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    #1

    Well! Well!

    Hi,

    Can anybody tell me in what connotation the bold text is used here?


    I thought his eyes twinkled over some secret thought, as he jumped down and shook hands. No doubt he anticipated that the lure of the sunk saccharine would be bound to bring us straight into his hands that very night.
    Maybe my own eyes twinkled as I said good-bye. He might watch a long time, so far, at least, as I was concerned, before the big, sunk paint-drum had a visitor. If only he knew just how much I knew! I thought to myself as I sat back, smiling.
    Then I lapsed into serious thought — a hundred pounds of saccharine represents a certain amount of money. It was a lot for my two Mates to have staked on a single throw of the Customs dice, as one might say.
    Well! Well! . . . I turned my thoughts on a space, to dinner. At least, I could promise that it should be made a cheering function. * * * *
    We had dinner in a private room at the Cecil.
    "Certainly, Mr. Armes and Mr. James," I told them, as I handed them a fat little bank-note each, "the occasion demands joy, and I think this slight celebration is almost morally justified."
    My two officers smiled at me, and I raised my glass. "Here's my toast," I said —

    The Drum of Sacharine. W.H.Hodgson, 1912

    Thank you very much.

  1. Eckaslike's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Well! Well!

    This definition is quite good. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/well,_well

    In the quote above, it is indicating that the character is pondering or considering something. Sometimes it may be a reaction of mild surprise. You may even hear three of them as "Well! Well! Well!". However, despite what the definition says, I don't always believe that it has to be mock surprise.

    A common phrase one might hear is "Well! Well!, what have we here then?", when someone discovers something unexpected. It could be said quite naturally. However, if said by a policeman to a burglar he has caught at night leaving via a small window at the back of a property, the mock surprise or sarcasm may apply, especially if the policeman has seen the thief go in and has been waiting for him to re-emerge.
    Last edited by Eckaslike; 04-Aug-2015 at 22:40. Reason: Reformatting.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Well! Well!

    For me, "Well! Well! usually indicates surprise.

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    #4

    Re: Well! Well!

    So is it something like "tut-tut?"

    (I am sorry to have thanked you for your reactions with such a delay; I literally forgot I had formulated the question in question ...

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Well! Well!

    "Tut tut" usually indicates disapproval.

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