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    #1

    Hard commons

    Hi,

    Does hard commons mean a tough job, something physically demanding? It seems to be an old-fashioned idiom because in looking for the meaning I have found it in some 19th century texts though not in the context which de la Mare uses here.

    "The distance was of little account. But nine flinty hills in seven miles is certainly hard commons."

    All Hallows, Walter de la Mare, 191?

    Thank you very much.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 06-Jan-2016 at 09:45. Reason: Removed unnecessary line breaks
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  1. Skrej's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Hard commons

    I'm not familiar with the phrase, but reading more of the text seems to confirm your guess.

    Perhaps it also means something like 'repetition', since after seeing one hill after another it becomes a common sight, albeit a hard one to keep looking at when you know the effort each one will take?
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Hard commons

    'Commons' (especially in 'short commons') is a dated expression meaning 'provisions' or' rations'. 'Hard commons' would have been something that was hard to stomach. To have to climb nine flinty hills in seven miles would indeed be hard.

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