to sprinkle the stardust

ekbatana

Senior Member
German Austria
I came accross this in connection with England's unsuccsessful FIFA bid with one of the reporters saying that the bidding committe should have sprinkled the stardust.


I found this phrase in connection with sport, saying that the United team sprinkled the stardust, as well as in the below non-sports context:


He was my mentor for preaching. As a young ministerial student, I followed his ministry with great enthusiasm. He could sprinkle the stardust with his oratories.


What exactly does it mean?
 
  • Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I came across this in connection with England's unsuccessful FIFA bid with one of the reporters saying that the bidding committee should have sprinkled the stardust.

    I found this phrase in connection with sport, saying that the United team sprinkled the stardust, as well as in the below non-sports context:

    He was my mentor for preaching. As a young ministerial student, I followed his ministry with great enthusiasm. He could sprinkle the stardust with his oratories.

    What exactly does it mean?
    I've heard the phrase only a few times, and I've always heard it without "the"--i.e., just "sprinkle stardust". (I've sometimes heard "scatter" rather than "sprinkle".) In my experience, it's used two ways:

    (1) To sprinkle stardust = to perform some sort of magic to cause something good to happen (actually, to have a bit of luck). This seems to fit your first two contexts: it was something the committee failed to do, and something that the United team apparently did.

    (2) To sprinkle stardust = To persuade someone of something, or persuade someone to do something (such as make a purchase) by glittering promises and descriptions of wonderful results. The implication is that the "stardust" is exaggerated or even deliberately deceptive.
     

    ekbatana

    Senior Member
    German Austria
    Thanks Parla, your explanations were very helpful. I'm sorry for not thanking you any earlier, I did not mean to be inpolite but thanks to the cold snap in Central Europe I managed to get a very painful sinusitis and have not been online for a few days.
     

    bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    This could actually have a different meaning than it does in most contexts. The "stardust" here could be a reference to using celebrities, stars, as representatives, to lend glamor, cachet, and, yes, star power to the country's bid.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    This could actually have a different meaning than it does in most contexts. The "stardust" here could be a reference to using celebrities, stars, as representatives, to lend glamor, cachet, and, yes, star power to the country's bid.
    Good point! This could indeed be still another meaning.
     

    ekbatana

    Senior Member
    German Austria
    Thanks Parla and Bibliolept!! That makes sense even though you should think that Prince William as third in the line to the British throne and David Beckham, soccer's blue-eyed boy, both epitomize what celebrity is all about. If this were what the sport journalist meant, it would actually be an insult to these two as well as all other famous persons involved in the English bid!
     
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