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Hi

Please tell me what is the meaning of the words or expressions in italics.

Context: These expressions are from one of the works of P G Wodehouse - "Keeping it from Harold"

Harold's father is a professional boxer. He and his wife do not want their son to know this as they think their boy who is growing up with kind and noble values will find it hard to stomach the fact that his father was a boxer.

1. Think of all the swells that'll coming to see you

2. He was not a un-mixedly chilvalrous nature.

3.He is known as "young porky"

4. He is fighting -man doing his eight -stone-four ringside,...

5. It's jolly thick.

6. These words had given place to the abstracted gravity of the student.
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Comments  
Hi

All good questions. I can only do one right now..

Since the late eighteenth century, a swell has been a person who is high-class and well-dressed

Around that time, or later on, it also means someone who is "swelled up" which can mean that they are pompous or have a high estimation of their own abilities

By the early twentieth century, it can just mean "good" or "excellent", but still with the meaning of high-class. It passes into American English with that meaning...

- What a swell party this is!

Dave
Thank you dave_anon for the detailed answer.

I hope someone helps me with the rest.
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Hi

I'll do my best, but they are quite weighty questions...

Chivalrous, of course, means a gentleman who has the qualities of a horseman: courteous, courageous, loyal, generous towards those who are more vulnerable, and so on. In Europe, it has this meaning since the 13th or 14th century

But in Wodehouse, you have the English double-negative understatement..

- He was of a not un-mixedly chivalrous nature

I think this means that, although the man has some chivalrous qualites, those qualities are mixed with some that are less admirable

As Wodehouse might say, he is not quite top-drawer!

Dave
Hi Suresh,

Just a quick general comment.

Wodehouse wrote in a humorous style that was uniquely his own. A lot of his English and that of his characters was not used outside his books. I'd view his books as a curiosity today, rather than as a help to learners of English.

2. He was not a un-mixedly chilvalrous nature. completely chivalrous

3.He is known as "young porky" ' Porky' suggests 'fat, plump' It suggests 'a pig'.

4. He is fighting -man doing his eight -stone-four ringside,... I need the comtext. But a stone is a weight of 14 pounds.

5. It's jolly thick. Very unfair

6. These words had given place to the abstracted gravity of the student. thoughtful and proccupied seriousneds

Clive
Hi

I must agree to disagree with Clive on (2); but I agree on (3), (4) and (5)

But if he ever describes Wodehouse as a "curiosity" again, it may be necessary to have sharp words with the young whippersnapper

Emotion: smile Dave
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Hi,

Thanks, Dave, I overlooked the 'not' in #2. Not completely chivalrous.

I like Wodehouse!

I just hope we don't get a lot of learners posting who sound like Bertie Wooster.Emotion: big smile

Clive
Hi,

Thanks, Dave, I overlooked the 'not' in #2. Not completely chivalrous.

I like Wodehouse!

I just hope we don't get a lot of learners posting who sound like Bertie Wooster.Emotion: big smile

Clive
Thank you, Clive and Dave.
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