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    What is bows and button?

    I don't know how "owe" is used in the sentence. "Last bows and button in her service we owed the existence of our Red Cross unit." Here is the full paragraph to understand what it exactly means. I have no idea about it.

    "The tall, energetic figure of Anna Mihailovna, the lady to whose practical business gifts and unlimited capacity for compelling her friends to surrender their last bow and button in her service we owed the existence of our Red Cross unit, was to be seen like a splendid flag waving its followers on to glory and devotion. We were devoted, all of us."

    Thank you in advance.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 19-Aug-2014 at 07:41. Reason: Added quotation marks in relevant places

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: What is bows and button?

    Welcome to the forum.

    Where did you find that sentence and who wrote it? It is important to quote your source.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    Re: What is bows and button?

    not a teacher

    surrender their last bow and button

    More usually "buttons and bows", these symbolize a kind of genteel femininity in a way that is made clear in the lyrics for this famous song of that name.
    An excerpt:
    Let's go where I'll keep on wearin'
    Those frills and flowers and buttons and bows
    Rings and things and buttons and bows

    So, in my opinion, the writer is saying that Anna Mihailovna convinced her friends to give up their comfortable, refined lifestyles for the more austere and difficult environment of a Red Cross unit.
    They owe her in the sense that they are indebted to her for her efforts in forming the unit.

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