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

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Nuzzi, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. Nuzzi 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?

  2. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London but from Yorkshire
    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.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
  3. Nuzzi Senior Member

    Spanish (Spain)
    Thank you very much

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