shuddered, ragtail appearance, plonk drinker, croaking voice, blotched skin

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vil

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Dear teachers,

This morning I read Frank J. Hardy's "The returned soldier". I turned my attention to two sentences with a few very interesting for me words.

He took the bottle, wiped the top and gulped a few mouthfuls. He shuddered, and handed the bottle back. "Thanks."

The other three men had the ragtail appearance, blotched skin and bleary eyes of the plonk drinker. One of the them began to tell a story in a croaking voice riddled with lunacy. They all laughed heartily.

shudder = to shiver convulsively, as from fear or revulsion

ragtail appearance = the appearance of a person dressed to cheap worn clothes (do you remember the notorious character of Charley Chaplin?)

blotch = a discoloration on the skin; a blemish

the plonk drinker = a heavy drinker

plonk = cheap or inferior wine

croak = to utter in a low hoarse sound

riddled with lunacy = with a touch of lunacy

riddle = to pierce with numerous holes; perforate

lunacy = insanity, especially insanity relieved intermittently by periods of clear-mindedness.

Would you tell me something more about the words in bold?

Thank you in advance for your efforts.

Regards.

V.
 
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apex2000

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He took the bottle, wiped the top and gulped a few mouthfuls. He shuddered, and handed the bottle back. "Thanks."

The other three men had the ragtail appearance, blotched skin and bleary eyes of the plonk drinker. One of the them began to tell a story in a croaking voice riddled with lunacy. They all laughed heartily.
Would you tell me something more about the words in bold? V.
He took the bottle, wiped the top and gulped a few mouthfuls. He shuddered, and handed the bottle back.
in this context shuddered is a common reaction when taking a strong drink, such as whisky. it might also be when taking a drink he was not familiar with.
The other three men had the ragtail appearance, blotched skin and bleary eyes of the plonk drinker. One of the them began to tell a story in a croaking voice riddled with lunacy.
The descriptions and the term plonk drinker refer to alcoholics or those near to being one, drinking coarse and/or cheap alcohol, which in turn invariably leads to a croaking voice and riddled with lunacy means talking rubbish as many drunks do.
 

vil

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Hi apex2000,

Thank you for your comprehensive explanation. I took great pleasure in following your logical reasoning.

Thank you again for your backing.

Regards.

V.
 
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