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Sunday, 17 February 2008


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John Emerson

So what does "suck eggs" mean in Mark Twain?


From The Virginian, supposedly the first cowboy novel:

“I suppose you have me beat,” said Steve, grinning at him affectionately. “You’re such a son-of-a-- when you get down to work. Well, so long! I got to fix my horse’s hoofs.”

I had expected that the man would be struck down. He had used to the Virginian a term of heaviest insult, I thought. I had marvelled to hear it come so unheralded from Steve’s friendly lips. And now I marvelled still more. Evidently he had meant no harm by it, and evidently no offence had been taken. Used thus, this language was plainly complimentary. I had stepped into a world new to me indeed, and novelties were occurring with scarce any time to get breath between them.

Jennifer Lynn Jordan

(sigh) I love Deadwood. I'm seeing Ian McShane give a talk next week. He can step on my neck anyday.

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