a mixed bag of verbal beans

< Previous | Next >

dangtienthieu

Member
vietnamese - Vietnam
Hi everybody. Can someone help explain the meaning of this phrase "a mixed bag of verbal beans"? (Philip Roth, "The Human Stain").
[The woman was brought up in a rich, "upper class" family] She can be surprisingly well spoken if she wants to be. But she's dropped so far down the social ladder from so far up that by now she's a pretty mixed bag of verbal beans.
Many thanks!
 
  • Peace123

    Member
    Arabic - UAE
    I don't know if "verbal beans" would make any difference but :

    Mixed bag: (idiomatic) something tending to have both good and bad results or characteristics; something having a mixture of advantages and disadvantages.
    Owning a car is a mixed bag. It is convenient, but also costly.


     

    Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    Peace123 is right about "mixed bag".
    "Verbal" refers to her language, so I suppose her speech includes features of both upper and lower classes.
    I can't explain why the metaphorical "bag" contains "beans".
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    Cenzontle - I think that "a mixed bag of beans" is another idiom meaning the same as "a mixed bag" (although still why "beans" I don't know). It would have been the noun I would have instinctively picked to make that joke of "a mixed bag of verbal xyz"
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    she's dropped so far down the social ladder from so far up that by now she's a pretty mixed bag of verbal beans
    The red says her normal speech includes words and phrases from different social classes: things only low class say, and other things only high class say.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top