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blushing bride Options
azz
Posted: Wednesday, January 9, 2019 1:57:48 AM
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a. I met his blushing bride to be.

Is the sentence correctly punctuated?
Doesn't it need hyphens?

I think it should be
b. I met his blushing bride-to-be.
and the meaning is that the girl is his bride-to-be and is blushing.

Could the sentence mean
c. I met the girl who is to be his blushing bride.

?

Could the sentence have that meaning if one writes
d. I met his blushing-bride-to-be.
?

Well, that way 'blushing bride' becomes a unit and I suppose the meaning would be (c). The only problem is that I don't think (d) works.


Many thanks
Marek Guman
Posted: Wednesday, January 9, 2019 6:54:22 AM

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Location: Košice, Kosicky, Slovakia
azz wrote:
a. I met his blushing bride to be.

Is the sentence correctly punctuated?
Doesn't it need hyphens?

I think it should be
b. I met his blushing bride-to-be.
and the meaning is that the girl is his bride-to-be and is blushing.

Could the sentence mean
c. I met the girl who is to be his blushing bride.

?

Could the sentence have that meaning if one writes
d. I met his blushing-bride-to-be.
?

Well, that way 'blushing bride' becomes a unit and I suppose the meaning would be (c). The only problem is that I don't think (d) works.


Many thanks


You are correct, it should be b. I met his blushing bride-to-be.
Bride-to-be simply means fiancee. c and d don't make sense in my opinion.
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, January 9, 2019 8:04:53 AM
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
The only reason a) doesn't work is, as you said, Azz - because bride-to-be doesn't have the hyphens. The other three are all fine. (Surprised that two of them don't "make sense" to Marek whose English is pretty good?)

A word about the old music-hall phrase "blushing bride". This was a phrase from the days of live entertainment in the later years of the 19thC. It's a sort of comedy phrase (on-stage the "blushing bride" was usually a man or a very ungainly, unlovely woman.) and is only used when we want to express irony/sarcasm or pure comedy.

You'll probably find the phrase all over the English Corpus - but you have to understand it's not a "normal" phrase. And it's use is, mostly, a negative comment about the proposed bride. I wouldn't advise learners use it: rather, if you come across it, recognise it as an indication that the user is speaking in a jocular (humourous) way; or is being sarcastic - which will help in reading the rest of the text.
Marek Guman
Posted: Wednesday, January 9, 2019 8:23:59 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/14/2014
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Neurons: 1,474,404
Location: Košice, Kosicky, Slovakia
Romany wrote:
on-stage the "blushing bride" was usually a man or a very ungainly, unlovely woman and is only used when we want to express irony/sarcasm or pure comedy.


This is very interesting. Sorry, I didn't know it at all, I learn something new every day. I read a lot and I would probably recognize it is expressing sarcasm. What I thougt was more that it doesn't mean the same thing, compared to when I say I met his fiancee, which is neutral in tone. Of course I can imagine meeting someone's bride, that is blushing. Whistle

Edit: OK, sorry, I was completely confused, I forgot the original sentence was I met his blushing bride-to-be.
thar
Posted: Wednesday, January 9, 2019 8:55:18 AM

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I wouldn't say it has to be sarcastic, bit it is an idiom that is used as a joke. It is not a normal adjective.
You might say it to the bride if you are being friendly and having fun, but you would not use it about her in a normal conversation.
Someone's fiancée is someone who is engaged to them, but the wedding could be ages away or not even planned. A bride-to-be is someone about to get married.
Personally, I would use hyphens.
Quote:
bride-to-be
noun [ C ] / plural brides-to-be

a woman who is going to be married soon


Romany
Posted: Wednesday, January 9, 2019 3:03:14 PM
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Thar,

Having described it as jocular, a few scenes passed through my head from times past. I realised I had to make it clearer that some people DO use it in that manner; it would be slightly hideous for Marek to laugh like a drain when somebody said it in a not-funny way.

The implication instead being that the bride is a bit of a slapper or too long in the tooth: that her blushing days are long gone.
palapaguy
Posted: Wednesday, January 9, 2019 5:23:29 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/28/2013
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Location: Calabasas, California, United States
Romany wrote:
Thar,

Having described it as jocular, a few scenes passed through my head from times past. I realised I had to make it clearer that some people DO use it in that manner; it would be slightly hideous for Marek to laugh like a drain when somebody said it in a not-funny way.

The implication instead being that the bride is a bit of a slapper or too long in the tooth: that her blushing days are long gone.


"... to laugh like a drain ..." LOL!

That's a new one for me. Is it a BE expression?
palapaguy
Posted: Wednesday, January 9, 2019 5:35:08 PM

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Well ... whaddaya know?! How could I have missed this phrase for so long?

https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/224000.html
Marek Guman
Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2019 3:42:30 AM

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Location: Košice, Kosicky, Slovakia
lol, this was a good discussion.
Romany
Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2019 9:59:14 AM
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Joined: 6/14/2009
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Palapaguy.

Yes, it's BE. It isn't used much in contemporary English but I just like the incongruousness of it and use it often.

(There's another simile that, though I DON'T use it, always makes me smile for the same reason: "He's as 'daft as a brush'." Both of them amuse me.)
azz
Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2019 11:04:18 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/15/2014
Posts: 265
Neurons: 2,780
Thank you all so much!

This was wonderful. I hadn't heard 'laugh like a drain' or 'slapper'. It is good when you guys use slang terms and expressions!


Many thanks.
Romany
Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2019 9:54:13 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 15,380
Neurons: 48,295
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

I believe that learning exclusively from books takes all the colour and the interest (and humour) out of language - not just English. Text-books provide the skeleton - it's the users of the language themselves who prvide all the "padding" i.e. the flesh on those bones!

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