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    #1

    church

    Dear teachers,

    He was serious as a church.

    Could you please explain if this is an idiomatic expression? Why is it "as a church"?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang

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    #2

    Re: church

    It's not idiomatic. I've never heard it before.

    Who wrote it? Where did you read or hear it?

    Please start giving the context to expressions you are asking about.

    Rover

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    #3

    Re: church

    I've heard serious as a heart attack, and quiet as a church mouse, but never serious as a church.

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    #4

    Re: church

    Rover_KE,
    D.H.Lawrence worte it. The title of the story is: The Rocking-Horse Winner.
    Jiang

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: church

    It's rather old then. You can safely assume it means "very serious" but don't try to use that expression yourself as it's not currently idomiatc.
    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.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: church

    I doubt if it was idiomatic when Lawrence wrote it.

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: church

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE;880344...

    Please start giving the [B
    context[/B] to expressions you are asking about.

    Rover
    I suspect someone's using one of those little electronic gizmos that force students to think in synonyms and ignore context! They're impressive, but not - I think - a Force for Good.

    b

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: church

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    I doubt if it was idiomatic when Lawrence wrote it.
    Nope. But the churches he knew would have been dour and dank and gloomy and cold, and he'd've associated them with uncomfortable Sunday-best clothes/behaviour. And maybe it's a translation into Standard English of some dialect expression.

    b

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