Is 'coals' a word?

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Is 'coals' a word?

Post by Archived Topic » Thu Jan 03, 2002 3:53 am

Is there such thing as the word "coals"? I ask because I ran across the idiom "carrying coals to Newcastle". I've believed that coal is both the singular as well as the plural form of the word because it is an uncountable noun.
Submitted by Sathyaish Chakravarthy (New Delhi - India)
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Is 'coals' a word?

Post by Archived Reply » Thu Jan 03, 2002 4:08 am

According to my dictionary, Sathyaish, the word "coal" can also mean "a piece of glowing or charred wood, coal or similar substance; ember." Therefore, you can have many "pieces," which would be "coals." This plural is also found in the expression, "rake (someone)over the coals," which means to scold.
Reply from K. Allen Griffy (Springfield, IL - U.S.A.)
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Is 'coals' a word?

Post by Archived Reply » Thu Jan 03, 2002 4:22 am

I have a feeling that "raked over the coals" has a stronger meaning then a scolding!!!

Reply from Gary Wallington (Akolele - Australia)
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Is 'coals' a word?

Post by Archived Reply » Thu Jan 03, 2002 4:37 am

Yes, better to be cold than coaled. Or scolded than scalded.
Reply from Erik Kowal ( - England)
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