Help with English

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

  1. Saint Valued Senior Member

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  3. Saint Valued Senior Member

    This thing makes doughnuts faster than the dunkin man.

    Means what?
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  5. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Doughnuts (also spelled donuts) are a sweet pastry made by frying a ring of sweet dough. Dunkin' Donuts is a popular chain of stores that makes and sells doughnuts. The "Dunkin' Man" would be a guy who works at a Dunkin' Donuts making donuts all day. After a while, he gets to be pretty fast at making them. So, to make doughnuts faster than the Dunkin' Man is to do something very quickly.

    Although, I do not think that this is a terribly common expression, generally. I'm just inferring its meaning from the presumption that anybody who makes donuts for a living probably does so pretty quickly.
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  7. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    No. It goes back to the 15th century. It's an onomatopoeic (or echoic) word that imitates the sound it describes. The verb "to buzz" means to make a ZZZZZZZ sound, and the noun "buzz" describes that sound. Bees and some other insects buzz when they're flying. A small machine might buzz when it's operating. From a distance, a small propeller-driven airplane coming toward you sounds like it's buzzing--in fact pilots talk about "buzzing" a target by flying over it closely to examine it or to scare enemy soldiers inside.

    So a room full of people talking--earnestly but not too loudly--is said to be buzzing. "The room was buzzing with anticipation when the crowd heard the rumor that Lewis Black had been invited to speak." It's also been made into an adjective: "The room was abuzz..."

    Some electronic devices are programmed to buzz as a way of getting our attention or reminding us of an appointment; alarm clocks, for example. In most office buildings the telephones aren't programmed to ring because the place would be too noisy, so they just buzz. This gives rise to the idiomatic use of the word: Give me a buzz (or buzz me) when you're ready to go out for lunch.

    Since a "buzz" is the sound of a group of people who are excited, it has been extended to mean the excitement itself: I get a buzz when I hear my Sweetie Pie's car come up the driveway. And of course it's been co-opted for other kinds of feelings: I got a good buzz from that shot of Sambuca; pour me another one. This new crop of marijuana from North Carolina gives a much mellower buzz than that edgy Mexican stuff.

    A buzz kill or buzzkill is something that "kills a buzz," in other words it puts a stop to the fun and excitement. It was a real buzzkill when Mr. Alvarez announced that he's retiring during the office Christmas party.

    Buzz became a popular male nickname in the U.S. and Canada in the mid-20th century around the time of World War II. It carries a connotation of youth, vigor and courage, and was given to young men in wartime, although it may have been used more in movies and on TV than in real life. Buzz Corey was the Commander-in-Chief of the Space Patrol on a show I watched on my family's ten-inch black-and-white TV set in 1952. Buzz Lightyear is a character in the currently popular Toy Story series of animated films.

    Buzz Aldrin is a (real) American astronaut, the second human being to walk on the Moon.

    Mandarin Chinese is full of buzzing. The suffix written zi in Pin-Yin is spelled dz in the Yale romanization system.

    Bi-dzzz = nose, hai-dzzz = child, juo-dzzz = table, du-dzzz = stomach, fang-dzzz = chamber. That's buzzing.

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    It would be a lot easier to understand if it were printed correctly, with the apostrophe and the capital D: Dunkin' man. As Quadrophonics explains, Dunkin' Donuts is a popular chain of doughnut shops... although like every other business in America they now make most of their money by selling extravagantly overpriced coffee.

    My wife makes doughnuts and I can assure you that it is not an easy project. You have to have a deep-fryer that can be set to a very accurate temperature. You have to make perfectly-shaped rings of raw dough, usually by cutting out the center with exact precision. You have to cook them for just the right length of time. Then you have to take them out and let them drain quickly. Then when they're just cool enough to work with, you add the frosting, nuts etc. Then you have to clean up and your kitchen is a total mess!

    And there's not much point in doing this. If you don't eat the doughnuts within about half an hour, you won't get the advantage of the fresh taste and you might as well have bought them from a bakery.

    I haven't seen the machine you're talking about. If it really does allow you to make doughnuts at home quickly and easily, I'll buy one. In my family, doughnuts are one of The Four Basic Food Groups.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
  8. Saint Valued Senior Member

    cumbersome = troublesome?
    Do both carry the meaning of annoying?
  9. Saint Valued Senior Member

    Why "my goodness" = "My God"?
  10. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    No. Cumbersome is something that is difficult and time-consuming, especially a physical task like loading bricks into a truck or carrying large and awkwardly shaped furniture into a small apartment. Troublesome is usually a little worse than annoying, but it doesn't especially refer to physical effort.

    This is an example of the phenomenon of euphemism. In the old days when people took Christianity seriously, it was considered "blasphemous" to say the word "God" in an irrevernent matter, or as it used to be said, "to take the Lord's name in vain."

    So it's one thing to say "God bless you" to someone who sneezed, or "God help you" to someone who is poor, or "God forgive me" if you lost your temper and spanked your dog, because (if God were real) you'd be literally asking God to intervene and improve someone's life. But to say "God damn this stupid pen, it keeps leaking," is to trivialize the power of God and expect him to intervene in matters that you should be able to handle without his help.

    So if there's an earthquake and you scream, "Oh my God," this is understandable because you're asking God to help your people. But if your dog pees on the floor and you scream, "Oh my God," once again you're trivializing his power and asking him to do something you can do for yourself with a rag and a little more attention to the clock.

    Many euphemisms were created to avoid taking God's name in vain.

    "Oh my goodness" for "Oh my God." "Good grief" for "Good God." "Gadzooks" or "Zounds" for "God's wounds," (the marks on Jesus's hands after being crucified--you don't hear either of those expressions anymore except in movies set in the past). "Gosh" for "God" in any context: gosh almighty, oh my gosh. "Golly" for the same purpose: good golly, oh golly.

    "Darn" is a euphemism for "damn." "Gosh darn it" instead of "God damn it." The darn car won't start. Darn you for making me late.

    Words that start with jee- are euphemisms for "Jesus": Gee whiz, jeepers creepers (euphemisms for both "Jesus" and "Christ"), that scared the bejeepers out of me, jumpin' Jehosephat, Geronimo!

    We have euphemisms for other words too. Oh fudge instead of the F-word, sheesh for the S-word.

    People who watched the great science fiction series "Farscape" use their words: "frell" for f--- and "drenn" for s---. Oh this frelling piece of drenn!
  11. Saint Valued Senior Member

    "to flesh out" means :
    1. (tr) to give substance to (an argument, description, etc.)
    2. (intr) to expand or become more substantial

    Is it commonly said and written officially?
  12. Saint Valued Senior Member

    How about "God's Providence" ?
  13. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    This is the common definition in the USA.

    It makes sense but I've never heard it used this way. Perhaps it's a British expression.

    I don't know what you mean by "official." In the USA "official" almost always refers to something people who are authorized to speak for the government say, write or do. If you mean "formal," then I suppose that would be rare, but you'll see it in newspaper articles and hear it in polite conversation. It's not considered vulgar, if that's what you're asking.

    I've never heard that expression. American Christians usually say "divine providence" instead.

    "Providence" simply means good management, care, guidence, direction, etc. "Divine providence," in Jewish and Christian theology, refers to the notion that God is doing a good job of managing earthly affairs, even if we can't understand his reasons for sometimes doing things that seem cruel.
  14. Saint Valued Senior Member

    Capitol Hill = it means politics?
  15. Saint Valued Senior Member

    Can I say "auctioning away"?

    beat out = defeat?

    floated out the idea = means not serious type of suggestion?
  16. Neverfly Banned Banned

    What the hell have you been reading?! Sheesh... Ok, back to asking about definitions...

    Is it preferable to say "Jason ate Amanda out or Jason eated Amanda out?"
    Perhaps, "Amanda got et?"
    "I want to get some box!", yelled Bryan.- Box = vagina?
    A little help, please...
  17. Saint Valued Senior Member

    coiffed = ?
  18. Saint Valued Senior Member

    professional carnival barker = ?
  19. Saint Valued Senior Member

    crackhead =?

    squirrel sittin on his head = something embarrass you?
  20. Neverfly Banned Banned

    Styled hair. The author is making fun of Trumps hair do.
    Carnivals and circuses employed showmen to yell descriptions to the crowd of the show. He was to be very emphatic. Get the crowds attention with loud and energetic speaking. In this, the author is making fun of Trumps common attention getting in the media.
    A person addicted to Crack cocaine, an illegal drug that makes the user an insomniac twitching sore covered mess.
    Author is, again, making fun of the big mess of hair on Trumps head.
  21. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Capitol Hill is the (very low) hill in Washington, DC, upon which the Capitol Building was constructed. This is the building in which the United States Congress meets: the Senate and the House of Representatives, which comprise the legislative branch of our government. (The other two branches are the executive branch, which is the President and the various departments that report directly to him, and the judicial branch, which is the Supreme Court and all the other federal courts.) So when we say "Capitol Hill," it's a colloquial way of referring the the legislature, or to the government in general. People also say "Washington" to mean the government. These are examples of the phenomenon of metonymy, using the name of a place to refer to something that is located there, such as "Madison Avenue" for the U.S. advertising industry.


    Yeah... but it implies a close and spirited competition, one which was watched with great anticipation and perhaps wagering, and the outcome of which was unpredictable.

    No. Almost the very opposite. It means to present an idea, plan, etc. for honest and serious consideration and criticism.

    "Coiffure" is a fancy word we borrowed from the French for a hairdo or hairstyle. "Coiffeur" is a less-often used word for a hairdresser. So "coif" is a back-formation (fraudulent etymology) from these words, meaning to do the job of a hairdresser, to cut and style hair. So an "impossibly coiffed" person is someone with an unbelievably ridiculous hairstyle, and Donald Trump is the most impossibly coiffed person in America.

    Note that this is not the same as a bum with hair that is wild and unkempt because he can't afford a barber and never takes a shower. A coif is a hairstyle that a person deliberately created.

    As Neverfly explained, a barker is a person who announces the attractions inside the smaller tents at a circus or carnival. It is a logical grammatical inflection of the verb "to bark," meaning someone who communicates loudly so as to attract attention, like a dog.

    We frequently use the word "head" as a suffix to mean a person who is a fan, enthusiast, addict, etc. Perhaps the most well-known use of this grammatical construction (especially 30-40 years ago) is "Deadhead," meaning a fan of the Grateful Dead, the iconic hippie rock'n'roll band of the "psychedelic" or "acid rock" era. Deadheads are still faithful and the word "Deadhead" is still immediately understood by any American.

    I was once stranded on the side of a freeway without a cellphone. I stood outside my car trying to get someone to stop but they all whizzed by. I was wearing a Grateful Dead concert t-shirt and before long a car full of Deadheads stopped to help. An entire family, including children and grandparents, with "Box of Rain" playing on the car stereo.

    Jimmy Buffett once remarked that a lot of the people who come to his concerts wear Hawaiian shirts featuring parrots and other tropical motifs, in accordance with the tropical flavor of his music. One of his band members started calling these people "parrotheads" and they adopted the name.

    So a crackhead is a person who smokes crack cocaine habitually. Cocaine is a stimulant found in the leaves of the coca plant. The Inca people noticed that their llamas stopped to chew on these leaves and would then stride off with renewed energy, so they began chewing them and it had the same effect. Using modern technology in the 19th century, Americans and Europeans succeeded in isolating the drug and preparing it as a solution that could be injected, providing a much stronger intoxicating effect. Still, addiction was rare. My grandfather sold it in his pharmacy in 1910. Eventually it was refined further into a powder that people sniffed, allowing it to be absorbed by the capillaries in their nostrils and providing an even stronger effect. This form of cocaine began to cause addition and was outlawed. Today it has been refined further into a solid crystal which is heated with fire, producing a vapor that is much stronger than any previous form of cocaine and is highly addictive. This was originally called "rock" cocaine, then "freebase" and finally "crack." I can't find the origin of the last two terms, although my corporate server may be blocking it.

    Something that (or which) embarrasses you. -- I take it you've never seen a picture of Donald Trump. The way he shapes his hair, it does look a bit like a squirrel.

    Not everything is an idiom. Sometimes it's an accurate factual statement.

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  22. Saint Valued Senior Member

    1. (pejorative, slang) A person who is addicted to or regularly uses crack cocaine.
    2. (pejorative, slang) A drug addict.
  23. Saint Valued Senior Member

    Another one:
    cokehead (plural*cokeheads): (pejorative, slang) A person who regularly uses cocaine.

    A person who is always looking for prostitute, is called what?

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