dreaded cousin coming to stay!

Silver

Senior Member
Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
Hi,

Today my student said this to me:

I've got my dreaded cousin coming to stay!

(He said he wrote and since I still can't use Google, I don't know whether it's from some dictionary. Yes, I introduced some online dictionaries to him.)

I wonder if "dreaded cousin coming to stay" means "keep my cousin under control".

Thanks a lot
 
  • Language Hound

    Senior Member
    American English
    I wonder if "dreaded cousin coming to stay" means "keep my cousin under control".
    No, it does not.
    "Dreaded" is an adjective which modifies "cousin" and means "causing fear, dread or terror."
    I wonder if he didn't mean "dreadful cousin" (awful cousin, see 2nd meaning of "dreadful" in WR dictionary).
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    When he told me "dreaded cousin" and I guessed "dreaded" meant "a naughty, rebellious". I don't understand "coming to stay", I guessed it might mean "keep under control".

    I wonder if this expression is nonsensical.

    Thanks a lot
     

    Language Hound

    Senior Member
    American English
    I've got my cousin coming to stay = My cousin is coming to stay with me.
    His cousin will be staying at his place.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    A dreaded cousin would be a cousin that someone was afraid of, or didn't want to see. It is unusual to describe a cousin this way. If a native speaker said this, they would be being slightly humorous.

    As Language Hound says, a dreadful cousin would be a more usual combination. However, in my variety of English, 'dreadful' sounds a formal and literary. It may not be in British English.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    In BE we could speak either of a dreaded or of a dreadful cousin.

    A dreaded cousin could be quite an affectionate term - ie. the adjective could easily be used ironically. It could be used for a cousin who was a bit of a tearaway.
    A dreadful cousin would probably a dreadful person who was a cousin.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Thanks a lot, but, I still wonder if my understanding of the sentence is correct.
    No, it isn't.

    You've been told the correct meaning.

    Added
    : it seems that your student found the sentence in the Cambridge English-Chinese (Simplified) Dictionary entry for dread.
     
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