How do you parse “hair do”

Is "do" understood as a noun or verb in "hair do"? Asking this in search of "to make do". Bonus points if it can be related to German Tolle "tuft [of hair], that thing that Elvis had on his head", itself of obscure origin, surely under influence of toll "wild, great, fun". En. dole doesn’t … Read more

Alternatives to the phrase ‘I was like..’

In recent times I have encountered the phrase ‘I was like…’ a lot. Examples include He told me something, and I was like dude really? I was going along the street, and suddenly something happened, and I was like WTF! Is this a correct form of English? If not what do you think is a … Read more

Can “I’m passing today” colloquially mean “I’m going to refrain (from doing this) today”?

There’s this colloquial expression “I’ll pass (on that)” which means “I’ll refrain (from doing this)”. I’m curious if by saying “I’m passing today” as in “I’m going to pass today” one could convey similar meaning. To give it a bit of context: “Hey, are you going for lunch?” – “No, thanks. I’m passing today.“ Answer … Read more

A replacement exclamation for “Gee” or “Man”?

Sometimes, I might say ‘Man’, as the precursor to a statement as in this recent example I said to myself after reading something: “Man, to give anything a label will always technically be reductive, and thereby cause assumptions…” or “Man, there are a lot of people here.” I don’t like using ‘man’ since it sounds … Read more

How infrequent is “a non-zero chance”?

I misinterpreted the expression “a non-zero chance” as an emphatic way to stress that there was no possibility or likelihood of something happening. there is a non-zero chance that they will pay attention to some of the responses… there is a non-zero chance that the feedback may matter. The author explained NB: …the chance of … Read more

What is a “work wife”?

While watching the following video by Buzzfeed, entitled $1 Sushi Vs. $133 Sushi • Japan, one of the guests invited on the culinary road trip, a Japanese woman, used the expression “work wife”. Stephen: Where we’re goin’ next Andrew? Andrew: So next we’re on our way to a place called Shun Sushi, is that right? … Read more

“to go missing” versus “to turn up missing” versus “to take missing”

I have heard all three of these expressions in various parts of the US to describe the disappearance of things. All three expressions appear to be readily understood. Are some more common in certain regions of the US or in other parts of the English speaking world? Addendum: Growing up in Texas, I most commonly … Read more

English equivalent for new Brazilian Portuguese slang term “desaplaudido”?

I read in Twitter in Spanish, translation mine: In Portuguese from Brazil there is a word for those people who always try to get attention but cannot achieve that because, in fact, they are not good at anything: he/she is a desaplaudido. It is wonderful. We have to import it to Spanish. I was curious … Read more

Is it correct to say “That needs fixed” rather than “That needs to be fixed?”

A person I know often drops the “to be” which would normally be before the verb in a sentence. He’ll say things like: That needs fixed. It needs upgraded. They need looked at. rather than That needs to be fixed. It needs to be upgraded. They need to be looked at. Is this just a … Read more

Should we adopt “close shot” as a verb in casual writing?

This question inevitably invites the controversial subject of verbification, but I wish a finer discussion on its possible benefits and drawbacks. My limited vocabulary perhaps has not alerted me to a verb currently in use that could play a better role. If so, then, I will not press the question further. Otherwise, what are the … Read more