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    #1

    Make a train stop

    She makes a train stop. Does this mean the person is unattractive or very ugly?

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Make a train stop

    It means nothing to me.

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    #3

    Re: Make a train stop

    Quote Originally Posted by greenisgood View Post
    She makes a train stop. Does this mean the person is unattractive or very ugly?
    It doesn't mean anything to me, other than it's literal meaning. Where did you find it?

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Make a train stop

    Strangely, when I read your post it rang a bell of some kind though with not exactly the same wording. I Googled "ugly enough to stop a train" expecting to find something which would help me work out what I was thinking of. However, I found nothing useful. Even so, at the back of my mind, something is nigglingly familiar about it.

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    #5

    Re: Make a train stop

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Strangely, when I read your post it rang a bell of some kind though with not exactly the same wording. I Googled "ugly enough to stop a train" expecting to find something which would help me work out what I was thinking of. However, I found nothing useful. Even so, at the back of my mind, something is nigglingly familiar about it.
    I just did the same thing. Something about being so ugly that one could stop some form of transportation seems familiar to me, as well.

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Make a train stop

    Quote Originally Posted by greenisgood View Post
    She makes a train stop. Does this mean the person is unattractive or very ugly?
    I've met it in American TV dramas. I think it's application is context sensitive. She's extremely <something> attractive, unattactive, whatever. Better wait for an American reply to be sure...

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    #7

    Re: Make a train stop

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    I've met it in American TV dramas. I think it's application is context sensitive. She's extremely <something> attractive, unattactive, whatever. Better wait for an American reply to be sure...

    b
    Yes, in general it refers to description of an unattractive woman and is usually stated as, "she could stop a train". There are thousands of these expressions including some about men e.g. "He's so ugly he has to sneak up on a mirror".


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    #8

    Re: Make a train stop

    Quote Originally Posted by billmcd View Post
    Yes, in general it refers to description of an unattractive woman and is usually stated as, "she could stop a train". There are thousands of these expressions including some about men e.g. "He's so ugly he has to sneak up on a mirror".
    Would you consider these to be idioms in AmE, or just one-liners in comedy shows?

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    #9

    Re: Make a train stop

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Would you consider these to be idioms in AmE, or just one-liners in comedy shows?
    I think that distinction breaks down - so that people start using them idiomatically without any knowledge of their script-written origin. And then TV writers who didn't hear the original script-written version pick it up as if it were an idiom, and write them into their scripts. And so the cycle goes on.... In general, I think it's as well to be aware that such a distinction might exist, but TV is so much a part of modern culture that there are lots of 'feedback loops' like this.

    As a Br Eng example, take 'Am I bovvered?'

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    #10

    Re: Make a train stop

    I'll weigh in and say these are not common AmE idioms (if at all). My thought is they are playing off of "face that would stop a clock".

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