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  1. Junior Member
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    Question eyelash under a trillion dollars

    Good day!

    I listened to a speech on TED about lie spotting.
    It says “Deception can have dramatic costs.
    That’s an eyelash under a trillion dollars.”

    What does an “eyelash under a trillion dollars” mean?

    I think it simply means “it costs a trillion dollars”,
    I want to know the idiomatic meaning of eyelash in the phrase and
    Can you give me another example? Thanks :)

  2. charliedeut's Avatar
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    Re: eyelash under a trillion dollars

    Hi lisa,

    IMO, it means that its cost is just under a trillion dollars (say, a trillion minus 1 dollar). "Eyelash" is used to express this short distance between the cost and a trillion (Trillion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). There are other such expressions for "short distance", but we'll have to wait for native speakers to provide them.



    PS: I believe you could also say "a hair short of a trillion", but I'm not sure if I'm translating directly from Spanish here.
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

  3. Moderator
    Retired English Teacher
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    Re: eyelash under a trillion dollars

    You got that right, charliedeut. That's what it means, though I've never heard eyelash used in that context.

    There's also a tad short of. . ., a fraction below . . ., a bit less than. . . .

    The quote is taken from the fifth paragraph of the text printed HERE (you don't have to listen to the speech).


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