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  1. Senior Member
    Interested in Language
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      • Czech
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    #1

    Overplay ones hand

    Hi,

    Can anybody tell me if to overplay ones hand means to risk here?


    She had the grace to smile. You dont need to worry. Im not here in any official capacity. Maybe I just have the Barsham curiosity.
    Anne broke in on that. I cant understand why she hasnt come down. Shes a very light sleeper. She hears the smallest noise.
    She must be worn out, Ellen Hoskins commented.
    Yes, I agreed, but the explanation was unsatisfactory to some watchful segment of my mind. I still believe that Mrs Walters should have come downstairs when Ellen Hoskins arrived. I think she overplayed her hand, just that one time. She overplayed it because she should have realized that neither Anne nor I would be quite willing to believe that she was really asleep. And yet, it is actually possible she really was asleep. That day must have put an intolerable strain on her.
    However it was, the three of us went on talking inconsequences for what seemed like an eternity, trying not to let the tide of silence dammed-up in that house flood over us. At least that was what Anne and I were talking for. Ellen Hoskins appeared to have no purpose but the social one. Once I thought to myself that this conversational night piece was fantastic beyond any credence.

    Edge of Running Water by William Sloane, 1939.

    Thanks a lot.
    Not a Teacher. A guy who is fond of old horror and weird literature and who is interested in English language.

  2. Moderator
    Interested in Language
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    #2

    Re: Overplay ones hand

    No. It means she tried to use resources of some sort that she didn't possess.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. Skrej's Avatar
    Key Member
    English Teacher
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    #3

    Re: Overplay ones hand

    Also, to mistakenly think what you're doing is more effective than it really is. See here.

    It's of course a reference to playing cards (poker in particular), and bluffing or betting more than you really should have based on the actual strength of your hand of cards.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  4. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    English Teacher
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    • Join Date: Nov 2002
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    #4

    Re: Overplay ones hand

    She thought she was in a better position than she really was in.

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