76 posts tagged with phrases.
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term for situation like 'you're not in traffic, you are traffic'

Is there a term for or a turn of phrase describing the situation where someone is complaining about a problem while not recognising that they are a part of the problem? The traffic saying is the obvious one, but also: tourists complaining that somewhere they visited was ruined because it had too many tourists, or that sort of thing. (if not, I'm copyrighting the "precipitate paradox" to cover these scenarios...)
posted by AFII on Sep 16, 2016 - 13 answers

Colloquial Weather Terms

I'm looking for examples of colloquial weather terms like the "dog days" of summer, Indian summer, or blackberry winter. These are just examples, the terms don't have to be about weather like those. I'm just interested in learning more local/regional expressions like these, especially non-English ones if people know them. Thanks!
posted by Sangermaine on Apr 7, 2016 - 51 answers

Looking for rhyming 'dad' sayings/phrases

My son is 9 and one of my favorite things to do is gently aggravate him with dad-esque sayings. [more inside]
posted by Twicketface on Oct 5, 2015 - 79 answers

Creative wedding word play - Show me what you've got!

I'm an uncreative person. I'm seeking some of your imaginative love related word play for two wedding items. [more inside]
posted by JenThePro on May 22, 2015 - 8 answers

Damn, that's pretty confused.

Help me complete this sentence in a fun way. "She's more confused than a...." [more inside]
posted by np312 on May 21, 2015 - 28 answers

Finding alternate phrases

What resources or tools are there for finding alternative phrases? As an example, when talking about art, someone might talk about "breaking conventions", "disrupting conventions" or "challenging conventions". However, if you go to a thesaurus and look up "breaking", you have to go through a very long list of words to find these alternatives which is quite time consuming. What tools are there which, when given a short phrase, can find alternatives? I imagine that this should be possible with either machine learning or some kind of wiki.
posted by casebash on Oct 31, 2014 - 7 answers

Inspirational quotes on the subject of moving forward in life.

I am designing a poster for a personal project on the subject of "always moving forward" and "taking the next step" – do you have any quotes that you live by on that subject? [more inside]
posted by stackhaus23 on Apr 28, 2014 - 18 answers

What is meant by a "blind scramble"?

Search results indicate this term being used synonymously with "mad scramble", but also as something to do with sports tournaments. Apart from being evocative, does it mean anything specific?
posted by unmake on Apr 2, 2014 - 2 answers

Say this, not that

Recently I discovered some great phrases that work much better than the standard response to a situation, and was wondering if anyone had any others. [more inside]
posted by Calicatt on Dec 27, 2013 - 32 answers

O captain, fire of my loins!

What are some flattering address from classic literature? My two examples (and the extent of my list) are Walt Whitman's "O Captain! My captain!" and "...light of my life, fire of my loins!" from Lolita. Both are very fun things to call Mr. Grandysaur. BUT I WANT MORE. I'm looking for grandiose, recognizable, turns of phrase that I can use to address those that are worthy. The more ridiculous the better.
posted by Grandysaur on Nov 14, 2013 - 40 answers

Congratulations! (as applicable!)

What phrases are reflexively on the tip of your tongue? [more inside]
posted by Chorus on Sep 5, 2013 - 33 answers

Positive messages in Union Square

I'm going to an event in union square NYC where we'll be writing positive messages on poster board and holding them up in public for day/mood brightening purposes. I'm looking for inspirational things to put on my sign. [more inside]
posted by sweetkid on Jul 29, 2013 - 43 answers

Do people actually live in basements?

I'm sure you've all heard the phrase "living in your parent's basement." I was just wondering if it is common or if young adults/people actually live in basements or if it's just a saying. Where I'm from (southern california), I've never actually heard of anyone living in a basement, usually they will have a room in the house.
posted by nathanm on Jan 22, 2013 - 63 answers

Where does the phrase "Flippin' Henry" come from?

Where does the phrase "Flippin' Henry" come from (to express exasperation)? [more inside]
posted by chill on Oct 12, 2012 - 4 answers

hopefully there will be some good answers!

What are some non-religious words or phrases for expressing good wishes/thoughts for the future, besides "hopefully?" [more inside]
posted by raztaj on Sep 13, 2012 - 24 answers

Alternative to "The Shit Hits The Fan"

What's an alternative to the phrase "when the shit hits the fan" that means essentially the same thing, e.g. "when stuff goes wrong"? Feel free to be creative.
posted by rzperllian on Jul 26, 2012 - 82 answers

Sucking on Words

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 - 10 answers

Yea, verily wast he tricked oute withe many fineries

I recently came across the phrase "tricked out"--used just the way we use it today--in a book from the late 1800s. I was so shocked that I searched Project Gutenberg and found it used all over the place. What's the deal? And what are some other current-sounding phrases that go back further than you would think--used the way we use them today?
posted by circular on May 16, 2012 - 28 answers

A nigh impossible search

What are some words that are most commonly associated with specific others? [more inside]
posted by Mrmuhnrmuh on Mar 26, 2012 - 36 answers

konichi wa?

Japanesefilter: I will be working with Japanese business clients in Europe and would like to learn a few phrases and their etiquette! [more inside]
posted by bruinbruin on Mar 3, 2012 - 5 answers

Lesser known amazing foreign phrases?

I'm looking for obscure but beautiful or amazing sayings or phrases or words in languages or dialects other than American English. [more inside]
posted by jitterbug perfume on Feb 7, 2012 - 32 answers

Media is the message?

Can someone help me understand what people mean when they say - "Media is the message" or "Media is not the message". I don't get it at all? And online searching has not helped a great deal in gaining clarity either. Thanks.
posted by gadget_gal on Jan 16, 2012 - 15 answers

This just might be your bag, baby.

What are your favorite old fashioned phrases? [more inside]
posted by WaspEnterprises on Apr 11, 2011 - 152 answers

Uh oh, I think I just seized the day.

What is your favorite motivational phrase? [more inside]
posted by WaspEnterprises on Mar 1, 2011 - 165 answers

"Strong like bear"... from where?

Where does "strong like bear" come from? [more inside]
posted by codger on Feb 14, 2011 - 13 answers

That's so cliche...

I need your help coming up with as many cliched and hackneyed phrases as possible. [more inside]
posted by ndicecco on Jan 30, 2011 - 48 answers

I Love You Historically

I need ways to say "I like you" or "I love you" (to a girlfriend) from various periods in history. [more inside]
posted by cmchap on Jan 17, 2011 - 14 answers

88 Lines about 44 Books? Or something like that.

I'm looking for snippets of song lyrics that reference authors, books, or reading, and I'm looking for ones that can (more or less) stand on their own outside the context of the song. [more inside]
posted by redsparkler on Nov 17, 2010 - 60 answers

Firefox, find words in this list!

Is there any way to get Firefox to search the text on a web page for multiple items -- say, words in a list? (Aside, of course, from manually typing each word into the Find box, one word at a time.) [more inside]
posted by exphysicist345 on Nov 5, 2010 - 3 answers

Phunny Phone Phrases?

I need a bunch of ways to answer my phone humorously, in the vein of "Jack's Mortuary, U Stab 'em, We Slab 'em", etc. This is in response to someone at work who has challenged me. How many can you help me with?
posted by pjern on Oct 26, 2010 - 49 answers

Fill in the blank!

"If [blank] were [blank(s)] then [blank] would be [blank]." Have you heard this before? Like, is this a particular saying with specific words in the [blank]'s? Or are there different permuations? I've had this general pattern in my head all day and I can't for the life of me remember how I've heard it go. Please fill in the [blank] and help me get it out of my head.
posted by hegemone on Sep 20, 2010 - 53 answers

Behind an able man, there are always...what? THERE ARE ALWAYS WHAT??

What is my fortune cookie trying to tell me? [more inside]
posted by phunniemee on Aug 30, 2010 - 16 answers

Pregnancy clichés?

Pregnancy clichés please! - eg "I'm eating for two!", "I'm creating life!" etc etc
posted by forallmankind on Jul 1, 2010 - 44 answers

How much does this cost? Ca combien?

I would like to find recordings of French phrases and their translations. I've gone through the other AskMe questions but I want something a bit different. [more inside]
posted by ninazer0 on May 12, 2010 - 7 answers

Acoustic rhythm guitar licks?

I've been playing acoustic guitar for a bunch of years now (and am so-so at it). I really like those transitional moments between chords -- stuff you can throw in to make just strumming along a bit more interesting; things like the turnaround in Alice's Restaurant, but even really simple things like -- starting on a D chord and leading on the low e string 0-2-3 to get to a G chord. What are your favorite little phrases like those? Or, alternatively, do those have an official name I can google? Or, alternatively alternatively, any good websites or books for that kind of thing? Oh -- I mostly play with a pick, so I'm more interested in phrases you can play that way.
posted by The Dutchman on Apr 8, 2010 - 16 answers

domestic vulture. what?

Are there better ways to call someone than a "culture vulture" and "domestic diva"? [more inside]
posted by drea on Mar 2, 2010 - 11 answers

Isolating highlights

Is there a fast way to isolate highlighted text from a document? [more inside]
posted by LSK on Jan 28, 2010 - 2 answers

Wow, children do weird things

What is the origin of "Mama had a baby and her head popped off"? [more inside]
posted by Eicats on Jan 20, 2010 - 30 answers

Looking for first and/or subsequent use of a phrase

I am trying to find the first use, and/or the number of subsequent occurences of a phrase. [more inside]
posted by CollectiveMind on Sep 11, 2009 - 2 answers

I.T. Lingo

Give me your best I.T. related words, phrases, and aphorisms. I have worked in a variety of companies, all of which seem to have some interesting lingo and vernacular. I am not looking for stuff like 'cookie', and 'firewall'. More along the lines of: 'Going Dark' - when developers grab a requirements document and disappear for months, 'Snowflake' - a server that has been modified to the point of being unique, fragile, and unrepeatable. Phrases would include things like 'The problem is between the chair and the keyboard', 'XYZ consulting is just a body shop', or 'Those legacy systems are sunsetting'. Help me collect colorful I.T. lingo and proverbs.
posted by jasondigitized on Jul 23, 2009 - 71 answers

How can I come up with some creative phrases using the word "amped"?

Can you help me find phrases that include the word "amp" or "amped"? [more inside]
posted by niles on Jul 20, 2009 - 16 answers

This question can kiss my grits.

Southern phrases like "gets my goat" and "burns my biscuits"? [more inside]
posted by curiositykilledthelemur on Mar 26, 2009 - 70 answers

Too much time make lady go crazy.

"Time on his hands and himself on his mind". This is a real saying, right? [more inside]
posted by Emilyisnow on Mar 15, 2009 - 7 answers

There are simply no words... seriously, we haven't come up with those yet.

Is there a word or phrase in any language that describes a moment that is so perfect that it makes you sad, either because it will eventually end or because every moment can't be that perfect? How about a word for a moment that is so perfect that "words can't describe it"? Are there any other concepts that are difficult to describe in English, but easy in other languages? [more inside]
posted by aristan on Mar 14, 2009 - 40 answers

How can I quit using overused words and phrases?

How can I avoid using common, cliché words and phrases in my speech and writing, and come up with better ones? [more inside]
posted by relucent on Dec 28, 2008 - 10 answers

Help me remember this phrase, if it exists!

Is this phrase or saying real? Something along the lines of "The play never changes, only the players". [more inside]
posted by rivenwanderer on Dec 19, 2008 - 14 answers

Where's this from?

This is my question. There are many like it, but this one is mine. [more inside]
posted by als129 on Dec 17, 2008 - 18 answers

parents say the darndest things

Help me compile a list of vintage hokey parental catchphrases. [more inside]
posted by roger ackroyd on Oct 14, 2008 - 158 answers

Some sort of database for translations?

Is there any sort of freeware program (online, installed on computer, php, mysql, anything) for me to save phrases in English, and then their translation in a certain language? In some kind of tidy, tabled format? I tried a wiki but I quickly tired of formatting each entry in order to produce a tidy table. Ideally, I'd like to be able to just plug in the phrases and go.
posted by Xere on Sep 7, 2008 - 9 answers

what does it mean, the shooting with/of the lights out?

what's the origin / meaning of the phrase "he's shooting [playing?] lights out"? [more inside]
posted by garfy3 on Mar 23, 2008 - 19 answers

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