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  1. #1
    Immortalgenius's Avatar
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    rippling bull

    What is the meaning of the phrase "rippling bull"?
    Thank you very much.

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: rippling bull

    Quote Originally Posted by Immortalgenius View Post
    What is the meaning of the phrase "rippling bull"?
    Thank you very much.
    Can you give us some context? Please post the whole sentence where you found this phrase. I have never heard it.

  3. #3
    Immortalgenius's Avatar
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    Re: rippling bull

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Can you give us some context? Please post the whole sentence where you found this phrase. I have never heard it.
    Yes, I can.
    The main problem, though, is that Spain's displays of extreme technical ability are cheapened. It is hard to trust entirely their moments of excellence. The Dutch team of the 1970s was challenged by, and forced to navigate, the overriding physicality of the times. Pelé was first and foremost a great ***rippling bull*** of a man, both the most skilful and the most brutally treated player on the field.

  4. #4
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: rippling bull

    Quote Originally Posted by Immortalgenius View Post
    Yes, I can.
    The main problem, though, is that Spain's displays of extreme technical ability are cheapened. It is hard to trust entirely their moments of excellence. The Dutch team of the 1970s was challenged by, and forced to navigate, the overriding physicality of the times. Pelé was first and foremost a great ***rippling bull*** of a man, both the most skilful and the most brutally treated player on the field.
    Ah, I see!! Well, if you describe someone as a "bull of a man" then it would suggest he was very stocky, muscular, well-built - basically, a big, solid guy. I would say that "rippling" is used with regard to muscles. We say "rippling muscles" to describe someone very muscular, whose muscles are very obvious. So I guess a "rippling bull of a man" equates him to a bull in a bullring, someone with real presence, a clearly strong, solid guy!

  5. #5
    euncu's Avatar
    euncu is offline Senior Member
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    Re: rippling bull

    Quote Originally Posted by Immortalgenius View Post
    Pelé was first and foremost a great ***rippling bull*** of a man, both the most skilful and the most brutally treated player on the field.
    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Ah, I see!! Well, if you describe someone as a "bull of a man" then it would suggest he was very stocky, muscular, well-built - basically, a big, solid guy. I would say that "rippling" is used with regard to muscles. We say "rippling muscles" to describe someone very muscular, whose muscles are very obvious. So I guess a "rippling bull of a man" equates him to a bull in a bullring, someone with real presence, a clearly strong, solid guy!

    Shouldn't both the bolded words and your explanation suggest that it actually has to be the other way round? He was, eather treated brutally by some "rippling bull of a man" type of guys because he was very hard to stop or he treated the other players brutally because he was a rippling bull of a man.

    In today's football world, the most prominents players are under the aegis of the referees, because FIFA wants it to be this way to maintain the charm of football, and the charm is created by the star players. But back in the days when Pele was a star, I don't think that there was such a notion like protecting the stars, so, I believe that the one who having treated brutally wasn't Pele, the other opponent players were the ones who were brutal because they were thinking that if the hadn't treated brutally they wouldn't have found a way to stop him.

    I am aware that having strength doesn't necessarily mean being brutal,
    but the bolded part breaks the smoothness of reading, so we should either replace treated with treating or we should remove that part. The latter is what I think to be the proper way.

    I'd like to hear other members' opinions on this.
    Last edited by euncu; 22-Jul-2010 at 17:22. Reason: typos

  6. #6
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    Re: rippling bull

    Etymological digression: this reminds me of the derivation of the word 'muscle'. The Latin for a little mouse was musculus, and the picture of a rippling muscle was reminiscent of a mouse moving under a carpet or rug.

    Carry on, please.

    b

  7. #7
    BobK's Avatar
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    Re: rippling bull

    PS
    Quote Originally Posted by euncu View Post
    Shouldn't both the bolded words and your explanation suggest that it actually has to be the other way round?
    ...
    No. What you say is true, but what the text says is that Pele was 'a bull of a man', which he was. There's a - probably deliberate - irony in the whole sentence between 'bull' (Pele) and 'brutal' (the treatment he got at the hands [and feet] of less graceful defenders - who tended to lash out in temper at being made to look foolish, as well as simply aiming to stop him 'by fair means or foul'*). The meaning 'animal-like' lurks in the depths of the word 'brutal' - it's nearer the surface in the similar word 'brutish'.

    b

    PPS * In that phrase 'foul' is an adjective; it means 'by fair means or foul means', rather than 'by fair means or by committing a foul' (although that meaning suggests itself in the context. 'By fair means or foul' is a collocation that is widely used - not just in sport.

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