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Cupboard love

[ 2012-03-08 09:31]     字号 [] [] []  
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Cupboard loveI don't think the woman really loves the millionaire, it's just cupboard love.

My comments:

This phrase was inspired from petting cats. The cupboard is what contains the cat’s food. Pet owners see that sometimes their cat will give them their cupboard as a show of love (affection). This act, as the owners notice, is really intended for getting more food put into their cupboard.

The expression is recorded from the mid 18th century, but there is a mid-17th century example of ‘all for the love of a cupboard’, in which the cupboard represents the food it contains (Oxford Dictionary of Phrases Fable).

Cupboard love, hence, is love motivated by a desire for reward. In the above example, the woman’s “cupboard love” suggests that she loves the millionaire’s money, but perhaps not the man himself.

That’s the trouble some people have, you know, with having too much money – It puts true love in jeopardy.

Anyways, years ago, I heard this, or something like this, from the BBC:

In three months, they got married. He was 65 and rich. She was young and pretty. He gives her a house in the country. She gives him ten years to live.

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Go to Zhang Xin's column


About the author:

Zhang Xin(张欣) has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.