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    • Join Date: Jun 2009
    • Posts: 10
    #1

    TKAM - doubts

    Recently, I am reading "to kill a mockingbird" from which I have collected few phrases those are not quite clear to me.

    What does it mean?
    'd
    “‘d you bring me a book? ’d you know Aunty’s here?”

    What the below phrase means?
    puttin‘ on airs to beat Moses.

    I appreciate your response.

    thanks!

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Ireland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 25,624
    #2

    Re: TKAM - doubts

    Quote Originally Posted by Priyankur View Post
    Recently, I am reading "to kill a mockingbird" from which I have collected few phrases those are not quite clear to me.

    What does it mean?
    'd
    “‘d you bring me a book? ’d you know Aunty’s here?” It means 'did'.

    What the below phrase means?
    puttin‘ on airs to beat Moses.

    I appreciate your response.

    thanks!
    'Puttin(g) on airs' means behaving in an affected manner, pretending to be something you are not. Though how this fits with 'to beat Moses' I am not sure.


    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 394
    #3

    Re: TKAM - doubts

    The line about "puttin' on airs to beat Moses" means precisely what bhaisahab stated. The reference to Moses is added for effect and doesn't change the meaning.

    The speaker, a black housekeeper, is responding to a question as to why she "talks white" in the lawyer's household in which she is employed and "talks black" when she attends the local church on Sunday with a predominantly black congregation. She simply means that if she "talked white" in church with the other black folks, they would think she was indeed speaking in a very affected way. The speaker probably mentions Moses since she is speaking in reference to church, and obviously Moses is one of the most respected figures in the Old Testament. It would be as if she were trying to act more important than Moses himself, or "beat Moses."

    Hope this is clear.

    Greg

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