look as wholesome as

jacdac

Senior Member
Lebanese
The moonlight made the desolate landscape appear weird and dreamlike. It reflected on dark pools of brackish water, making them look as wholesome as waste engine oil.
Source: Killer on the Fens by Joy Ellis

“To get the community onboard with the show, we made some flyers with photos of us on that make us look like cult leaders,” she says. “We were trying to look as wholesome as possible, which didn't really work too well.”
Source: The Japan Times 7 Fen 2016

To look as wholesome as something is to resemble as real/genuine as, right?

Could I say “This painting is really good. It looks as wholesome as the original”?


Glossary:
a desolate landscape is a landscape (an expanse of scenery that can be seen in a single view) that is uninhabited and giving an impression of bleak emptiness
brackish water is water that has more salinity than fresh water, but not as much as seawater.

Thank you.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    "To look as wholesome as possible" means "to display good health, etc. to the greatest degree possible." People may use "wholesome" figuratively to mean something like "normal" or "nonthreatening".
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    The straightforward definitions in our dictionary fit perfectly well in these two examples you’ve found.
     

    jacdac

    Senior Member
    Lebanese
    Thank you. I do not get it. I am not sure how dark pools of brackish water are suggestive of health or well-being in appearance or in look.
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Thank you. I do not get it. I am not sure how dark pools of brackish water are suggestive of health or well-being in appearance or in look.
    In this case they are unwholesome. They are equally as wholesome as waste engine oil (which would be toxic and very bad for you).
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    That is an ironic statement, jacdac. There is nothing about waste oil that looks "wholesome". Ellis used the remark to say that the scene looked really unwholesome.
     
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