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  1. #1
    greenisgood is offline Junior Member
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    Default Make a train stop

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

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Make a train stop

    It means nothing to me.

  3. #3
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    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default 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?

  4. #4
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    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default 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.

  5. #5
    SoothingDave is online now VIP Member
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    Default 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.

  6. #6
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default 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...

    b

  7. #7
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default 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".


  8. #8
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default 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?

  9. #9
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default 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?'

    b

  10. #10
    BobSmith is offline Senior Member
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    Default 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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