Posted by Smokey Stover on November 09, 2003
In Reply to: Slack-jawed posted by Word Camel on November 07, 2003
: : : : : : : : 1.Who is a faculty adviser?
: : : : : : : : 2.How is slack-jawed? What feeling does it present?
: : : : : : : Slack-jawed refers to slow talking country people who drawl - slack-jawed yokel (local)
: : : : : : : : Thanks folks!
: : : : : : A faculty adviser is a teacher or professor assigned to advise a student about what courses to take and possibly other decisions related to the student's progress in school.
: The preferred spelling in the U.S. used to be advisor (I think), but now it is definitely adviser. About slack-jawed, the OED Online (Oxford English Dictionary) prefers the literal meaning, that is, with mouth open or ajar in admiration, awe or amazement. It cites an older meaning of "inclined to talk too much." To some the word suggests also a country dunstable with a somewhat stupid expression because his mouth is open. A mouth-breather, taken literally, is one who breathes through the mouth because of a nasal obstruction. He may be a dolt, but you would not described him as a slack-jawed dolt. The OED recognizes the figurative meaning, and gives a terrific quote from a 1998 issue of Esquire: "Three dateless chuckleheadsin mullet cuts--short on top, shoulder length behind--mouth breathers, unibrows, stooges."
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: : : : : WRONG on 'slack-jawed'.
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: : : : : From http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=74266&dict=CALD - "with your mouth open in surprise".
: : : : : From http://www.infoplease.com/ipd/A0656517.html%20-%20"having the mouth open, esp. as an indication of astonishment, bewilderment, etc."
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: : : : There are many reliable online sources for finding authoritative answers to questions like these. This is a wonderful site to come to for stimulating discussion about words and phrases; but it's always a good idea to also do some basic research on your own, either prior to jumping in with a question, or afterwards, to verify some of the ideas thrown out in response--or both.
: : : In the US, it tends to be spelled a-d-v-i-s-O-r. Don't know why.
: : The way I've heard it, "slack-jawed" means stupid. Slack-jawed idiots.
: I have it on the best authority that slack-jawed refers to people who went to Cambirdge