Student or Learner
Here are three sentences in the following brief excerpt from John Galsworthy’s “Forside Saga” where 23 words from the all 35 words used in them are constituents of difficult comprehensible slangs, idioms and expressions.
Would you be kind enough to tell me whether this is a regular English for the common Englishman or is prerogative only for a highly gifted writer? If you tell me whether I am right with my intyerpretation of the expressions in bold?
“Missed it, old bean; he’s pulling you leg. When Jove and Juno created he them, he was saying: ‘I’ll see how much these fools will swallow.’ And they’ve lapped up the lot."
missed it = (in the present case) you have misunderstand it
old bean = old man
he’s pulling your leg = he's kidding around with you
when Jove and Juno created he them = a paraphrase of the Biblical story of the origin of man: “male and female created he them”
swallow = to regard (something) as true or real
they have lapped up the lot = they have taken everything seriously
Thank you for your efforts.
Very much the kind of slang and usage of Galsworthy's time or writing, in the early years of the 20th century. Your interpretations are fine. "Old bean" continued to be used throughout the 1920s.