English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

If you also know the origin, please, share.

share|improve this question
Gleaning could mean "extracting (information) from various sources," or "gradually collecting." When referred to a cube, I am not sure it's used with that meaning. – kiamlaluno May 27 '11 at 13:43
Could you give us some context? I'm not aware of this being a common phrase that doesn't literally mean what it says. – user1579 May 27 '11 at 13:45
I watched a movie with that title. I think I confused it with "gleaming the cube" – brilliant May 27 '11 at 13:48
I reverted the title back to "gleaning" for the sake of future searching and that the top answer here corrects the saying. If this is out of line we can take it to chat or meta. – MrHen May 27 '11 at 16:35
up vote 6 down vote accepted

It's actually gleaming the cube and as the Urban Dictionary says:

To fail so badly that there is brilliance in the failure; A phrase coined by Cinema Abattoir bloggers in reference to a 1989 movie starring Christian Slater.

The movie they're talking about is of the same name, Gleaming the Cube.

Beware the story of how the movie title came to be:

The title of the film reputedly refers to a gibberish statement skater Garry Davis made in a Thrasher magazine interview with Neil Blender. The phrase itself is meaningless.

share|improve this answer

to absorbe totally,to consume all,leaving nothing,to drink every drop of the experience! that's what i call gleaming the cube...I know of gleaming a wave first hand.

share|improve this answer
Hi, and welcome to EL&U. We appreciate your answer. You can make this a better answer by providing links, even in answers responding to seemingly opinion-based questions. – medica Jan 3 '14 at 21:45

Gleaming the cube is like beating iron hard until it gets shape or sharpening the sword, both of which has to undergo a rigorous process in order to be working. Its like you need to be living off the edge in order to get the broader aspect which others are missing and that is when you are gleaming after having full knowledge of cube.

share|improve this answer
This sounds very like you making up a story to explain a phrase, especially in the light of RiMMER's answer. Do you have a reference for this? (I've never heard the phrase before). – Colin Fine May 27 '11 at 14:13
Are you sure you aren't confusing this with "gleaning knowledge"? Which is a phrase, based on gleaning = searching/gathering left-over crops after a harvest – mgb May 27 '11 at 17:52

protected by TimLymington Jan 3 '14 at 22:29

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.