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Is lean years the same as poor year?
Your father lived in different times, and he had his share of help.
It seems government subsidies carried him through a number of lean years.

Meaning the government double-crossed him, right?
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He got money from the government and that helped him when the times were hard.
CB
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No, the opposite. Government subsidies enabled him to keep going (put food on the table, roof over his family's head, etc.) through the lean years.
Yes, same as a poor year. A year of low income---the harvest isn't good, business is slow, etc. I believe the reference is to Joseph's interpretation of Pharoah's dreams in the Bible, of the seven lean cows eating up the seven fat ones (Gen. 41).
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Thanks, Delmobile!
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