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fair tousled hair [what does the expression 'fair + determiner/adjective, etc' mean] Options
A cooperator
Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019 1:25:46 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/27/2011
Posts: 3,642
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Location: Seiyun, Hadramawt, Yemen
Hi,
what does the expression 'fair + determiner/adjective, etc' mean? Is it an adverb functioning like 'a little bit'
I know that 'fair few' as said below:
In this part of the world, the expression "a fair few" is widely used to mean quite a lot. It's the kind of phrase used by people who don't want to sound over-enthusiastic - farmers, for example: "Have you got many sheep on the mountain?" "Aye, a fair few - around 600."

fair + determiner
- I have loved English grammar for many years, and my personal library contains most grammars published since 1586 for BrE, with a fair few from 1785 onwards for AmE.

fair + adjectival participial:
- a girl with blue eyes and fair tousled hair. [I know that 'tousle' to make something untidy, especially hair.] But, 'fair' confuses me.

Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
palapaguy
Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019 1:34:09 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/28/2013
Posts: 1,687
Neurons: 13,434
Location: Calabasas, California, United States
A cooperator wrote:
Hi,
what does the expression 'fair + determiner/adjective, etc' mean? Is it an adverb functioning like 'a little bit'
I know that 'fair few' as said below:
In this part of the world, the expression "a fair few" is widely used to mean quite a lot. It's the kind of phrase used by people who don't want to sound over-enthusiastic - farmers, for example: "Have you got many sheep on the mountain?" "Aye, a fair few - around 600."

fair + determiner
- I have loved English grammar for many years, and my personal library contains most grammars published since 1586 for BrE, with a fair few from 1785 onwards for AmE.

fair + adjectival participial:
- a girl with blue eyes and fair tousled hair. [I know that 'tousle' to make something untidy, especially hair.] But, 'fair' confuses me.


Coop, Google "fair hair." You can do that by yourself. Easily.

A cooperator
Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019 1:47:48 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/27/2011
Posts: 3,642
Neurons: 13,819
Location: Seiyun, Hadramawt, Yemen
palapaguy wrote:
A cooperator wrote:
Hi,
what does the expression 'fair + determiner/adjective, etc' mean? Is it an adverb functioning like 'a little bit'
I know that 'fair few' as said below:
In this part of the world, the expression "a fair few" is widely used to mean quite a lot. It's the kind of phrase used by people who don't want to sound over-enthusiastic - farmers, for example: "Have you got many sheep on the mountain?" "Aye, a fair few - around 600."

fair + determiner
- I have loved English grammar for many years, and my personal library contains most grammars published since 1586 for BrE, with a fair few from 1785 onwards for AmE.

fair + adjectival participial:
- a girl with blue eyes and fair tousled hair. [I know that 'tousle' to make something untidy, especially hair.] But, 'fair' confuses me.


Coop, Google "fair hair." You can do that by yourself. Easily.



I googled it, really.
But, I am asking what it means in "a girl with blue eyes and fair tousled hair." since it comes before adjectival participle 'tousle' [I know that 'tousle' to make something untidy, especially hair.] But, 'fair' confuses me. I think it's an adverb modifying 'tousled'.
When Google translates 'fair tousled hair', it gives 'a little bit tousled hair', 'somehow tousled hair'



Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
ARMECH
Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019 5:25:07 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 10/5/2019
Posts: 2
Neurons: 1,081
Fairly tousled hair would have made much sense, Does the example refer to blonde hair as fair hair ? However even this is flawed as fair is an improper adjective for hair.
Lotje1000
Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019 5:32:41 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/3/2014
Posts: 1,071
Neurons: 581,988
Location: Leuven, Flanders, Belgium
fair 1 (fâr)
adj. fair·er, fair·est
1. Of pleasing appearance, especially because of a pure or fresh quality; comely.
2.
a. Light in color, especially blond: fair hair.

From TFD

So it's light-coloured hair that is also tousled.
Like ARMECH said, if "fair" modified "tousled", it would have been "fairly"
Wilmar (USA)
Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019 8:34:09 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/4/2015
Posts: 3,036
Neurons: 837,034
Location: Vinton, Iowa, United States
The hang-up is with fair preceding tousled, as if fair must modify tousled.
One must consider the possibility of both words modifying the noun.

Other examples:
the black table + the big table = the big black table
her long hair + her wavy hair = her long wavy hair
thus,
the girl's fair hair + the girl's tousled hair = the girl's fair tousled hair

That, along with looking up the definition of fair, settles the issue.
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019 4:41:42 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/17/2009
Posts: 12,469
Neurons: 537,942
Location: Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
In Scotland, 'fair' in this context would mean 'thoroughly'. Her (brown) hair was fair tousled.

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