My first concern is that I am not sure what he means when he says "nauseous sensation" , is that just an expression the writer came up with, I mean something typical that may happen to any tired person, or is that an expression used every day by anybody? I mean is there any other interpetation for that? I mean is there any chance that it means general anxiety? Secondly, can you use "nauseous senation" and "drop anchor in somebody" in a similar text, and somehow similar context. If so that would be a great help to me to understand it. Thank you.

But my grandparents were fine, my father reported now. They missed me and sent their love, he said, and then he told me about Chitra. She had lost her spouse two years ago, not to cancer but to encephalitis. Chitra was a schoolteacher and, at thirty-five, nearly twenty years younger than my father. Her daughters were seven and ten. He offered these details as if responding diligently to questions I was not asking. “I don’t ask you to care for her, even to like her,” my father said. “You are a grown man, you have no need for her in your life as I do. I only ask, eventually, that you understand my decision.” It was clear to me that he had prepared himself for my outrage—harsh words, accusations, the slamming down of the phone. But no turbulent emotion passed through me as he spoke, only a diluted version of the nauseous sensation that had taken hold the day that I learned my mother was dying, a sensation that had dropped anchor in me and never fully left.

1 Answer 1


A nauseous sensation or a nauseous feeling or simply nausea are commonly-used terms. It just means you feel nauseated, or "sick to your stomach" -- you feel like vomiting. In formal English, it might be better to say a nauseated sensation instead. Something that is "nauseous" (for example, toxic nerve gas) causes someone to feel sick, whereas "nauseated" refers to the actual feeling of sickness. For example:

I feel nauseated by the nauseous toxic nerve gas.

This difference isn't honored much today, and the terms are often used interchangeably. Writers and teachers know the difference, though.

Dropped anchor in me is just a metaphor for feeling bad emotions. If you feel sadness or dread or fear, you often feel a heavy sensation inside your chest. Other similar phrases are to feel knots in your stomach (anxiety, fear, sadness) or to have a heavy heart (deep sadness).

  • To be more precise, "dropped anchor in me" is a metaphor for something (in this case, the unpleasant "nauseous sensation") determining to stay in place in the narrator's feelings. It is not simply a metaphor for bad emotions.
    – Robusto
    Aug 18, 2017 at 20:51
  • I suppose you're right. There's also the notion that a dropped anchor would wreck your insides beyond repair -- i.e., you'll never fully recover.
    – Ringo
    Aug 18, 2017 at 20:56
  • I think @Robusto has the right interpretation here - dropping anchor is a metaphor for fixing oneself firmly in place.
    – Ant P
    Aug 18, 2017 at 23:09

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