Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

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Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with passion. Learn More

Frowing

What does “tooing and frowing” mean? And why these words cannot be found in any dictionary (at least in those I looked at?) Is it a corruption of “to and fro?” Is “frowing” a word and could it be used separately and if so would it mean differently than that of the phrase?

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I've never come across the word 'frowing' before... it is possibly incorrect since it cannot be found in any dictionary. M-W has an entry for the phrase "to-ing and fro-ing":
http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/to-ing+and+fro-ing

inrabas Oct-13-2007

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The English Cambridge online dictionary backs up the M-W. I also suspect that 'tooing' and 'frowing' is a mis-spelling of 'to-ing' and 'fro-ing'.

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?dict=CALD&key=83471&ph=off

Paul_Evans Oct-15-2007

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To and fro means back and forth or side to side (fro is an obsolete version of from). E.g., "We were swaying to and fro as the boat bobbed in the waves." To-ing and fro-ing is just a colloquial variation, used like: "Hey kids, stop all that to-ing and fro-ing. You're making me dizzy." As for tooing and frowing, it's pretty obvious that it's just an incorrect, (or, if you're feeling generous, "alternate"), spelling.

anonymous4 Oct-15-2007

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poetic license

lastronin Feb-18-2008

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say what?

say_what Jan-18-2009

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I agree. It is a misspelling of to-ing and fro-ing. They are being cute making it a verb. English: the language that is never finished. See also "hither and yon"

Spiffy Jan-19-2009

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