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  1. #1
    motico is offline Member
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    Default Blow a hole in the bow

    What is the meaning of the expression in bold? Could it be used allegorically? Thanks!

    "The ship almost sank in a Cyprus port when a mysterious explosion blew a hole in the bow, seriously damaging it."

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Blow a hole in the bow

    Quote Originally Posted by motico View Post
    What is the meaning of the expression in bold? Could it be used allegorically? Thanks!

    "The ship almost sank in a Cyprus port when a mysterious explosion blew a hole in the bow, seriously damaging it."
    It depends. Was the explosion allegorical? (Do you mean metaphorical?)
    I think it far more likely that the sentence is referring to a real explosion that caused a real hole with real damage. Is there any context that would suggest that the sentence is not meant literally?

  3. #3
    motico is offline Member
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    Default Re: Blow a hole in the bow

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    It depends. Was the explosion allegorical? (Do you mean metaphorical?)
    I think it far more likely that the sentence is referring to a real explosion that caused a real hole with real damage. Is there any context that would suggest that the sentence is not meant literally?
    I have no problem to understand the expression in this context. My question is if the expression has a metaphorical meaning as well. One of the dictionaries suggests:

    blow a hole in[v. show that someone is not true, show that a person is not right

  4. #4
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blow a hole in the bow

    Quote Originally Posted by motico View Post
    I have no problem to understand the expression in this context. My question is if the expression has a metaphorical meaning as well. One of the dictionaries suggests:

    blow a hole in[v. show that someone is not true, show that a person is not right
    I see. Yes, you can "blow a hole" in my argument, by coming up with a demonstrable and devastating proof against the position I take.
    But you have 'bow' bolded too in the original. I haven't heard of someone blowing a hole in the bow of something abstract.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Blow a hole in the bow

    If there is a reference to the bow of ship, to an explosion that created a hole in that bow, to serious damage, and to almost sinking, I don't see anything metaphorical.

    Do you know that the "bow" is the front of a ship?
    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.

  6. #6
    motico is offline Member
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    Default Re: Blow a hole in the bow

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    If there is a reference to the bow of ship, to an explosion that created a hole in that bow, to serious damage, and to almost sinking, I don't see anything metaphorical.

    Do you know that the "bow" is the front of a ship?
    I know. I just wanted, by the way, to understand the metaphorical meaning of the expression: "to blow a hole" . Thanks.

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