Discussion:
top off our champagne
(too old to reply)
tonbei
2021-04-21 15:43:21 UTC
Permalink
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.

Marino got up to top off our champagne.
("Cause of Death" by P.Cornwell)

context (or situation):
1) Marino, Lucy, and "I" had been drinking champagne during dinner in the dining room.
2) Then Marino stood up to top off our champagne.

question: about the meaning of "top off our champagne"
"top off" has two basic meanings in a dictionary:
1) To fill or refill the final portion of something that is not empty, until it is completely full.
The waitress topped off my coffee every few minutes.
2) To complete, to put the finishing touch to (something).
The banquet was topped off with coffee and chocolate.

1) could not seem to be valid in this case. If 2) applies, the three emptied some bottles of champagne,
and then Marino stood up and took the last one from the kitchen.
Is this interpretation right?
Ken Blake
2021-04-21 16:40:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
Marino got up to top off our champagne.
("Cause of Death" by P.Cornwell)
1) Marino, Lucy, and "I" had been drinking champagne during dinner in the dining room.
2) Then Marino stood up to top off our champagne.
question: about the meaning of "top off our champagne"
1) To fill or refill the final portion of something that is not empty, until it is completely full.
The waitress topped off my coffee every few minutes.
2) To complete, to put the finishing touch to (something).
The banquet was topped off with coffee and chocolate.
1) could not seem to be valid in this case. If 2) applies, the three emptied some bottles of champagne,
and then Marino stood up and took the last one from the kitchen.
Is this interpretation right?
No. Definition 1 is almost certainly what was meant.
--
Ken
tonbei
2021-04-21 17:01:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken Blake
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
Marino got up to top off our champagne.
("Cause of Death" by P.Cornwell)
1) Marino, Lucy, and "I" had been drinking champagne during dinner in the dining room.
2) Then Marino stood up to top off our champagne.
question: about the meaning of "top off our champagne"
1) To fill or refill the final portion of something that is not empty, until it is completely full.
The waitress topped off my coffee every few minutes.
2) To complete, to put the finishing touch to (something).
The banquet was topped off with coffee and chocolate.
1) could not seem to be valid in this case. If 2) applies, the three emptied some bottles of champagne,
and then Marino stood up and took the last one from the kitchen.
Is this interpretation right?
No. Definition 1 is almost certainly what was meant.
--
Ken
If definition 1) applies, Marino refilled each empty or unfinished glass of the three. Is this right?
Tony Cooper
2021-04-21 17:36:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by tonbei
Post by Ken Blake
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
Marino got up to top off our champagne.
("Cause of Death" by P.Cornwell)
1) Marino, Lucy, and "I" had been drinking champagne during dinner in the dining room.
2) Then Marino stood up to top off our champagne.
question: about the meaning of "top off our champagne"
1) To fill or refill the final portion of something that is not empty, until it is completely full.
The waitress topped off my coffee every few minutes.
2) To complete, to put the finishing touch to (something).
The banquet was topped off with coffee and chocolate.
1) could not seem to be valid in this case. If 2) applies, the three emptied some bottles of champagne,
and then Marino stood up and took the last one from the kitchen.
Is this interpretation right?
No. Definition 1 is almost certainly what was meant.
--
Ken
If definition 1) applies, Marino refilled each empty or unfinished glass of the three. Is this right?
Yes.
--
Tony Cooper Orlando Florida
Mark Brader
2021-04-21 22:46:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken Blake
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
Marino got up to top off our champagne.
("Cause of Death" by P.Cornwell)
1) To fill or refill the final portion of something that is not
empty, until it is completely full...
Definition 1 is almost certainly what was meant.
If definition 1) applies, Marino refilled each empty or unfinished
glass of the three. Is this right?
Yes.
Or, at least, that's what Marino was intending to do when he got up.
--
Mark Brader, Toronto "Where do you want Microsoft to go today?"
***@vex.net -- Rick Ross

My text in this article is in the public domain.
Ken Blake
2021-04-21 17:36:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by tonbei
Post by Ken Blake
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
Marino got up to top off our champagne.
("Cause of Death" by P.Cornwell)
1) Marino, Lucy, and "I" had been drinking champagne during dinner in the dining room.
2) Then Marino stood up to top off our champagne.
question: about the meaning of "top off our champagne"
1) To fill or refill the final portion of something that is not empty, until it is completely full.
The waitress topped off my coffee every few minutes.
2) To complete, to put the finishing touch to (something).
The banquet was topped off with coffee and chocolate.
1) could not seem to be valid in this case. If 2) applies, the three emptied some bottles of champagne,
and then Marino stood up and took the last one from the kitchen.
Is this interpretation right?
No. Definition 1 is almost certainly what was meant.
--
Ken
If definition 1) applies, Marino refilled each empty or unfinished glass of the three. Is this right?
No. You can't top off an empty glass. You can only call it topping off
if you add to an unfinished glass.
--
Ken
Tony Cooper
2021-04-21 17:54:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken Blake
Post by tonbei
Post by Ken Blake
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
Marino got up to top off our champagne.
("Cause of Death" by P.Cornwell)
1) Marino, Lucy, and "I" had been drinking champagne during dinner in the dining room.
2) Then Marino stood up to top off our champagne.
question: about the meaning of "top off our champagne"
1) To fill or refill the final portion of something that is not empty, until it is completely full.
The waitress topped off my coffee every few minutes.
2) To complete, to put the finishing touch to (something).
The banquet was topped off with coffee and chocolate.
1) could not seem to be valid in this case. If 2) applies, the three emptied some bottles of champagne,
and then Marino stood up and took the last one from the kitchen.
Is this interpretation right?
No. Definition 1 is almost certainly what was meant.
--
Ken
If definition 1) applies, Marino refilled each empty or unfinished glass of the three. Is this right?
No. You can't top off an empty glass. You can only call it topping off
if you add to an unfinished glass.
That's technically true, but when the host circulates and "tops off"
everyone's glass, he/she doesn't do it any differently when a glass is
completely empty.

Definition 1) applies when there are several people holding glasses
that are either partially full or empty. It's too complicated to
specify "filled-up" or "topped-off" for each person.
--
Tony Cooper Orlando Florida
Lewis
2021-04-21 19:19:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tony Cooper
Post by Ken Blake
No. You can't top off an empty glass. You can only call it topping off
if you add to an unfinished glass.
That's technically true, but when the host circulates and "tops off"
everyone's glass, he/she doesn't do it any differently when a glass is
completely empty.
Yep.
Post by Tony Cooper
Definition 1) applies when there are several people holding glasses
that are either partially full or empty. It's too complicated to
specify "filled-up" or "topped-off" for each person.
Also 'top up' although I think I hear that less now than I used to many
years ago.
--
If I had Crayons and a half a can of spam I could build *you*
s***@my-deja.com
2021-04-21 21:39:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lewis
Post by Tony Cooper
Post by Ken Blake
No. You can't top off an empty glass. You can only call it topping off
if you add to an unfinished glass.
That's technically true, but when the host circulates and "tops off"
everyone's glass, he/she doesn't do it any differently when a glass is
completely empty.
Yep.
Post by Tony Cooper
Definition 1) applies when there are several people holding glasses
that are either partially full or empty. It's too complicated to
specify "filled-up" or "topped-off" for each person.
Also 'top up' although I think I hear that less now than I used to many
years ago.
In my BrE "topped up" is standard. It means adding liquid to a partly emptied glass
usually or at least often until it is filled again to the original level. "Topping up a
little" is also possible.

"Topped off" is an expression I have never met before. Without any further information
I would have thought it meant finishing off the bottle by adding some/ a little to each
of the glasses until the bottle was empty.
Tony Cooper
2021-04-21 23:13:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by s***@my-deja.com
Post by Lewis
Post by Tony Cooper
Post by Ken Blake
No. You can't top off an empty glass. You can only call it topping off
if you add to an unfinished glass.
That's technically true, but when the host circulates and "tops off"
everyone's glass, he/she doesn't do it any differently when a glass is
completely empty.
Yep.
Post by Tony Cooper
Definition 1) applies when there are several people holding glasses
that are either partially full or empty. It's too complicated to
specify "filled-up" or "topped-off" for each person.
Also 'top up' although I think I hear that less now than I used to many
years ago.
In my BrE "topped up" is standard. It means adding liquid to a partly emptied glass
usually or at least often until it is filled again to the original level. "Topping up a
little" is also possible.
"Topped off" is an expression I have never met before. Without any further information
I would have thought it meant finishing off the bottle by adding some/ a little to each
of the glasses until the bottle was empty.
If I read the sentence "I topped up her drink" and the sentence "I
topped off her drink", I would not mentally think them different at
all. It would not occur to me that I had not heard one of those two
versions.
--
Tony Cooper Orlando Florida
Ken Blake
2021-04-21 23:20:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tony Cooper
Post by s***@my-deja.com
Post by Lewis
Post by Tony Cooper
Post by Ken Blake
No. You can't top off an empty glass. You can only call it topping off
if you add to an unfinished glass.
That's technically true, but when the host circulates and "tops off"
everyone's glass, he/she doesn't do it any differently when a glass is
completely empty.
Yep.
Post by Tony Cooper
Definition 1) applies when there are several people holding glasses
that are either partially full or empty. It's too complicated to
specify "filled-up" or "topped-off" for each person.
Also 'top up' although I think I hear that less now than I used to many
years ago.
In my BrE "topped up" is standard. It means adding liquid to a partly emptied glass
usually or at least often until it is filled again to the original level. "Topping up a
little" is also possible.
"Topped off" is an expression I have never met before. Without any further information
I would have thought it meant finishing off the bottle by adding some/ a little to each
of the glasses until the bottle was empty.
If I read the sentence "I topped up her drink" and the sentence "I
topped off her drink", I would not mentally think them different at
all. It would not occur to me that I had not heard one of those two
versions.
Same for me.
--
Ken
Ken Blake
2021-04-21 23:23:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tony Cooper
Post by Ken Blake
Post by tonbei
Post by Ken Blake
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
Marino got up to top off our champagne.
("Cause of Death" by P.Cornwell)
1) Marino, Lucy, and "I" had been drinking champagne during dinner in the dining room.
2) Then Marino stood up to top off our champagne.
question: about the meaning of "top off our champagne"
1) To fill or refill the final portion of something that is not empty, until it is completely full.
The waitress topped off my coffee every few minutes.
2) To complete, to put the finishing touch to (something).
The banquet was topped off with coffee and chocolate.
1) could not seem to be valid in this case. If 2) applies, the three emptied some bottles of champagne,
and then Marino stood up and took the last one from the kitchen.
Is this interpretation right?
No. Definition 1 is almost certainly what was meant.
--
Ken
If definition 1) applies, Marino refilled each empty or unfinished glass of the three. Is this right?
No. You can't top off an empty glass. You can only call it topping off
if you add to an unfinished glass.
That's technically true, but when the host circulates and "tops off"
everyone's glass, he/she doesn't do it any differently when a glass is
completely empty.
Definition 1) applies when there are several people holding glasses
that are either partially full or empty. It's too complicated to
specify "filled-up" or "topped-off" for each person.
Maybe so, but his questions was"about the meaning of 'top off our
champagne.' " Refilling an empty glass is not what "topping off" means.
--
Ken
J. J. Lodder
2021-04-21 20:26:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken Blake
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
Marino got up to top off our champagne.
("Cause of Death" by P.Cornwell)
1) Marino, Lucy, and "I" had been drinking champagne during dinner in the dining room.
2) Then Marino stood up to top off our champagne.
question: about the meaning of "top off our champagne"
1) To fill or refill the final portion of something that is not empty,
until it is completely full.
The waitress topped off my coffee every few minutes.
2) To complete, to put the finishing touch to (something).
The banquet was topped off with coffee and chocolate.
1) could not seem to be valid in this case. If 2) applies, the three
emptied some bottles of champagne,
Post by Ken Blake
Post by tonbei
and then Marino stood up and took the last one from the kitchen.
Is this interpretation right?
No. Definition 1 is almost certainly what was meant.
Completely certain.
Lucy has already stood up, and is sitting by the fire.
That why Marino has to stand up too. Lucy is no longer in reach.
The dinner is over, they continue drinking some more champagne,

Jan
Janet
2021-04-22 11:52:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
Marino got up to top off our champagne.
("Cause of Death" by P.Cornwell)
1) Marino, Lucy, and "I" had been drinking champagne during dinner in the dining room.
2) Then Marino stood up to top off our champagne.
question: about the meaning of "top off our champagne"
1) To fill or refill the final portion of something that is not empty, until it is completely full.
The waitress topped off my coffee every few minutes.
2) To complete, to put the finishing touch to (something).
The banquet was topped off with coffee and chocolate.
1) could not seem to be valid in this case. If 2) applies, the three emptied some bottles of champagne,
and then Marino stood up and took the last one from the kitchen.
Is this interpretation right?
Get a grip. You need to read Cornwell slower and pay more attention.

In the scene you describe, the author clearly states Scarpetta Lucy
and Marino are drinking champagne. Marino pours the champagne....later
he gets up and tops off the champagne.

So it's bloody obvious (1) is the definition.

Janet.
HVS
2021-04-22 12:22:41 UTC
Permalink
In article
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
Marino got up to top off our champagne.
("Cause of Death" by P.Cornwell)
1) Marino, Lucy, and "I" had been drinking champagne during
dinner in the dining room. 2) Then Marino stood up to top off our
champagne.
question: about the meaning of "top off our champagne"
1) To fill or refill the final portion of something that is not
empty, until it is completely full. The waitress topped off my
coffee every few minutes. 2) To complete, to put the finishing
touch to (something). The banquet was topped off with coffee and
chocolate.
1) could not seem to be valid in this case. If 2) applies, the
three emptied some bottles of champagne, and then Marino stood up
and took the last one from the kitchen. Is this interpretation
right?
Get a grip. You need to read Cornwell slower and pay more
attention.
In the scene you describe, the author clearly states Scarpetta Lucy
and Marino are drinking champagne. Marino pours the
champagne....later he gets up and tops off the champagne.
So it's bloody obvious (1) is the definition.
Janet.
I agree that's the obvious definition. But that said, I'm fairly
certain I've only ever encountered "top up", not "top off" when it
comes to refilling partly-full glasses of whatever.

"Top off a drink" sounds very strange to my ear -- it's presumably a
regional thing, but must be from a region that I've not visited.
--
Cheers, Harvey
Janet
2021-04-22 13:39:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by HVS
In article
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
Marino got up to top off our champagne.
("Cause of Death" by P.Cornwell)
1) Marino, Lucy, and "I" had been drinking champagne during
dinner in the dining room. 2) Then Marino stood up to top off our
champagne.
question: about the meaning of "top off our champagne"
1) To fill or refill the final portion of something that is not
empty, until it is completely full. The waitress topped off my
coffee every few minutes. 2) To complete, to put the finishing
touch to (something). The banquet was topped off with coffee and
chocolate.
1) could not seem to be valid in this case. If 2) applies, the
three emptied some bottles of champagne, and then Marino stood up
and took the last one from the kitchen. Is this interpretation
right?
Get a grip. You need to read Cornwell slower and pay more attention.
In the scene you describe, the author clearly states Scarpetta Lucy
and Marino are drinking champagne. Marino pours the
champagne....later he gets up and tops off the champagne.
So it's bloody obvious (1) is the definition.
Janet.
I agree that's the obvious definition. But that said, I'm fairly
certain I've only ever encountered "top up", not "top off" when it
comes to refilling partly-full glasses of whatever.
"Top off a drink" sounds very strange to my ear -- it's presumably a
regional thing, but must be from a region that I've not visited.
Typical fudge by Cornwell.

I have suggested before, that Tonbei is wasting his time reading
Cornwell's clumsy writing to improve his English.

He's been reading the Cornwell Scarpetta series for years and still
can't understand half of each page, which proves my point.

Janet
Chrysi Cat
2021-04-22 17:05:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Janet
Post by HVS
In article
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
Marino got up to top off our champagne.
("Cause of Death" by P.Cornwell)
1) Marino, Lucy, and "I" had been drinking champagne during
dinner in the dining room. 2) Then Marino stood up to top off our
champagne.
question: about the meaning of "top off our champagne"
1) To fill or refill the final portion of something that is not
empty, until it is completely full. The waitress topped off my
coffee every few minutes. 2) To complete, to put the finishing
touch to (something). The banquet was topped off with coffee and
chocolate.
1) could not seem to be valid in this case. If 2) applies, the
three emptied some bottles of champagne, and then Marino stood up
and took the last one from the kitchen. Is this interpretation
right?
Get a grip. You need to read Cornwell slower and pay more attention.
In the scene you describe, the author clearly states Scarpetta Lucy
and Marino are drinking champagne. Marino pours the
champagne....later he gets up and tops off the champagne.
So it's bloody obvious (1) is the definition.
Janet.
I agree that's the obvious definition. But that said, I'm fairly
certain I've only ever encountered "top up", not "top off" when it
comes to refilling partly-full glasses of whatever.
"Top off a drink" sounds very strange to my ear -- it's presumably a
regional thing, but must be from a region that I've not visited.
Typical fudge by Cornwell.
I have suggested before, that Tonbei is wasting his time reading
Cornwell's clumsy writing to improve his English.
He's been reading the Cornwell Scarpetta series for years and still
can't understand half of each page, which proves my point.
Janet
Is this where I get to say "you're right; I've always preferred Grafton
or Paretsky for my crime fix", or are they even WORSE for an
English-language learner's abilities?
--
Chrysi Cat
1/2 anthrocat, nearly 1/2 anthrofox, all magical
Transgoddess, quick to anger. [she/her. Misgender and die].
Call me Chrysi or call me Kat, I'll respond to either!
Chrysi Cat
2021-04-22 13:39:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by HVS
In article
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
Marino got up to top off our champagne.
("Cause of Death" by P.Cornwell)
1) Marino, Lucy, and "I" had been drinking champagne during
dinner in the dining room. 2) Then Marino stood up to top off our
champagne.
question: about the meaning of "top off our champagne"
1) To fill or refill the final portion of something that is not
empty, until it is completely full. The waitress topped off my
coffee every few minutes. 2) To complete, to put the finishing
touch to (something). The banquet was topped off with coffee and
chocolate.
1) could not seem to be valid in this case. If 2) applies, the
three emptied some bottles of champagne, and then Marino stood up
and took the last one from the kitchen. Is this interpretation
right?
Get a grip. You need to read Cornwell slower and pay more attention.
In the scene you describe, the author clearly states Scarpetta Lucy
and Marino are drinking champagne. Marino pours the
champagne....later he gets up and tops off the champagne.
So it's bloody obvious (1) is the definition.
Janet.
I agree that's the obvious definition. But that said, I'm fairly
certain I've only ever encountered "top up", not "top off" when it
comes to refilling partly-full glasses of whatever.
"Top off a drink" sounds very strange to my ear -- it's presumably a
regional thing, but must be from a region that I've not visited.
I don't know a part of *Am*E that DOESN'T use "top off".

And as a reminder, the Scarpetta stories are set in Richmond. And not
the borough of London.

MAYBE as you get further north on THAT coast and ONLY that coast you
start "topping up" instead?

This is in nearly the same way that I also top off a gas tank.
--
Chrysi Cat
1/2 anthrocat, nearly 1/2 anthrofox, all magical
Transgoddess, quick to anger. [she/her. Misgender and die].
Call me Chrysi or call me Kat, I'll respond to either!
HVS
2021-04-22 16:47:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chrysi Cat
Post by HVS
In article
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
Marino got up to top off our champagne.
("Cause of Death" by P.Cornwell)
1) Marino, Lucy, and "I" had been drinking champagne during
dinner in the dining room. 2) Then Marino stood up to top off
our champagne.
question: about the meaning of "top off our champagne"
1) To fill or refill the final portion of something that is not
empty, until it is completely full. The waitress topped off my
coffee every few minutes. 2) To complete, to put the finishing
touch to (something). The banquet was topped off with coffee
and chocolate.
1) could not seem to be valid in this case. If 2) applies, the
three emptied some bottles of champagne, and then Marino stood
up and took the last one from the kitchen. Is this
interpretation right?
Get a grip. You need to read Cornwell slower and pay more
attention.
In the scene you describe, the author clearly states Scarpetta Lucy
and Marino are drinking champagne. Marino pours the
champagne....later he gets up and tops off the champagne.
So it's bloody obvious (1) is the definition.
Janet.
I agree that's the obvious definition. But that said, I'm fairly
certain I've only ever encountered "top up", not "top off" when
it comes to refilling partly-full glasses of whatever.
"Top off a drink" sounds very strange to my ear -- it's
presumably a regional thing, but must be from a region that I've
not visited.
I don't know a part of *Am*E that DOESN'T use "top off".
And as a reminder, the Scarpetta stories are set in Richmond. And
not the borough of London.
MAYBE as you get further north on THAT coast and ONLY that coast
you start "topping up" instead?
Possibly. Maybe it's a Canadian thing. (I spent the first 30 years
of my life there, but didn't have a lot of exposure to everyday,
regional (read: non-television) American usage.
Post by Chrysi Cat
This is in nearly the same way that I also top off a gas tank.
I "top up" both glasses and gas tanks, as I hadn't encountered "top
off" until this thread.
--
Cheers, Harvey

CanE (30 years) and BrE (38 years),
indiscriminately mixed.
Peter T. Daniels
2021-04-22 14:08:15 UTC
Permalink
In article
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
Marino got up to top off our champagne.
("Cause of Death" by P.Cornwell)
1) Marino, Lucy, and "I" had been drinking champagne during
dinner in the dining room. 2) Then Marino stood up to top off our
champagne.
question: about the meaning of "top off our champagne"
1) To fill or refill the final portion of something that is not
empty, until it is completely full. The waitress topped off my
coffee every few minutes. 2) To complete, to put the finishing
touch to (something). The banquet was topped off with coffee and
chocolate.
1) could not seem to be valid in this case. If 2) applies, the
three emptied some bottles of champagne, and then Marino stood up
and took the last one from the kitchen. Is this interpretation
right?
Get a grip. You need to read Cornwell slower and pay more
attention.
In the scene you describe, the author clearly states Scarpetta Lucy
and Marino are drinking champagne. Marino pours the
champagne....later he gets up and tops off the champagne.
So it's bloody obvious (1) is the definition.
I agree that's the obvious definition. But that said, I'm fairly
certain I've only ever encountered "top up", not "top off" when it
comes to refilling partly-full glasses of whatever.
"Top off a drink" sounds very strange to my ear -- it's presumably a
regional thing, but must be from a region that I've not visited.
Not "a drink" in general -- which might be a mixed drink, so prepared from
scratch each time -- but any beverage straight from a bottle/pitcher
(I suppose Nick Charles could top off a Martini, because they mixed
them by the pitcher).
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