I came across phrase, of which the syntax looks obscure to me...
It is from " The Goal-keeper and the Plutocrat":
There she stood, that slim, radiant girl, bouncing Ardent Youth out of its father's hard--earned with a smile that alone was nearly worth the money, when she observed, approaching, the handsomest man she had ever seen.
Is "hard-earned" an adjective or a noun here? And what was the money which her smile was nearly worth?
Thanks in advance, your answer(s) ardently expected
Then "hard" must be a noun here? What could it mean?
So, she is kind of bouncing them (the Ardent Youth) out of their (its) fathers' hard-earned money with her smile that is nearly worth the money?
Etymological trivium: the progression from adjective + noun to adjective functioning as noun is common in the history of languages: examples - fromage, formaggio etc from Vulgar Latin FORMATICUS (="made in a mould"); pÍche, peach etc from the Vulgar Latin PERSICUM (="Persian")...
A more relevant example - if slightly dated (still used, but sounding rather "20th-century") is "ready money" (=money that is immediately available/cash) => readies: 'I wanted to go but when I got to the station it turned out I didn't have the readies.'
I would understand "the readies", but in the phrase by Wodehouse there is a kind of play of words, apart from adjective as a noun, and that was rather confusing.
Thanks again for your answers, very knowledgeable