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    • Join Date: Sep 2007
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    #1

    having an inch conceded them, will take an ell

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am on the right track with my interpretation of the expression in bold in the following brief excerpt from the Dickens’ “Burnaby Rudge”


    “A homely proverb recognizes the existence of a troublesome class of persons who, having an inch conceded them, will take an ell.

    ……The more young Joe submitted, the more absolute old John became…..”

    .. having an inch conceded him, he will take an ell = If you give Him an inch, He will take an ell. =

    it means that if you offer something to another one , he may ask you more and more than what you've already offered.

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,448
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    #2

    Re: having an inch conceded them, will take an ell

    Absolutely right

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