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  1. #1
    ostap77 is offline Key Member
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    stick like a bur

    Do you guys use the saying " to stick like a bur" to mean that someone is a constant source of annoyance? I've been googling it and couldn't find what it exactly means.
    Last edited by ostap77; 10-Oct-2012 at 14:16.

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is online now VIP Member
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    Re: stick like a bur

    I'm used to seeing it with two "r"s, but it seems "bur" is OK.

    This is not a common phrase. I don't think of burrs as sticky, since I think of "burr" as a bump on an otherwise smooth surface (like a metal part that has been machined).

  3. #3
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    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Re: stick like a bur

    I think it depends if you've spend much time trying to get burrs out of your dog's coat or not. I also have Southern relatives, where more colorful expressions might be the norm. So I find this to be a very normal expression. In fact, just yesterday I wrote to someone who owed me some information (we have a friendly relationship so I could tease him) that I was going to be the burr under his saddle blanket until he coughed it up. (I got the information in a couple hours.)
    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. #4
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: stick like a bur

    FYI - I went to a lecture at Reading University on bio-mimetics, and the learned speaker (whose name escapes me) said the burr was the inspiration for the development of Velcro.

    b

  5. #5
    BobK's Avatar
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    Re: stick like a bur

    Back on topic, COCA has this for 'stick like <noun>:

    1 STICK LIKE GLUE 4
    2 STICK LIKE VELCRO 3
    3 STICK LIKE TAR 1
    4 STICK LIKE MAYBELLINE 1
    5 STICK LIKE FLYPAPER 1
    6 STICK LIKE FIGURE 1
    7 STICK LIKE ELMER 1
    8 STICK LIKE ELIZABETH 1
    9 STICK LIKE BURRS 1
    - just those nine; and 'glue' and 'Velcro' represent half of the 14 hits.

    b

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