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    #1

    whalebone

    Can anybody, please, explain the meaning of the following sentence, taken from Mark Twain's "The Loves Of Alonzo Fitz Clarence And Rosannah Ethelton":
    "The mourners go about the streets with their umbrellas running streams from the end of every whalebone."

    My understanding of the whalebone is taken from webster's dictionary. Namely, "a horny keratinous substance found in two rows of transverse plates which hang down from the upper jaws of baleen whales" or "an article made of whalebone," which shed no light whatsoever on the meaning of the sentence.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: whalebone

    Quote Originally Posted by karitaru View Post
    Can anybody, please, explain the meaning of the following sentence, taken from Mark Twain's "The Loves Of Alonzo Fitz Clarence And Rosannah Ethelton":
    "The mourners go about the streets with their umbrellas running streams from the end of every whalebone."

    My understanding of the whalebone is taken from webster's dictionary. Namely, "a horny keratinous substance found in two rows of transverse plates which hang down from the upper jaws of baleen whales" or "an article made of whalebone," which shed no light whatsoever on the meaning of the sentence.
    Umbrellas are made of fabric on a collapsible frame, on modern umbrellas the frame is usually made of metal or plastic; in the 19th century they were often made from flexible whalebone.

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    #3

    Re: whalebone

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Umbrellas are made of fabric on a collapsible frame, on modern umbrellas the frame is usually made of metal or plastic; in the 19th century they were often made from flexible whalebone.
    Thank you so much.
    I expected something of this nature. I had, however, to hear it said by someone else.
    It makes sense. Thank you again.

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