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    #1

    warship waving, warship envy?

    Hello!

    I recently ran into an article "Warship envy as world leaders try to find their place in G20 pecking order" from the Guardian.
    (http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...cameron-abbott)

    When there is some idiomatic expression that I do not recognize, google searches, wikipedia or urban dictionary usually give me an answer. But this time I could make an educated guess but couldn't be 100% sure.

    Here comes my question.

    These are sentences in the article that contain parts that I am not sure about.

    a. "Warship envy as world leaders try to find their place in G20 pecking order"
    b. "Put 20 world leaders in the same city and the one thing you can guarantee is warship envy."
    c. "
    Generally speaking, the more extravagant the warship waving, the smaller the warship"
    d. "
    The warship waving, though, is just that."

    My guess is that "warship envy" means leaders are envious of other countries with bigger warships. And in the context of the article, it refers to the general national power of country.
    And "G20 pecking order" refers to relative power of countries regarding their power to verbally criticize other states.
    And for "warship waving", it means showing off its (big) warship to threaten others.

    Then does "a" mean the world leaders are being envious of other states with bigger national power as they try to play tough verbally with other country (in this case, Russia)?

    Thank you in advance for the help!

    from yet another wanderer trying to understand English.

  1. Grumpy's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: warship waving, warship envy?

    They are plays on words. "Warship envy" is a play on the expression "penis envy", and (in a similar vein) "warship waving" is a play on "willie waving" - where a "willie" is a BrE pseudonym for the penis. "Willie waving" means an ostentatious (but generally false) show of strength/toughness/aggression/manliness.
    Your understanding of the meanings of the various sentences is correct.
    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

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    #3

    Red face Re: warship waving, warship envy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
    They are plays on words. "Warship envy" is a play on the expression "penis envy", and (in a similar vein) "warship waving" is a play on "willie waving" - where a "willie" is a BrE pseudonym for the penis. "Willie waving" means an ostentatious (but generally false) show of strength/toughness/aggression/manliness.
    Your understanding of the meanings of the various sentences is correct.

    These are kind of stuff that I could never look up on dictionaries.
    Thanks a million.
    Also, it is good to know that I guessed the meanings right.

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