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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

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

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 ?
If we follow the usual proportion," replied Morgan, "a diameter of 108 inches would require sides of two feet thickness, or less.
That would be too much," replied Barbicane; "for you will observe that the question is not that of a shot intended to pierce an iron plate; it will suffice to give it sides strong enough to resist the pressure of the gas.
replied the worthy secretary of the committee; and, rapidly tracing a few algebraical formulae upon paper, among which
replied the major, who was not willing readily to give in; "even that is an enormous price.
Here is the result of my calculations," replied Barbicane.
Very well, my good Michel," replied Barbicane quietly; "we know what diminution of temperature the earth undergoes in the lapse of a century.
Yes, sir, and puppies, and pug-dogs likewise,' replied his uncle, taking a chair.
Nicholas is very nearly nineteen,' replied the widow.
Not to live upon my mother,' replied Nicholas, his heart swelling as he spoke.
That,' replied Ralph, 'that, I think, can be got over.
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.
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 but did not write a message in between.
EMBARRASSMENT The account he replied to, "twinkystar_69", described the owner as "virgin F 20 years, bisexual, model cum student".
Wallasey's Angela Eagle replied to just 16% of voters who got in touch with her office last year via the writetothem.