bedside

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bg1996

Senior Member
Cantonese,Mandarin;Kwangtung/Guangdong,hk
If my friend wasn't sick, only sleeping, can I say : "After I went into Lee's bedroom, I sat at his bedside." My teacher said "at one's bedside" meaned someone was ill, right? If right, how can I express the first situation with the word "bedside"?
 
  • bg1996

    Senior Member
    Cantonese,Mandarin;Kwangtung/Guangdong,hk
    Oh, Irishstar, that's only a typo. Thank you for pointing it out.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Probably not "beside" but rather "bedside".

    I have only ever heard "bedside" used in this phrase:

    Doctor Jones has an excellent bedside manner.

    And in that case it does mean to be along side the bed of an ill patient.

    You could say:

    "After I went into Lee's bedroom, I sat beside his bed."
     

    bg1996

    Senior Member
    Cantonese,Mandarin;Kwangtung/Guangdong,hk
    Then, Packard, you agree with what my teather said? And I can't express that meaning(not ill) with "bedside"? For example: I went to Lee's bedside. The word always implies someone is a patient?
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I don't have access to my usual dictionary at work, but Princeton's Wordnet defines it like this:

    space by the side of a bed (especially the bed of a sick or dying person); "the doctor stood at her bedside"

    I don't think "bedside" is used exclusively to mean "beside a patient's bed", but I think it is used that way most often and for clarity's sake it would be better to use another word or phrase if you are using it in a different context.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    "Bedside" is certainly not limited to referring to the beds of patients. One may have a bedside table or a bedside lamp, for example, and be in perfect health.
    True, but bedside (noun) is mostly used as Packard, the WR Dictionary, and the OED suggest - with reference to the bedside of a sick/dying person.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    "Bedside" is certainly not limited to referring to the beds of patients. One may have a bedside table or a bedside lamp, for example, and be in perfect health.

    Absolutely.

    But do you think that "Mike sat at Marie's bedside..." would bring to mind that Marie was either ill or on her death bed? I think it would for many people and I would use another term to avoid that confusion.

    (And my bedside table and bedside lamp concur that my health is very good, but they suggest I work on my personal hygiene.)
     

    bg1996

    Senior Member
    Cantonese,Mandarin;Kwangtung/Guangdong,hk
    (And my bedside table and bedside lamp concur that my health is very good, but they suggest I work on my personal hygiene.)
    I can't understand this clearly. You said my bedside table, bedside lamp and "my health is very good" happen together? And they imply you work on your personal health? I'm confused about that.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I can't understand this clearly. You said my bedside table, bedside lamp and "my health is very good" happen together? And they imply you work on your personal health? I'm confused about that.
    It was my weak attempt at humor directed at GreenWhiteBlue's comment that you can have a bedside table or bedside lamp, and "bedside" does not always have to be about illness. I gave the bedside table and bedside lamp a "voice" so that they could comment on my health. They commented that my health was good, but I needed to take care of my "personal hygiene", by which I meant they were suggesting that I bathe more often.

    Now that I have explained it, it seems less humorous. I should have disposed of the joke with the bathwater.
     
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