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    #1

    to rise to the occasion/ we canít help it/ we must rough it/give us a shake-down

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to give me your considered opinion concerning the interpretation of the expressions in bold in the following sentences?

    This staggered us for a bit. But Harris, who is an old traveler, rose to the occasion, and, laughing cheerily, said:
    ďOh, well, we canít help it. We must rough it. You must give us a shake down in the billiard-room.Ē (Jerome K. Jerome, ďThree Men in a BoatĒ)

    to rise to the occasion = to get things under control

    we canít help it = we canít do anything about it

    we must rough it = weíll get along as if we are carrying a soldersí life

    give us a shake-down = a temporary bed, usually made on the floor

    V.
    Last edited by vil; 03-Aug-2011 at 16:31.

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    #2

    Re: to rise to the occasion/ we canít help it/ we must rough it/give us a shake-down

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to give me your considered opinion concerning the interpretation of the expressions in bold in the following sentences?

    This staggered us for a bit. But Harris, who is an old traveler, rose to the occasion, and, laughing cheerily, said:
    “Oh, well, we can’t help it. We must rough it. You must give us a shake down in the billiard-room.” (Jerome K. Jerome, “Three Men in a Boat”)

    to rise to the occasion = to get things under control

    we can’t help it = we can’t do anything about it

    we must rough it = we’ll get along as if we are carrying a solders’ life

    give us a shake-down = a temporary bed, usually made on the floor

    V.
    Semi-teacher and native.

    I'd say you have the correct interpretation for most of the words/phrases.

    'Rise to the occasion' can mean to get things under control, though I would describe it more as 'doing what is necessary' or getting through a difficult situation, another idiom which has a similar meaning is, 'step up to the plate' if you are familiar with that.

    'Rough it' means to do something without luxuries or comforts, a lot of people say they are 'roughing it' when they go camping - usually with just a tent, a sleeping bag and only the basics (as opposed to staying in a hotel).

    In this context, a 'shakedown', does indeed mean a temporary bed. I was unsure of this until I googled it. If you'd have asked me what a 'shakedown' was before, I would have said where someone pats you to check for concealed weapons/drugs. This meaning of the word is much more common.

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