dough faces

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gil12345

Senior Member
chinese
Hi there,

"John Quincy Adams was a small man of but little muscular power, yet we know he had more courage than all the northern dough faces of six feet high and well proportioned that ever represented us at our Capitol."

I know "doughfaces" refer to those who did not oppose to the slavery. Yet I cannot get the connotation of it. In what light does the word depict a man? (I assume that dough is the mixture of flour and water.)

Thanks

Gil
 
  • Pertinax

    Senior Member
    BrE->AuE
    Dough can be easily manipulated by the hands, like clay. A man of dough can be easily manipulated. OED again:

    dough face

    A dough-faced person; one who allows himself to be moulded or worked upon; formerly, in U.S. politics, applied to Northern politicians considered to yield undue compliance to the South, in the matter of slavery, etc.
     

    gil12345

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Dough can be easily manipulated by the hands, like clay. OED again:
    dough face

    A dough-faced person; one who allows himself to be moulded or worked upon; formerly, in U.S. politics, applied to Northern politicians considered to yield undue compliance to the South, in the matter of slavery, etc.
    I take a dough-face as a face with dough on, or to be precise, with some bumps of meat on. Then why do we consider this kind of person as "easily manipulated"? My question may be a little too far. But thanks, anyway.
     

    Pertinax

    Senior Member
    BrE->AuE
    The term is being used figuratively. They don't look like dough, but they can be manipulated like dough - i.e. they can be easily persuaded. Their minds and principles can be changed as easily as we can knead dough.
     

    gil12345

    Senior Member
    chinese
    The term is being used figuratively. They don't look like dough, but they can be manipulated like dough - i.e. they can be easily persuaded. Their minds and principles can be changed as easily as we can knead dough.
    Got it. Thanks
     
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