Results 1 to 5 of 5
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Bulgarian
      • Home Country:
      • Bulgaria
      • Current Location:
      • Bulgaria

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 5,000
    #1

    pay the debt of nature

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me whether the phrase in bold in the following sentence is common in your area?

    “Paddy?” says Alf.
    “Ay” says Joe. “He paid the debt of nature. God be merciful to him.” (J.Joyce’ “Ulysses”)

    pay the debt of nature = die

    Thanks for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Apr 2007
    • Posts: 4,146
    #2

    Re: pay the debt of nature

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me whether the phrase in bold in the following sentence is common in your area? Actually, I am not sure I ever heard that saying before.

    “Paddy?” says Alf.
    “Ay” says Joe. “He paid the debt of nature. God be merciful to him.” (J.Joyce’ “Ulysses”)

    pay the debt of nature = die That would be my guess.

    Thanks for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V
    2006

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 24,447
    #3

    Re: pay the debt of nature

    It's not common to my area, either.

    I've never heard it before.

    Rover

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Feb 2010
    • Posts: 52,431
    #4

    Re: pay the debt of nature

    Hi, Vil,
    That phrase and similar ones you can find in 'Early American Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases' by Bartlett Jere Whitting. They confirm your view in relation to the quoted fragment of Ulyssess.
    Congratulation! You are reading the very difficult work.
    S.M.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Bulgarian
      • Home Country:
      • Bulgaria
      • Current Location:
      • Bulgaria

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 5,000
    #5

    Re: pay the debt of nature

    Hi stanislaw.masny,

    Thank you for your encouraging words. Thank you also for the new for me source of knowledge.

    I went off the deep end when I become aware that someone thinks me an Afro-Bulgarian or an untaught barbarian with curt and unbridled tongue.

    Have it their way, I’ll try to be soft as butter henceforth in their presence. I’m obliged to knuckle under the masters of the situation.

    Regards,

    V.

Similar Threads

  1. [General] pay a call = pay a visit
    By vil in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-Jun-2010, 18:12
  2. frank by nature or in nature?
    By techstar in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 14-Mar-2009, 09:47
  3. pay back my debt
    By optimistic pessimist in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 26-Jan-2009, 04:43
  4. Pay back / pay off & have / has
    By renzheng04 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-Nov-2008, 07:50
  5. Pay debt, or die
    By polly_t in forum English Idioms and Sayings
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 24-Aug-2005, 00:15

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •