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abandoned machines and motors (in 1922)

English translation: machine = any piece of machinery

15:46 Mar 2, 2018
English to English translations [PRO]
General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters / biography
English term or phrase: abandoned machines and motors (in 1922)
Hi,
at first glance I interpreted “machines” in the passage below as “cars”, but this happened about 1922: were there so many abandoned cars at that time?
Could machines refer instead to other kinds of appliances?
Thanks so much and have a nice weekend!

°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°
From age four, Feynman’s parents essentially locked him out of the house, behind which was a junkyard.
The young Feynman would tinker with ** abandoned machines and motors **, and eventually began to fix clocks.
haribert
Local time: 18:51
English translation:machine = any piece of machinery
Explanation:
Imo
Selected response from:

Dariusz Saczuk
United States
Grading comment
Thank you very much, Dariusz, for your help!
Many thanks also to all other contributors, especially Tony M. for his interesting hypothesis and Charles Davis for his useful reference! Your help is invaluable!!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
3 +7machine = any piece of machinery
Dariusz Saczuk
4 +1(old, scrap) cars
Tony M
3cars and engines
AllegroTrans


Discussion entries: 11





  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +7
machine = any piece of machinery


Explanation:
Imo

Dariusz Saczuk
United States
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in PolishPolish
PRO pts in category: 104
Grading comment
Thank you very much, Dariusz, for your help!
Many thanks also to all other contributors, especially Tony M. for his interesting hypothesis and Charles Davis for his useful reference! Your help is invaluable!!
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thank you Dariusz for your help! I said "appliances" because I though of "household appliances", maybe "sewing machines"...


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Tina Vonhof: I don't think 'appliances' fall under machines.
2 mins
  -> Thank you, Tina.

agree  Tony M: But in those days, fewer domestic appliances (which are after all a kind of machine) — but probably thinks like agricultural or industrial machinery, etc.
21 mins
  -> My thoughts exactly. Thank you, Tony.

agree  Terry Richards: Anything you might find in a junk yard (a wonderful place for a boy to play!)
49 mins
  -> Thank you, Terry.

agree  philgoddard
3 hrs
  -> Thank you, Phil.

agree  Jack Doughty
4 hrs
  -> Thank you, Jack.

agree  acetran
2 days 3 hrs
  -> Thank you, Acetran.

agree  GILOU
2 days 15 hrs
  -> Thank you, GILOU.
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
motors
(old, scrap) cars


Explanation:
Just to complement my discussion post, since your question actually included both terms.

Tony M
France
Local time: 18:51
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 285

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Lingua 5B
1 hr
  -> Thanks, Lingua!

neutral  philgoddard: We can't be sure, but I think this is less likely because it's a contemporary text and people don't call cars motors any more. // True. Remember this? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/'Ullo_John!_Gotta_New_Motor?
1 hr
  -> Actualyl, in the UK they do, albeit in a different register! But I think here they speaker might have been looking back and using the terminology of the period.
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
cars and engines


Explanation:
Following from Tony's observations that "motors" was (and still sometimes is) means "cars"

A junkyard can be expected to have both abandoned engines and car bodies


AllegroTrans
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:51
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 24

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Tony M: Y-e-s — but we much less often refer to car engines as 'motors' — which si evry much a modern, informal usage, I believe; so in 1922, one might have expected it to be electric motors. Which is what makes me think that 'motor-cars' is more plausible
2 hrs
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