignSun's user avatar
  • 24.9k
39 votes

What's the meaning of "be broker than the Ten Commandments"?

This is an ungrammatical idiom that is also (deliberately) confusing meanings. Broker, in this case, is a construction that is intended to mean more broke, which could be said to be meaningless, as ...
Jeff Zeitlin's user avatar
  • 4,648

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