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Old June 26, 2010, 08:48 AM
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JPablo JPablo is offline
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Question Out of whole cloth

out of whole cloth, without foundation in fact; fictitious: a story made out of whole cloth.

How would you translate this into Spanish?
(¿Una historia sacada de la manga?)
(Also, to be made (up) out of whole cloth = ser pura invención or puro invento)

Any other sense for "whole cloth"?
Like, what would be the sense in this sentence "they were beginning to embrace that philosophy whole cloth."?
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Last edited by JPablo; June 26, 2010 at 08:51 AM. Reason: Added another possible translation
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Old June 26, 2010, 09:04 AM
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Perikles Perikles is offline
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Although it does exist, I have never heard the expression myself. The BNC only gives one instance of its use:

"A mythology can not be created for literary purposes out of whole cloth; it must be the work of a race."

Your suggestion "they were beginning to embrace that philosophy whole cloth." makes no sense to me.
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Old June 26, 2010, 10:05 AM
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JPablo JPablo is offline
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Thank you, Perikles.
Yep, the expression is rather obscure... or at least, pretty highbrow... the second sentence, which is where I actually found the "expression", I believe that has something to do with "accepting that philosophy in full" or some such idea, but I have not found a definition to sustain that... only by the context...
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Old June 26, 2010, 10:36 AM
hermit hermit is offline
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"...in full" sounds right; one definition I came across for "whole cloth"
was "broadcloth, as yet uncut to a pattern shape".

The other, for "out of whole cloth" was "a complete fabrication with no
basis in truth". I remember hearing the phrase from professors of English
Literature...
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Old June 26, 2010, 11:03 AM
wafflestomp wafflestomp is offline
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Never heard it myself.
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Old June 26, 2010, 08:14 PM
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Well, thank you, Hermit and thank you, Wafflestomp...
Hermit, that definitely helps to understand it much better in context. (At least, that does it for me.)
English is an amazing language, and like Spanish and many other languages has 'limitless' expressions... which gives one a great freedom to create and to communicate... You can create, if you wish a new expression, out of whole cloth is you wish, and be able to be understood... and understand...
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