Stain/bedabble/imbrue

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Scorpion56

Senior Member
Polish
Dear native speakers,

could you please provide your opinion on the difference between 'imbrue' and 'bedabble' in the sentence below? Of course, I'm not going to use them in everyday conversation. As a linguist and an English philologist, however, I am interested in words and therefore native speakers' opinion is of paramount importance to me. :)

From a distance they espied a gray, rebarbative house, by which there lay a crumpled figure all imbrued/bedabbled in blood.
 
  • heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I don't think I've come across these words before, but having looked them up, I'd say they are interchangeable. Though how "they" could see the condition of the crumpled figure from a distance, I don't know.

    I can't see how a house can be rebarbative though. (I had to look that up too).

    I do know what 'espy' means, though, :))) but I'd never use it. It sounds so dated.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    In my opinion, many native speakers, in general, will not know "rebarbative" or "imbrued" and find "bedabbled" and "espied" old-fashioned.
     

    Scorpion56

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I am the author :)

    I just made up the sentence for the purpose of the thread, taking into consideration that it would be strange to use imbrue in an ordinary context.
     

    LVRBC

    Senior Member
    English-US, standard and medical
    I do not find them interchangeable at all. Bedabbled means spotted with, while imbrued means soaked in. Different amounts of blood altogether.
     

    Scorpion56

    Senior Member
    Polish
    This is what I have thought as well.

    And 'from a distance' is quite vague, so they actually could have been able to espy blood on a cadaver. :)
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    And 'from a distance' is quite vague, so they actually could have been able to espy blood on a cadaver. :)
    If you are seeing the house "from a distance", then the house appears small. I doubt you can even see (not espy) a body (not a cadaver).
    (You're using this kind of words when you are in "everyday conversation.")
     
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