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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    I had to park my car in Timbuktu?

    Is it true that Timbuktu is used as a pronoun for any anonymous faraway place like in the example? A Korean textbook introduces like this, so I'm just curious.

    ex)You might hear people say, "I'm sorry I'm late. I had to park my car in Timbuktu," or, "I want to go to a good university in the city, not one out in Timbuktu."

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    #2

    Re: I had to park my car in Timbuktu?

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    Is it true that Timbuktu is used as a pronoun for any anonymous faraway place like in the example? A Korean textbook introduces like this, so I'm just curious.

    ex)You might hear people say, "I'm sorry I'm late. I had to park my car in Timbuktu," or, "I want to go to a good university in the city, not one out in Timbuktu."
    Not a teacher only a native.

    'Timbuktu' is used for a distant or an out-of-the-way place, usually to emphasise this.

    Timbuktu is also an actual city in Mali, Africa. Europeans used to view Timbuktu as remote and mysteriuos, which gave rise to the various expressions using 'Timbuktu' to denote a place far away.

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    #3

    Re: I had to park my car in Timbuktu?

    . . . and it's not a pronoun. It remains a proper noun, even when used metaphorically.

    Rover

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: I had to park my car in Timbuktu?

    A more modern equivalent appears to be 'Bumblef**k(, Arizona)'.

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: I had to park my car in Timbuktu?

    'Timbuktu', meaning somewhere unknown/distant, is pretty dated; so is 'Outer Mongolia' - not quite as much though.

    b

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: I had to park my car in Timbuktu?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    A more modern equivalent appears to be 'Bumblef**k(, Arizona)'.
    I always thought it was "Bumblef*ck, Missouri"!

  5. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: I had to park my car in Timbuktu?

    No, it's EAST Bumblef*k. That's even smaller than B*k, and therefore both remote and tiny.
    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.

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    #8

    Re: I had to park my car in Timbuktu?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I always thought it was "Bumblef*ck, Missouri"!
    I thought it was in Egypt. I guess what you picture as far away depends on where you are.

  6. 5jj's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: I had to park my car in Timbuktu?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    No, it's EAST Bumblef*k. That's even smaller than B*k, and therefore both remote and tiny.
    I suppose that if we had a British equivalent it would be Lesser B*-in-the-Bog.

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    #10

    Re: I had to park my car in Timbuktu?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    I thought it was in Egypt. I guess what you picture as far away depends on where you are.
    Agreed...it's BF-Egypt here (Texas).

    Not a teacher -- AmE native

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