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    #1

    Probationers

    Hello,

    Can anybody tell me what the word probationers means in the text below? Somehow, I do not think the author means offenders on probation ...

    The light striking out of an oil-and-colourman's shop at the street corner lay across his cheek and beard and glassed his eye. The soaked circle of humanity in which he was gesticulating stood staring and motionless--the lassies, the probationers, the melancholy idlers.

    All Hallows, Walter de la Mare, 1927

    Thanks a lot.
    Not a Teacher

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    #2

    Re: Probationers

    Merriam-Webster has "a person (as a newly admitted student nurse) whose fitness is being tested during a trial period" as its first definition. Does the scene take place near a school?
    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: Probationers

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    Merriam-Webster has "a person (as a newly admitted student nurse) whose fitness is being tested during a trial period" as its first definition. Does the scene take place near a school?
    This is the full description of the scene concerning my question.

    It had reminded me of a drizzling evening many years ago. I had stayed a moment to listen to an old Salvation Army officer preaching at a street corner. The sopped and squalid houses echoed with his harangue. His penitents' drum resembled the block of an executioner. His goatish beard wagged at every word he uttered. 'My brothers and sisters,' he was saying, 'the very instant our fleshly bodies are born they begin to perish; the moment the Lord has put them together, time begins to take them to pieces again. Now at this very instant if you listen close, you can hear the nibblings and frettings of the moth and rust within--the worm that never dies. It's the same with human causes and creeds and institutions--just the same. O, then, for that Strand of Beauty where all that is mortal shall be shed away and we shall appear in the likeness and verisimilitude of what in sober and awful truth we are!'
    The light striking out of an oil-and-colourman's shop at the street corner lay across his cheek and beard and glassed his eye. The soaked circle of humanity in which he was gesticulating stood staring and motionless--the lassies, the probationers, the melancholy idlers. I had had enough. I went away.

    All Hallows, Walter de la Mare, 1927

    Thanks a lot for helping me.
    Not a Teacher

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    #4

    Re: Probationers

    Thanks for providing the context. I'd guess that probationer had some particular meaning in the context of the Salvation Army. Maybe new recruits were called that.
    I am not a teacher.

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