Help with English

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Saint, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    dude means stupid fellow?
     
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  3. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    kiss one's ass, is it rude?
     
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  5. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    In the United States "ass" often means a person's bottom (back side). "Ass" also sometimes means donkey, but not in the expression "Kiss my ass".

    Asking somebody to kiss your ass is telling them to get down and kiss your back side.

    So, yes, it's rude.

    In some other places (Britain, Canada, Australia, for example) in the world, the word "arse" tends to be used instead.
     
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    "Still at large" means that the driver hasn't been found by the police yet. The expression is usually heard in the context of criminals, meaning the police haven't caught them. They are "out there" in the "large" world somewhere.

    "Still at small" isn't used.

    Yes to both questions. It's familiar - probably usually a friendly kind of term.

    No. It usually is just another word for "man". It doesn't imply stupidity. It can even be a friendly, familiar form of address - "Hey, dude! How are you going?"
     
  8. Baldeee Registered Senior Member

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    988
    While that sounds like the expression comes from that, it actually comes from the ancient (15th century) French "au large" where "large" meant "liberty".
     
  9. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Ah. Interesting. Shows how unreliable folk entomology can be. I should have done my homework.

    Thanks!

    (edit: or even folk etymology. Should have done my homework on that, too.)
     
  10. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    chinks in the armour means what?
     
  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Saint, I can understand some colloquialisms that may confuse someone whose first language is not English, but regards one such as this last, is there some reason why you can't simply Google it for yourself?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chink_in_one's_armor
     
  12. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    pierce your own shield with your spear means?
     
  13. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    To step on your own dick.
     
  14. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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  15. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    how to step on your own dick?
    the dick must be very long.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  16. geordief Registered Senior Member

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    Are you sure it is not more or less the same meaning as in English :ie the ocean or the open country. Do you have a link for where the french expression had "liberty" as a primary meaning?

    http://www.la-definition.fr/definition/au-large
     
  17. Baldeee Registered Senior Member

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    988
    Well, you could try www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=large

    The last paragraph seems to support what I said:

    An older sense of "freedom from prison or restraining influence" is preserved in at large "at (one's) liberty, free from inprisonment or confinement free to move openly" (late 14c.).

    With regard the expression being of French origin (au large), other than the general word "large" coming to us from the French, it is also where the wiktionary suggests "at large" is from.

    However I didn't mean to suggest that "large" only meant "liberty" rather than any other meaning, only that the phrase we use is specifically from the French idiom that used large in the sense of "liberty".

    But, of course, the word "large" comes from the Latin, largus, and presumably the Old French idiom derives from the Latin meaning, but there is a difference between the Latin meaning and the use as part of the idiom.
     
  18. geordief Registered Senior Member

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    Yes you seem to be right. I had the feeling that "at large" in the sense of "on the the ocean" might go back a long way but it was wishful thinking on my part it seems (I deceived myself perhaps).
     
  19. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    An initiative is trying to turn Middle Eastern migrants in Europe into technology entrepreneurs.

    In the style of the BBC's international television series looking for new ideas and entrepreneurs, this is a kind of "Dragon's Den for migrants".

    Why dragon's den?
     
  20. Baldeee Registered Senior Member

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    "Dragon's Den" is a BBC television programme where people pitch their idea to a group of four or five investors, looking for some investment in return for a share in their company. The person pitching for the investment often gets a fairly brutal questioning from the panel.

    In some mythology (e.g. Tolkien) the dragon is a creature that hordes gold in their den and protects it?
    The title of the show this suggests that the person is facing a number of dragons in their den, trying to persuade them to part with the gold that the dragons have hoarded.
     
  21. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Not to mention carrying the metaphor to the point where, if the dragons don't like what they see, they burn the hapless wantrepreneur to a crisp.
     
  22. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    automotive or automobile industry?
    any difference?
     
  23. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Taking what you said literally, one is an adjective, the other is a noun.

    Or do you mean the difference between automotive industry and automobile industry?
     

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