matters that mincing

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oldieman

New Member
German
Dear English speaking friends. I bet you can help me to solve my problem.
I am still reading the book 'WATCHING THE ENGLISH'. In the section 'WORK TO RULE' I found a sentence
with the statement 'matters that mincing'. The sentence reads as follows.

There are, however, pockets of stronger resistance to the money-talk taboo,
particularly in Yorkshire, a country that prides itself on being forthright, blunt
and plain-spoken, especially on matters that mincing, hesitant southerners find
embarrassing, such as money.

I am German and found a lot of information in the internt about the meaning of mince or mincing
but nothing that gives a sense to me. Even URBAN DICTIONARY didn't give me a clue.

Thanks in advance.
 
Last edited:
  • RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    It's an adjective, one that doesn't get a lot of use on the left side of the pond (USA).

    mincing /ˈmɪnsɪŋ/ adj
    1. (of a person) affectedly elegant in gait, manner, or speech.
    If that isn't denigrating enough, there's this:

    minc•ing (minsing),USA pronunciation adj.
    1. (of the gait, speech, behavior, etc.) affectedly dainty, nice, or elegant.

    Both from WRF dictionary. :)

    cross-posted by JS
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    (Yorkshire is a county, not a country)
    "... especially on matters that mincing hesitant southerners find embarassing..."

    mincing hesistant are two adjectives that modify southerners.

    mincing is (sort of buried) in the dictionary mincing - WordReference.com Dictionary of English

    to perform or utter with affected elegance.​

    Affected is here affected - WordReference.com Dictionary of English

    affected = characterized by artificiality or pretension:
    A simple synonym might be "pretentious":)
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    As noted by others, your problem came from dividing the sentence incorrectly, and not recognizing that "mincing" was an adjective modifying "southerners." The sentence can be rearranged as "... especially on matters such as money, which southerners -- who are mincing and hesitant -- find embarrassing."
     

    oldieman

    New Member
    German
    Thanks a lot for helping an old man who is still learning English.
    For a native Englisch speaking member it is easy to understand but for me as German the English language is sometimes a bit tricky.

    You are right to visit WordReference dictionary first. There I could have get the answer staight ahead.
    As you can read "not mince words or matters, to speak directly and frankly; be blunt or outspoken:"

    My conclusion is matters that mincing are handled indirect, cautious and tactful.
     

    oldieman

    New Member
    German
    (Yorkshire is a county, not a country)
    "... especially on matters that mincing hesitant southerners find embarassing..."

    mincing hesistant are two adjectives that modify southerners.

    mincing is (sort of buried) in the dictionary mincing - WordReference.com Dictionary of English

    to perform or utter with affected elegance.​

    Affected is here affected - WordReference.com Dictionary of English

    affected = characterized by artificiality or pretension:
    A simple synonym might be "pretentious":)
    Thanks for giving me help. I will obey your advice next time.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Thanks for giving me help. I will obey your advice next time.
    My conclusion is matters that mincing are handled indirect, cautious and tactful.
    Repeating what is written above. "Matters that mincing" is not the phrase.
    ... on matters that southerners find embarrassing. Which southerners find these matters embarrassing? The southerners who are mincing and hesitant.
     

    oldieman

    New Member
    German
    Now I've got it. To improve my English I better should read novels or crime stories instead of anthropological stuff.
    The structure of English sentences are sometimes a bit confusing to me. But thanks WR and the helpful members
    I get a better understanding of the English language.
    Repeating what is written above. "Matters that mincing" is not the phrase.
    ... on matters that southerners find embarrassing. Which southerners find these matters embarrassing? The southerners who are mincing and hesitant.
     

    Trochfa

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    As someone from Southern England, who has also read the book, I think it refers to being "indirect" in order to be [overly] polite. [i.e. "beating around the bush" when a straight question would obtain the answer we often want to hear.]

    "Using a way of speaking that is too delicate and not direct enough"
    mincing Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary

    Generally, people from Southern England tend not to ask other people direct questions about money. That is not the case in some other parts of the UK. [My experience in Wales has shown me that people seem to be a bit more relaxed about it here.]
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    There's a nice opposition there between the literal meanings of "blunt" and "mincing". A Yorkshireman, being "blunt", couldn't mince (cut up into small pieces) his words even if he wanted to.:D
     
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