turn of phrase


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turn of phrase

1. An expression. I understood what she was saying until she used a turn of phrase that I had never heard.
2. An eloquent style of writing or speaking. That writer's turn of phrase has earned him many accolades and awards.
See also: of, phrase, turn

turn of phrase

A particular arrangement of words, as in I'd never heard that turn of phrase before, or An idiom can be described as a turn of phrase. This idiom alludes to the turning or shaping of objects (as on a lathe), a usage dating from the late 1600s.
See also: of, phrase, turn

a ˌturn of ˈphrase

a particular way of saying something or describing something: She has a very amusing turn of phrase.
See also: of, phrase, turn
References in periodicals archive ?
"And does your turn of phrase indicating allrightness extend to coffee?"
"He possessed a turn of phrase that engaged every reader.
Drawing from letters and other documents in a number of sources, he chose quotations for their interesting turn of phrase and their insight into his thoughts on a particular topic.
"They are palpably dangerous to health." In other words, when someone complains of being knocked out after cleaning house, it's likely more than just a turn of phrase.
I read it in one sitting, mesmerized by the tales of man against fish and awe-struck by a turn of phrase which marries understanding of the sport with modern cultural references.
Virtually every page contains an interesting factual tidbit or a clever turn of phrase about what we eat and why.
Through the creation of this home it is clear that the family have already begun to tune in to their architects' romantic turn of phrase. They are already enjoying the detail of the brick-modular socket plates, the branching conduit lighting, and the switch plates integrated in the door frames; a pleasure that will no doubt grow as they inhabit the spaces; as they learn not to scratch their legs as they climb into the brick encased bath tub; and, as they let music fill the space, lie on the warm brick-slip floor and try to pinpoint the virtually invisible ionisation smoke detectors set within the constellations of their new concrete sky.
"I CHOOSE TROPICALIA not because it is liberal but because it is libertine." With this pithy turn of phrase, poet Torquato Neto put forth two of the Brazilian movement's most provocative claims: first, that it provided an ideological alternative to defensive nationalisms, both Left and Right, in late-'60s Brazil; and second, that this alternative was constructed on an aesthetics of punning and resignification, a revaluing of words and positions, a flipping of public platforms into playgrounds that would invert the so-called predicament of Brazil's tropical malaise into a vibrant cultural legacy called Tropicalia.
For example, in a simple turn of phrase, Levine and Pitt made the invisible glaringly apparent when they coined the phrase "working fathers" in their 1995 landmark book.
We're looking for the magic turn of phrase that will push the discussion past the realm of histrionic personal attacks, past the false and suffocating dualities that come about when the self-hatred defense is used against those who hold unpopular viewpoints, and into the realm of an objective and reasonable debate, a debate that could enhance our community's powers of serf-analysis by including twice as many participants.
The taut dialogue doesn't leave much room for distractions - which is a pity because Siler has a gifted turn of phrase.
And, always, with a neat turn of phrase - a pro's pro.
R., who bought them from a junk dealer," who in turn had bought them off a landlady from "a cheap hotel where a Russian woman had lived and died." We're also told that her various personal effects were up for sale as well, referring to these items as "all that is left after a woman vanishes." Like Berberova's short, elegant tale, such a provocative turn of phrase seems ripe for mulling over, even after the writer is gone.
I'm late in the season and grieving for crepe myrtles, their long skin birthmarked, their higgledy-piggledy limbs tied with bits of old string begging to be remembered by springtime--while secret beauties in alleyways abandon themselves for a turn of phrase, no matter how hackneyed the twinkling eye.
And Hit Time is sometimes beset with cliched, dated dialogue and banal prose like "She had an ugly-wugly feeling." Yet every now and then, a beautiful turn of phrase appears like "the wind hiked up Lake Michigan's blue skirt, showing off the frothy white slip underneath."