to give horse manure

Discussion in 'English Only' started by gvergara, Nov 23, 2007.

  1. gvergara

    gvergara Senior Member

    Santiago, Chile

    What is the meaning of horse manure in this sentence? Thanks in advance, bye

    What I liked about her, she didn't give you a lot of horse manure about what a great guy her father was.
    From "The catcher in the rye" by J. D. Salinger

  2. Driven

    Driven Senior Member

    It stands for "crap". He didn't give her a lot of crap about it. BS, bull, lies.
  3. CeRiBbEaNxQuEeN

    CeRiBbEaNxQuEeN Member

    New York
    United States/English

    Not so much "lies" or "BS" as "boring him by giving him a drawn out.." For lack of a better word, "garbage."
  4. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    Hi Gonzalo,

    Horse manure can have a range of meanings, from something as mild as garbage, as suggested by CQueen, to the more typical usages provided by Driven. It is always disparaging, and only context and tone of voice will determine which end of the insulting spectrum it is closest to. I suspect that in general it is a relatively polite euphemism for
    bull shit.

    In the passage you cite, the tone puts it at the milder end of the range. You could paraphrase it as,

    What I liked about her, she didn't give you a lot of horse manure nonsense/malarky/bull dinky/phoney talk about what a great guy her father was.

    Those options are consistent with the language of the time Salinger wrote. Today a young person might say bull/bs/crap in about the same register. Modern AE is a bit less puritanical than that of 1960 and before.
  5. bibliolept

    bibliolept Senior Member

    Northern California
    AE, Español
    Scatological references are very prevalent when discussing lies, nonsensical statements, or "beating around the bush": mule muffins, horseshit, road apples, mule fritters, bull cookies, bullshit, horse hockey/puckey, etc.

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