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Senior Member
Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect

Here is a sentence from my teacher, but I don't quite understand the word "cloak" here:

The fair cloak has its wrong side.

He told us it would mean "excuse", possibly, when we used it to talk to foreign friends.

I looked it up, it means "hide", I wonder if "cloak" here makes sense?

Thanks a lot
  • quillerbee

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Hi again,

    a cloak is a big cape thing you put around your shoulders. It has an outside (which is fair and nice-looking) and an inside (which is not so nice -- seams, cheaper fabric, maybe a bit sweaty).

    We can speak metaphorically of cloaking something in mystery. If the teacher means it as an excuse, you can conclude that even a nice excuse (I was sick, really!) has its drawbacks, such as in your loss of credibility.

    But I would not recommend using this with your friends.


    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Here is a suggestion.
    When you find a puzzling expression, or your teacher gives you a sentence and will not explain it, try searching for examples of its use.

    If, as in this case, there is no example of the expression on an English website, assume that the expression is not used by native speakers and move on.
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