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Thread: dumb as a post

  1. probus's Avatar
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    #1

    dumb as a post

    Is it heard where you live? What does it mean?

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    #2

    Re: dumb as a post

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    Is it heard where you live? What does it mean?
    It means as much brain-power/intelligence as an inanimate object. But you would seldom, if ever, hear/read it in modern/current conversation/literature (AmE).

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: dumb as a post

    I know only 'as deaf as a post'.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: dumb as a post

    Bill must live in a nicer part of the country than I do.

    Dumb as post.
    Dumb as a box of rocks.

    Here's even more ways to say this: Metaphors for "He is as dumb as..." : Larry Bodine Law Marketing Blog
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. Soup's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: dumb as a post

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Bill must live in a nicer part of the country than I do.

    Dumb as post.
    Dumb as a box of rocks.

    Here's even more ways to say this: Metaphors for "He is as dumb as..." : Larry Bodine Law Marketing Blog
    There's also stupid as a stick (heard from First Nation speakers in the Yukon Territory, Canada).

  5. 5jj's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: dumb as a post

    BrE has as thick as two short planks; also as thick as pigsh*t.

  6. probus's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: dumb as a post

    Quote Originally Posted by billmcd View Post
    It means as much brain-power/intelligence as an inanimate object. But you would seldom, if ever, hear/read it in modern/current conversation/literature (AmE).
    Thanks for that. Comments from people who do not hear the idiom where they live are just as interesting as definitions from those who do, because I believe that many idioms are highly regional.

    I live in Toronto. Where do you live?

    By the way, I suspect that this idiom initially referred to deafness/dumbness, but with the evolution of meaning in the word dumb from speechless to stupid the meaning of the idiom also changed in an identical way.
    Last edited by probus; 26-Feb-2011 at 08:00.

  7. 5jj's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: dumb as a post

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    Thanks for that. Comments from people who do not hear the idiom where they live are just as interesting as definitions from those who do, because I believe that many idioms are highly regional.
    If they are restricted to one region, then I don't think there is a lot of point in introducing them in this forum. Learners have enough to think about without worrying about rare expressions. Of course, if somebody comes across such an idiom and asks what it means, then we should provide an answer if we can, but we should warn that it is not generally used/understood.

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    #9

    not a teacher

    I like "dumb as a sack of hammers."

    And "dumb as a post" is a common phrase in American English so far as I know.

  8. probus's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: dumb as a post

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    If they are restricted to one region, then I don't think there is a lot of point in introducing them in this forum. Learners have enough to think about without worrying about rare expressions. Of course, if somebody comes across such an idiom and asks what it means, then we should provide an answer if we can, but we should warn that it is not generally used/understood.
    But how can we native speakers know whether an idiom is regional unless we discuss it among ourselves?

    Having lived on both sides of the pond, I am aware of the regional nature of some idioms. But there are others that I hear, and I'm uncertain about how common they are in various places.

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