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What does 'to rule the house' mean?



 
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What does 'to rule the house' mean? #1 (permalink) Fri Aug 29, 2008 19:53 pm   What does 'to rule the house' mean?
 

English Idioms and Expressions, Advanced Level

ESL/EFL Test #41 "American Slang Words (15)", question 4

My baby sister rules the house. She's so spoiled!

(a) dominates
(b) cleans
(c) occupies

English Idioms and Expressions, Advanced Level

ESL/EFL Test #41 "American Slang Words (15)", answer 4

My baby sister dominates the house. She's so spoiled!

Correct answer: (a) dominates
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What does rules mean this sentence?
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What does 'to rule the house' mean? #2 (permalink) Fri Aug 29, 2008 20:24 pm   What does 'to rule the house' mean?
 

Hi,

'Rule' in this sense suggests 'control'. The baby sister does exactly what she wants and the other members of the family have to do what she wants. In that way she controls/rules the house.

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What does 'to rule the house' mean? #3 (permalink) Fri Aug 29, 2008 22:41 pm   What does 'to rule the house' mean?
 

.
Would you say "ruling the house" is similar to "ruling the roost"?
.
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What does 'to rule the house' mean? #4 (permalink) Sat Aug 30, 2008 3:30 am   What does 'to rule the house' mean?
 

Hi Yankee

I think they are the similiar in that both are referring to the dominance of a territory and people or birds respectively.

If you have the rule of the house, you make all important decisions.

However I think the "rooster" idiom to me gives an impression of an enforced male dominance (patriarchy). What do you think?

You also have the nice idiom "to be given the run of the house". Maybe the babysitter in question would not give this so freely ; )
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What does 'to rule the house' mean? #5 (permalink) Sat Aug 30, 2008 15:02 pm   What does 'to rule the house' mean?
 

Hi Stew
Thanks for the input. "Rule the house" struck me as a pretty literal expression -- i.e. more literal than the idiom "rule the roost", for example. So, I'd wondered whether there was a bit more meaning hidden behind it.

To me, "rule the roost" does not necessarily imply 'male dominance' -- maybe because I don't think of the word "rooster", but rather simply of "roost" when I hear that expression.

stew.t. wrote:
You also have the nice idiom "to be given the run of the house". Maybe the babysitter in question would not give this so freely ; )
The test sentence refers to a baby sister.
Oddly enough, after first reading the sentence, I thought I'd read "babysitter" too. It wasn't until I looked at it again that I realized that it was a sister. :lol:
.
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What does 'to rule the house' mean? #6 (permalink) Sat Aug 30, 2008 16:32 pm   What does 'to rule the house' mean?
 

Hi Amy

The idiom in question is quite literal.

Oppsla, minds reading wrong things alike.

I always associated a rooster with the other idiom.
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