+0

Hi

What does "I never" mean in:

George said, 'Ida, how are you?' She frowned for a moment and then recognition dawned. 'George Black. Well, I never.'?

Thanks in advance

+0

"well I never" is a set phrase. See https://www.onelook.com/?w=well+I+never .

Comments  
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.

It's a fixed expression to express surprise.

But I never hear it said anymore.

Clive

CliveBut I never hear it said anymore.

At M-W dictionary they call it "chiefly British". I think it is still used over here by some people, though it might be used sarcastically more than sincerely. I think I sometimes use it sarcastically, or exaggeratedly, myself.

soheil1What does "I never" mean

It is a shortening of "I never was so surprised/shocked/offended/etc." or "I never did see/hear/read/etc. such a thing." or the like. No one says it today in the US unless they are trying to sound like a dowager countess in a Dickens story, and that is pretty rare.

Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
anonymousthey are trying to sound like a dowager countess in a Dickens story, and that is pretty rare.

Actually, it's more like the character Mammy in "Gone with the Wind".