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  1. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    bookends

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by dillseed, May 14, 2014.

    What does it mean when someone refers to two people as 'bookends'? Does it mean that he or she is saying that the two people are birds of a feather? Are the two people very similar in their interests?

    Joe said, "Pete and Mike are bookends."

    What exactly does this mean?

    Thank you.
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    A quick search across the net brings up a bewildering array of meanings from the mundane to the unexpectedly lewd. o_O

    I would assume it's another way of saying "joined at the hip", you don't see one without the other.
     
  3. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    I searched the Net, too, and discovered the same thing, Wreybies. I like your assumption.

    Thank you, and have a great day. :)
     
  4. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Isn't there usually a slightly negative connotation to this term, when applied to humans? As if one simply can't or won't function without the other one. Implying huge insecurity rather than a lovey-dovey thing? Like you can't ever talk to one without the other butting in, or go someplace with one of them without the other one tagging along? A mutually stifling and limiting relationship. (You take one bookend away and all the books fall down?)
     
  5. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Have to say, as a replacement for 'joined at the hip', 'lived inside each others pockets' or 'two peas in a pod', it doesn't carry the same ring to me.

    Not if the row of books in question is leaning against a bookcase, or propped against a wall. ;) Although they come in pairs, I've rarely seen them used that way, when used with function, rather than aesthetic in mind. One is a perfectly capable of fulfilling its end, without the inherent need for the other.
     
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  6. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    Thanks. :)
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'd go with 'a matched pair' as the most logical meaning...

    that said, it could also mean they are exact opposites, as a pair of decorative bookends would be...
     

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