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    #1

    for the nonce

    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?

    “ Remember, now, or I’ll tell your father,” she threatened, addressing her heated face again towards the piano which, open for the nonce, smiled at her in famous agreement, its exposed keys grinning towards her like an enormous set of false teeth.

    for the nonce = specially for the present cases

    Thanks for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V
    Last edited by vil; 11-Aug-2010 at 07:15.

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    #2

    Re: for the nonce

    Yes - 'at that moment'.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: for the nonce

    - it's a fossil, dating from the time when English had case endings and the article was inflected: 'for then ones' (the preposition "for" required a dative in that case - I read once that it was called the 'ethic dative', though I've never met the term elsewhere - you might want to google it). The movement of the N forwards from the end of the article to the beginning of the following word mirrors the movement of the N backwards, from 'a napron [Fr napperon]' to 'an apron'.

    b

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    #4

    Re: for the nonce

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    he movement of the N forwards from the end of the article to the beginning of the following word mirrors the movement of the N backwards, from 'a napron [Fr napperon]' to 'an apron'.
    And I think, an ickname => a nickname...
    Last edited by birdeen's call; 11-Aug-2010 at 10:35.

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    #5

    Re: for the nonce

    I don’t make claims to be in possession of felicity of English phrase but I have to testify that the key phrase in my original post is from Cronin’s “Halter’s Castle”.

    There are also coming into use the following usages I know without goggling:

    For the notice he pulled like a young-ling of twenty. (“The Mutiny of the Elsinore” chapter XXXVIII)

    You can used the little room for a stdio for the nonce. (DEI)

    V.

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