1 <>Hi,

<>The gentleman who announced that the world was an oyster which he with his sword would open made a larger hit than he deserved. It is not difficult to open an oyster with a sword. But did you ever notice any one try to open the terrestrial bivalve with a typewriter? Like to wait for a dozen raw opened that way?
Sarah had managed to pry apart the shells with her unhandy weapon far enough to nibble a wee bit at the cold and clammy world within.
I suppose that author play game with idiom.

Oyster - something that is or can be readily made to serve one's personal ends ( the world was her oyster )

It is idiom, but what does it mean? Explanation isn't clear - readily made to serve one's personal ends. What does 'ends' mean in this context?


I got this by googling:

THE WORLD IS (ONE'S) OYSTER - "The proverb first appears in Shakespeare's play 'The Merry Wives of Windsor' (1600).'Falstaff: I will not lend thee a penny. Pistol: Why, then, the world's mine oyster, Which I with sword will open.' Act II, Scene II." From "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" (1996) by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).

: : The world is yours for the taking; whatever you make of it. This coorsponds to my interpretation.

one's personal ends means 'one's personal purposes or requirements'.

Best wishes, Clive
My understanding of "the world is [whoever's] oyster" is that the person has boundless opportunities, that is, that he/she can potentially do anything. The saying doesn't specifically connote that this is a result of the person's skill versus fortunate circumstances; it could be for any reason. I believe there is a connotation that what one can get out of this opportunity is either personal accomplishment (i.e. doing the things you want to do in life) or wealth. I've always assumed (but have never heard explicitly) that the reason for "oyster" is two-fold: 1) oysters in many places are considered a delicacy, a somewhat decadent food item associated with the rich or aristocracy; 2) oysters are where pearls come from; thus, perhaps if "the world is your oyster," it means that you have the power to seek out your "pearl" whatever that may be. For comparison, I think "the world is your oyster" is perhaps idiomatically most similar to "the sky's the limit" (assuming for the latter that you specify "for you").
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