sieve

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ShFoDavid

New Member
Arabic
Hi,
Say someone said, "This article is a fuckin' sieve">
Is "sieve" figurative here? And what does it mean?
 
  • Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    A sieve is a kitchen utensil you use to strain things. So it can be used as a metaphor for something leaky or with a lot of holes in it.

    If a piece of writing is missing information we can say it has holes in it.

    This sentence is not a common expression but it makes sense to me.
     

    ShFoDavid

    New Member
    Arabic
    A sieve is a kitchen utensil you use to strain things. So it can be used as a metaphor for something leaky or with a lot of holes in it.

    If a piece of writing is missing information we can say it has holes in it.

    This sentence is not a common expression but it makes sense to me.
    Thank you. It makes sense to me now too.
    One more question if you please, how can i figure out the meaning of this kind of words, if it isn't even found in dictionaries?
     

    Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    The word sieve should be in any comprehensive dictionary. You could even just Google it. Yes, just did so, the first entry is an online dictionary with photos.

    As far as words used metaphorically you need to look at the literal meaning of the word and then at how it might apply to the subject.

    English can be used inventively.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I usually think of a "sieve" in terms of cooking utensil, especially for sifting flower to eliminate any lumps. But there are industrial sieves that sort items by size, and agricultural sieves that sort out seeds or sort out stones from ground soil.

    Basically is is an open mesh and typically some way to agitate the items to be sorted to improve the flow through the open mesh.

    This agricultural sieve sorts out onions according to size:

     
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