A frock that's made at home and repented at leisure


Senior Member
Spanish (Spain)
the sentence comes from Saki's "Reginald on house-parties": "Some hostesses, of course, will forgive anything, even unto pavonicide (is there such a word?), as long as one is nice-looking and sufficiently unusual to counterbalance some of the others; and there are others—the girl, for instance, who reads Meredith, and appears at meals with unnatural punctuality in a frock that’s made at home and repented at leisure".

The girl is so "usual" that she reads Meredith, is punctual and wears a "frock that's made at home and repented at leisure"... Now, what do you think is such a frock ("repented at leisure"?) and why should it be so usual?

  • se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    This is a play on the idiom a decision made in haste and repented at leisure. The idea is that if you make a decision too quickly you may regret it for a long time.

    In this case, the frock was made inexpertly at home and someone (the wearer or others?) regretted that it was made at all.

    I can't see any suggestion that the frock is usual.
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