drive home some essential and boilsome point

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by TheNameOfAWind, Aug 29, 2014.

  1. TheNameOfAWind

    TheNameOfAWind Senior Member

    Rome <3
    Italian
    Ciao ragazzi!
    Some help with this boilsome point? All the 557 results from Google are typos (boisome water, boilsome broccoli, boilsome vinegar :) ) Is that a way to say "hot" or "steaming", meaning "very important and exiting"?

    It's from a novel, a old man in a nursing home looks out the window.

    The sentence:
    his attention (was) drawn to the sidewalk where a woman in a short pleated skirt with a phone pressed to her ear drifted past, her right arm swinging in fierce gesticulation, her head bobbing as she paused beside a mailbox to drive home some essential and boilsome point.

    ...la sua attenzione fu attirata verso il marciapiede, dove stava passando una donna con una gonnellina a pieghe e un cellulare incollato all'orecchio, il braccio destro che gesticolava concitato, che annuì vigorosamente fermandosi vicino a una cassetta della posta per mettere in chiaro un aspetto essenziale e scottante.

    (I know the Italian output is lame, I'll fix it when I'll understand what the author is saying :) )

    Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2014
  2. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    Italian
  3. tsoapm

    tsoapm Senior Member

    Emilia–Romagna, Italy
    English (England)
    Well, a neologism I reckon. for the suffix -some, the OED online has:

    Productive of
    Characterized by being

    So… it generates boiling or simply is boiling, I think. In a figurative sense which I would say isn't particularly clear.
     
  4. TheNameOfAWind

    TheNameOfAWind Senior Member

    Rome <3
    Italian
    Ops, mi ero distratta. Aggiunto.

    Thank you Mark, I thought so.
     
  5. johngiovanni

    johngiovanni Senior Member

    I have found only one use of "boilsome" as an adjective - here: http://malaysiajoe.blogspot.co.uk/2008_03_01_archive.html
    However, in this context it means "like a boil" (Is that "bollicina"/ "pustula"/ "foruncolo"? - Anyway it is a painful swelling on the skin having pus inside). Therefore "boilsome" in your context looks like an invention. "Scottante" looks good to me.
     
  6. amatriciana Senior Member

    Venezia
    English - UK and US
    I think johngiovanni's right that it's an invented word. I'd never heard of it before, and it's not in any of my (hard-copy) dictionaries. From the context I think you lose nothing by replacing it with "boiling" or "burning", so yes, "scottante".
     
  7. london calling Senior Member

    SALERNO, ITALY
    UK ENGLISH
    Mai incontrato neanch'io. Però, dico la verità, a me è non è venuto in mente 'l'effetto calore' della parola: ho subito pensato ad una foruncolosi o magari ad un accesso (ossia boilsome = simile ad un accesso, ad un foruncolone) , come johngiovanni, per cui non avrei suggerito scottante.

    Liberamente:

    ..un aspetto fondamentale/essenziale e prurolento (?).
     
  8. TheNameOfAWind

    TheNameOfAWind Senior Member

    Rome <3
    Italian
    I shoul'd have given the following sentence from the start, since it made me thing about a "positive" point :) The whole sentence is:

    his attention (was) drawn to the sidewalk where a woman in a short pleated skirt with a phone pressed to her ear drifted past, her right arm swinging in fierce gesticulation, her head bobbing as she paused beside a mailbox to drive home some essential and boilsome point — telling a tale of amazement he would never chance to hear.
     
  9. AlabamaBoy

    AlabamaBoy Senior Member

    Alabama, USA
    American English
    Very ironic. The writer is saying that the woman's conversation is banal and unimportant, but she is behaving as if her arguments have global significance. "Boilsome" thus literally means important and hard won, while (wink wink nudge nudge) we understand that its importance is largely in the mind of the woman on the phone.

    EDIT: Note: I think it sounds like "tiresome"and hence the meaning might be inferred from similarity.

    tiresome adj (makes [sb] tired) fastidioso, noioso agg
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2014
  10. TheNameOfAWind

    TheNameOfAWind Senior Member

    Rome <3
    Italian
    Actually it's more sorrowfull (I don't know if it's the right word: in Italian is "malinconico", when you are a little sad but you don't know why, or when you're homesick): we have the point of view of the old man, who is imprisoned in his room and has Alzheimer and doesn't recall much of his life. He sees the young woman and, whatever it is that she's saying, he imagines it must be amazing and essential and he feels sad because he will never hear that story.
    What follows is: "It wasn’t this last realization, however, that provoked the sudden suck of melancholy he felt. It was the skirt, and the yellow light reflected on the sheen of her bare legs. He hadn’t known, until that moment, that it was summer. No one had told him".

    Heartbreaking.
     
  11. AlabamaBoy

    AlabamaBoy Senior Member

    Alabama, USA
    American English
    I would still suggest: fastidioso, noioso as a good translation.
     
  12. TheNameOfAWind

    TheNameOfAWind Senior Member

    Rome <3
    Italian
    I don't get it. Why would "boilsome" mean "noioso"? Maybe I'm missing something. "amazement" sounds so positive to me!
    If it is just for similarity, I found is as similar to "tiresome" as to "awesome", or "toilsome".
     
  13. amatriciana Senior Member

    Venezia
    English - UK and US
    Or "wholesome". And "wholesome" even sounds a lot closer to "boilsome" than "tiresome" does. I think TheNameOfAWind's point is valid, there's no reason to preferentially pick "tiresome" out of the line-up. I think, especially given the added context, that boilsome is (a made-up word) meant to convey "having the property of bubbling with heat". In other words, this woman is saying what she's saying with great animation. I don't think the meaning is related to tiresomeness, or even to festering sores.

    But if someone writes with made-up words they're inviting misinterpretation, so it's really the author's fault if there's no consensus. :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2014
  14. TheNameOfAWind

    TheNameOfAWind Senior Member

    Rome <3
    Italian
    Ok, for the sake of equivocalness I declare the winner is "scottante". Una ferita scottante (sore), una storia scottante (hot), un argomento scottante (thorny).
     
  15. AlabamaBoy

    AlabamaBoy Senior Member

    Alabama, USA
    American English
    Amatriciana has a good point. :)
     

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