grope with the feet

< Previous | Next >

taked4700

Senior Member
japanese japan
Hi,

Is this sentence idiomatic?

I had to grope my way home with the feet during the flood.

I think the word "grope" connotes using hands, so let me ask about "grope with the feet".

I guess that use of 'grope' would be idiomatic.

Thanks in advance.
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Leaving aside the special context mentioned by Red, I would happily "grope" with my (not "the") naked feet, but I don't know whether that's a suitable verb for someone wearing shoes and trying to keep their footing.

    What exactly do you have in mind, taked? What kind of movement are you describing?
     

    taked4700

    Senior Member
    japanese japan
    Thank you, RedwoodGrove and Velisarius.

    I just imagined something like walking across a river a couple of feet deep with a large bag in your both hands so you cannot watch your step.

    Let me try to describe that scene.

    I groped my way across the river with my feet: I managed to move forward little by little keeping my feet within an inch above the rocks on the river floor.
     
    Last edited:

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I tend to grope (with my hands) for things I can't see, so I think I'd forget "grope" here and say "I waded gingerly across the river."

    Let's see what others think about "groping your way across". The idea of groping with one's feet sounds odd to me, because with shoes on your feet you can't really "feel your way across".
     

    taked4700

    Senior Member
    japanese japan
    Thank you, Velisarius and You little ripper.

    I reedit the sentence.

    I groped my way across the river with my bear feet: I managed to move forward little by little keeping my feet within an inch above the rocks on the river floor.
     
    Last edited:

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    As you know, we must concentrate on "grope" or a phrase to replace it (but note that it's "bare feet"). "I managed to move forward little by little" is okay.
     

    taked4700

    Senior Member
    japanese japan
    Thank you, Velisarius, You little ripper and Andygc.

    I'm sorry for my misspelling.

    As-a-matter-of-factly, the word grope carries a bad connotation, doesn't it?
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I normally "feel my way" with my feet in this context.
    :thumbsup:
    The dictionary is quite specific - it does not say "with hands or feet". The word is based on the same root as grasp and grip, both actions associated with hands.
    to feel about with the hands;
    feel one's way hesitantly:
    [no object]to grope around in the darkness.
    [~ + object]I groped my way up the dark stairs.
     

    Sparky Malarky

    Moderator
    English - US
    When I get up in the middle of the night and don't want to turn on the light, I often grope with my feet for my house slippers. But I agree with Andygc that "feel my way with my feet" would work better in your context.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Andy wrote
    I normally "feel my way" with my feet in this context.
    Just what I decided to say as I read through the thread.
    Luckily, the only normal context for me to grope would be feeling my way back to bed in the pitch black dead of night when I do it with hands and feet. I sometimes grope around the other side of the bed to see if my husband has got up or not.

    'Grope''s a perfectly good word so long as it doesn't involve unwanted touching of other people's bodies.

    "Every single day, most of the day, I find myself groping for words to express my disgust".
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    If I were to "clench (and unclench) my toes" (that sort of grasps or grips something rather than just feeling if there is something to take my weight safely) during the action I would use grope - otherwise not. But I'm just one of the members of the collective that determines how the English language evolves - no-one rules:)
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top