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to convey the meaning of "Promised with a wink" what would be a better choice:

Dan felt like she winked at him that they'd meet in person one day.

This sounds US Eng.

OR

Dan felt like she tipped him the wink that they'd meet in person one day.

This sounds British Eng.

Tnx, Tommy.

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  • Neither sentence is grammatical. Felt like she . . . that they'd needs to be rephrased. In particular, when should most likely be used somewhere. Oct 28, 2018 at 16:31
  • Curious, how you could rephrase it to sound more grammatical.
    – Tommy
    Oct 28, 2018 at 23:05
  • (1) Dan, as she (winked at him / tipped him the wink), felt like they'd meet in person one day. (2) When she (winked at him / tipped him the wink), Dan felt like they'd meet in person one day. (3) Dan felt like (her winking at him / her tipping him the wink) was a promise that they'd meet in person one day. Oct 29, 2018 at 1:11
  • Thanks! wonder what do you think about: "How he felt, WHEN she winked at him that they'd meet in person one day.
    – Tommy
    Oct 29, 2018 at 11:25
  • That's also ungrammatical. Oct 29, 2018 at 13:06

1 Answer 1

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To "tip the wink" (one 'P' in 'tip') is a UK idiom meaning to subtly or surreptitiously give someone a piece of secret or private information that might bring an advantage to them. It does not necessarily, or even very often, imply that a physical wink of the eye took place. Your first sentence is not idiomatic. You can't "wink at someone [something]". if you want to say "promised with a wink", then use that exact phrase.

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  • Thanks Michael. I thought about a similar more idiomatic/poetic usage of "wink at" or "blink at someone" to convey "promised with a wink/ blink. Like in the verb smile / smile at. "He smiled at her his consent." But I also know that "wink at" someone means to ignore deliberately... so not sure if the poetic/idiomatic usage can work.
    – Tommy
    Oct 28, 2018 at 14:49
  • Of course, if you're being poetic, then all is allowed. Oct 28, 2018 at 14:57
  • I am always poetic to a degree.. So, say, if Pluto the dog winks at Dan that he's gonna meet Dan in person (after the movie comes to an end)... will the reader get that Pluto promised Dan with a wink that they'd meet? Or Pluto winking at Dan something will look as if Pluto is ignoring Dan ;)
    – Tommy
    Oct 28, 2018 at 15:10
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    I suppose my problem is that while I think a reader might tolerate "she smiled a greeting" or "he frowned a warning", you are placing too big a burden of information transmission on a wink. If you say "she winked that they would meet in person one day" you might as well say "she winked that there were forty-seven crates in the warehouse, and thirteen of these contained obsolete mining machinery; the remainder holding nothing much of any consequence". How does anyone know the meaning of the wink? Also, if he sees her wink, aren't they already meeting in person? Or is she on a TV screen? Oct 28, 2018 at 15:53
  • I see your concern. And yes, that's virtual, as a memory. After seeing the theater show, Dan felt like the actress winked at him (from the stage) that they'd meet in person. What do you think, should I cross the bridge or stay with the conventional ;-)
    – Tommy
    Oct 28, 2018 at 16:01

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