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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

rely upon (someone or something)

1. To be dependent on someone or something; to require someone or something for support or help. (Slightly more formal and old-fashioned than the variant "rely on.") There are a lot of cities around the country that rely upon the steel industry—if it collapses, so do their entire economies. You can't just rely upon your parents to bail you out whenever you get into trouble.
2. To have trust or faith in someone or something; to believe that someone will do something or that something will happen. You can always rely upon the weather to turn foul whenever you plan something outdoors. People who rely upon the government to act in their best interests are naïve, foolish, or both. I just can't rely upon this computer to do what it's supposed to do.
See also: rely, upon

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, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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, to
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

a dusty answer


a dusty reply

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 ?
("A request for oral argument shall be a separate document served by a party not later than the time the last brief of that party is due.") For the appellant, the final brief is obviously the reply brief.
Continued Jefferson, "Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties." (See the full text of the Danbury Baptists' letter to Jefferson and his reply on page 13.)
Put a perforation onto the reply device so that the recipient makes the width narrower before putting it into the envelope.
(1) Speaking of legalistic, one of the odder things in the government's reply brief is the apparent effort to distinguish between "interpretive" and "interpretative" regulations.
Obviously written in a hurry, the reply was disrespectful of the Calgary Bishop.
Whether Santa is considered a person or a metaphor, I think the main point of Church's reply is that all these valued qualities--love, generosity, poetry, romance--are in danger of being lost to our children if they lose their ability to believe in Santa Claus.
Surely, I thought, the appropriate government official would reply to Senator Evan's aide with some reference to satire or perhaps rebuke a smart-aleck who was wasting his valuable time, but instead, a few weeks later, came another letter over the senator's signature that said: "In response to my inquiry, I have received the enclosed reply from the Department of the Army."
Upon receipt of the reply, NAB Rawalpindi Director General Irfan Mangi referred the same to a combined investigation team for perusal, which will examine it and submit its findings back to the director general.
It challenged the Ranger's law to keep an accused in custody for three months.IGP Sindh in his reply said that there was no connection of Sindh police with the arrest of Dr Asim.
KARACHI -- Sindh High Court (SHC) has sought reply from Secretary Defence till January 22 on petition pertaining to non presentation of Uzair Baloch before the trial court.
During the course of hearing, Rangers prosecutor has filed their reply in the Sindh High Court.
Summary: California [United States], December 8 (ANI): After announcing that it is shutting down Allo, Google has added the smart messaging app's biggest feature - Smart Reply - to Hangouts Chat.
During course of proceedings, Munawar Iqbal submitted reply before the bench in compliance with earlier court orders.
Heading a three-judge bench, the chief justice also rejected the reply of Nawaz Sharif on the matter.
ISLAMABAD -- Opposing the petitions seeking suspension of sentences awarded to ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired Capt Mohammad Safdar in the Avenfield properties reference, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Saturday submitted an 11-page reply to the Islamabad High Court.