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Thread: O henry stories..

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    O henry stories..

    there are phrases I do not understand at all in O.Henry's stories
    well maybe because English is not my first language
    Yet I have read many English works and I am confident
    that I have read more English books than ones in my native language..
    therefore I have very little problem reading English literature works
    but boy O henry's works leaves me desperately puzzled
    there are several phrases and expressions I do not understand at all
    I wonder if it is same for all you guys..
    and if it is why is it so?? Do you guys also have problems with
    many phrases in O. Henry's works?

  2. #2
    Registered User beroq's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    O'Henry uses the weird language of the common people and I believe it is also a great difficulty for the natives to understand his works perfectly enough.

  3. #3
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    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    O. Henry & American Slang

    You wrote that as a non-native speaker you have trouble understanding O. Henry. That's because he used a lot of slang of the time that now gives even native speakers a hard time. The best example comes from his book "Cabbages and Kings," which takes place in Central America. The protaganist receives a telegram written in American slang so that no one but a native speaker could understand it:
    "His Nibs skedaddled yesterday per jack-rabbit line with all
    the coin in the kitty and the bundle of muslin he's spoony
    about. The boodle is six figures short. Our crowd in good
    shape, but we need the spondulicks. You collar it. The main
    guy and the dry goods are headed for the briny. You know
    what to do."

    His Nibs = the ruler of the country
    skedaddled = ran away quickly
    jack-rabbit line = a trail through the countryside
    all the coin in the kitty = all the money in the treasury
    the bundle of muslin = young, attractive girl
    spoony about = in love with
    boodle = money
    six figures short = missing 100,000
    Our crowd = our group
    spondulicks = money
    You collar it = you get it
    main guy = the ruler
    dry goods = the girl
    briny = ocean

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Thanks - English is my first language but I didn't know the meaning of "bundle of muslin" or "spondulicks!

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    O' Henry - Tracked to Doom or The Mystery of the Rue De Peychaud

    Read the story but am unable to understand how it ends..what is the track of the Duchess got to do with story..Why was Marie murdered..?
    Last edited by Himmelbleu; 09-18-2010 at 11:17 PM.

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