Student or Learner
Would you tell me whether I am right about my interpretation of the expressions in bold in the following sentence?
She turned brightly to Albert. “What does my lord and master say about it? What is your opinion, Albert? To shingle or not to shingle, that’s the question.” (W. S. Maught, “Complete Short Stories”)
lord and master = husband and sovereign (regardless of a few other meaning of “lord” and |master”)
shingle = building material used as siding or roofing/ coarse beach gravel of small water worn stones and pebbles (or a stretch of shore covered with such gravel)/ a small signboard outside the office of a lawyer or doctor/ cover with shingles
I know (naturally likewise from the dictionaries) another meaning of “shingle” = “have one’s hair cut/ have one’s hair trimmed”
But there is also the following possibility for interpretation of the verb in question, namely “take the vows”, respectively “take the veil” because she is female.
You see, one and only word has a few interpretations. Maybe this is mere child’s play for you, but it’s very perplexing for me, who have been studying English from the last six years only.
Would you help to me to make the proper choice of the available abundant stock-in-trade?
Thanks for your efforts.
2. I have never heard of this. Where did you find it?
To the best of my knowledge the adduced bellow two synonymous expression are well-known in my area since 855 a.d. The mentioned in my original post above church term is recorded in my Full Bulgarian English Dictionary by the entry cut someone's hair/ give someone a trim. (It is speaking about a ritual haircut.)
cut someone’s hair = take the vows (take the veil) = ordain Peter as monk (or ordain Elizabeth as nun)
I doubt if any native speaker would ever think of cutting someone's hair as implying taking the vows/veil, in normal life.
The OED records the first use of shingle to mean cutting hair in a particular way (not the religious way) in 1857, so it has never been used as a synonym for becoming a monk or nun.