wisp of tow

igoraseru

Member
Spanish- Spain
hi. I found this phrase in The Brothers Karamazov

"They all shouted: ‘Aha, he is funking, he is running away. Wisp of tow!"

With the context, I presume they are abusing him, but I don't what does actually mean: mechon de grua? it's weird.

Thanks in advance.
 
  • Orgullomoore

    Senior Member
    Inglés estadounidense
    Aparentemente, se están burlando de su barba, pero no estoy exactamente seguro por qué dirían "wisp of tow".

    Me causó curiosidad tu post, así que he pedido la traducción española de este libro por Amazon y en cuanto me llegue, si es que nadie te ha contestado, actualizaré el hilo con la traducción.
     

    Valvs

    Senior Member
    Russian
    3Tow 1: short or broken fiber (as of flax, hemp, or synthetic material) that is used especially for yarn, twine, or stuffing
    (Merriam-Webster)
    Does it make more sense now?
     

    igoraseru

    Member
    Spanish- Spain
    hey, muchas gracias por vuestro esfuerzo. Pero realmente, es imposible que el significado este relacionado con las barbas, pues el insulto lo dice un niño a otro. Alguna otra sugerencia?
     

    Adolfo Afogutu

    Senior Member
    Español
    Hola:
    Según la wiki, es el nombre de un personaje, un capitán al cual llaman así para molestarlo. Es probable que los niños dijeran que él se acercaba. No sé, habría que leer la escena.
    Saludos

    Captain "Wisp of Tow"

    A captain who, for some reason, gets really pissed off when you call him "wisp of tow". I have no idea what it means, but just go up to him and say "wisp of tow" and he'll go bonkers. For some reason, he enjoys strange men pulling his beard and humiliating him, but goes nuts over "wisp of tow". Go figure.

    Fuente: Wikipedia
     

    Chez

    Senior Member
    English English
    I would assume the insult meant 'weak' or 'feeble' person. Tow is a thin piece of fibre, as Valvs says, and 'wisp' means very thin, insubstantial or insignificant. This insult would be appropriate as the recipient is acting cowardly and running away.
     

    igoraseru

    Member
    Spanish- Spain
    thanks for taking the trouble. I really appreciate it. Thank you very much. I think I'll read that story.
     

    TOPICMCEE

    New Member
    ENGLISH
    hi. I found this phrase in The Brothers Karamazov

    "They all shouted: ‘Aha, he is funking, he is running away. Wisp of tow!"

    With the context, I presume they are abusing him, but I don't what does actually mean: mechon de grua? it's weird.

    Thanks in advance.[/QUO

    In the book they are referring to the captins small beard. The captin was the father of the boy the school kids were picking on. This boys fathers beard was ripped out by another man in front of all the school kid and they were picking on his son because of this. Wisp meaning a sprig or a bit of something and tow meaning bundle of filaments. Wisp of tow is what they thought his beard looked like when it was ripped out. Great book by the way
     
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