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she came to a sticky end

English translation: died in difficult circumstances

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:she came to a sticky end
English translation:died in difficult circumstances
Entered by: Chris Rowson
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14:27 Jan 6, 2003
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary
English term or phrase: she came to a sticky end
- She came to a sticky end, if I remember rightly?
- Oh, she did, she had fun on the way.

They refer to Moll Flanders. What do they mean here?
Sorry, I can't give you more context. They discuss cookery shows, mention Flanders and change the subject.
lim0nka
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:19
died in difficult circumstances
Explanation:
The "molasses" answer above is a very nice secondary joke, but it confuses if you are not familiar with both the "sticky end" phrase and the English history of people "drowning in a butt of " (well, I think the main example was Malmsey wine) - forget that stuff. It means things got difficult for her in the end. Though she had a good time getting there.

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Note added at 2003-01-06 14:41:22 (GMT)
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http://www.gradesaver.com/ClassicNotes/Titles/flanders/about...

in case you are not familiar with Moll.

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Note added at 2003-01-06 14:49:19 (GMT)
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Though, trying to remember the novel, I don´t think she actually did meet a sticky end. Although she was shipped off to the penal colony in America, and life was very hard for her, Defoe writes her a happy ending (back in England, well off and happily married).

But this is what is being said, perhaps with Peter Coles´improvement to \"unfortunate\".
Selected response from:

Chris Rowson
Local time: 07:19
Grading comment
Thank you, Chris! :)
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +5died in difficult circumstancesChris Rowson
5 +4drowned in a vat of molasses?? :-)
airmailrpl
5 +3to die or come to grief in violent or exceptionally unpleasant circumstances
Christopher Crockett
5 +1She ended up in a difficult situationFuad Yahya
4she wound up in a tight spot
swisstell
1Could they be making a play on words, referring to her stint ...Refugio


  

Answers


2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
She ended up in a difficult situation


Explanation:


American Heritage Dictionary

Fuad Yahya
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 893

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Steffen Pollex
2 mins

neutral  Peter Coles: We often end up in difficult situations, from which we subsequently extract ourselves or deal with the embarassment. A sticky end however, is usually more permanent.
13 mins

neutral  Christopher Crockett: "End" implies more than that, I'm afraid.
24 mins
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3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +4
drowned in a vat of molasses?? :-)


Explanation:
She came to a sticky end,

airmailrpl
Brazil
Local time: 02:19
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in pair: 1140

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Christopher Crockett: A bit too literal, perhaps, but quite possible.
13 mins
  -> thank you

agree  Refugio: In a certain sense, this could be what is meant. After a lively account of her life, Defoe has her end up in the sticky-sweet domesticity of a conventionally happy married life.
19 mins
  -> thank you

agree  Paula Ibbotson: Hee, hee. I like it!
14 hrs
  -> thank you

agree  Rusinterp: unusual interpretation, but quite funny
14 hrs
  -> thank you
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6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
she wound up in a tight spot


Explanation:
no references, just common sense

swisstell
Italy
Local time: 07:19
Native speaker of: German
PRO pts in pair: 170

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Christopher Crockett: "End" implies more than that, I'm afraid. There is a certain finality to it.
21 mins
  -> perhaps you're right but now let us see YOUR better version, please. That would help the asker more
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7 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +5
died in difficult circumstances


Explanation:
The "molasses" answer above is a very nice secondary joke, but it confuses if you are not familiar with both the "sticky end" phrase and the English history of people "drowning in a butt of " (well, I think the main example was Malmsey wine) - forget that stuff. It means things got difficult for her in the end. Though she had a good time getting there.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-01-06 14:41:22 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

http://www.gradesaver.com/ClassicNotes/Titles/flanders/about...

in case you are not familiar with Moll.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-01-06 14:49:19 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Though, trying to remember the novel, I don´t think she actually did meet a sticky end. Although she was shipped off to the penal colony in America, and life was very hard for her, Defoe writes her a happy ending (back in England, well off and happily married).

But this is what is being said, perhaps with Peter Coles´improvement to \"unfortunate\".

Chris Rowson
Local time: 07:19
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 243
Grading comment
Thank you, Chris! :)

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  NancyLynn
5 mins

agree  Peter Coles: I would have used "unfortunate" rather than "difficult" but this captures the essence.
6 mins

agree  Christopher Crockett: That's the idea.
12 mins

neutral  Refugio: As I recall, Moll Flanders did not die in difficult circumstances at all.
12 mins
  -> No, but this is what "came to a sticky end" means.

agree  Giusi Pasi
5 hrs

agree  Rusinterp: this is what it normally means
14 hrs
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26 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +3
to die or come to grief in violent or exceptionally unpleasant circumstances


Explanation:
An expansion of Chris' idea, from the O.E.D. :

"to come to a sticky end (or occas.
finish): to die or come to grief in violent or exceptionally unpleasant circumstances."

With these instances of use :

1915 H. Rosher In R.N.A.S. (1916) 40, I wish we could get out to the front... I would much rather come to a sticky end out there than here.

1930 J. Collier His Monkey Wife xviii. 255 Even if our love affair did come to a horrible sticky end, yet there's so much between us.

1930 J. B. Priestley Angel Pavement xi. 566 Never mind, he'll come to a sticky finish before he's done.

1959 F. Maclean Back to Bokhara iii. 152 The reformers..have usually come to a sticky end.

1970 D. Halliday Dolly & Cookie Bird ix. 142 The heroines I've seen come to a sticky end because while the murderer's still running around no one calls in the police.

1980 Church Times 19 Dec. 12/3 Some cast away all chances of redemption till they come to a sticky end.

It comes from a colloquial usage of "sticky" :

"Of a situation, issue, period of time, etc.: awkward, presenting great difficulty, disagreeable owing to hardship or danger; of a social function: slow to start, stiff, uncomfortable."

With these wonderful usages :

1915 D. O. Barnett Lett. 86 We had a rather sticky time in the trenches..as the enemy's artillery and snipers showed `a certain liveliness'.

1930 Sapper Finger of Fate 17 You have the alternative of a sticky five minutes with three savage Alsatians.

1930 V. Sackville-West Edwardians i. 17 What was Miriam's party like, Lucy? Sticky, as usual?

1946 Wodehouse Money in Bank xix. 155 It is a human trait to keep on hoping, however sticky the outlook.

Note that some of these are humerous, and the word itself, in this sort of context, strikes one as something of an (English) English idiosyncrasy.

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Note added at 2003-01-06 14:59:58 (GMT)
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As Chris rightly points out, this is what the phrase actually means --whether or not it is true in Moll\'s case is another issue.

\"Humorous\" would probably be a better way of putting it.

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Note added at 2003-01-06 17:01:12 (GMT)
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More from the OED on \"stiky\" :

--to bat (or be) on a sticky wicket: to contend with great difficulties

--Of a person: difficult to cope with, awkward, uncooperative; strait-laced, punctilious, particular, tending to make difficulties (about or over something).

Seems like these figurative usages (as well as \"sticky end\") don\'t come directly from the \"sticky\" of \"Having the property of sticking or adhering; adhesive; also, of a substance, viscid, glutinous.\"

Christopher Crockett
Local time: 01:19
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 124

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Hermeneutica: This is what the phrase really means; it is true that Moll did not, in the end, come to a sticky end, but I believe the novel starts with her speaking from jail? Certainly there was a decline and fall before the way up.
8 mins
  -> It seems to be a question of the Beginning of her End, rather than the End of her End, then. Thanks, Dee.

agree  jerrie: I always think of 'sticky end' involving lots of blood (hence the sticky), so I go with your violent as the literal meaning, although it does not apply to Moll Flanders!
1 hr
  -> Yes, it does have that immediate connotation, but the OED gives more instances where that etiology wouldn't come into play. Thanks, jerrie.

agree  Rusinterp
14 hrs
  -> Thanks, Rusinterp.
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 1/5Answerer confidence 1/5
Could they be making a play on words, referring to her stint ...


Explanation:
as a prostitute?

Refugio
Local time: 22:19
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 485
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