shades of French fairy dust

Francesco22

Senior Member
italiano
#1
Hi there,
I can't understand the meaning of "shades" in this sentence.
It can't be "ombra" or "paralume", "ombrello" and so on... I tought they meant "jars" or "bottle", because it could be reasonable...otherwise it has no sense.

The context: two fairies are talking about a third fairy who needs fifteen shades of French fairy dust and a bottle of blue moonlight...

Thank you in advance...
 
  • AlabamaBoy

    Senior Member
    American English
    #2
    In the case, shades means "types" or "kinds." It means that the third fairy seems to need a lot of magical stuff to do his/her work.
     

    Blackman

    Senior Member
    Italiano/Sardo
    #6
    Varietà/varianti potrebbe fare al caso tuo...

    EDIT: non so di cosa si tratta esattamente, ma potresti usare una metonimia letterale: 15 sfumature/gradazioni di polvere magica francese.
    In the case, shades means "types" or "kinds."
     
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    AlabamaBoy

    Senior Member
    American English
    #7
    Questa altra fata proprio non riesce a fare nulla senza un numero eccessivo di sostanze magiche.

    rrose: In my stomping grounds, "shades" rarely literally means "colors" in an ironic statement like this.
     

    Francesco22

    Senior Member
    italiano
    #8
    And what about the "blue moonlight"?? Una bottiglia gigante di chiaro di luna blu?!?!?!
    If you (native speakers) listened to this sentence, what would you understand?!
     

    AlabamaBoy

    Senior Member
    American English
    #9
    If you (native speakers) listened to this sentence, what would you understand?!
    Please see my comments above. It is a very ironic and non-literal sentence to say they feel this fairy is so incompetent that she can't get anything done without unreasonable amounts of rare esoteric magical substances.
     

    rrose17

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    #10
    I still think shades of fairy dust is various colours, but the blue moonlight is probably ironic as AB pointed out. There is a very common expression once in a blue moon which means almost never. So a bottle of blue moonlight must be very rare indeed!
     

    Francesco22

    Senior Member
    italiano
    #12
    Yes, ok...but the fact is that the fairy is reading a list of things the other fairy needs...for this reason I think it's not just an ironic way to express she is incompetent.
     

    Francesco22

    Senior Member
    italiano
    #15
    Right London Calling...but the problem is that I have also to adjust the sentence to the fairy's lips opening and closing...:(
    Anyway, thank you all!!!
     

    AlabamaBoy

    Senior Member
    American English
    #17
    Lo, I think, at least in English, the ironic (perhaps sardonic) mood is set by the fact, that these 15 types of fairy dust are all different, just a shade different, from each other. I would not be surprised that this is one that an American would see as a joke while someone else would see it as incomprehensible. Perhaps it's a cultural thing. Our senses of humor are different. I often have trouble understanding or telling jokes with my Italian friends.

    EDIT: Ovunque sul forum WRF si trova: once in a blue moon = una volta ogni morta di papa. Quindi, il "bottle of blue moonlight" (una bottiglia di luce di luna blu) non ha un senso ironico in italiano come lo ha in inglese.
     
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