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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    wide berth

    1. "berth" means "a dock or bed", why did it get to mean "avoid someone"? Is it because "it seems to give someone a wide resting place"?
    2. Does "spell" here mean "a certain period of time", not "magic"?

    7)Every day one if confronted with situations which are not what they appear. A person is seen staggering in the street. The general public assumes this person to be drunk and gives him a wide berth. In reality, the person in question is suffering a spell of dizziness, brought on a sudden drop in blodd pressure and may need instant help. Help, however, isn't given until he or she collapses in the street and finally an ambulance is called. The list can go on endlessly, although not all assumed situations are as dramatic as the one mentioned. What is much harder to find, though, is an example where an assumption has been right...
    Last edited by keannu; 24-Nov-2013 at 09:00.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: wide berth

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    1. "berth" means "a dock or bed", why did it get to mean "avoid someone"? Is it because "it seems to give someone a wide resting place"?
    2. Does "spell" here mean "a certain period of time", not "magic"?

    7)Every day one if confronted with situations which are not what they appear. A person is seen staggering in the street. The general public assumes this person to be drunk and gives him a wide berth. In reality, the person in question is suffering a spell of dizziness, brought on a sudden drop in blodd pressure and may need instant help...
    1. "Give a wide berth" is an idiom. Look here: give a wide berth - Idioms - by the Free Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.
    2. It means a (short) period of time.

  3. keannu's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: wide berth

    For 1, I just wonder if my assumption is correct for its origin.

  4. keannu's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: wide berth

    In "not all assumed situations are as dramatic as the one mentioned", does "assumed situations" mean "imaginary situations" or "real actual ones"? It's confusing.

  5. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: wide berth

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    In "not all assumed situations are as dramatic as the one mentioned", does "assumed situations" mean "imaginary situations" or "real actual ones"? It's confusing.
    It means situations that could possibly arise.

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    #6

    Re: wide berth

    not a teacher

    For 1, I just wonder if my assumption is correct for its origin.
    A wide berth

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