plain-dwelling

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Haishen, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. Haishen Junior Member

    Beijing, China
    Chinese-mandarin
    what does plain-dwelling mean?

    a stay-at-home plain-dwelling English child commits to memory the measurements and altitudes of the world's principle mountain peaks.

    thanks
     
  2. velisarius

    velisarius Senior Member

    Greece
    British English (Sussex)
    See WFR dictionary's definition for "plain"- n. "a level or almost level tract of country".
    Sp plain-dwelling means "living on flat land".
     
  3. Haishen Junior Member

    Beijing, China
    Chinese-mandarin
    an English boy who lives on flat land? That doesn't seem to make sense. Can you explain? Thank you.
     
  4. e2efour Senior Member

    England (aged 73)
    UK English
    I interpret plain-dwelling as average or ordinary, although I find it a somewhat strange expression.
    It could mean living on a plain, but this would make little sense to me.

    However, you have not given the source of this sentence. I assume that you have not made it up. :)

    Added: A common expression is "plain living", which refers to the style in which a person lives. It can be used as a noun or an adjective.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2013
  5. Haishen Junior Member

    Beijing, China
    Chinese-mandarin
    This is from Saki's Unbearable Bassington.
     
  6. velisarius

    velisarius Senior Member

    Greece
    British English (Sussex)
    It's ironic; Saki implies that an extensive knowledge of the mountains of the world is not very useful to a child who lives in a flat area of the British Isles and is never likely to travel far from home. In context, the passage is very amusing.
     
  7. e2efour Senior Member

    England (aged 73)
    UK English
    On balance I agree with Velisarius.

    (Note the spelling of principal.)
     
  8. Haishen Junior Member

    Beijing, China
    Chinese-mandarin
    ah~I see. yeah it is amusing. thanks velisarius.
     
  9. Haishen Junior Member

    Beijing, China
    Chinese-mandarin
    thank you e2efour.
     

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