I'm curious as to how writers of fiction or television (specifically writers who are not from the depicted region or culture or economic class themselves) of shows like The Wire or Deadwood or The Sopranos, are able to write a wide range of dialects, vernaculars and idioms so successfully.* [more inside]
posted by Mrs. Buck Turgidson
on Sep 8, 2014 -
I really like learning French through comparisons, translations, and idioms. I also want to understand the idiosyncrasies of the language. What resources can I find for this? [more inside]
posted by glass origami robot
on Aug 5, 2014 -
Based on it being used unclearly elsewhere I ended up googling the phrase "Failed the test of humanity". I found multiple uses of it but no obvious originating source of the phrase. Does any one know where this apparent idiom comes from? Is it associated with a particular religion/culture? [more inside]
posted by Lentrohamsanin
on Aug 3, 2014 -
Trying to think of idioms / phrases that relate to body language, rather than just body parts.
One example could be "to raise eyebrows".
There must be others, but the web mostly came up with things like "in one ear and out the other", which isn't quite what I wanted.
posted by Prof Iterole
on Nov 19, 2013 -
Cyclists say, "What goes down must come up
," meaning if you have a nice long downhill going out, you'll have to climb the same height to get back home. Contra dancers say, "Better never than late
," meaning if you don't have enough time to do a figure properly then just skip it and make sure you're ready for the next. What other subcultures or fields have domain-specific inversions of common sayings?
posted by d. z. wang
on Oct 3, 2013 -
It doesn't have to 100% match the sentiment, but I'd love if it has the same general lesson (and is more concise than the following): "An idea that you keep in your head, incessantly perfecting, is worth nothing. Whereas the person who is willing to actually act on an idea, even if it's imperfect, has accomplished something. So instead of getting hung up on perfection, just DO something and learn from it for the next time." I'm kind of looking for what, say, Diablo Cody would say to her hipster haters who have never finished a screenplay. Or what you'd tell your friend who wants to be a writer but has been tinkering with their novel for the last 200 years. Oh, and I know about "perfect is the enemy of the good."
posted by Anonymousness
on Mar 10, 2013 -
I'm learning Swedish in advance of a trip to Stockholm to visit friends this summer. (Yes, I know Swedes generally speak excellent English; learning languages is a hobby.) When I'm there, I'd like to pepper some of my conversations with colorful sayings, slang, and idioms. Kan du hjälpa mig? [more inside]
posted by Admiral Haddock
on Mar 7, 2013 -
I'm looking for variants of idioms, so that I can put 'em in a bracket to determine the overall winner and champion of idioms. [more inside]
posted by Cold Lurkey
on Mar 5, 2013 -
When Bugs Bunny referred to Elmer Fudd as a "nimrod", he was sarcastically comparing the dim-witted Fudd to a biblical king
who was known as a mighty hunter. However, the intended sarcasm of that reference seemed lost on the public, and over time, "nimrod" has come to be used to simply mean dull or dim-witted. Can you point me to other examples of sayings or idioms created via a misunderstood reference or saying?
posted by tocts
on Feb 4, 2013 -
Where does the phrase "Flippin' Henry" come from (to express exasperation)? [more inside]
posted by chill
on Oct 12, 2012 -
Does anyone know if 'sucking on words' is an idiom or common phrase? If so, what is the meaning?
posted by Le pest
on Jun 26, 2012 -
What are some foreign-language terms for things that involve the name of another country or culture? [more inside]
posted by theodolite
on Jul 5, 2011 -
What are some interesting/quirky/idiomatic phrases that convey the sense that one has just walked into the metaphorical lion's den, or somewhere you are dangerously out of place? Examples of what I'm looking for, inside. [more inside]
posted by np312
on Apr 22, 2011 -
Once bitten, twice shy:
Is there a single word which conveys the sentiment of this idiom? I have thought of "gun-shy," but no others. Or another phrase or idiom having roughly the same meaning?
posted by frobozz
on Oct 10, 2010 -
I'm looking for a word that describes consistent loops of music in one's head. Not just earworms, though of course earworms are part of it. I'm talking about a radio station in your head which plays a song more often than you ever heard in actual audio life. [more inside]
posted by goofyfoot
on Sep 28, 2010 -
Calling non-English speakers: what are the equivalent phrases in other languages for "catching someone's eye" or "making eye contact"? [more inside]
posted by snarfois
on Aug 27, 2010 -
Are there better ways to call someone than a "culture vulture" and "domestic diva"? [more inside]
posted by drea
on Mar 2, 2010 -
sportsmetaphorfilter: Is there a word/term for one player who is vastly, ridiculously better than everyone else in their league?
extra credit: It's not "ringer" unless you can convince me the term can be applied to someone who comes by their advantages honestly.
posted by thinkingwoman
on Jan 16, 2010 -
Got space-related idioms and phrases? "Cool your jets", "Jumpin' Jupiter!", "Heavens to Mergatroid!", "Over the moon!", "Off like a rocket!", "Out of this world"... [more inside]
posted by Muirwylde
on Sep 16, 2009 -
I'm looking for a Latin translation of an American colloquialism (knowing that such translations are at best approximations/don't work because the idiom never existed in Latin.) [more inside]
posted by usonian
on Aug 12, 2009 -
Hello! I am working on a cartoony illustration in which I am conveying physical human afflictions/parts of the anatomy that could have very literal visual translations. Some examples: a frog in your throat (temporary hoarseness because of phlegm or mucus). Tennis elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis), smoker's lung, kidney stones, funny bone (humerus). [more inside]
posted by geronimo's folly
on Jul 29, 2009 -
I'm looking for sayings/proverbs/idioms etc. that convey or state, of one refusing to be told what to do (or think, or say). "When I say jump, you'll ask: 'how high?'" -- the *opposite* of something like this.
posted by raztaj
on Jul 22, 2008 -
Rhyming Idioms: I know a couple of 4-year-olds that were rather tickled when I asked them "What's new, tennis shoe" They begged me for more... [more inside]
posted by dogmom
on Nov 12, 2007 -
Is the expression "Too many chiefs, not enough indians" culturally insensitive? If so, help me think of a clever way of expressing the same idea using the same "too many x, not enough y" format.
posted by pasici
on Apr 18, 2007 -
Does "I'm so hungry I could eat a horse" mean "I'm so hungry I could eat at much meat as is on a horse's bones (without getting full)" or "I'm so hungry I'd be willing to eat something as (presumably) unappetizing as horse meat"? [more inside]
posted by 23skidoo
on Nov 19, 2006 -
Idiom filter: Party Pants.
I was watching Cien Mexicanos Dijeron (the Unavision version of Family Fued) with my girlfriend, when they got to the final stage, where two people try to answer quick questions with the most popular answers.
We didn't manage to catch the first contestant's answer, nor the question, and the second contestant was clearly just spitballing with her answer of what we believe was "cepillo de dientes" (toothbrush). According to the the host, the most popular answer was "pantalones festivos."
Festive pants? What the hell? [more inside]
posted by klangklangston
on Nov 6, 2006 -
What is your favorite and most colorful expression or phrase? Speaking about two idiots that we work with, my coworker said that they looked like 'Two monkey's f*cking a football
', which led me to say 'They couldn't organize a piss-up in a brewery
', and as a final touch, which made me laugh, my coworker states 'They're about as handy as a bear cub with a toothpick
'. I would love to write a book or create a website with colorful phrases from around the world. What are some of your favorite idioms that you use or have overhead in the boardroom, bar, or barnyard?
posted by jasondigitized
on Oct 31, 2006 -
Help me come up with a list of cool English-language idioms to teach my teenage foster daughter from Taiwan. Slightly [more inside]
posted by ClaudiaCenter
on Sep 14, 2006 -
Language/idioms/etc: I'm wondering about the source of the expression "give it the old college try". Google offers tons of examples, but nothing concrete.
posted by cmyr
on Jan 29, 2005 -