Phrasal-Nouns – Letter S

–  Phrasal-Nouns – Letter S  –


Baby-Steps – This is an idiomatic phrasal noun which is used in expressing the philosophy that if something important needs to be done, that it should be done in very small increments.  This is based on the idea that if a baby takes too big of a step, it will fall, but if it takes very small steps it will definitely (although slowly) be moving forward; which is better than falling…  “Whenever starting a serious relationship with someone it is a good idea to take *baby-steps* as it often takes time to really get to know a person.”

(a) Bad Seed – This phrase is similar to the term (a) Bad Apple, but the difference is that, where-as the Bad Apple turns bad and can infect others (figuratively speaking), the *Bad Seed* is apparently “Bad” from the beginning and to call someone this is to condemn them by saying that nothing “good” will ever come from them.  This is a very judgmental and immature thing to say about someone and comes from Christian extremists who think that anyone who does not think like them is evil.

(a) Clearance Sale  This is a phrasal noun that is used to describe a type of sale that a store has, wherein they will put items from the previous year, or season, or some items that the store wishes or needs to get rid of, usually to make room for other products.  Unlike “Midnight Sales” and “Sidewalk sales” (which are both, usually, types of clearance sales) a clearance sale can happen at any time, but are often had at the end of seasons, and around holidays.  In the United States, it is also quite common that stores (especially stores that sell clothes) will have a “Clearance Rack” which is a small display of items that are on sale, and this rack will be a permanent fixture in the store.

Common-Sense – Though, unfortunately, to have *common-sense* is not very “common” anymore,  but this term represents the type of “sense” i.e. knowledge; understanding; comprehension, that most people should have because it is very basic…  “It should be *common sense* that doing something correctly the first time – instead of trying to do it the easy way – will always cost less and take less time overall.  But unfortunately *common-sense* is no longer a common trait of most humans.  So those of us with brains in our heads are constantly having to fix the mistakes of others.”

(a) Midnight Sale  This is a phrasal noun that is used to describe a type of sale that a store has, wherein the store will stay open until “Midnight” (or at least very late.)  Similar to a “Clearance Sale” or a “Sidewalk Sale”, this is another way to get rid of last year’s or last season’s models.  This is also common around Christmas-Time.

(a) Sidewalk Sale – This is a a phrasal noun that is used to describe a type of sale that stores have in the United States (where it is uncommon to have street markets.)  Usually all the stores in an area will work together to have an event where the stores bring out racks tables and displays of items that will be on sale and display them on the sidewalks outside of the stores.  It is also common that the street will be closed off so people can walk around on the street, and there will also be food vendors and games for kids as well.  As in a “Clearance Sale”, the items that are sold are usually items from the previous year or season.

(a) Figure Of Speech – This phrasal noun is the term for:  A thing that people say, that is not meant literally, but is used to mean something else…  “When I said he was “two-faced” I didn’t mean it literally!  Obviously we only have one face.  It’s a *figure of speech* to mean that he says one thing to your face, but says something else to another person.  In other words, he is a dishonest person.”

The Last Straw – This is a derivative phrase from the phrase “the straw that broke the camel’s back” and means the same thing.  –  (see also:  “The Straw That Broke The Camel’s Back”)

(a) Pedestrian Street – This is a phrasal noun to describe the type of streets that cars are not allowed.  They are only for people…  “Our city has many *pedestrian streets* which makes it nice for shopping.  We don’t have to worry about the crazy bus and taxi drivers when crossing the street.”

(one’s) Say-So – This is an idiomatic phrasal noun which is used to mean: one’s permission or confirmation about some information.  To have one’s “*say so*” means that that person has gotten someone’s permission or confirmation about some piece of information…  “Well, I can’t confirm that there’s actually a base on the dark-side of the moon, but I’ve got the *say-so* of many YouTube channels, and they tell me that it’s true!  So therefore, it must be!”

(a) Seller’s Market – See:  Phrasal Nouns – Letter “M” for “Market”

(a) Sensitive Issue – See:  Phrasal Nouns – Letter “I” for “Issue”

(a) Smear Campaign – See:  Phrasal Nouns – Letter “C” for “Campaign”

(the/a) Snowball EffectSee:  Phrasal Nouns – Letter “E” for “Effect”

(a) Spare Tire – See:  Phrasal Nouns – Letter “T” for “Tire”

(the) Starting-Price – See:  Phrasal Nouns – Letter “P” for “Price”

(a) Status Symbol – This is a phrasal noun which describes a thing (usually something expensive: car, watch, jewelry, expensive clothing, etc.) that insecure and/or egotistical people buy and show off, as a way of making themselves feel more “powerful”, because they have something that other’s cannot afford…  “Here in Bulgaria, many people who don’t have jobs or very much money will spend everything they have on expensive clothes and shoes so that people will think that they are rich, but the true *status symbol* for Bulgarians is a black Audio with tinted windows.”

(a) Straight Answer – See:  Phrasal Nouns – Letter “A” for “Answer”

(a) Straight Shooter – This is an idiomatic phrasal noun which is used to describe a person who is, not only honest but, the type of person who is not afraid to tell someone the truth, even if it may hurt that person’s feelings.  This, of course, is not done as a way of trying to hurt the other person, but only because, though it may hurt to hear the truth, ultimately it will do the person some good by hearing it (even if the person doesn’t think so at the time.)

The Straw That Broke The Camel’s Back – This noun phrase is used to describe the last of a series of fairly minor things that eventually cause the break-down of a situation – A piece of straw is very light, and a camel can carry a lot of weight, but there is a limit and if one keeps loading more straw on the camel’s back, there will eventually be a point at which the camel can carry no more.  This is where the phrase comes from…  “The boss had been giving his assistant so many tasks and causing her so much stress over the last few months, that when he told her that she would have to work the day after her father’s funeral, that was *the straw that broke the camel’s back*.  She ended up slapping him across the face and she quit “on the spot”.  –  (see also:  “The Last Straw”)

A Sweet-Tooth – See:  Phrasal Nouns – Letter “T” for “Tooth”

A Touchy Subject – As “Touchy” is another word for sensitive, this is a term for a topic of conversation that may be a sensitive issue with certain people.  Some of the most common examples are: religion politics, sexual orientation, and also things like handicaps, diseases, deaths in the family, etc.

–  (Phrasal-NounsLetter S)  –

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