I was doing an Earth Day Quiz on Google Search Engine and went across that option under "What do you look for in a partner?"

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I want to know: What does “A complex system of glands” mean?

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    After looking at the assortment of answers below, I think it's safe to say that native speakers will immediately understand the literal meaning, but the deeper, hidden meaning (if there is any) is largely subject to personal interpretation. – J.R. Apr 23 '15 at 1:36

I think that the quiz is asking you to match how you find a partner with how different animals attract a mate. For example, Peacocks attract peahens with their brightly colored feathers. If you tend to be initially attracted to someone because of how they look or their style of dress, this would be what you would choose.

I think "a complex system of glands" is a reference to animals that release pheromones. If you tend to be initially attracted to someone because of "chemistry" once you get close to them, you would choose a complex system of glands".

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    In my idiolect, this Google Doodle is goofy! :-) – Damkerng T. Apr 22 '15 at 19:25
  • What are pheromones and chemistry scientifically in the simplest form? – XPMai Apr 23 '15 at 9:38
  • Pheremones are chemicals made in the body and given off like a scent. Other animals of the same species sense these chemicals and it changes thier behavior. There are different types. Some attract mates, but some can warn of danger or tell that there's food nearby. I'll think a little more about how to explain chemistry. – ColleenV Apr 23 '15 at 11:24

So glands are organs in the human body, we have a lot of them and they're connected in a pretty complex way.

So when you say "I'm looking for someone with a complex system of glands", it's like saying "I'm looking for someone with two lungs and a stomach", you're saying you have no standards and will date anybody.

  • I beg to differ. That he/she be human is a standard. Not everyone demands this :) – Tᴚoɯɐuo Apr 22 '15 at 11:53
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    Not even human! Loads of other animals have glands too, I guess it reduces down to "I absolutely WILL NOT date a weed." – Mark Apr 22 '15 at 12:05
  • @Mark: My chatup line for my current partner was Humans share 40% of our DNA with lettuce - and she didn't slap me across the face with her wet self, so I reckon it worked. We've had some awkward moments when eating bacon & tomato sandwiches, and I will admit that sometimes I wish she wasn't so limp and unresponsive in bed (I kinda hoped she'd go like a rocket, not a simple Lactuca sativa :), but I feel we share a deep spiritual bond. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Apr 22 '15 at 12:43
  • @FumbleFingers She should have said "well then lettuce go get a drink together!" – Mark Apr 22 '15 at 12:48
  • I think that you missed some of the context. The quiz is "What animal are you?", so I think that "complex system of glands" probably refers to something about an animal that helps them find a partner or that they find desirable in a partner. If it really meant "you'll date anything", Google probably would have said "a warm body" or something more obvious. – ColleenV Apr 22 '15 at 17:46

I think this is pertaining to a person with a unique personality. Knowing "complex" by definition, it would connotes to complicated, someone/something that is hard to understand and that there should be some chemistry to between them to get along. I, also wanted to know what it really means. I came across with this in Google. Kinda bad, it was not described in a simpler way.


Glands are there to produce hormones (either happy or angry or sad). "Complex system of glands" probably means he/she has mood swings and/or is hard to predict.

  • I'm not sure about "probably" – but it's a good theory, so I've upvoted it. – J.R. Apr 23 '15 at 9:02

Glandular system = system comprised of glands

The adjective, glandular, can be turned into an of-phrase, where the noun form of the adjective is used:

System of glands = system comprised of glands

  • At the end of the day you've not answered my question: What does “A complex system of glands” mean? – XPMai Apr 22 '15 at 11:54
  • You haven't asked it very clearly, since you didn't say what it was that you did not understand. I explained the language. You can think for yourself. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Apr 22 '15 at 11:56
  • Even so, as long as your answer is stick to my question, we'll not be off-topic. ;) PS: Don't forget that this is English Language Learners, not English Language. – XPMai Apr 22 '15 at 11:58
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    I don't understand why you completely ignored the context of the question. If someone asking about a Google Doodle doesn't understand what "complex system of glands" means in that context, is it likely they'll understand "glandular system"? Did you assume from the title this was a question from someone like a medical student instead of a question about a just-for-fun quiz? – ColleenV Apr 22 '15 at 19:41
  • It's appropriate to assume a degree of language ignorance on the OP's part, but inappropriate to assume the OP is unable to think for him/herself, once language issues have been cleared up. Moreover, there's no need here to don the cultural docent hat; the humor is not particularly culture-bound. I took "complex system of glands" to be more or less an analog for "warm body"; it's about basic physical compatibility--hardly about sharing a sense of humor, say, or having a compatible sense of morality or aesthetics, as I'm sure you'd agree. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Apr 22 '15 at 20:58

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