a bite short

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Gabriel Malheiros

Senior Member
Portuguese - Brazil
Hi, there

Let's say a mother is downstairs and she calls out to her son and asks him to come downstairs. The son comes and the mother is holding a candy bar that was bitten. Would it sound odd if the mother said

"This candy bar is a bite short. Did you eat it?"?

Thank you
 
  • Gabriel Malheiros

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    It would sound humorous, but possible as a jokey way to ask the question.
    But would itsound better to say something like " this has a bite out of it"?... In case I want to be more serious and "is a bite short" doesn't work.

    Thank you
     
    Last edited:

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    It would not normally be called "a bite short". That meaning of "short" isn't used for something whole that has had a piece removed. It is used when there is a count of separate objects, and the count shows one (or a few) less than expected. It is used when there is a goal and we get near it but do not reach it.

    For the candy bar, "This candy bar has a bite taken out of it."
     

    Gabriel Malheiros

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    It would not normally be called "a bite short". That meaning of "short" isn't used for something whole that has had a piece removed. It is used when there is a count of separate objects, and the count shows one (or a few) less than expected. It is used when there is a goal and we get near it but do not reach it.

    For the candy bar, "This candy bar has a bite taken out of it."
    But Dojibear, on a TV show, a guy see a waiter sipping his drink while bringig it to him, and then he says to the waiter: "I think this is a sip short of a full drink"... The sips aren't separated from the full drink. What's the difference?

    Thank you, Dojibear
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    What the guy said is not a normal expression. This expression is not used to mean "a less than full drink".

    In this case he saw the waiter take a sip from the drink - which is a wrong thing to do. He is pointing it out in a funny "cute" way because it is a TV show and he is repeating the "cute" remark in the script. He uses sip because that is what he saw the waiter "take".

    In real life he would not complain that the drink was too low. He would complain that the waiter drank from his glass, which is unsanitary and violates health rules (laws, in most cities).
     

    Gabriel Malheiros

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    What the guy said is not a normal expression. This expression is not used to mean "a less than full drink".

    In this case he saw the waiter take a sip from the drink - which is a wrong thing to do. He is pointing it out in a funny "cute" way because it is a TV show and he is repeating the "cute" remark in the script. He uses sip because that is what he saw the waiter "take".

    In real life he would not complain that the drink was too low. He would complain that the waiter drank from his glass, which is unsanitary and violates health rules (laws, in most cities).
    Yes, but , in a jokey way, as pointed out Cagey, couldn't the mother say "this candy bar is a bite short", just as the guy said "this drink is a sip short"... The humor is the same, except that we are talking about a bite in the first case and a sip in the second one. Doesn't it work?

    Dojibear, thank you very much for all your help!
     

    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    Yes, but , in a jokey way, as pointed out Cagey, couldn't the mother say "this candy bar is a bite short", just as the guy said "this drink is a sip short"... The humor is the same, except that we are talking about a bite in the first case and a sip in the second one. Doesn't it work?
    Yes, you can, Gabriel. It makes perfect sense, and is also amusing because it's not the usual way of saying it.
     
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