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  1. david_carmen Senior Member

    Romania
    Romanian
    When you speak about a man, what means "this dray horse of a man"?
    (Is it in French something similarly?)

    Thank you.
     
  2. GEmatt

    GEmatt Senior Member

    La Côte, Switzerland
    English/BE, Français/CH, Deutsch/CH (rustier & rustier)
    Hi david,

    That's a nice word! It's the same as draught horse, one of those very big, muscular horses used to pull heavy carts and wagons. And now apply it to the person.
     
  3. redstripe Junior Member

    Texas
    United Sates, English
    A dray is a flatbed hauling cart--a two-wheeled cart without sides that horses pull. To describe someone as "a dray horse of a man," I would imagine that means a stout, strong, though dim-witted and simple man.

    I wouldn't guess how to express that in French though.
     
  4. GEmatt

    GEmatt Senior Member

    La Côte, Switzerland
    English/BE, Français/CH, Deutsch/CH (rustier & rustier)
    Really? I agree with simple, in the sense of the salt of the earth type, but dim-witted seems a bit harsh. You could be right, though..
     
  5. david_carmen Senior Member

    Romania
    Romanian
    Thank you for the explanations and the link.

    On Wikipedia I saw that the French equivalent would be "cheval de trait".
    A man who is like a "cheval de trait"? Hmmm... It sounds bad, isn't it?
    I'll see...
     
  6. archijacq Senior Member

    Albi
    french France
    cet homme laborieux, véritable cheval de trait/cheval de peine
     
  7. redstripe Junior Member

    Texas
    United Sates, English
    "Salt of the earth" seems overly generous; it implies a hard-working, blue-collar nobility that I think is absent in the characterization of a "dray horse of a man." To be described as a "dray horse" doesn't seem at all flattering to me, although it is not a very common idiom (I've never heard of it applied to a person), so we're probably all adding our own glosses.

    In defense of my reading, however, I would argue that a "dray horse" is somewhat less noble-sounding than, for example, a "Clydesdale." The latter implies a strong, hard-nosed work ethic, whereas the former calls to mind dirty, slope-backed animals that are good for nothing more than hauling carts around.
     
  8. david_carmen Senior Member

    Romania
    Romanian
    Thanks a lot, archijack and redstripe.
     
  9. Viola_ Senior Member

    Chennai, India
    France, French
    what about: il a une force de cheval?
     
  10. GEmatt

    GEmatt Senior Member

    La Côte, Switzerland
    English/BE, Français/CH, Deutsch/CH (rustier & rustier)
    I see your meaning, and concur.
     

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