a dusty answer

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a dusty answer

old-fashioned A curt, rude, or unhelpful answer or response. Primarily heard in UK. I got a dusty answer from the customer service agent when I asked if I could cancel my contract early. If you're hoping to get an extension on the assignment from the professor, you're likely to get a dusty answer.
See also: answer, dusty
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

a dusty answer

or

a dusty reply

BRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
If you ask for something or suggest something and you get a dusty answer or a dusty reply, you receive an unpleasant and negative answer. He asked three times to speak to the king, but each time received a dusty answer. Ask a world-class sportsman to spend several hours testing your product and you are likely to receive a dusty reply.
See also: answer, dusty
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

a dusty answer

a curt and unhelpful reply. British
The source of this expression is probably a passage in George Meredith's Modern Love ( 1862 ): ‘Ah, what a dusty answer gets the soul when hot for certainties in this our life!’
See also: answer, dusty
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

a dusty ˈanswer

(old-fashioned, British English) an unhelpful or a sharp response to a request or question: When I asked the company what their policy was on this matter, I received a very dusty answer.
See also: answer, dusty
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Although Jeannette Foster's 1956 Sex Variant Women in Literature recognized Dusty Answer as a lesbian novel,(6) subsequent criticism has not done so.
The reason why the lesbian relationship in Dusty Answer was, and still is, not recognized can be better understood by examining mainstream representations of lesbian love in the 1920s and '30s.
Insofar as Lehmann's Dusty Answer bypasses a heterosexual model of desire in configuring lesbianism, I would argue that the novel subverts national and imperial ideologies, which depended desperately on reproduction, in ways that other lesbian novels of the period did not.
Dusty Answer follows the coming of age of Judith Earle, a young, attractive, and wealthy English woman, frequently abandoned in her parents's large riverside house in the Thames Valley as they spend much of their time abroad.
Unlike the somewhat transient lesbian moment between Ursula and Winifred in The Rainbow, Dusty Answer places the lesbian relationship between Judith and Jennifer at the novel's epicenter.
Dusty Answer empowers, rather than disempowers, lesbianism because it allows for the continuation, not the outright banishment, of lesbian desire even as it moves it from center stage.
Such empowering representations of lesbianism as resisting heterosexual models of desire and as gaining some sense of permanence exist side by side in Dusty Answer with more troubling representations of lesbianism which are woven into the fabric of national and imperial ideologies.
The way in which the novel explores a new discourse of lesbian desire makes Dusty Answer a unique contribution to lesbian literature of the inter-war years.
Dusty Answer looks to have all the credentials and carries nap confidence.
FEW British stud farms house better thoroughbred families than Hesmonds Stud, and the farm's colours were carried to an all-the-way success by Dusty Answer in the seven-furlong maiden fillies' race.
It was an answer technically correct but politically inept because it could elicit from hostile media a headline such as "Buck ponders Obama impeachment.'' In 2010, Buck's inability to deflect baiting questions with dusty answers led him, on national television, to discuss homosexuality, comparing it to alcoholism.
We keep on asking and get dusty answers every time.