Student or Learner
Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am on the right way with my interpretation of the expression in bold in the following brief excerpt from the O.Henry’s “A Cosmopolite in a Caffe”?
I invoke your consideration of the scene--the marble-topped tables, the range of leather-upholstered wall seats, the gay company, the ladies dressed in demi-state toilets, speaking in an exquisite visible chorus of taste, economy, opulence or art; the sedulous and largess-loving ~garcons~, the music wisely catering to all with its
raids upon the composers; the ~melange~ of talk and laughter--and, if you will, the Wurzburger in the tall glass cones that bend to your lips as a ripe cherry sways on its branch to the beak of a robber jay. I was told by a sculptor from Mauch Chunk that the scene was truly Parisian.
I know the meaning of the expressions “demi-monde” and “demi-rep”. I know also the meaning of the term “demigod”. It is known that “state = official”.
As a result of that which stated above I jump at conclusion that “demi-state = semi-official”.
Thank you for your efforts.
demi-state = semi-formal.
A woman of that period dressed in a fully formal costume would look very overdressed for daytime >> http://www.nla.gov.au/pub/nlanews/20...dyBarton-t.jpg
The two women in the front of this drawing are in semi-formal clothes: http://www.ecragtime.org/images/19001910group.jpg