- to have the authority to make decisions over someone or something
- to have a dominant position or an unfair advantage
- The man clearly has an upper hand to his wife. It is clearly reflected in the way he speaks with her.
- She wanted an upper hand in the business and hence went ahead to buy all the shares that she could find in the market.
- The prime minister has an upper hand in the decision making and not the parliament, in such cases.
- The upper hand is given to those who take it.
The phrase is speculated to have originated in America where the baseball team would be decided based on who has his hand on the upper side of the bat when both captains start from the bottom and keep putting their hand above the other. The one with the upper hand would win and get to decide his team.
Another explanation about the origin is from the way a couple holds hands. The one who has an upper hand is considered to be the dominant partner. The literary origin of the phrase comes from Thomas Macaulay’s work titled “History of England” which was published in the year 1848 but there is a record of it being used in a ballad in the 1600’s called “Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard”.
- to meet someone or go somewhere in a brief and informal manner
- to be on a very short visit
- The gardener stopped by the nursery to get some soil for his garden.
- I wanted to stop by the medical store to get some prescription drugs this afternoon but had already got late for work so I did not.
- You should stop by if you are passing through here sometime.
- My mother always stops by the children’s hospital to check if they need something that she can help with.
- She is a good friend and stops by at my place quite regularly.
- I have no time to stop by today, perhaps we can catch up tomorrow?
- Can you stop by the garage and check how the work on my car is coming along?
- I could stop by at your mother’s place if you want me to.
- She never even stopped by, how can you claim that she likes you?
The custom of stopping by is a new world phenomenon because people do not have time for more than a brief visit. The origin of the phrase is speculated to be from the 18th century though.
- Stop by meaning
- Stop by example sentences
- Stop by origin
- Stop by synonyms
- Definition of stop by
- to be done in a compulsory manner
- to compulsorily have (something)
- something that is an essential item (though not necessarily for living)
- a desirable item
- The must haves this season include a tunic and a head scarf.
- I must have the document on my desk by noon, no later.
- She must have something to say to him otherwise why would she look so restless and uncomfortable in his presence?
- She gets these pregnancy cravings and has been saying that she must have some ice cream right now.
- My children must have a bicycle each.
- It was made very clear to the salesman that we must have all the accessories with the car.
- If she must have a small wedding then you should let her do it her way, don’t be such controlling parents.
- I must have something to eat right now or I might faint.
- Do you know about the must have collection by Louis Vuitton?
- The paintings by this artist are a must have for any good collection to be complete.
The phrase is usually used as a fashion advice and is speculated to have originated from the same genre.
- to meet someone
- to find something
- it is used to express something that has come up by chance and was not a planned event or meeting
- The men had never come across a failure and hence did not know how to deal with it.
- I came across this very wise man who told me more about myself than anyone knew about.
- She wants to come across as this very confident young woman but then doesn’t that come from within?
- Can you come across to my desk to talk this out please?
- I am coming across such an issue after a very long time. Let me relook at what solution was used the last time it had happened.
- Have you come across such arrogant behaviour ever in your life?
- My mother came across this ancient recipe from my grandmother’s things and decided to give it a go. It was absolutely delicious.
- She should have come across his affair much sooner.
- Coming across such an important decision in life makes me feel closer to my friends and family.
- Have you come across such a problem before?
The origin of the phrase is speculated to be from the 12th century UK English.
- to find an alternative for something, someone or to perform a task
- to find a solution
- another way to do something
- The way around such a problem would mean that we lose another 6 months in the completion of this project.
- I don’t see any way around this issue.
- The only way around this is that we get married without their blessings. They are our parents and will forgive us one day.
- Can you see a way around the muddy garden?
- The way around the place took me longer but it was a safer route.
- My sister would always find her way around my parents but I could never do it with the same ease.
- The chopper helps with all the chopping in the kitchen these days. It is a fabulous way around to using big knives.
- Do you know the way around these instructions? I am not sure I can read so many pages.
- I have come to accept that there is no way around walking over this swamp.
The phrase comes from regular parlance and is popular in both, UK as well as US English. The origin of the phrase is believed to be from the UK though.
just in case
- to do something as a precautionary measure
- to engage in something that is meant as an alternative in case the original does not work
- The cake was ordered just in case the desert that she made did not turn up well.
- He called the doctor just in case he was still in the clinic.
- I know that you wanted to know just in case the bike was available but you have to realize that you cannot afford it.
- My father came all the way to see me in college just in case I needed something and did not ask it from him.
- Mother would always make some extra food everyday just in case a guest was to arrive.
- The birds flew away and the deer ran away. Just in case you don’t know, these are the signs that a predator is around somewhere.
- Do you know that he arranged for the funds just in case you decided to go ahead with the plan?
- My boss hired an extra person in the team just in case the client agrees to give us more work.
The phrase is believed to have been around since the 17th century.
race against time
- effort to do something as soon as possible
- to be in a situation where the time is short and the task pending is not
- to be running out of time, quickly
- process of doing something before given time
- The completion of this project was honestly a race against time. The client needed to have filed the documents in the court by today at any cost.
- Can you not make this sound like a race against time? Let her take it slowly please?
- My mother is racing against time right now. Please be by my side because I will need you around.
- Uncle Ben has been racing against time ever since he has found out about the terminal illness.
- The exam paper was a race against time and I won!
- He was speeding home as if it was a race against time.
- You cannot really race against time now, can you?
- The man raced against time to get his daughter to the hospital when she had that horrid accident.
- Although it was a race against the clock, I am happy to announce that our team has met the target set by the client.
The phrase is speculated to have originated in the old American English but there is no literary proof to support this claim.
- not 12 in numbers but 13
- a group or set of thirteen
- usually 13 and rarely 14
- The fellow gave me a baker’s dozen of cookies. It made my children very happy.
- I always carry a baker’s dozen chocolates in my purse.
- I needed only 10 cars and my car dealer friend arrange me baker’s dozen of cars.
- I had demanded about 15 numbers of drinking water bottle for that long journey. But shopkeeper had only a dozen and I asked him to arrange baker’s dozen at least.
The phrase’s literary origin dates back to 1599 when John Cooke used it in his work called “Tu Quoque”. But the actual practice of English baker’s adding an extra loaf of bread when they sold 12 breads dates back to much earlier. In 1154, when Henry II was in power, he had introduced a trade guide within which the statute managing bakers was called “The Worshipful Company of Bakers”. Bakers were to price the bread in line with the price of wheat. The punishment for the weight falling short included fining, pillorying or flogging. The rule was about the weight of the bread and not the number and hence whenever bakers old a dozen they would warily add an identical extra loaf, for good measure. This was done so that the total weight of the purchase would not be short. The additional bread became customary and would be called “vantage loaf” or “in-bread”. The Worshipful Company is in existence to this day and they offer an extra piece of in-bread with every loaf that they sell.
in the pipeline
- to be underway
- to be somewhere in process
- The project has been in the pipeline since forever. I am not sure if it will ever get completed.
- I am not working right now but have a few offers in the pipeline.
- She keeps telling me that her new book is in the pipeline but is she even writing something right now?
- My mother’s operation has been scheduled finally, it has been in the pipeline for a very long time.
- Can I do something that will expedite the process to the completion of these forms? They have been in the pipeline for a while now, don’t you think?
- My boss asked for an update about every project that is in the pipeline right now. Is something going on that I don’t know about?
- Can you try to get the approval for these blueprints that are in the pipeline?
From the plumbing world, something that is in the pipeline is sure to come out from either end. It refers to on-going projects when used in real life situations. Speculated to be American in its origin but there is no literary evidence available to justify this speculation.
- to be able to reason something out
- to make someone understand something through reasoning
- The presentation did not make sense at all. It was way off the topic.
- She has started making sense about her career now and I would like to let her try things out.
- He does not make sense when he speaks about starting such a kind of venture. He does not have a plan and you better not invest in something so haphazard.
- Can you please start making some sense? We are not following what you are trying to say.
- Every word she says makes sense to my daughter. I am glad that she has chosen such a good role model.
- The story only makes sense when my father narrates it. When I tried it just sounded like some jibber jabber.
- You cannot make sense to him right now. Give him some time to come out of the shock of it all at least.
- Can you come along to speak to the principal? I am not going to be able to make sense to him after such a disaster.
The phrase originates from rational thoughts that is considered by reasonable people as valid.