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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: 3,735
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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.
palapaguy
Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019 1:34:09 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/28/2013
Posts: 1,855
Neurons: 14,294
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: 3,735
Neurons: 14,303
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'

ARMECH
Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019 5:25:07 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 10/5/2019
Posts: 33
Neurons: 25,474
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: 1,126
Neurons: 617,724
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) 1M
Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019 8:34:09 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/4/2015
Posts: 3,864
Neurons: 1,001,061
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: 12,753
Neurons: 570,457
Location: Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
In Scotland, 'fair' in this context would mean 'thoroughly'. Her (brown) hair was fair tousled.
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