Two actions: Names? (forms of a form of kowtowing)


I have seen in Pakistan and India that when some people want to seek somebody’s forgiveness they either clasp/ join their hands in front of that man or simply fall at their feet. Are there any spicific terms/ verbs for these two actions? Or the given sentences sound O.K to you? (Keeping the given meanings in mind)

1- He fell at my feet (and pleaded with me to forgive him.)
2- He clasped his hands before me (and begged for



I think they’re both a form of kowtowing. Since we don’t do those things, we don’t really have a precise word for each one.

I know you’re joking, but this isn’t part of my universe, even in jokes. It wasn’t even part of my parents’ universe.

Thank you a lot, Jammie.

It is surprising to see the difference between our cultures…
but I would request you to see these sentences and tell me how they sound to you.

1- He fell at my feet (and pleaded with me to forgive him.)
2- He clasped his hands before me (and begged for forgiveness)



Dear Amy

What do you think about the sentences? Do they sound odd to you?


Nobody in my country or any country I have visited would do these things. There is nothing grammatically wrong with the sentences, but they sound as if they came from a novel about Asians in the 19th century. I’d expect to see them in Kipling or somewhere like that.

And, Tom, it’s considered polite in English-speaking countries to spell people’s names correctly.

Thank you, Jamie (K) :smiley: (again and a lot)

Sorry, the spelling mistake was not intentional.


Hey, Jamie, you’ve been a bit scarce of late! I was wondering where you were hiding :slight_smile: . Well, you’re in for a question now:

I’m intrigued. How would you go about asking someone for forgiveness? Or are you among those who are totally incapable of doing so (it does take a lot of courage and humility, I think) – or… refuse to admit that they have anything to be forgiven for?

(a) I was busy. (b) There have been no interesting posts since the World Cup started. © My main computer went kablooey on Monday and is in the repair shop. (d) My old laptop was too obsolete to do Internet stuff well. (e) I had to go out, buy a new laptop and install everything.

When I ask for forgiveness from someone, it’s usually in the form of a blunt statement of what I did wrong, and a blunt apology. From there the wronged person has the right to forgive me or not, and even if he forgives me, I don’t think I should be excused from the consequences of what I did, if there are any.

But an interesting issue is when people apologize and when they don’t. I don’t apologize for things that I think I was right about. Neither do I expect or demand an apology from someone who was either (1) right, (2) not objectively wrong, (3) can’t be convinced that he is wrong.

If I am right about something, but a person’s feelings were hurt, I don’t apologize. People’s feelings are their own problem, and I can’t be responsible for them all the time. There are even people who get upset or nervous if they’re treated kindly. Nope. One person’s feelings are no evidence that another person has done anything wrong. I also don’t like it when other people who are right about something apologize to me for my own feelings being hurt. It’s not their problem.

Kablooey! :lol: That’s a funny word!

Curiously (or not), that doesn’t surprise me the least bit (especially the ‘blunt’ part) :slight_smile: ! In other words, it sounds perfectly ‘Jamiesque’ :lol: .

Gosh, you make it all sound so cold and calculating! As if this was an exact science, like maths. Or as if apologising and asking for forgiveness were all about rules, rights and duties, rather than about kindness and generosity of heart. We are definitely on a very different wavelength there.

Anyway, I must be a special case! And here’s a good example of my ‘lambish’, softish nature: when the goodies get the upper hand (both in films and in real life) and are cruel in their vengeance, I often end up feeling sorry for the criminals, even if they have been viciously, atrociously and beastly mean (and I felt like killing them myself before). It may also depend on the actor’s/real criminal’s facial expressions and attitude.

Oh well, I’d be the kind to develop a severe case of the Stockholm syndrome, most likely :? !

It’s a very commonly used word. It means “kerpow!” which is another commonly used word.

Part of it comes from my upbringing, and part of it comes from experience.

There are people who take an apology as a sign of weakness and will practically try to eat you alive if you apologize for something. (I find that some south Europeans and Middle Easterners can be this way, but not only them.)

Another thing is that I have spent a lot of time in American university classrooms. The current generation of American university students has been raised and educated to value feelings and self-esteem more than truth, rights and justice. They more often than not think grades are personal and don’t have to reflect anything the person has actually done. When you apologize to these people, you have to be sure you’re apologizing for something that you’re really wrong about, or they’ll stomp on your head (figuratively speaking).

I have also cut back on doing favors for students who have some problem or other, because I have found that the student who asks for special favors is the same one who will stab you in the back over something later on.

I already know this about you. And, in fact, this mentality is a very currrent issue in international politics right now. It’s discussed on American radio a lot.

:lol: :roll: :lol:

And in which part of the whole wide world would that be?

It makes me feel as if I had been asleep and the world had gone on without me, stealthily, as if trying to play tricks on me – do you know the feeling?

Hi Conchita

Those two (Jamie) K-words sound like “super-hero comic book English” to me. :wink:

Kersplat! Kaboom! :lol:


Of course, you know very well that Americans everywhere frequently use the words “kablooey”, “kerpow” and “kaboom”, along with “kersplat” for when soft things smash and splatter beyond recognition. I often wonder where this “ka-” or “ker-” prefix comes from; maybe it came off the word kaput.

Once in a store I saw a cereal called Kaboom and was disappointed to see that it was a children’s cereal. I think the name is more appropriate to a high-fiber cereal.

And, of course, in the economic sphere we have the word “ka-ching”, which is used even by people too young to have heard a cash register make that noise.

Hi Jamie (K) :wink:

Yes, I’d thought of a possible “kaput connection”, too. What about possibly an evolution of the word “go”?
Go boom => Kaboom



I would also suggest ‘Kersplash’ for a high fibre cereal brand – in a fiction world, though!!

(I hope I’m not offending anyone’s sensibilities!)

PS: Tom must be wondering how ‘his’ thread could have degenerated into this!