a betting man

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t k

Senior Member
Korean - Korea
Gribsby. I am merely a solicitor myself. I do not employ personal violence of any kind. The officer of the court whose function it is to seize the person of the debtor is waiting in the fly outside. ... His style and manner are considered extremely good. Indeed, he looks more like a betting man than a court official. (from The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde; Appendix: The Gribsby Episode)

Please explain "a betting man". Does it mean a man who gambles? What style does he have? Thanks. --- tk
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    A betting man does mean a man who gambles. Wilde also uses the term in An Ideal Husband (to describe Lord Goring). But it's not obvious what its significance is in your excerpt above.

    My guess is that it means the court official could pass for one of the wealthy punters who frequented racecourses, and could therefore mix easily with the aristocrats he so often has cause to arrest (though you've omitted that part).
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