they’re not more than a gleam in the eye,"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by thuhoai, May 2, 2011.

  1. thuhoai Senior Member

    Hi, everyone

    “We’re looking at a couple but they’re not more than a gleam in the eye,” Buffett said of deals that would be “something similar” to Lubrizol. “They’re worth doing but we can’t do a really big elephant now and we won’t stretch when we’ve never really taken any risk because we don’t need to.”

    Could you please explain the phrase ''they’re not more than a gleam in the eye,".

    Thanks in advance
  2. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    As Buffett is quoted as saying in the first part of the sentence, he is "looking at" a couple of deals. The "gleam" suggests that he is looking at them favorably, that they are highly attractive. (He goes on to say that nothing has been decided, because they are also somewhat risky.)
  3. thuhoai Senior Member

    Thank you vey much, Parla. I got it.
  4. cubaMania Senior Member

    It means that they are currently nothing more than ideas.
    "A gleam in (the/somebody's) eye" is a set phrase. It refers to something that is still only an idea or a hope. This is from Macmillan dictionary:
    It might or might not be a generalization from "When you were just a gleam in your father's eye" which humorously refers to your father's desires before you were conceived, to mean in the past before you existed.
    Last edited: May 3, 2011

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