a swell head

Micana

Member
Czech Republic, Czech
Hello,

I need help with these two bold sentences:

O God. Just give me a moment. I´ll collect myself now. I´ll be giving you an awful swell head. And mine I may get knocked off me.

As for the context - it´s a scene where a poor Irish girl is, in a little bit awkward way, inviting a rich man to stay with her for the night (maybe this is a kind of apology?). I looked up the swell head in several dictionaries, but here I still don´t make sense of it, and of the "knocked off" bit either.

Thank you.
 
  • Micana

    Member
    Czech Republic, Czech
    Here's an earlier discussion on "swell head" There is another one according to the WR dictionary.

    The second discussion is this one, it seems :) But as I say I did look it up in dictionary, of course, nevertheless I can´t still understand what "to give a swell head to sb" means; can the speaker mean "Now I look like egoist in your eyes"? Then there´s the problem with the second sentece - with the "mine", the girl is obviously referring to the "head" from the first sentence. So "I may get my head knocked off me"?In short, I´m lost.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    As I said, a person with a swelled head is conceited. The girl is saying that as a result of her actions, the other person will have a swelled head (because she will give him one) -- that is, the girl's actions will make the other person become conceited. (You may also want to note that sb is not an abbreviation commonly used, or even understood, by most native English speakers; to be understood, it really is necessary to write out the full word "somebody".)
     
    Last edited:

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    "Give X a swelled head" means "say something to X which leads X to have an inflated opinion of himself".

    I say "himself" advisedly. We girlies don't, of course, get inflated opinions of ourselves.
     

    Micana

    Member
    Czech Republic, Czech
    Loob: thanks, now I think I understand - finally!

    GWB, thank you too - and also for the "sb" hint, I really didn´t know that.
     
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