a full-out polo grin

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Senior Member
As Mike passed the house where Bill and Richie had seen the clown –or the werewolf –he snapped a glance back and was alarmed to see that Peter Gordon had almost closed the distance. Peter was grinning cheerfully –a steeplechase grin, a full-out polo grin, a pip-pip-jolly-good-show grin, and Mike thought: I wonder if he’d grin that way if he knew what’s going to happen if they catch me … Does he think they’re just going to say ‘Tag, you’re it,’ and run away?

Source: It by Stephen King

What is a full-out polo? Is it related to the polo game? Are the bolded grins typical grins of someone who is doing steeplechase, playing a polo game, watching a jolly good show? - unsure about the pip pip.

Thank you.
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Full-out means total, extreme, 100%.
    Polo is an adjective describing the grin.
    Polo grin = a smile like a polo player might have. It's up to you to imagine what kind of smile a very rich, successful, self-satisfied sportsman might have...


    Senior Member
    English - England
    "Pip pip" and "jolly good show" are old fashioned phrases mainly associated with the British upper classes. I believe the former means "goodbye" and the latter means "well done!" [i.e. that someone has done something well]. Stephen King has just bolted the phrases together to give the caricature of a British, upper class, horse riding idiot with an inane grin on their face.

    The same could be said of the "steeplechase grin" and the "polo grin", which Keith has explained. It is up to you to imagine what those grins are like. They will all be dopey, and not normal, grins because King then writes, "I wonder if he’d grin that way if he knew what’s going to happen if they catch me...".
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