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Thread: Still Waters

  1. #1
    Eway is offline Senior Member
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    Default Still Waters

    Dear teachers,
    I've been reading Still Waters by Jennifer Lauck and has encountered a few questions.
    Hope you can help me...

    1.What does "keep your pants on" mean in:

    "Peg," Uncle Dick says, "I gotta fix a washer at one o'clock. Make me a sandwich."
    Aunt Peggy tips a Mickey Mouse Sippy cup to Kimmy.
    "All right, Dick," Aunt Peggy says. "Keep your pants on."

    2.What does "up close" mean in:

    Grandma says that all of her daughters, Auntie Carol, Aunt Elixabeth, and Aunt Peggy, are girls with big bones and up close,...

    3.What does "no-neck" imply when somebody calls somebody a "no-neck", as Uncle Dick calls Jennifer so?(which isn't a kind of praise I believe)

    4.What does "words against her arm" mean in:

    Aunt Peggy says my mother gave the best advice on clothes that would slim her figure.
    "Janet was so easy to talk to," Aunt Peggy says, words against her arm. "I could just tell her anything."

    5.What does "angles and edges" mean in:

    I tell about Deb's cat eyes, her angles and edges, Deb's kids always ganging up on me, one of them knocking out my teeth...

    6. In the story, Deb is Jennifer's stepmother, being very mean to Jennifer, what does "certifiable" mean when it's used to describe Deb in:

    I tell her how Deb dumped me off one day...
    "'It's called survival,' Deb said. 'Figure it out.'"
    "You're kidding me!" Aunt Peggy says.
    "I'm serious," I say. "The woman was certifiable."
    Aunt Peggy laughs when I say certifiable but I keep right on talking.

    This "certifiable" was also used by Jennifer's grandma to describe Deb earlier in the story. Jennifer is probably quoting something she doesn't really understand here??

    All right, maybe somebody who's also read this memoir or can tell the meanings by their contexts can answer my qs.
    There might be more and more qs as I keep reading!
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    Keep your pants on = don't get too excited.

    Up close- this is when you see something very closely rather than from a distance

    Certifiably- this means that someone is sufficiently mad to be ableto send them to a mentalhospital.

    I'm not sure about the others.

  3. #3
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Still Waters

    Quote Originally Posted by Eway
    1.What does "keep your pants on" mean in:

    "Peg," Uncle Dick says, "I gotta fix a washer at one o'clock. Make me a sandwich."
    Aunt Peggy tips a Mickey Mouse Sippy cup to Kimmy.
    "All right, Dick," Aunt Peggy says. "Keep your pants on."
    I would say it means "be patient", but I think Tdol and I mean the same thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eway
    2.What does "up close" mean in:

    Grandma says that all of her daughters, Auntie Carol, Aunt Elixabeth, and Aunt Peggy, are girls with big bones and up close,...
    It doesn't make sense to me there. It certainly doesn't go with big bones. After all, up close has to do with proximity and is not a physical description. Where is the rest of the sentence? (Context is what comes both before and after a word, phrase or sentence.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eway
    3.What does "no-neck" imply when somebody calls somebody a "no-neck", as Uncle Dick calls Jennifer so?(which isn't a kind of praise I believe)
    I think it is used to describe somebody who isn't very bright, but I would have to have more context to be sure of its intended meaning there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eway
    4.What does "words against her arm" mean in:

    Aunt Peggy says my mother gave the best advice on clothes that would slim her figure.
    "Janet was so easy to talk to," Aunt Peggy says, words against her arm. "I could just tell her anything."
    That one is rather puzzling. :?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eway
    5.What does "angles and edges" mean in:

    I tell about Deb's cat eyes, her angles and edges, Deb's kids always ganging up on me, one of them knocking out my teeth...
    It is hard to tell if its use there is intended to be literal or figurative (metaphorical).

  4. #4
    Eway is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Still Waters

    Quote Originally Posted by Eway
    2.What does "up close" mean in:

    Grandma says that all of her daughters, Auntie Carol, Aunt Elixabeth, and Aunt Peggy, are girls with big bones and up close,...
    It doesn't make sense to me there. It certainly doesn't go with big bones. After all, up close has to do with proximity and is not a physical description. Where is the rest of the sentence? (Context is what comes both before and after a word, phrase or sentence.)

    More context to this one:

    ...are girls with big bones and up close, it's true.

    Hmm...so I guess it means it's true that they have big bones when you see them up close??

    Quote Originally Posted by Eway
    3.What does "no-neck" imply when somebody calls somebody a "no-neck", as Uncle Dick calls Jennifer so?(which isn't a kind of praise I believe)
    I think it is used to describe somebody who isn't very bright, but I would have to have more context to be sure of its intended meaning there.

    I was wondering if it's a common slang or nickname.
    Also more context here:

    Uncle Dick never says thank you and he calls me a no-neck.
    "Get me my cigarettes, no-neck."
    "Wash the dishes, no-neck."...
    It's like a nickname or something but it doesn't make any sense. I do have a neck. And even if it is a joke, it's just stupid.


    Quote Originally Posted by Eway
    5.What does "angles and edges" mean in:

    I tell about Deb's cat eyes, her angles and edges, Deb's kids always ganging up on me, one of them knocking out my teeth...
    It is hard to tell if its use there is intended to be literal or figurative (metaphorical).[/quote]

    Isn't "angles and edges" an usual expression?
    As many are found by google:
    http://www.google.com.tw/search?q=%2...5&hl=zh-TW&lr=
    Doesn't it have an usual meaning?

  5. #5
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default

    I think "no neck" is an insulting kind of nickname.

    I'm not sure about "angles and edges", especially in reference to people. I'm not at all sure what "big bones and up close" means.

    Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.

    :(

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    'No neck'is a refernce to inbreeding, I think.

  7. #7
    Eway is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee
    I think "no neck" is an insulting kind of nickname.

    I'm not sure about "angles and edges", especially in reference to people. I'm not at all sure what "big bones and up close" means.

    Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.

    :(
    All right, let's say it's Lauck's problem! :wink:

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