greaves in his number

Discussion in 'English Only' started by celine713, May 3, 2007.

  1. celine713 Senior Member

    Hi eveyone!please have a look at this"

    greaves in his number, what does that refer to?
    and "he called the pudding 'dog in the blanket'", what kind of feeling is that?
  2. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    This isn't easy, Celine. Joyce can be difficult.

    Greaves are pieces of armour to protect the lower legs. I think this must refer to shin-guards (shin-protectors used by footballers) which he kept in his locker - lockers had numbers on them.

    A pudding in this sense is a savory dish made with meat - beef steak and beef kidney is a favourite - wrapped in cooked batter, made with beef suet and flour. If you make the batter with butter and flour you have pastry, and that would turn the pudding into a pie. The batter on the outside is a bit like a blanket and the poor quality meat reminiscent of dog, perhaps. The comment suggests the earthy sense of humour of the character.
  3. celine713 Senior Member

    Thank you very much, I have a clearer picture now:)
    you are right, it takes courage to pick up Joyce's work esp for a foreigner!
  4. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    Yes, I think you are very brave. Wouldn't you be better off with something less wildly idiomatic? Not many English, or even Irish, people understand a lot of what Joyce wrote.
  5. celine713 Senior Member

    Oh, you know what, last time I chose Cooper, only to find so many friends wanted to give him a miss, then I decided to read something else, what about Joyce, at least he is more modern than Cooper! then, this is what happended next...:) anyway, I'll try!
  6. First New Member

    I'd rather the foodstuff definition of greaves, for two reasons. 1) Other food references; 2) greaves as shin pads would more likely have been being worn that sitting in number.
  7. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Hello First - welcome to the forums:)

    What's the foodstuff definition of greaves?
  8. First New Member

    An edible protein residue which remains after the process of rendering down fat. I am guessing that it might have been marketed in Ireland as a cheap snack food.

    I would also wonder whether "number" actually means locker. I'd prefer to think that Stephen is referring to Rody's desk. Note on page 10 "he would change the number pasted up inside his desk", by which Stephen keeps track of days remaining. Stephen may refer to his own desk as a number (numbering device) and apply the term generally to other boys' desks. And indeed there were probably more than Stephen who tracked days remaining in this fashion.

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