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    #1

    A month to a name

    Hello,

    Can anybody explain to me what a month to a name means in the text below? I know the idiom not to have a penny to a name (to be poor) so I wonder if the the phrase used by Mare is a slight variation meaning the same. On the other hand, it seems to me it could mean they are really old, with not much time to live.

    Like an hour-glass that cannot tell the difference between its head and its heels; like a dial on a sunless day; like a timepiece wound-up—wound-up and bereft of its pendulum; so were we. Age, we had hideously learned, devours life as a river consumes flakes of the falling snow. Soon we should be beggars, with scarcely a month to our name; and none to give us alms.

    Walter de la Mare, The Vats, 1923

    Thanks a lot.
    Not a Teacher

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: A month to a name

    Yes, it means that they haven't much time left.
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

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    #3

    Re: A month to a name

    The reference idiom is not to have a penny to one's name.​ De la Mare has extended it with the idea that one has an account of months on deposit and, once the months are gone, one's life is over.
    I am not a teacher.

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