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    #1

    do the downy

    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?

    And then, being well up, you see, it was no use doing the downy again.

    do the downy = keep to ones bed; slumber

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.

  1. Tullia's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: do the downy

    Not necessarily to sleep/slumber, but it means to be in bed/stay in bed/get in bed, yes.

    A word of warning: this expression is archaic in the extreme (Id say late 1800s, maybe?); it is not used in modern English and to do so would probably confuse most of your listeners momentarily as well as sounding very unnatural. They could probably work it out from context, though. If forced to guess I'd say it sounds more Am Eng than Br Eng too, but that is just a guess.

    I wonder if the origin is related to "down" as in the direction, and thus lying down, or if it's related to "down" as in the type of feathers with which one might stuff a duvet? I'd love to find out, if anyone on here knows?


    As an aside, "to be downy" or "to be a downy one" means something very different (in Br Eng at least); it means to be sharp, quickwitted, and clever or knowledgeable. It's colloquial and not much used anymore but you do still hear it sometimes.
    Last edited by Tullia; 01-Sep-2010 at 14:50.

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    #3

    Re: do the downy

    downy = 1. covered with soft fine hair or feathers 2. light, soft, and fluffy 3. made from or filled with down

    down = soft fine feathers

    downy = resembling down: downy white clouds.

    downy = slang ( Brit ) sharp-witted; knowing

    "keep one's bed" or maybe "roll about in one's bed"

    V.

  2. Tullia's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: do the downy

    Answering your own questions again, vil?

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