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]
posted by BlackLeotardFront
on Jan 27, 2014 -
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]
posted by Ookseer
on Jun 24, 2013 -
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?
posted by Mechitar
on Jun 18, 2013 -
I'm looking for a word or phrase to sum up the following sentiment: [more inside]
posted by bac
on Jun 11, 2013 -
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?
posted by Mechitar
on Apr 18, 2013 -
Has anyone ever heard the expression "cowboy card?" References? Insight? Ideas for search terms that won't just get me greeting cards?
posted by newrambler
on Dec 20, 2012 -
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]
posted by Nanukthedog
on Sep 26, 2012 -
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]
posted by jjbb
on Feb 17, 2012 -
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.
posted by amyms
on Dec 20, 2011 -
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]
posted by txsebastien
on May 24, 2011 -
Can you "ascend" a horizontal "walkway"? No? Then how does one describe this action in a single word? [more inside]
posted by phonebia
on Apr 20, 2011 -
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]
posted by d11
on Feb 12, 2011 -
What's the etymology of the phrase "once and for all"? What's the earliest known attestation?
posted by topynate
on Feb 11, 2011 -
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]
posted by zeek321
on Dec 27, 2010 -
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]
posted by haveanicesummer
on Dec 17, 2010 -
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]
posted by rileyray3000
on Dec 17, 2010 -
My coworker is curious about the expression "never put down your gun to hug a bear". What does it mean? [more inside]
posted by momus_window
on Nov 18, 2010 -
What is a more elegant/poetic way of saying: "I find you in everything that I do" ?
posted by Jason and Laszlo
on Jul 10, 2010 -
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]
posted by Brandon Blatcher
on Jun 4, 2010 -
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]
posted by grumblebee
on Apr 29, 2010 -
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]
posted by Hanuman1960
on Apr 12, 2010 -
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]
posted by seanyboy
on Oct 30, 2009 -
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]
posted by victoriab
on Apr 15, 2009 -
Single word that means "to sing the praises of", poss. Greek or Roman in origin. Thinking paean, or ode but not quite. [more inside]
posted by jchinique
on Feb 23, 2009 -
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?
posted by Brzht
on Jan 21, 2009 -
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?
posted by Brzht
on Jan 13, 2009 -
Searching for something Bill Clinton once said, when he was on Oprah. Help me find this quote! [more inside]
posted by gursky
on Sep 4, 2008 -
From whence the phrase "oohh, not in the broccoli" spoken in a stereotype ESL japanese speaker accent? [more inside]
posted by Mitheral
on Mar 8, 2008 -
Martha Stewart prepared a soup base using only carrots, celery and onion and then she said there was a French phrase for this method but I couldn't catch it.
posted by cda
on Feb 1, 2008 -