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    #1

    He went down like a row of ninepins. = He fell passionately in love.

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence from Maugham’s “The Escape”?

    His name was Roger Charing. He was no longer young when he fell in love with Ruth Barlow and he had had sufficient experience to make him careful; but Ruth Barlow had a gift (or should I call it a quality?) that renders most men defenseless, and it was this that dispossessed Roger of his common sense, his prudence and his worldly wisdom. He went down like a row of ninepins.

    ninepins = nine wooden pins used in the game of ninepins

    He went down like a row of ninepins. = He fell passionately in love.

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.

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    #2

    Re: He went down like a row of ninepins. = He fell passionately in love.

    I believe that's a perfect interpretation.

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    #3

    Exclamation Re: He went down like a row of ninepins. = He fell passionately in love.

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence from Maugham’s “The Escape”?

    His name was Roger Charing. He was no longer young when he fell in love with Ruth Barlow and he had had sufficient experience to make him careful; but Ruth Barlow had a gift (or should I call it a quality?) that renders most men defenseless, and it was this that dispossessed Roger of his common sense, his prudence and his worldly wisdom. He went down like a row of ninepins.

    ninepins = nine wooden pins used in the game of ninepins

    He went down like a row of ninepins. = He fell passionately in love.

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.
    Yes quite right. In other words he was completely bowled by Mrs. Barlow in the bowling game.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: He went down like a row of ninepins. = He fell passionately in love.

    Incidentally, did Maugham really write that? I've met 'like a set of nine-pins', but not a row - which would make the game either trivial - like this:

    x
    x
    x
    x
    x
    x
    x
    x
    x

    or impossible - like this:

    x x x x x x x x x x


    b

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: He went down like a row of ninepins. = He fell passionately in love.

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Incidentally, did Maugham really write that? I've met 'like a set of nine-pins', but not a row - which would make the game either trivial - like this:

    x
    x
    x
    x
    x
    x
    x
    x
    x

    or impossible - like this:

    x x x x x x x x x x


    b
    At least if they were laid out as in your first example, I might stand a chance of occasionally knocking them all over!

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: He went down like a row of ninepins. = He fell passionately in love.

    PS: I'm not sure I'd've used the word 'passionately'. It's not inappropriate, but more appropriate (in the context of falling over) would be the expression 'head over heels in love' - which is a rather charming image, I think, as well as being a good idiom to add to your list.

    b

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: He went down like a row of ninepins. = He fell passionately in love.

    PPS And another: to fall for someone 'like a ton of bricks'; that's always - in my experience - an Imperial 'ton' rather than a metric one (tonne). But there's not a big difference - 2240 lbs as against 1000 kg.

    b

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