Student or Learner
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
Last edited by vil; 03-Aug-2011 at 16:31.
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.