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Thread: zinc bars

  1. #1
    sherishine's Avatar
    sherishine is offline Junior Member
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    Question zinc bars

    During those final nights in Cairo, months after the affair was over, we had finally persuaded Madox into a zinc bar for his farewell. She and her husband were there. One last night. One last dance. Almasy was drunk and attempting an old dance step he had invented called the Bosphorus hug, lifting Katharine Clifton into his wiry arms and traversing the floor until he fell with her across some Nile-grown aspidistras.

    -----------------------
    The above is from the English Patient.


    I know it means a kind of bar(I'm not sure, but it might have a French origin.) But what kind of bar it is ? What's the difference between zinc bars and ordinary ones?

  2. #2
    stanislaw.masny is offline VIP Member
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    Re: zinc bars

    Quote Originally Posted by sherishine View Post
    During those final nights in Cairo, months after the affair was over, we had finally persuaded Madox into a zinc bar for his farewell. She and her husband were there. One last night. One last dance. Almasy was drunk and attempting an old dance step he had invented called the Bosphorus hug, lifting Katharine Clifton into his wiry arms and traversing the floor until he fell with her across some Nile-grown aspidistras.

    -----------------------
    The above is from the English Patient.


    I know it means a kind of bar(I'm not sure, but it might have a French origin.) But what kind of bar it is ? What's the difference between zinc bars and ordinary ones?
    Dear sherishine
    I don't know any other common meaning than zinc - metal/element Zn.
    In your quote it could be proper name of some club, bar, restaurant. In this case it needs a capitalization, I think. Eg. " Zinc Bar".
    Thank you.
    S.M.

  3. #3
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: zinc bars

    Quote Originally Posted by sherishine View Post
    ...
    I know it means a kind of bar(I'm not sure, but it might have a French origin.) But what kind of bar it is ? What's the difference between zinc bars and ordinary ones?
    I think you're right. A bar (the actual bar that the bartender keeps wiping with a dirty cloth ) is called, in French, le zinc. In Cairo perhaps that sort of covering (Zn) was introduced to produce a trendy/decadent atmosphere in some bars - which might have been called 'zinc bars' [beware - a lot of guesswork here!]

    b

  4. #4
    Jaskin is offline Senior Member
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    Re: zinc bars

    hi,
    Please note I'm not a teacher nor a native speaker.

    Let me do some guess work as well
    I think the story behind the zinc bar could be the same as behind the hoover.

    btw. I think a Canadian teacher could has the answer.
    Cheers
    Last edited by Jaskin; 03-Jun-2010 at 11:48.

  5. #5
    BobK's Avatar
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    Re: zinc bars

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaskin View Post
    ...

    btw. I think a Canadian teacher could hasve the answer.
    Cheers
    I think so too, although possibly in Canadian French 'le zinc' doesn't have the same use. I met it in a short story by Georges Simenon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - so it could be a Belgian thing...

    b

  6. #6
    sherishine's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: zinc bars

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    I think you're right. A bar (the actual bar that the bartender keeps wiping with a dirty cloth ) is called, in French, le zinc. In Cairo perhaps that sort of covering (Zn) was introduced to produce a trendy/decadent atmosphere in some bars - which might have been called 'zinc bars' [beware - a lot of guesswork here!]

    b


    I think you are right:), it should be something trendy:)
    I heard that there are zinc cafes in Franch too O(∩_∩)O~

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: zinc bars

    Zinc counters may be trendy now, but in the past weren't they used in cheaper places- more spit and sawdust than high society?

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