a door post

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New Member
France (French)

about this sentense :

"When Washington grew up, he became a pillar of society...
Which later turned out to be more of a door post."

I think it is a humorous sentence, and surely there is a pun with "a pillar of society" and "a door post"...
(cause "pillar" and "post" can be used as a similar meaning?!!?)

But it is difficult for me to catch here the meaning of "a door post" and finally, the pun...

Is there someone to help me about this??

  • thyall

    New Member
    France (French)
    Yes, i think it's about the similar meaning of "pillar" and "post" in architecture... but i can't get the sense of the pun. maybe something idiomatic?


    Senior Member
    English, UK, London
    Maybe a pun like in "pilier" and "chambranle"?
    I hate asking to have puns or jokes explained to me, but I must. What is this pun about, please Pieanne?

    In English there is an idiomatic expression "from pillar to post." You can be pushed or moved from pillar to post. It means you have no choice, and the movement or change takes place without any progress or improvement in position.

    A pillar is generally stronger and more imposing than a mere post. The pun may be that Washington was thought to be a pillar of society, a very important and influential person. Later opinion changed and he was not thought to be so important, just like a door post is very ordinary compared with a pillar. The play on words is based on the idiomatic expression.

    courtney w

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    I'm not exactly sure, but I think that maybe what the pun is trying to say is that Washington's contribution to society (whatever it was) first seemed to be of great significance (a "pillar" is something that holds up a great weight, something very large) but later, people realized that it was maybe not so significant as they once thought it was (the door post is only holding up a door: it is of less importance than a pillar)
    Does this make sense?
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