zurita2015 (zurita2015) wrote in linguaphiles,
zurita2015
zurita2015
linguaphiles

some rather tricky phrases

I'm translating a short story by Lucia Berlin and I'm perplexed by some phrases and expressions. Please help me!

The setting is Oakland, California in the early 1970s. The protagonist is called Maggie, she is an educated woman working as a house cleaner (she needs the work).

1\ One of the ladies in the story "forgets everything, even her ailments". "10 AM. NAUSEA (sp) on a piece of paper on the mantel". WHAT CAN (sp) MEAN IN THIS CONTEXT?

2\ "I asked a man for a match and he gave me the pack. They were the dumb kind with the striker on the back. Better safe than sorry". WHY IS SHE CALLING THIS MATCHPACK "THE DUMB KIND"?

3\ "The Christian Eastern Stars" (Maggie calls so a certain class of her employers - WASP women as opposed to Jewish or African-American women). DOES SHE MEAN THAT THEY ARE LIKELY TO BE MEMBERS OF THE ORDER OF EASTERN STAR? Or maybe that they are Christians from the East Coast? (the latter seems unlikely to me).
Tags: english
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  • I guess basic is too basic.

    You have to love how slang evolves. In my day, insulting someone was dissing someone from the word disrespect. Now it is throwing shade, especially…

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    Here's an article about Australian slang words, tacked onto a story about an ex-pat USA citizen grappling with what looks & sounds to be the base…

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