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  • #1
    Moderators, Arts Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 69,907 mod New Home

    I've been reading "The Collected Works of Saki", and I've come across an expression I've never heard being used in contexts like these before. I figured it means too much, too loud, exaggerated, over the top. It's probably a slang word of that time, but I just can't find any reference to it.

    "There is my Aunt Agatha, _par exemple_, who sent me a pair of gloves last Christmas, and even got so far as to choose a kind that was being worn and had the correct number of buttons. But--they were nines! I sent them to a boy whom I hated intimately: he didn't wear them, of course, but he could have--that was where the bitterness of death came in. It was nearly as consoling as sending white flowers to his funeral. Of course I wrote and told my aunt that they were the one thing that had been wanting to make existence blossom like a rose; I am afraid she thought me frivolous--she comes from the North, where they live in the fear of Heaven and the Earl of Durham. (Reginald affects an exhaustive knowledge of things political, which furnishes an excellent excuse for not discussing them.) Aunts with a dash of foreign extraction in them are the most satisfactory in the way of understanding these things; but if you can't choose your aunt, it is wisest in the long-run to choose the present and send her the bill."

    "We had to argue it in a disjointed fashion, because some of the people wanted to listen to the play, and Miriam takes nines in voices."

    For the first sentence someone suggested it might mean the gloves were a size nine, but I'm unconvinced.

    Could someone please point me in the right direction?