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    • Join Date: Nov 2008
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    #1

    urgent - ham by haunch

    Hi, everyone!

    I'm translating a book of an Australian writer and I'm kind of stuck in an idiom I don't seem to understand. "ham by haunch" appears in the following sentence "And his people had moved into Turvite and taken it over from cellars to attics, had lived ham by haunch with the spirits of the dispossessed and had grown proud of it."

    I've already googled the Internet but I found nothing that could explain me the meaning of this.

    Please help me, it's urgent!

    Thank you.

    Sincerely,

    Andreia

  1. Sensible's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: urgent - ham by haunch

    What a lovely question and idiom. It is very old language and given that it is written by an Australian I will leave you to interpret his meaning of haunch.

    haunch
    1. the hip. 2. the fleshy part of the body about the hip. 3. a hindquarter of an animal. 4. the leg and loin of an animal, used for food.

    Look more closely at the context.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: urgent - ham by haunch

    Quote Originally Posted by asmf View Post
    Hi, everyone!

    I'm translating a book of an Australian writer and I'm kind of stuck in an idiom I don't seem to understand. "ham by haunch" appears in the following sentence "And his people had moved into Turvite and taken it over from cellars to attics, had lived ham by haunch with the spirits of the dispossessed and had grown proud of it."

    I've already googled the Internet but I found nothing that could explain me the meaning of this.

    Please help me, it's urgent!

    Thank you.

    Sincerely,

    Andreia
    It looks to me from the context as if it means the same as 'cheek by jowl' - =in very close proximity (physically; for proximity of interest we - even in the UK - have borrowed the Native American (?) word 'in cahoots with' or the more pedestrian 'hand-in-glove with').

    But as the first reply said, pay attention to the context. And wait a few hours for some Australian input.

    b


    • Join Date: Mar 2010
    • Posts: 6
    #4

    Re: urgent - ham by haunch

    Being a carnivore, I ought to know this; not being a butcher, I do not. I would deign to say that a ham is taken from a part of a pig's body which is not in its haunch and that the haunch itself is a "cheaper" part of the animal. I believe that the expression means something like "making more of less," "a sandwich into a banquet," or, as a famous Dane entitled (in English), "Stone Soup."
    When life gives you lemons, make lemonade... or such.

    I'd like to know what you find when you search the butchery sites! Maybe you can let me know what I'm eating.

    Best,

    MC


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #5

    Re: urgent - ham by haunch

    I think the haunch is a red herring, and that the meaning is essentially "cheek by jowl".

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