Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    NewHopeR is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    1,049
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default What does tinkering mean here?

    Context:
    On the other hand the settled folk had their textiles and their pottery and made many desirable things. It was inevitable that as the two sorts of life, the agricultural and the nomadic differentiated, a certain amount of looting and trading should develop between the two. In Sumeria particularly which had deserts and seasonal country on either hand it must have been usual to have the nomads camping close to the cultivated fields, trading and stealing and perhaps tinkering, as gipsies do to this day. (But hens they would not steal, because the domestic fowl—an Indian jungle fowl originally—was not domesticated by man until about 1000 B.C. They would bring precious stones and things of metal and leather. If they were hunters they would bring skins. They would get in exchange pottery and beads and glass, garments and suchlike manufactured things.

    XVI. Primitive Nomadic Peoples

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    21,674
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What does tinkering mean here?

    Quote Originally Posted by NewHopeR View Post
    Context:
    On the other hand the settled folk had their textiles and their pottery and made many desirable things. It was inevitable that as the two sorts of life, the agricultural and the nomadic differentiated, a certain amount of looting and trading should develop between the two. In Sumeria particularly which had deserts and seasonal country on either hand it must have been usual to have the nomads camping close to the cultivated fields, trading and stealing and perhaps tinkering, as gipsies do to this day. (But hens they would not steal, because the domestic fowl—an Indian jungle fowl originally—was not domesticated by man until about 1000 B.C. They would bring precious stones and things of metal and leather. If they were hunters they would bring skins. They would get in exchange pottery and beads and glass, garments and suchlike manufactured things.

    XVI. Primitive Nomadic Peoples
    Have a look here: tinker noun (TRAVELLER) - definition in British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionary Online

  3. #3
    Tullia's Avatar
    Tullia is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    628
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What does tinkering mean here?

    The verb "to tinker" should be present in most dictionaries; are you struggling to pick which definition is most appropriate? It's usually best if you can tell us what you think the word means and then we can tell you if you are right or not, or help you understand any subtleties.

  4. #4
    NewHopeR is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    1,049
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What does tinkering mean here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tullia View Post
    The verb "to tinker" should be present in most dictionaries; are you struggling to pick which definition is most appropriate? It's usually best if you can tell us what you think the word means and then we can tell you if you are right or not, or help you understand any subtleties.
    I'm reading a translated work of A SHORT HISTORY OF THE WORLD. According to the translation, "tinkering" refers to "sometimes defrauding," which aroused my suspicion. Because my dicts tell me that there are no definitions as such for the term tinker at all. I guess the "tinkering" here maybe refers to "mending (pots and kettles and other metal utensils)." But "stealing" stands before the word tinkering in the context, however, it seems the translator is possibly right...
    See, I was so bewildered. That is why I posted the thread here.

  5. #5
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    21,674
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What does tinkering mean here?

    Quote Originally Posted by NewHopeR View Post
    I'm reading a translated work of A SHORT HISTORY OF THE WORLD. According to the translation, "tinkering" refers to "sometimes defrauding," which aroused my suspicion. Because my dicts tell me that there are no definitions as such for the term tinker at all. I guess the "tinkering" here maybe refers to "mending (pots and kettles and other metal utensils)." But "stealing" stands before the word tinkering in the context, however, it seems the translator is possibly right...
    See, I was so bewildered. That is why I posted the thread here.
    "Tinkering" has nothing to do with defrauding or stealing. However, "tinkers" are , rightly or wrongly, sometimes associated with dishonesty.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-Mar-2009, 20:14
  2. tinkering
    By vil in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 23-Mar-2008, 17:17

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Hotchalk