Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. #1
    japanjapan is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    145
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default ?"frog-pond" and " put the bottom rail on top

    This is my first post in this forum; I am very glad to find this forum in the internet sea because I think communicating with native English speakers is almost the most important way to learn the language. I will cherish this forum and the opportunity.

    I have two English questions and I can not find the answers even after looking them up in five dictionaries. They are as follows.

    1. “We tell the white men of Mississippi that the men of the North will convert the state of Mississippi into a frog-pond before they will allow any such laws to disgrace one foot of soil over which the flag of freedom waves.”
    Obviously, here "frog-pond" is a metaphor, but I can not figure out it's meaning. What is it?

    2. “A few (blacks) took quite literally the coming of what they called Jubilee, thinking that it would put the bottom rail on top
    What's the meaning of the idiom "put the bottom rail on top"?

    I am looking forward to the instructions. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,971
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: ?"frog-pond" and " put the bottom rail on

    Quote Originally Posted by japanjapan
    2. “A few (blacks) took quite literally the coming of what they called Jubilee, thinking that it would put the bottom rail on top

    What's the meaning of the idiom "put the bottom rail on top"?
    Welcome. :D

    I'll answer 2. and leave 1. for another person.

    In that context, put the bottom rail up is in reference to 'the dispossession of whites of their power and position and their replacement by blacks and other non-whites.'

    Sorry. I've misplaced the source.

  3. #3
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is online now VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    13,898
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: ?"frog-pond" and " put the bottom rail on

    Quote Originally Posted by japanjapan
    This is my first post in this forum; I am very glad to find this forum in the internet sea because I think communicating with native English speakers is almost the most important way to learn the language. I will cherish this forum and the opportunity.

    I have two English questions and I can not find the answers even after looking them up in five dictionaries. They are as follows.

    1. “We tell the white men of Mississippi that the men of the North will convert the state of Mississippi into a frog-pond before they will allow any such laws to disgrace one foot of soil over which the flag of freedom waves.”
    Obviously, here "frog-pond" is a metaphor, but I can not figure out it's meaning. What is it?

    2. “A few (blacks) took quite literally the coming of what they called Jubilee, thinking that it would put the bottom rail on top
    What's the meaning of the idiom "put the bottom rail on top"?

    I am looking forward to the instructions. Thanks.
    Welcome to UsingEnglish. We hope you will visit us often.

    Cas answered your second question. I don't think that frog pond has any hidden meaning here. There has been tension between the North and the Souith in the US since the Civil War in the mid-1800s. I'm not sure what the issue is here, but it seems to be saying that people in the North will allow Mississippi to deteriorate into a usless land mass -- a swamp, a wetland, a frog pond. :wink:

Posting Permissions

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