Results 1 to 4 of 4
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: May 2009
    • Posts: 337
    #1

    A "bitter" manner? What does this mean?

    Hello, everyone.

    I came across three words in my dictionary today, which were acerbic, acidulous and acrid. Accord to my oxford dictionary, they can all be used to refer to a kind of manner that's considered "bitter".

    I can't imagine what a "bitter" manner would be like. Does it simply mean rude?

    Besides, are these three words commonly used?

    Many thanks

    Richard

  1. Bennevis's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Aug 2011
    • Posts: 1,052
    #2

    Re: A "bitter" manner? What does this mean?

    It means someone is never happy about anything and constantly attacks people verbally. It also can mean sarcastic.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #3

    Re: A "bitter" manner? What does this mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bennevis View Post
    It means someone is never happy about anything and constantly attacks people verbally. It also can mean sarcastic.
    My ears are burning.

  3. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038
    #4

    Re: A "bitter" manner? What does this mean?

    And I'll address your last question.

    'Acerbic' is not uncommon, if a bit formal. Acerbic people are more commonly called 'sharp-tongued'.
    'Acidulous' is even more formal, and I would think quite rarely used, I believe there's a Longman's dictionary that will give you the actual numbers. I'm surprised that your dictionary suggests 'acrid' as a synonym; it more commonly collocates with 'smell/smoke/fumes...'.

    Here are the first few BNC hits for 'acrid' followed by a noun:
    1 ACRID SMOKE 19
    2 ACRID SMELL 14
    3 ACRID , 9
    4 ACRID FUMES 7
    5 ACRID STENCH 5
    6 ACRID FLAVOUR 2
    7 ACRID SCENT 2
    8 ACRID ODOUR 2
    9 ACRID . 2
    10 ACRID AIR 2
    11 ACRID TASTE 2
    12 ACRID TANG 2
    13 ACRID STINK 2
    14 ACRID WANT 1
    ...
    See more here: British National Corpus (BYU-BNC)

    There are plenty more, but I think you get the picture. All the others have only one hit, suggesting that they may be new figurative uses. In fact I suspect that in the case of the last on that list 'acrid want' is an intentionally odd-sounding collocation, emphasizing that the writer is talking about the sort of poverty that tends to imply living in smelly surroundings: the surrounding text is '...to make him go away; and she smelt him, and the acrid want in him' - in which the idea of smell is very clear.

    There's a rather old-fashioned idiom meaning 'adopt an acerbic tone': 'come the acid' - very informal, and rather archaic - sometimes used in a self-consciously prim tone of voice that implies a set of considerations of social class that belong to former times: 'Don't come the acid with me my man...'.

    b

Similar Threads

  1. bitter wind - what does bitter mean in this expression?
    By jirickova in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 27-Dec-2008, 15:12
  2. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-Sep-2008, 08:27
  3. Correct manner of sending a "cc:" letter
    By Mr. Fabulous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 30-Apr-2008, 01:04
  4. What is a "subdued" manner or voice?
    By sky753 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-Sep-2007, 03:31
  5. Proverb "coffee Is Bitter"
    By LICHING in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-Jun-2007, 06:25

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

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