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  1. #1
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Default a sntence with an eccentric idiom and a twofold word

    Dear teachers,

    There is a sentence from an English text which focused my attention.
    “That lady had a hand in most pies, I fancy. I bet she speeded when she could.” (J.Galsworthy)

    It have two observable special features: there are an eccentric idiom and a twofold word.

    I know the meaning of the idiom “to have or put one’s finger (hand) in the pie” namely “ to be concerned in the matter” but I was puzzled over the choice of the proper meaning of the word “speeded”.


    I know that the verb “speed” means “to cause to go, move, or proceed quickly; hasten; to increase the speed or rate of; accelerate: speed up a car; sped production.

    But I know also the archaic meaning of the verb in question:

    1. To prove successful; prosper.
    2. To get along in a specified manner; fare

    We learn from the fable of the tortoise and the hare that the race is not always to the swift, but etymology teaches us that speed and success are closely related. The Old English word spēd, from which our word speed is descended, originally meant “prosperity, successful outcome, ability, or quickness.” A corresponding verb, spēdan, in Modern English the verb speed, meant “to succeed, prosper, or achieve a goal”; and an adjective, spēdig, the ancestor of our word speedy, meant “wealthy, powerful.
    I am prone to think that in the present case the second meaning is more successful.

    Would you be kind enough to tell me your expert opinion?

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.

    (I know also that the past form of "speed" have to be "sped", but there was "speeded" in the original text.)

  2. #2
    susiedqq is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: a sntence with an eccentric idiom and a twofold word

    “That lady had a hand in most pies, I fancy. I bet she speeded when she could.” (J.Galsworthy)

    Meaning: That lady was involved in many things, I would venture to guess. I bet she would even break the law when she could.

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