Results 1 to 9 of 9
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Jul 2010
    • Posts: 5,098
    #1

    lapped in the bosom of plenty

    I felt less a stranger in the land; and as my eye traced the dusty road winding along through a rich cultivated country, and skirted on either side with blossomed fruit-trees, and occasionally caught glimpses of a little farm-house resting in a green hollow, and lapped in the bosom of plenty, I felt that I was in a prosperous, hospitable, and happy land.
    (Outre-mer: a pilgrimage beyond the sea - Google Books page 14)

    What is the meaning of "lap" here and why is it used?

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Ireland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 25,626
    #2

    Re: lapped in the bosom of plenty

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    (Outre-mer: a pilgrimage beyond the sea - Google Books page 14)

    What is the meaning of "lap" here and why is it used?
    I'd say it means "covered", "enfolded", "surrounded by". I don't know if that helps, I'm finding it hard to explain it better.

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

    • Join Date: Jul 2010
    • Posts: 5,098
    #3

    Re: lapped in the bosom of plenty

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    I'd say it means "covered", "enfolded", "surrounded by".
    Oh, so it wasn't his eye that lapped, but the farmhouse that was lapped. Thank you. Would you say that the comma before "and lapped" is correct?

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,221
    #4

    Re: lapped in the bosom of plenty

    I think the author, and not only the farmhouse, is "in the lap of" this land of plenty.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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

    • Join Date: Jul 2010
    • Posts: 5,098
    #5

    Re: lapped in the bosom of plenty

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I think the author, and not only the farmhouse, is "in the lap of" this land of plenty.
    Wouldn't it be a bit ungrammatical then?

    as my eye traced the dusty road [...], and lapped in the bosom of plenty, I felt that I was in a [...] happy land.

    I think if we want "lapped" to refer to "I", we should remove the "as", shouldn't we?

    my eye traced the dusty road [...], and lapped in the bosom of plenty, I felt that I was in a [...] happy land.


  3. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,221
    #6

    Re: lapped in the bosom of plenty

    Hmm. Hard to say. Maybe his eye lapped it in, the way a thirsty dog laps water, enjoying the vision?

    It's a rather cumbersome sentence to parse, though it's pretty to read.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • New Zealand
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Nov 2010
    • Posts: 2,013
    #7

    Re: lapped in the bosom of plenty

    What is the meaning of "lap" here and why is it used?
    I'd say it means "covered", "enfolded", "surrounded by".


    birdeen's call.
    "lap" can often mean to enfold with a soothing or comforting effect, which seems especially applicable to being "lapped in the bosom of" something. On first reading I assumed the writer felt "lapped in the bosom of plenty" as he was reassured and heartened by what he saw.

    But on reading it again after your query, that isn't so clear. Is the writer describing the farm-house as "resting in the hollow, lapped in the bosom" or himself as feeling "lapped in the bosom" as he surveys this scene? I'll put in em dashes to clarify what I mean.

    "I felt less a stranger in the land; and as my eye traced the dusty road winding along through a rich cultivated country, and skirted on either side with blossomed fruit-trees, and occasionally caught glimpses of a little farm-house resting in a green hollow, and lapped in the bosom of plenty – I felt that I was in a prosperous, hospitable, and happy land."

    "I felt less a stranger in the land; and as my eye traced the dusty road winding along through a rich cultivated country, and skirted on either side with blossomed fruit-trees, and occasionally caught glimpses of a little farm-house resting in a green hollow – lapped in the bosom of plenty, I felt that I was in a prosperous, hospitable, and happy land."

    I think it is ambiguous, but as Barb suggests, I'm sure the writer, the farmhouse, the trees and all and sundry are feeling nicely lapped in the bosom.

    not a teacher
    Last edited by JMurray; 25-Mar-2011 at 05:48. Reason: typo

  4. SanMar's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Feb 2011
    • Posts: 554
    #8

    Re: lapped in the bosom of plenty

    Hi
    I would say it applies to the person rather than the details of what he is seeing but only because the quote seems mainly about his experience of the place. The emphasis here is on him and "lapped in the bosom of plenty" highlights this. But this is just my interpretation. It reads, to me at least, a little strange to highlight the farmhouse within the quote there doesn't seem to be a reason for it.


    When you use lap/lapped to mean roughly -take in- is it "lapped up"? Generally that's how I've heard it and use it myself but not sure if this is actually the case.

    Not a teacher.
    :)

    Also I think that the and wouldn't be necessary for the farmhouse.
    ..."caught glimpses of a little farm-house resting in a green hollow, lapped in the bosom of plenty, and I felt that I was in a prosperous, hospitable, and happy land.

    My2cents:)
    Last edited by SanMar; 25-Mar-2011 at 04:20. Reason: forgot somethin' twice

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

    • Join Date: Jul 2010
    • Posts: 5,098
    #9

    Re: lapped in the bosom of plenty

    Thank you all very much!

Similar Threads

  1. [Vocabulary] a tiger that lapped human gore
    By birdeen's call in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 24-Mar-2011, 20:03
  2. in the bosom of
    By Buno in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 27-Apr-2010, 10:30
  3. plenty of
    By kukinecka in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-Oct-2008, 18:32
  4. there is plenty vs. there are plenty
    By Barton in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 26-May-2007, 14:50

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
  •