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Would you be kind enough to give me your considered opinion concerning the interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence?
Some three of your years later I began to use for cleaning purpose a sometimes drunken and always impoverished and down at heels yet rather intelligent and interesting village character – Johnny Morton by name… (Th. Dreiser, “A Gallery of Women”)
down at heels = poorly dressed
down at the heels - definition of down at the heels by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.
There appear to be [at least] 2 versions (AME and BrE) - very similar meanings.
down at the heels (AME)
1. Having one's shoe heels worn down.
2. Shabby; rundown; poor.
down at heel (BrE)
a. shabby or worn
b. slovenly or careless
Hope this helps
For more versions, see: Down-at-the-heels - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Last edited by Route21; 09-Jul-2011 at 17:37.