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Source: http://rt.com/news/183864-ukraine-european-volunteers-fighting/

Aleksey Mozgovoy, the commander of ‘Prizrak’ (Ghost) brigade from the Lugansk Region said in an interview to the MK.ru news outlet that in his 1,000-strong battalion there are fighters from Bulgaria, Slovakia and Germany.

What does that mean?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

1000-strong battalion indicates the strength of the battalion in numbers, or the number of fighters in the battalion. The commander means to say that in his battalion of 1000 people, there are fighters from Bulgaria, Slovakia and Germany.

Look up this meaning of "strong" from thefreedictionary.com:

Strong

7.a. (postpositive) containing or having a specified number: a navy 40 000 strong.
b.(in combination): a 40 000-strong navy.

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The explanation is 1000 (men) strong battalion. The "men" is understood.

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That's not correct. "1000 men strong battalion" doesn't make sense; "1000-strong battalion" does. If you want to include 'men', it has to be something like "battalion of 1000 men". Alternatively, "1000 man battalion" - but not 'men', or 'strong' in this case. –  Ollie Ford Aug 30 at 22:13
    
@OllieFord: I put the "men" in parentheses and said that this was "understood." –  Tom Au Aug 30 at 22:30
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Yes, you did. And I'm saying that it isn't "understood", because doing so makes it not make sense. –  Ollie Ford Aug 30 at 22:31
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@OllieFord 1000 men strong is a common idiom; you may find many contemporary examples from this Google Books search, few of which are false hits. –  StoneyB Aug 30 at 23:16
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@OllieFord I think we're talking at cross-purposes. Neither I nor Tom Au suggests that men has been deleted or ellipted from the idiom, merely that it is the implicit unit of measure. And I point out that we do find the unit included in many instances. As you say, these instances occur in predicatives (and I would add in postpositives and supplements). –  StoneyB Aug 31 at 12:41

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