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    #1

    From Great Expectation

    I've been reading Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and I can't quite understand the phrase below:

    ...his conversation consisted of nothing but arithmetic. On my politely bidding him Good morning, he said, pompously, "Seven times nine, boy?" And how should I be able to answer, dodged in that way, in a strange place, on an empty stomach! I was hungry, but before I had swallowed a morsel, he began a running sum that lasted all through the breakfast....

    What does that mean, "dodged in that way"? Thank you
    Last edited by nightelb; 31-Dec-2014 at 07:02.

  1. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: From Great Expectation

    I think it means something very like 'tricked' or 'given a trick question' 'put on the spot' or 'put to the test.'

    It seems the word dodge means requiring someone to be cunning or use their wits.

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    #3

    Re: From Great Expectation

    Quote Originally Posted by nightelb View Post
    I've been reading the "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens and I can't quite understand the phrase below:
    Please note my amendments to your post.

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    #4

    Re: From Great Expectation

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    I think it means something very like 'tricked' or 'given a trick question' 'put on the spot' or 'put to the test.'

    It seems the word dodge means requiring someone to be cunning or use their wits.
    Put on the spot/to the test seem to fit better in this context than the first two IMO.

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    #5

    Re: From Great Expectation

    This is definitely not an answer, so I have not started with the disclaimer "Not a Teacher."

    I do not read fiction, so I have never read Mr. Dickens's novel. I did, however, read the whole paragraph in the "books" section of Google, and I also found two examples of "dodged in that way" that were not written by Mr. Dickens.

    I'm a terrible reader, but I believe that when our hero greeted the pompous Mr. Pumblechook with "Good Morning," that gentleman dodged (avoided / ignored) giving the usual response and instead launched into an absurd question about math.

    So my question to the teachers (or well-read non-teachers):

    Could that sentence possibly mean something like:

    How should I be able to answer, having had my "Good morning" salutation dodged [ignored] by him in that way [asking an absurd math question], in a strange place, on an empty stomach?


    Thank you,


    James
    Last edited by TheParser; 31-Dec-2014 at 15:09. Reason: added boldface.

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    #6

    Re: From Great Expectation

    I am not a teacher.

    That's exactly what I thought when I read it.

  3. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: From Great Expectation

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    This is definitely not an answer, so I have not started with the disclaimer "Not a Teacher."

    I do not read fiction, so I have never read Mr. Dickens's novel. I did, however, read the whole paragraph in the "books" section of Google, and I also found two examples of "dodged in that way" that were not written by Mr. Dickens.

    I'm a terrible reader, but I believe that when our hero greeted the pompous Mr. Pumblechook with "Good Morning," that gentleman dodged (avoided / ignored) giving the usual response and instead launched into an absurd question about math.

    So my question to the teachers (or well-read non-teachers):

    Could that sentence possibly mean something like:

    How should I be able to answer, having had my "Good morning" salutation dodged [ignored] by him in that way [asking an absurd math question], in a strange place, on an empty stomach?
    This is unlikely. Given the Dickensian nickname, the Artful Dodger, and many other uses of the word in Dickens, it is clear that the vernacular on London's streets among the poor in the Victorian era included a broader variety of meanings for 'dodge' than today's 'avoid', including "dither," "work," and "do."

    https://londonparticulars.wordpress....arles-dickens/

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    #8

    Re: From Great Expectation

    And you still have dodgy in BrE for something that isn't completely honest or trustworthy.

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    #9

    Re: From Great Expectation

    Yes, I'm with The Parser. I took it to mean "having had my 'Good morning' dodged".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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