Posted by Word Camel on February 20, 2004
In Reply to: Re: Some expressions in english posted by Bob on February 20, 2004
: : I'd like to know if somebody can help me with the meaning of the following expressions: "round and about" and "held and turned", shown in the contexts
: : below:
: : The war became a consuming fire 'round and about' the world, causing losses both to victors and vanquished out of all proportion to the issues involved.
: : The first phase of the war was a tremendous rush of the Germans upon Paris and an invasion of East Prussia by the Russians. Both attacks were 'held and turned.'
: : Thanks,
: : HCD
: "around and about" is to be completely surrounded, as in an out-of-control fire that threatens your life.
"Held and turned" is not actually an expression in the sense that it is repeated frequently in a number of different contexts. It literally describes what happened in the attacks. The troops were 'held' then 'turned'. That is, they were prevented from advancing (held) and forced to retreat (turned).