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Last but not the least.

English translation: context is all

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:Last but not least.
English translation:context is all
Entered by: humbird
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18:55 Dec 1, 2004
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Other / coloquial
English term or phrase: Last but not the least.
Everybody knows this expression. What I would like to know is the degree of "the least". This well-cliched expression means that the person or the thing mentioned last is done so not due to its least importance (is my understanding). But what degree of importance? It was mentioned at the end to signify the importance, or just a token of words not to hurt the addresse's feeling regarding the matter?
I am not sure I am sufficiently articulate in my point, but any insight will be deeply appreciated.
humbird
context is all
Explanation:
It could be any of the possibilities you have mentioned; it depends on the situation, the participants, and the importance of the things/people concerned. It is not the words that make the difference, but the circumstances. The expression is more commonly said "Last but not least." (Without "the".)
Selected response from:

GoodWords
Mexico
Local time: 19:34
Grading comment
Thank you all. Actually Richard's comment (not answer) gave me most insight. GoodWords' answer is in similar vain. It is for this reason I have selected this one as a rule. As always I feel bad because I cannot split the score to all who answered me and gave me good things to think about.
3 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +4context is all
GoodWords
4 +2Used to reassure the person being called "least" that they are important too
conejo
4no degree is stated
Clauwolf


Discussion entries: 4





  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
last but not the least.
context is all


Explanation:
It could be any of the possibilities you have mentioned; it depends on the situation, the participants, and the importance of the things/people concerned. It is not the words that make the difference, but the circumstances. The expression is more commonly said "Last but not least." (Without "the".)

GoodWords
Mexico
Local time: 19:34
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12
Grading comment
Thank you all. Actually Richard's comment (not answer) gave me most insight. GoodWords' answer is in similar vain. It is for this reason I have selected this one as a rule. As always I feel bad because I cannot split the score to all who answered me and gave me good things to think about.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  zax
1 hr

agree  KathyT: yes, no "the": last but not least.
4 hrs

agree  pidzej: "but" could also be dispensed with but rarely is
4 hrs

agree  Jörgen Slet
7 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
last but not the least.
Used to reassure the person being called "least" that they are important too


Explanation:
For example, in a school holiday performance, if there are several performances to be given, the announcer might say:
"First the 4th graders will sing, the 5th graders will dance, and last but not least, the 3rd graders will put on a play." This is to tell the 3rd graders that they are just as important as the others, and are not being mentioned last because they are less important.

Or at least, that is my interpretation.

conejo
United States
Local time: 19:34
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 20

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  vankovak
1 hr
  -> Thanks.

agree  RHELLER: being last does not mean that they/their work is valued to a lesser degree
6 hrs
  -> Thanks.
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5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
last but not the least.
no degree is stated


Explanation:
:)

Clauwolf
Local time: 21:34
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in category: 32
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