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    #1

    bearing bread

    The regional governor in charge of Daraya, a rebellious working-class suburb of the capital, Damascus, that was devastated by Mr Assadís forces in August, recently visited it bearing bread. A kindly speech about resupplying the stricken town was followed by a stark warning, says a resident at the scene: harbour the rebels again and Daraya will be razed to the ground.

    What does "bearing bread" mean in the above paragraph?

    Thanks!

    JY

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    #2

    Re: bearing bread

    In that context, visiting to show support/peace etc. It's like a show of good faith.


    Not a teacher...Yet

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: bearing bread

    The more common collocation with 'bearing' is 'bearing gifts'/ BNC shows these:
    1 BEARING WITNESS 19
    2 BEARING GIFTS 16
    3 BEARING FRUIT 15
    ... [and many more, but only in single figures]
    (No. 1 isn't about good things to eat: )

    1 BEARING WITNESS 113
    2 BEARING FRUIT 83
    3 BEARING GIFTS 78
    ...
    COCA tells a similar story - with the same 3 front-runners.

    b

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    #4

    Re: bearing bread

    So bearing bread means showing support?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    The more common collocation with 'bearing' is 'bearing gifts'/ BNC shows these:

    (No. 1 isn't about good things to eat: )



    COCA tells a similar story - with the same 3 front-runners.

    b

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    #5

    Re: bearing bread

    It is not an idiom with that meaning - but in that context it refers to things other than bread - only things you can eat, though. Like the Christian prayer Pater Noster's 'Give us this day our daily bread', it means more than just bread*.

    This shows support (but a sort of support that draws the line at things other than food - and possibly medical supplies).

    b

    PS In that context, different believers interpret it differently - in ways that have no place in this discussion (in fact I regret saying it - but as people may have been online when I wrote it I couldn't just unsay it )
    Last edited by BobK; 17-Sep-2012 at 10:28. Reason: Added PS

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    #6

    Re: bearing bread

    "Breaking bread" is the expression I am familiar with. People sit down to a meal together. As said above, there is more to it than just bread. In a political context, to "break bread" can mean that two sides are coming together, forming bonds, making peace.

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    #7

    Re: bearing bread

    Etymological tidbit:

    The gothic-speaking tribes conquered by Rome had a word for someone you were friendly enough with to break bread: GA HLAIBA (which means with bread). (If you wrinkle your eyes up you can just about see the origin of our 'loaf'.)

    The Roman soldiers knew a good thing when they saw it, and coined the word COM-PANIO - which ultimately (probably via French compagnon) gives us 'companion'.

    I hereby declare this tangent closed

    b

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