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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

a dusty reply

old-fashioned A curt, rude, or unhelpful reply or response. Primarily heard in UK. I got a dusty reply 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 reply.
See also: dusty, reply

reply to (someone or something)

To offer an answer or response to someone or something. We must reply to this brutal dictatorship's actions with an equal display of force. There's no point replying to someone like him—the only thing he's hoping for is to stir up controversy.
See also: reply

reply to someone or something

to give a response to someone or something. I replied to her already. There is no reason to do it again. I will reply to her letter as soon as I can.
See also: reply

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

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

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
References in classic literature ?
"Here is the result of my calculations," replied Barbicane.
"Adopted!" replied the three members of the committee.
'Your mother and sister, sir,' replied Ralph, 'will be provided for, in that case (not otherwise), by me, and placed in some sphere of life in which they will be able to be independent.
"Ano ulam mo?" a Twitter user asked Paulo, to which he replied: "Mani.
Shehbaz had replied that he will give reply after consulting his Counsel but he didn't file any reply of the questions till yet.
About PCB's reply relating to two controversial amounts of Rs14,181,570 as PSL allowance and of Rs6,064,516 Sethi has replied: 'You claim that there are no amounts noted in the Chart which are incorrect.
The lawyer replied and said that he met him (Nawaz Sharif) and submitted the reply with his consent.
Farogh Naseem replied that Senate Elections will take place on 3rd March so this case should be disposed of soon .
His reply was blank apart from the Twitter handles of those he replied to, suggesting he hit "reply'" and "send" with no message.
His reply was blank apart from the Twitter handles of those he replied to, suggesting he hit reply and send but did not write a message in between.
Wallasey's Angela Eagle replied to just 16% of voters who got in touch with her office last year via the writetothem.com website - an online service that puts members of the public in touch with their elected representatives.
The damning text messages exchanged between Heffernan and Chopra March 7, 2011, 10.33pm, Chopra sent a text to Kelly Inglis's mobile phone saying "Waiting for him to get back fancy doing its a mans world will get the money in ur account first thing" 11.06pm Heffernan replied: "if it's all in my brothers account by 9.30 in the morning then yes and how much will be getting put in the account" Reply from Chopra "2k pal in there by 930" Reply from Heffernan "What that's for the previous or tomorrows?" Reply from Chopra "And will owe u another 2k by the week end pal when I get the other from winnings" Reply from Heffernan "Ok well I will ring tomorrow morning then jobs on details hsbc Martin Heffernan sort code 40-47-06 account number zzzzzzzz ?
Mr Wright wrote to me on March 28, to which I replied on March 31.
" I had addressed a question to Malaiyya in the last monsoon session, to which his department replied in huge bundles last week," said deputy leader of the Congress legislature party, Choudhary Rakesh Singh Chaturvedi.
David Stephenson and Dave Dormand were the other Village marksmen, while Barry Proud and Dave McClusky (2) replied.