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    #1

    Hand over the dibs

    Hello,

    Can anybody tell what the bold text means?

    There was no principle by which you could judge a man like that; and yet—well, after all, he was like anybody else. Give him a taste of the sweets of success, and his boasted solitude, his contempt for the mere decencies of life, his pretended disgust at men more capable and square-headed than himself, had vanished into thin air. There were fools in the world, he had discovered, who would pay ninetyseven guineas for a second- or thirdhand scrabble of a drawing. "Right you are; hand over the dibs, and I am off!" A scornful, yet lugubrious, smile stole over the fruit merchant's purplish features. He would be honest about it. He positively enjoyed acknowledging when a rival had bested him over a bargain. He would even agree that he had always nursed his own little superstitions.

    Walter de la Mare, The Tree, 192?

    I have found out squareheaded means stupid but in the text above it seems to me to mean just the opposite - clever or mentally more capable (than the guy in question).

    Thank you.
    Not a Teacher

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Hand over the dibs

    "...hand over the (small amount of) money..."
    "Invading armies have no rights." Noam Chomsky

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    #3

    Re: Hand over the dibs

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnyxxx View Post
    I have found out squareheaded means stupid but in the text above it seems to me to mean just the opposite - clever or mentally more capable (than the guy in question).
    It could mean that they weren't very imaginative, but had a sort of dull reasoning that worked.

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