"arm" can means workers?

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by RâphaL, Oct 30, 2006.

  1. RâphaL

    RâphaL New Member

    Hi every body!
    i want to know if "arm" can be understood as workers, labour forces...in a figurative way, or in a metaphor.
    For example to make a comparison with "brain" which symbolizes the highly qualified people, scientists,or intelectuals (specially in the expression "brain drain").

    please help me !
  2. Greg Mosse Senior Member

    You need 'hands', not 'arms' - maybe. Je n'ai pas tout saisi.
    You could search on line for uses of 'hands' meaning crew or staff.
  3. watergirl Senior Member

    San Francisco CA
    English, U.S.A.
    Yes, I would suggest something along the lines of "hired hands"
  4. RâphaL

    RâphaL New Member

    thank you Greg! jhesitai à user "hands". Pour etre plus precis je compare un pays a une personne.
    Je voulais savoir si ça est comprehensible pour tout le monde.
    but i think u right.
  5. RâphaL

    RâphaL New Member

    thank watergirl
    well, "hired hands" won't be too precise, too specific for a metaphor ? you don't think so?
  6. sandera

    sandera Senior Member

    Try this "mains d'oeuvre" which I believe is equal to workforce etc.
  7. watergirl Senior Member

    San Francisco CA
    English, U.S.A.
    Raphal, "Hired hands" is pretty specific: people hired to do some sort of manual labor, often informally.
    We also use "hands" more generally (metonymically, to be precise) as in the expression used aboard ships, "all hands on deck" i.e. all crew members on deck.
    Without your particular sentence before us, it's sort of hard to see what might or might not work.
  8. Qcumber Senior Member

    UK English
    All hands on deck! = Tout le monde sur le pont!
    [an order given to sailors]

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