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Thread: A shake-down

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    #1

    A shake-down

    Hello,

    Does a shake-down in the text below mean a makeshift bed?

    Early in the new year the hostess meant to "move house" to an old convent, built in Tudor times, a beautiful palace with terraces and clipped yew trees, castellated battlements, a moat, swans, and a ghost story.
    "You boys," she said, "must put up with a shake-down in the new house. I hope the ghost won't worry you. She's an old lady in a figured satin dress. Comes and breathes softly on the back of your neck when you're shaving. Then you see her in the glass, and as often as not you cut your throat." She laughed. So did Edward and Vincent and the other young men. There were seven or eight of them.
    But that night, when sparse candles had lighted "the boys" to their rooms, when the last pipe had been smoked, the last "Goodnight" said, there came a fumbling with the handle of Vincent's door. Edward came in, an unwieldy figure, clasping pillows, trailing blankets.

    Edith Nesbit, The Power of Darkness, 1905.

    Thank you very much.
    Not a Teacher. A guy that is fond of old horror and weird literature.

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    English Teacher
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    #2

    Re: A shake-down

    You are correct in your assumption, though it's the first time I've encountered this usage. Today, that term more often refers to extortion.

    This is yet another example where reading something more contemporary is a better way to learn the modern language.

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