KNOW YOUR ENGLISH


What is the meaning of ‘mansplaining’?

‘Mansplaining’ is a relatively new word; it is a combination of ‘man’ and ‘explaining’. The word is normally used with men. When a man ‘mansplains’ the rules of cricket to a woman, he usually does so in a condescending manner. He is certain that the woman he is talking to knows nothing or very little about the game and that she understands very little about the technical aspects of the sport.

To ensure that the woman understands what he is saying, he simplifies or dumbs down his explanation. He mistakenly assumes that he knows more about the subject than the woman he is talking to.

Ex:-

1. Anil was trying to mansplain organic chemistry to my cousin — quite forgetting that she had majored in chemistry.

2. Treat us as your equals. Don’t give us your mansplanations!

What is the meaning and origin of ‘pipe dream’?

This is an expression that has been around for several hundred years. According to scholars, it refers to the pipe used by drug addicts to smoke opium.

Like any powerful drug, opium has the ability to transport an individual to a totally different world. While under the influence of the drug, the person believes that the hallucinations he experiences are real.

Therefore, when you say that something is a ‘pipe dream’, what you are suggesting is that it is a mere fantasy; something that will be impossible to achieve. It is a wish or desire that is unlikely to come true.

Ex:-

1. Wanting to buy a house in this neighborhood is nothing more than a pipe dream.

2. Getting Indians to follow traffic rules! That’s a pipe dream

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