a box at an oyster-cellar.

enkidu68

Senior Member
turkish
Hi folks, this is cited from Wellingborough Redburn by Hermann Melville (1849)


Question: what would it be “a box at an oyster-cellar.”?


It was in the evening; and he invited me down into his sanctum to supper; and there we sat together like a couple in a box at an oyster-cellar.
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    OED:
    oyster cellar n. (now historical.) a shop or tavern, originally in a basement (and thus quite dark), where oysters are sold.

    Oysters are packed in a box very tightly, there is hardly any space between them.
     
    Last edited:

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    :idea::idea::idea:! I have suddenly realised - 1. a couple - (i) a man and a woman (ii) two friends.
    Oyster bars, like pubs at the time, had "boxes" - a box is an area around a table that is enclosed by a partition so as to be private, rather like a cubicle in an office.
     
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >
    Top