"I mobilize people, you pander, he demagogues" and "I am an innocent victim; you made some foolish choices; she totally deserved it" and "I have a philosophy, you have a tendency, they have an ideology" are examples of a kind of conjugation, where the preferred phrases change depending on the distance to the speaker. Can you think of more examples?
Can a writer's literary style or technique be summed up in one phrase? I am trying to compile such a list of descriptions. An example would be: "Ernest Hemingway: Simple, terse, unadorned, and uses few adjectives." George Bernard Shaw: "Energetic, witty, intellectual, aggressive, comedic, and socially critical." The more technical the description, the better.
Hi, I'm interested in any slang words or phrases you have heard for making a u-turn. I'll share the two I've heard; I'd love to hear what you have heard. [more inside]
Of late, it seems like everyone in the world is using the phrase "I hear you," to mean, sort of, "yes me too" or "okay," or "I understand," or "I get it." Or a combination of all of those. I've been hearing (heh) this A LOT. Why? When did this start? Where did it come from? Is it everywhere or regional? [more inside]
Is it referring to music cord or in college degree (like major in chemistry, minor in music). overall, it seems to refer the kind of mistake that take the minor thing and inappropriately treat it as a major thing. Thanks in advance for quick help. I am trying to translate it in Chinese, but didn't fully understand it yet.
I need a fantastically witty but short phrase that plays on some combination of whiskey, aging whiskey, a barrel, manhattans, marriage, and love. [more inside]
Please help my husband and me find words or phrases (any language!) that describe the sensation of knowing how far you are from home. Not really alienation or nostalgia or being homesick-- just the understanding/realization of the distance. [more inside]
What is the origin of "making it sing," as in to cause something to be at its best, be it an instrument, weapon, machine, or anything else? [more inside]
The past year or two I've noticed a dramatic uptick in "I was gonna say…" as a conversational prefix. Especially when used to try to take credit or trump a previous comment. (Example below) I think it's intended to mean "I agree", but it always comes across as "I'ma let you finish…" Have you come across this? Did it spontaneously generate, or is there a popular culture origin? [more inside]
The 1983 Billy Joel song "Uptown Girl" has the line "But maybe someday when my ship comes in / she'll understand what kind of guy I am / and then I'll win." It just occurred to me that, though I'm in my thirties, I don't think I've ever heard the expression "when my ship comes in" used by anyone but Billy Joel. Has this ever been a commonly-used expression? If so, does anyone still use it? And what the heck does it even mean? I mean, I can tell what it figuratively means, from the context. But what is the connection between a ship arriving and someone becoming successful?
I'm looking for a word or phrase to sum up the following sentiment: [more inside]
I have a theory about the origin of the expression “I know, right?” that’s been fairly popular among young and youngish Americans (and others, for all I know) for the past several years. I’m testing that theory with this question. I understand that Mexicans (and maybe other Latin Americans) have an equivalent expression, “Sí, ¿verdad?” - even with the same intonation as “I know, right?”. Well, one source has told me this, anyway. Can other people verify this? And if so, how common is/was the Spanish version of the expression, and roughly when (and where) did people start saying it?
Has anyone ever heard the expression "cowboy card?" References? Insight? Ideas for search terms that won't just get me greeting cards?
Are there any famous English catchphrases in foreign language television and cinema? Think of this as the Foreign language equivalent to "Hasta la vista, baby!" [more inside]
What are some things that are both chaotic and calm simultaneously? [more inside]
I'm looking for a word or phrase that implies offering a solution to a problem created by the same entity offering the solution. Or even just a created problem in general (e.g. created by society). [more inside]
I want to indicate that something is close enough to smell, but I want to do so in a way that matches these examples: "in sight" for close enough to see, "in reach" for close enough to touch, and "in earshot" for close enough to hear. I keep thinking there must be a simple and obvious way to phrase it, but right now I'm drawing a blank.
Is "crow snow" a phrase used in Iran? [more inside]
Is there a saying that goes something like "95% of success is confidence"? [more inside]
What sequencer+daw on the Mac handles clips/phrases in a song as links back to a master instance of the clip, rather than as individual copies? [more inside]
Can you "ascend" a horizontal "walkway"? No? Then how does one describe this action in a single word? [more inside]
Do you know (un)common phrases about machines? [more inside]
Where does "strong like bear" come from? [more inside]
What are these phrases called? Examples: "amazingly odd and oddly amazing"; "terribly basic and basically terrible"; "embarrassingly hot and hotly embarrassing". I could swear I came across a name for this type of word pairing once before (quite possibly on this very site, in which case sorry), but my searches to find it again have been hopelessly awful and awfully hopeless. [more inside]
What's the etymology of the phrase "once and for all"? What's the earliest known attestation?
Is there a word for a "collection of possible future events that are all somehow related?" I want something that captures the idea of a "collection of scenarios." Or, pick an forecasted event, fear, or desire: What is "the spectrum of possible outcomes" relevant to this thing that has my attention, plausible or otherwise, expected or unexpected, the good, the bad, and the ugly? Probability cloud? Scenario collection? [more inside]
Many years ago the answering machine at my parents house received a mysterious phonecall which was two male voices. The first said clearly in a fairly loud tone of voice "Well you should be happy for me..." and the other replied "...I am... but..." The message then cut off. Is this from something, or a reference to something? [more inside]
What's the original source of the phrase "Wake up, white people" ? [more inside]
I'm trying to come up with titles. Where is a site that I can find uses of words that aren't cliches or idioms but common usages? [more inside]
My coworker is curious about the expression "never put down your gun to hug a bear". What does it mean? [more inside]
Is "coordinately invited" a legitimate phrase? [more inside]
What is a more elegant/poetic way of saying: "I find you in everything that I do" ?
"I apologized like a good doobie". "What?" [more inside]
Is there a board game that relies on building sentences for game play, but not in a "teach people how to construct sentences" way and is not Mad Libs? [more inside]
I should be able to let things like this go, I know, but a Facebook friend wrote a status update containing a phrase I've never heard, and not knowing what she meant is driving me nuts. I'm 44 and the opposite of "street." She's in her 20s -- a hip New Yorker. This sort of thing happens to me all the time, but usually googling or Urban Dictionary helps me. Not this time. So, is this a real phrase or is it some quirky thing she made up: "What's your evil?" [more inside]
When did the practice of putting a noun followed by "-y goodness" (i.e., "buttery goodness", "meaty goodness") in a phrase first come into usage? [more inside]
Where does the phrase "It was not there to protect me from you. It was there to protect you from me" come from? [more inside]
What is the origin of the phrase "in the not-too-distant future"? [more inside]
Can you help me find phrases that include the word "amp" or "amped"? [more inside]
I'm trying to locate the origin of the phrase "The righteous man champions the lost cause, knowing that all other causes are just merely events." [more inside]
TattooFilter. Looking for a poetic version of the phrase "Nothing you do not need." [more inside]
Can I use a song lyric/title as my business name? Or is it copyright protected? [more inside]
Single word that means "to sing the praises of", poss. Greek or Roman in origin. Thinking paean, or ode but not quite. [more inside]
Looking for a quote about sensitivity -- something like "Only those who suffer the prick of the thorn can appreciate the beauty of the rose." Anybody know?
Have you ever heard the expression "Great seats at a bad show" or "Great tickets for a bad show" or something like that? Do you remember where you heard it?
Searching for something Bill Clinton once said, when he was on Oprah. Help me find this quote! [more inside]
Need to "sayonara, sucker!" in Russian. [more inside]
Where does this phrase/proverb come from? [more inside]
Please help me expand my base of quaint southern expressions, aphorisms and witticisms. [more inside]
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