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    #1

    and ever after/ leading bucks of the day

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expressions in bold in the following sentence?

    On returning to India, and ever after, he used to talk of the pleasure of this period of his existence with great enthusiasm, and give you to understand that he and Brummel were the leading bucks of the day.

    and ever after = to the last days

    buck = a robust or high-spirited young man; Jack-a-dandy; nut

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V

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    #2

    Re: and ever after/ leading bucks of the day

    A buck is a male deer. Bucks fight to get the supremacy in the herd. The buck that wins is a leading buck that other bucks must respect. "Leading bucks" in your quotation is a metaphor. It means a man who is respected by others because of his strength, vigor and masculinity.

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    #3

    Re: and ever after/ leading bucks of the day

    Hi birdeen's call,

    You would have had better notion about the phrase in question if you have taken the trouble to read at least a chapter of the Thackeray’s “Vanity Fair”.

    Among other things, there are many words in English that are polysemantic, for example the word “stag” which is very close to the word in question.

    stag = 1. The adult male of various deer 2. A person who attends a social gathering unaccompanied by a partner, especially a man who is unaccompanied by a woman.

    At the same time the present word is a slang term for short-term speculator

    dandy = a man who affects extreme elegance in clothes and manners; a fop

    I am deeply convinced that the young Joseph Sedley was a dandy and not a Superman how you wanted to impress on us..

    V.

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    #4

    Re: and ever after/ leading bucks of the day

    You would have had better notion about the phrase in question if you have taken the trouble to read at least a chapter of the Thackeray’s “Vanity Fair”.
    Vil, I find this rude...

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    #5

    Re: and ever after/ leading bucks of the day

    Rude but a home truth.

    I like to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

    V.

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    #6

    Re: and ever after/ leading bucks of the day

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Rude but a home truth.

    I like to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

    V.
    Oh, well...

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    #7

    Re: and ever after/ leading bucks of the day

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Rude but a home truth.

    I like to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

    V.
    Then you'll excuse me also calling you an arrogant fool? After all, I find it the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so it's not possibly in any way offensive or inappropriate?



    @ Birdeen - I strongly suspect that your metaphorical use of "buck" was potentially the origin of why the word came to be used to refer to young men in this way, although I have heard an alternative theory that it came from the practice of wearing "buckskins". I'd be interested if any language experts who had more information on the origin of the term could offer comment.
    Last edited by Tullia; 07-Sep-2010 at 12:24. Reason: spotted a typo: fixed it

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    #8

    Re: and ever after/ leading bucks of the day

    Quote Originally Posted by Tullia View Post
    @ Birdeen - I strongly suspect that your metaphorical use of "buck" was potentially the origin of why the word came to be used to refer to young men in this way, although I have hear an alternative theory that it came from the practice of wearing "buckskins". I'd be interested if any language experts who had more information on the origin of the term could offer comment.
    I'm not sure about the etymology of this meaning, but I'm sure they call the animal "the leading buck". Here's an example: The Deer and the Tiger: A Study of ... - Google Books

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    #9

    Re: and ever after/ leading bucks of the day

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    I'm not sure about the etymology of this meaning, but I'm sure they call the animal "the leading buck". Here's an example: The Deer and the Tiger: A Study of ... - Google Books

    Interesting It might well be a set phrase referring to an animal, but I think in vil's quote leading and bucks don't go that closely together to form a unit, not exactly.

    It means leading in the sense of famous, a leader in social terms, pre-eminent, or foremost.
    "Dr. Green is one of the leading scientists in his field."

    Buck stands alone and does have the meaning of a high-spirited young man. You most often hear it nowadays in the phrase young buck(s) nowadays to refer to such men, although I think it's dying out a little. (Such a shame!).



    As it happens, I have read Vanity Fair, and rather enjoyed it, but I don't think the reading of it especially influenced my interpretation of the phrase in question this time. As to whether a chapter of it would have helped you... well, I guess that depends on the chapter, for if it was one without this phrase in, I can't for the life of me see what the use would have been

    I happen to think reading less widely but in more depth is far more rewarding in the long term - I'd always recommend the whole novel not just a chapter!


    Slightly off-topic, but for what it's worth, I would take exception to describing Brummel as a "dandy"; fastidious and interested in his personal appearance and a trend-setter yes, a dandy no. It was his imitators who became dandies (Yeah, I have a soft spot for him, I can't help it!)

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    #10

    Re: and ever after/ leading bucks of the day

    Well, I did read the book...

    Would you agree that "buck" can mean dandy? I don't think so. Robust, high-spirited, vigorous man, yes...

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