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    #1

    lent/ Lent/ dipstick/ white count/ I kind of blew that/ aggravate

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expressions in bold in the following sentences?

    Want three gourmet jellybeans? :: I gave up sweets for lent.
    lent = a period of 40 weekdays

    Can you eat lentils during Lent?
    Lent = a period of 40 days when some Christians fast, or do not eat any food, at least during the day

    A urinalysis , where you take that dipstick to see if the white count is high.
    A dipstick is one of several devices dipped into a liquid to perform a chemical test or to provide a measure of quantity of the liquid.
    white count” refers to the count or number of white blood cells.

    I always wanted to go to medical school, but I kind of blew that.
    blow = to fail or break down, as from being operated under extreme or improper conditions
    “To blow it” is a great colloquial expression which means to do something very badly, or fail at it completely.
    I kind of blew that” a phrase of the analogy of “I kind of felt sorry for”

    There’s two things that aggravate me, Mr. Masry.
    aggravate = make worse, exasperate or irritate
    “To aggravate” a person is to anger or upset them.

    My boy came down with the chicken pox .
    come down = lose wealth or position
    “To come down” with a disease is to get sick because of it.
    chicken pox = varicella

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.

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    #2

    Re: lent/ Lent/ dipstick/ white count/ I kind of blew that/ aggravate

    Lent is capitalized and refers to the religous pre-Easter season. I do not think it refers to 40 days, in general, and certainly not 40 "work" days.

    You cannot aggravate a person. Aggravate means to make worse. You may agitate or irritate them, however.

    "Kind of" (or even "Kinda") is conversational (or colloquial, which actualy means conversational, not a derogatory term) English. It means "almost" or it can mean, "it just happened that..."

    Coming down with a disease, means catching a desease. The implication is that you took to your sick bed, you came down from your normal active life.

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    #3

    Re: lent/ Lent/ dipstick/ white count/ I kind of blew that/ aggravate

    I did some more digging on Lent. It does not mean "40 days" or "40 weekdays" (although the season of Lent is indeed 40 weekdays long, I just discovered. I always thought it was 40 days, period!). It just means the season, and it comes from an early word for lengthen, as in the daylight hours lengthen in the Spring. Most of our Christian celebrations had pagan roots, it seems.

    In Spanish (the only other language I checked), Lent is translated as cuaresma or cuadragesima - and although I don't profess fluency and especially etymology of Spanish words, I do see a "four" root in there in the "cuar-" and "cuadra-" so I suspect it implies 40 days to a native Spanish speaker?

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