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    #1

    Smile a wee bit of bother

    Hello. I don't quite follow what the underlined sentence means in this context below.
    Would you please tell me? Thank you.

    -----------------------(These sentences are from a children's novel)
    "He wanted to know where Elizabeth Scatterding lived. Elizabeth!"
    "That's Lizzie's full name?"
    "Yes, Elizabeth Scatterdinghead."
    "My, my. Am I hearing a wee bit of bother?"
    "What's he doing calling her Elizabeth and how does he know that's her real name
    and why does he want to know where she lives? Not that I care."
    Last edited by frindle; 08-Mar-2013 at 15:38.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: a wee bit of bother

    Quote Originally Posted by frindle View Post
    Hello. I don't quite follow what the underlined sentence means in this context below.
    Would you please tell me? Thank you.

    -----------------------(These sentences are from a children's novel)
    "He wanted to know where Elizabeth Scatterding lived. Elizabeth!"
    "That's Lizzie's faull name?"
    "Yes, Elizabeth Scatterdinghead."
    "My, my. Am I hearing a wee bit of bother?"
    "What's he doing calling her Elizabeth and how does he know that's her real name
    and why does he want to know where she lives? Not that I canre."

    It's hard to tell what's fantasy and what's typo - 'faull' is presumably 'full' and 'canre' is presumably 'care', but they don't instil a lot of confidence in the trustworthiness of 'My, my. Am I hearing a wee bit of bother?"'.

    But, taking the words at their face-value it could mean something like 'Fancy that! Do I detect (in your tone) that there is a history of family tensions behind this stranger's curiosity?' (I'm reading a lot into it, but a lot of children's novels have this sort of background.

    b

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: a wee bit of bother

    wee = small
    bother = trouble

    So we can be certain that the end of the sentence means "a little bit of trouble". I can't be certain about what is meant by "Am I hearing ...?" Because it is not clear who speaks this line, I can't decide whether it's a third party overhearing the conversation and they literally mean "hearing" trouble in the conversation, or is it one of the two people holding the conversation and "hearing" means, as Bob suggested, "detecting".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #4

    Re: a wee bit of bother

    Lizzie: "He wanted to know where Elizabeth Scatterding lived. Elizabeth!"
    Lizzie's Grandpa: "That's Lizzie's full name?"
    Lizzie: "Yes, Elizabeth Scatterdinghead."
    Lizzie's Grandma: "My, my. Am I hearing a wee bit of bother?"
    Lizzie: "What's he doing calling her Elizabeth and how does he know that's her real name
    and why does he want to know where she lives? Not that I care."
    -----
    I think "hearing" means "hearing" in this conversation. I'm wondering if "Am I hearing a wee bit of bother?" could mean "Are you in a little bit of trouble?"

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: a wee bit of bother

    Quote Originally Posted by frindle View Post
    I think "hearing" means "hearing" in this conversation. I'm wondering if "Am I hearing a wee bit of bother?" could mean "Are you in a little bit of trouble?"
    It seems to me to be closer to "Do I detect some tension on your part because the stranger used your full name (and you don't like to be called by your full name?)"

    Your interpretation could be possible if we know that Lizzie has been in trouble and is wary of strangers tracking her down. Only context could make this clear, Just as only context can make it clear whether one or two Lizzies are involved. The question mark at the end of Grandpas's words suggests that there are two. If the question mark were a typo, there could be only one.

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