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Old 05-24-2000, 08:15 PM   #1
Wes Steele
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I am sorry for being so dumb, but what does the line, "Stemming gold to make ends meet" mean from Don Quixote? I never found a good definition for stemming.

Wes...
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Old 05-24-2000, 11:04 PM   #2
Rob Wells
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Wes,

Somebody asked this question in another thread back aways but I can't remember what the answer was. I have always felt that it was akin to eking out a living thru begging. The dictionary defines it as making progrss against the opposing force.

Rob
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Old 05-25-2000, 01:03 AM   #3
loveandmaplesyrup
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Kind of like "stemming the tide", Rob?

I've kind of wondered about that, too. Maybe it has something to do with "panning" for gold. You know, going down to the river to see what you can find to buy something for dinner. Okay, that's probably stupid. Sorry.

It could be a Canadian phrase, though, like they say chocolate bars instead of candy bars.

Stay loose, eh?

LAMS

------------------
"Love and maple syrup
go together like the
sticky winds of winter
when they meet....
If you go into the forest
Gaze up through the trees
The sky is white.
You can understand
What makes the forest
Greet the man
Like a mother's only
child ..."
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Old 05-25-2000, 12:10 PM   #4
Florian
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Hi Wes,

to stem - the translation listed in my English-German dictionary is: 'aufhalten', which means 'to hold back', 'to bring to a stop'.

Here is what the online-dictionaries have to offer:

stem
quote:
1. to stop, check, or restrain.
2. to dam up; stop the flow of (a stream, river, or the like).
3. to tamp, plug, or make tight, as a hole or joint.
4. Skiing.to maneuver (a ski or skis) in executing a stem.
5. to stanch (bleeding).


stem
quote:
1. to make headway against (a tide, current, gale, etc.).
2. to make progress against (any opposition).


stem
quote:
1. (at the bow of a vessel) an upright into which the side timbers or plates are jointed.
2. the forward part of a vessel (often opposed to stern).


stem
quote:
1. to arrange the loading of (a merchant vessel) within a specified time.


In addition to that, I ran the word through the thesaurus, these are suggested alternates: stop, restrict, curtail, reduce, decrease.

The complete phrase is:
'See the drunkard in the tavern
Stemming gold to make ends meet'

So I guess it means that the drunkard has to budget his money carefully.

Then again I could be completly wrong with my interpretation .
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Old 05-25-2000, 08:27 PM   #5
Wes Steele
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Thanx all of you for the information. Now it makes sense.

Something that has never come up on this site about GL is his education. Looking back at his life, GL's education was high school and one year at Westlake College of Music in L.A.

It simply amazes me of this man's vocabulary. How this man from this little town in Ontario has been so prolific over the years. I really wonder where this vocabulary of his came from?

It is unbelievealbe.......

"When you reach the part where the hearaches come, the hero would be me, but hero's often fail".

Wes......

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Old 05-26-2000, 12:10 AM   #6
loveandmaplesyrup
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Wes,
But you know, high school in Canada, I believe goes beyond the 12th grade. Like 13th or 14th. And also, the level of education in countries other than the U.S. far surpasses ours.

Stay loose, eh?

LAMS

------------------
"Love and maple syrup
go together like the
sticky winds of winter
when they meet....
If you go into the forest
Gaze up through the trees
The sky is white.
You can understand
What makes the forest
Greet the man
Like a mother's only
child ..."
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Old 05-26-2000, 09:38 AM   #7
char
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Up until this year High School in Ontario went to Grade 13 if a student was going on to University. Thi is the first year that students entering the secondary stream will all graduate in grade 12. my son is in the last of the bunch that will have grade 13 (if he ever gets there!) and will graduate with the kids in grade 9 this year. A double contingent of graduates should make entry into colleges and universities quite difficult. Anyway - English is a major subject during schooling here. High school kids need 5 English credits but only 2 math to graduate! Perhaps Gord excelled in the English portion of his schooling and that's where his knowledge came from.Perhaps having a British influence on our language has something to do with it too.
Char
candy and chocolate are two different things to me!! LOL
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Old 05-26-2000, 08:55 PM   #8
Dan
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WES,

I am also always amazed at the vocabulary. Who uses terms like flotsom and navies and the many others which I never knew existed before hearing them from the lips of Lightfoot. I always thought that he must be an avid reader and also someone who loves history. After all in Apology he claims he read the bible.

Dan

P.S. Chocolate is candy to me but candy is not necessarily chocolate!
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Old 05-27-2000, 04:11 PM   #9
charlene
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Dan, I think we (Canadians) think of CANDY as a sugar product not containing chocolate. Thus the remaining delectable would be the gift from the heavens known as CHOCOLATE!!!

yours in chocolate,
Char
LOL
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Old 05-27-2000, 06:07 PM   #10
Wes Steele
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Do Snow Cones Count?
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Old 05-27-2000, 08:50 PM   #11
Janice
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Only if they're cherry snow cones
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Old 05-28-2000, 05:37 AM   #12
Rob Wells
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Wes,

You and your cherry snow cones, I swear....

Rob
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Old 05-28-2000, 05:51 AM   #13
Wes Steele
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DOCTOR Wells,

I mentioned NOTHING about CHERRY snow cones.

That was Janice.

Just finish that chicken coop....

Wes
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Old 05-30-2000, 01:29 PM   #14
theotterjudy
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Ah, but we Gord fans are an amusing, witty bunch, aren't we? Gotta love us....

------------------
"the mornin' after blues, from my head down to my shoes..."
-------------------------
"Laughing eyes and smiling face..."
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Old 05-31-2000, 11:10 PM   #15
Dan
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Wes and Rob,
How about chocolate covered cherry snow cones? Oh I guess this wouldn't be candy!!!!

Dan
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Old 05-31-2000, 11:19 PM   #16
charlene
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Dan
It's me the "Canadian" again. No that would be chocolate covered candy! LOL

Do I get a "soda" or "pop" with that?
How about "chips" or "fries"??
I'm getting hungry guys.....

Char
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Old 06-02-2000, 12:02 AM   #17
2Much2Lose
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Too much indulgence in this topic requires stemming calories to make ends of my belt meet.



------------------
"And the laughter came too easy for life to pass me by." - SDYS
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Old 06-02-2000, 06:42 AM   #18
Wes Steele
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To 2much2lose...

That was the funniest line on this whole site. I am still laughing. FANTASTIC!!!! HA!

By the way, on the snowcone website this Sunday, we will feature Florian writing about European snow cones.

Wes
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Old 06-02-2000, 11:02 PM   #19
Dan
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Char,
It's me the American again. Would that be 'soda pop', 'potatoe (Danforth Q. spelling) chips' and 'french fries'... but what does that have to do with Wes' and Janice's cherry snow cones and chocolate?

I'm on a diet so I can't be hungry. Can I?

Here is something I have never understood: If we all live in North America why are people who live in the U.S. American but people who live in Canada are Canadian??

Dan the United Statian.

I had to edit this twice just to get the smile faces right!

[This message has been edited by Dan (edited June 02, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by Dan (edited June 02, 2000).]
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Old 05-15-2008, 11:07 PM   #20
tanghepaul
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Default Re: "Stemming gold to make ends meet..."

I realize this addition might be 8 years too late, but I believe the line "stemming gold to make ends meet" refers to the process of removing gold from other objects likes rings, watches, silverware, etc in order to get a composite quantity of it.

I base this opinion on Dictionary.com's definition of the verb stem when used with an object:
–verb (used with object) 20.to remove the stem from (a leaf, fruit, etc)
Not an exact fit for gold, but I think it is more plausible than merely budgeting.
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Old 05-15-2008, 11:31 PM   #21
RM
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Default Re: "Stemming gold to make ends meet..."

A fresh voice.....very nice. I can go either way with the interpretations. Since the line is referring to a drunkard (see recent Massey Hall discussions), it makes sense either way.

I have commented numerous times about my admiration of Lightfoot's choice of words. Maybe someone will ask him about it at a future concert.
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Old 05-16-2008, 12:57 AM   #22
charlene
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Default Re: "Stemming gold to make ends meet..."

Quote:
Originally Posted by RM View Post
I have commented numerous times about my admiration of Lightfoot's choice of words. Maybe someone will ask him about it at a future concert.
and a few times during different songs each night as Gord sang certain words or phrases I thought of you and your admiration and amazement at his use of the English language..one was exactly this line and word..and I also thought I should ask him..but then I get within arms reach of him and all sanity and coherent thoughts (the little I have) seems to leave me..

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Old 05-16-2008, 11:20 AM   #23
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Default Re: "Stemming gold to make ends meet..."

Actually we had a long discussion about this word as recently as
February 2006 (after catmanRon had heard a detailed explanation at a gold mine while vacationing in Northern Queensland)
see:-
http://www.corfid.com/vbb/showthread...light=stemming
this also includes what might well be Gord's take on why he used the expression
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Old 05-16-2008, 01:45 PM   #24
RM
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Default Re: "Stemming gold to make ends meet..."

"Lord abide, let us stem the tide". Would somebody from this forum please just ask him ?!
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Old 05-16-2008, 09:00 PM   #25
Kathy in Michigan
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Default Re: "Stemming gold to make ends meet..."

Some people have the 'GIFT'.

That's why folks like me don't write songs...I did not get the 'GIFT'.
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