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    #1

    to pigeonhole?

    I'm sorry for I'm not even sure about the spelling, I heard it and that's how it sounded to me. So does anyone know what word I'm talking about? if yes, what does it mean?

    Many thanks

    NT

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    #2

    Re: to pigeonhole?

    To "pigeonhole" means to classify something into smaller categories. Sometimes the categories are not all-emcompassing or completely accurate, so occasionally "pigeonholing" can be negative. For example, someone might pigeonhole the rhubarb plant as "poisonous," it is actually only the leaves which are toxic. The stems are safe and flavorful and are used to make pies and other food items.

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    #3

    Re: to pigeonhole?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    To "pigeonhole" means to classify something into smaller categories. Sometimes the categories are not all-emcompassing or completely accurate, so occasionally "pigeonholing" can be negative. For example, someone might pigeonhole the rhubarb plant as "poisonous," it is actually only the leaves which are toxic. The stems are safe and flavorful and are used to make pies and other food items.
    Thank you so much, Ouisch.

    Just for my curiosity, what's the story behind this word "pigeonhole"? How did it come to be a way to "label" (if I understand your explanation?!) someone or something?

    It's always fun to know the origin of a word/expression. Many thanks.

    NT

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    #4

    Re: to pigeonhole?

    It comes right from it's name: pigeons will make their home in a small box, that has one small opening. And they stay there until brought out.

    To "pigeonhole" means to put something in a certain slot - to be brought out later for review.

    Example:
    She had to pigeonhole the idea of going on vacation until she saved some money.

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    #5

    Re: to pigeonhole?

    Quote Originally Posted by susiedqq View Post
    It comes right from it's name: pigeons will make their home in a small box, that has one small opening. And they stay there until brought out.

    To "pigeonhole" means to put something in a certain slot - to be brought out later for review.

    Example:
    She had to pigeonhole the idea of going on vacation until she saved some money.
    Thank you so much, sussie.

    Based on the sentence example you gave, it doesn't have to be a negative statement when using the word. Not always, Correct?


    Can I say this:

    Let me pigeonhole that suggestion for now, in the meantime we should take Mary's advice and run with it.

    Does it make sense or sound natural?

    Thanks
    NT

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    #6

    Re: to pigeonhole?

    Me again.

    Sorry I just feel like I have to have it verified. On reviewing the explanantions given by Ouisch and Sussie, does the word hold more than 1 meaning then? seems like it?

    NT


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    #7

    Re: to pigeonhole?

    Pigeons and doves used to be kept for food, with buildings called dovecots constructed to house them. These had rows of small apertures in which the birds nested. The apertures are "pigeonholes". http://tinyurl.com/2r2zvf

    The word was applied to groups of square boxes into which things can be sorted and temporarily stored: http://tinyurl.com/3yaujx

    So to pigeonhole means to categorize something as if you were sorting things into groups, and especially to limit something to a specific group:

    "He was pigeonholed as a bore."

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    #8

    Re: to pigeonhole?

    In the US, Congress often pigeonholes bills . . . . (never to be acted upon)

    The dictionary has it as a noun - small compartment for filing papers, and a verb - to file, classify, to put aside for consideration later.

    It is not a derogatory term.

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    #9

    Re: to pigeonhole?

    Attention: I'm not a teacher.

    Hi NearThere,

    There is my 2 cents contribution. Please excuse me if you left with the impression that some things were mentioned above yet. There are also some more example concerning the matter in question. One of them give you answer your question” How did it come to be a way to "label?”

    Pigeonholing is a term used to describe processes that attempt to classify disparate entities into a small number of categories (usually, mutually exclusive ones).

    The expression usually carries connotations of criticism, implying that the classification scheme referred to does not adequately reflect the entities being sorted, or that it is based on stereotypes.

    Other meanings include when a congressional committees that deal with new bills introduced in the United States congress decide to ignore a new bill, the term "pigeonholing" is used.

    Pigeonhole principle = (mathematics) The principle, that if a very large set of elements is partitioned into a small number of blocks, then at least one block contains a rather large number of elements. Also known as Dirichlet drawer principle.
    The pigeonhole principle often arises in computer science. For example, collisions are inevitable in a hash table because the number of possible keys exceeds the number of indices in the array.
    They played upon her penchant for pigeonholing house guests into their appropriate social categories.
    This of course is not true, but those who try to escape the pigeonholing with work that is stylishly individual are labelled "young designer”.
    It's proved a good way of picking up and pigeonholing the plight of the young middle classes living in a country in retreat.
    All we'd of done was taken pigeonholes and go to them and say don't want that.
    There were empty arched pigeonholes at the back, fretted and carved, and two empty little drawers.
    She left a series of notes in my pigeonhole that started off plaintively: I'm very confused by what happened between us.
    The following morning, in her pigeonhole at the theatre, had been a sealed envelope.
    No-one ever really tries to pigeonhole him, because he's a truly talented person.
    So I think that the sexual politics in the film is very difficult to pigeonhole.

    Regards.

    V.

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    #10

    Re: to pigeonhole?

    NT It is often used in English to refer to an actor/actress who is in a long running soap/serial/play. It is not necessarily, a criticism, just a fact that the actor/actress has been playing a certain part for so long he or she is known for that role only and not remembered for other parts than he/she has played in the past or capable of playing in the future. Other way of saying is typecast in the role

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