button bowl

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Danae, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. Danae

    Danae Senior Member

    Portuguese - Portugal
    Hi! I've found the word "button bowl", which I discovered to be made of buttons. My question is: are all "button bowls" made of buttons? Is its name derived from that particular structure? Cause I also found an image of a button bowl that was not made of buttons... And do you happen to know if this kind of bowl is characteristic of any region of the world? Thanks! I know, too many questions, but I really think that, besides its being useful to my current work, it is also a curious question.
     
  2. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    The City of New York
    USA - English
    If I saw the term "button bowl" by itself, I would take that to mean "a bowl that is intended to hold buttons." However, if it were explained to me, I would agree that it was also grammatical to call a bowl made out of buttons a "button bowl."

    In the same way, if you said "he made a butter dish" I would assume that he had made a ceramic dish for holding butter. If you mentioned a butter knife, I would usually think you meant a metal knife for cutting butter. However, if you said "I went to the butter sculpture exhibit at the State Fair. I saw a butter lion, a butter Venus, and a butter table setting, made of a butter knife, a butter fork, and a butter dish", I would under those circumstances assume you were speaking of things made of butter, including a lion made of butter, a Venus made of butter, and a knife and a dish made out of butter.

    Thus, depending on the circumstances, either meaning could work.
     

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