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Thread: do brown

  1. #1
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Default do brown

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence?

    Don’t go to that shop or you’ll be done brown.

    do brown = deceive, swindle, cheat, trick

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.
    Last edited by vil; 31-Aug-2010 at 16:57.

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    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: do brown

    Correct.

    An interesting possibly related phrase exists: doing it (rather) too brown, used to refer to exaggerated statements, usually with the intent of misleading, or paying an exaggerated compliment

    I first came across it in the works of Heyer, and it is possibly a Heyerism rather than a genuinely common Regency expression, although a quick search now brought up this as well. I've seen it since occasionally, mostly in similar fictional works attempting to create a Regencyesque atmostphere, and therefore very possibly inspired by Heyer's usage, but in some more modern prose too.

    I certainly wouldn't call it a common phrase, and you are unlikely to come across it in conversational usage (athough you never know) but it is rather a nice phrase and I thought you might enjoy hearing about it, vil, since you seem to have a healthy appetitite for unusual idioms. :)
    Last edited by Tullia; 31-Aug-2010 at 16:49.

  4. #4
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: do brown

    I'd never heard it before.

    (Vil - Did you realise you posted it as "drown" in your original post?)

  5. #5
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: do brown

    Sorry for my foolish mistake by oversight.

    The original sentence is from Hara's "The Lockwood Concern".

    V.

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