First, some context: Before the closing credits roll, Rachel and Nick have just overcome the numerous hurdles placed in their way by his snooty Singapore-based friends and family en route to him popping the question and her saying a thousand times yes. Rather than fly back to New York right away, they celebrate their engagement with one last shindig.

It may be a happily-ever-after ending for them, but not everyone in their orbit is so well-off… at least emotionally, anyway. Take Nick’s cousin, Astrid (Gemma Chan), an ultraglam fashion expert whose seemingly perfect marriage to Michael (Pierre Png) falls apart during the course of the movie — the result of his deep-seated insecurity at having married into such a prominent family.

I have a few questions about the second paragraph.

  1. What does happily-ever-after mean?

  2. What does in their orbit mean?

  3. What's the meaning of ultraglam? I can't find this word in dictionaries.

  4. The last sentence starting from "Take Nick's cousin,... ..., a prominent family." doesn't look like a complete sentence to me. Maybe it just takes Nick's cousin as an example?

The full source.


2 Answers 2


You should have been able to find "happily ever after" in the dictionary as it's the standard ending for many fairy tales, for example:

And so the Little Mermaid married the handsome Prince Eric and they lived happily ever after.

When used in this context it implies a fairy-tale romance in which all is perfect for the two people mentioned.

"In their orbit" is a solar-system metaphor. In most fictional stories there are one or two main characters whose fate is central to the plot, and a number of secondary characters whose lives metaphorically revolve around the main characters.

In real life it can refer to those whose lives relate to a central figure of some importance:

With the success of Microsoft many talk about the spectacular wealth of the founder, Bill Gates, but those in his orbit also did extremely well for themselves.

The prefix "ultra-" when applied to any word, means "extremely" or "to the utmost". So "ultraglam" is a creative way to say "extremely glamorous". But, again, it can be used in almost any context:

The ultra-conservative Freedom party was rocked by scandal today when their leader was indicted on tax evasion charges related to his numerous payments to his many mistresses

The last sentence is certainly convoluted but it is complete. The phrase "take X" should be read as the imperative form, and is short for "take X as an example". It's a common way to start a sentence that provides an example to demonstrate a previous point:

Those trying to lose weight should be aware that fruits are not always a low-calorie option. Take the avocado, a cup of which has 321 calories and 30 grams of fat. An avocado is certainly a healthier option than a candy bar, but is not necessarily going to shrink that waistline.

  • 1
    I wonder if it would help understand the imperative used in "Take..." if you discussed how there is an implied subject of "You". As in (You should) "Take the avocado [as an example]..." Aug 22, 2018 at 14:10
  • @ToddWilcox That's a good point. Edited
    – Andrew
    Aug 22, 2018 at 16:12
  1. Happily-ever-after is a phrase that you would most likely read in a fairy tale. The full sentence (up until the comma) is an expression that means "Rachel and Nick got married and lived the rest of their lives with little problems", or "Rachel and Nick had few problems after getting married". The definition was found here, on Dictionary.com.

  2. In their orbit refers to the people who are in Rachel and Nick's friend circle. When talking about astrology, an orbit is usually represented by a circle around a planet like this.

  3. From what I could find, Ultraglam is either a drag show or a hair salon. It may be a typo, but I do not see any other way it could be used, and I have never heard anyone use the word "ultraglam" before. Again, it makes sense as immediately following "ultraglam" it says "fashion expert", and if the author was really referring to it being either a drag show or hair salon, it would make sense.

    It is also possible that the author just "made up" their own adjective. My reasoning is that glam could be short for glamorous, and mashing the prefix ultra- could have made a word that effectively means "ultra glamorous" instead. I really don't know what the author was going for, but personally I would assume the second explanation was closer to what the author actually meant.

  4. The sentence is a bit weirdly written, but I would consider it complete. The sentence is complete, up until the dash, which effectively serves to explain why the marriage fell apart. I have written a clearer version here:

Take Nick's cousin, Astrid (Gemma Chan), an ultraglam fashion expert whose seemingly perfect marriage to Michael (Pierre Png) falls apart during the course of the movie as a result of his deep-seated insecurity at having married into such a prominent family.

  • 1
    Ultraglam is definitely not made up (well, by this writer at least). I've heard it before a handful of times, in a couple shows, and in a few forums. It's slang though, and probably still fairly rare. You did get the definition correct in the second paragraph. Aug 22, 2018 at 14:39

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .