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    • Join Date: Dec 2009
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    #1

    What did Sir P. G. Wodehouse mean?

    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

  1. kfredson's Avatar

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    #2

    Re: What did Sir P. G. Wodehouse mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nanin View Post
    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
    I have no idea. Are you sure this is correct? As it is written I suspect that it is not "hard-earned" but rather hard followed by a dash (not a hyphen) and then "earned with a smile."


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    #3

    Re: What did Sir P. G. Wodehouse mean?

    Then "hard" must be a noun here? What could it mean?
    Thanks!

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: What did Sir P. G. Wodehouse mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nanin View Post
    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
    "hard-earned" is being used as a shortened form of "hard-earned money", she is "bouncing" (sort of tricking with her charming smile) ardent young men into buying from her stall, with their fathers' hard-earned money.


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    #5

    Re: What did Sir P. G. Wodehouse 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?
    Thank you!

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: What did Sir P. G. Wodehouse mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nanin View Post
    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?
    Thank you!
    Yes, that's right.

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: What did Sir P. G. Wodehouse mean?

    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.'

    b


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    #8

    Re: What did Sir P. G. Wodehouse mean?

    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

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