actors in a costume drama, with "floury hands"

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Senior Member
Why would actors in a costume drama have "floury hands"? Or does "floury" here mean something other than "covered with flour"?

"The housekeeper could have come straight from the cast of a BBC costume drama, all doughy arms and floury hands"
(Freya North, "Topiary")

The Oxford Dictionary Online also gives
(of a potato) having a soft, fluffy texture when cooked.
-- would this apply??

  • JamesM

    Senior Member
    That's how I would read it, too, susanna76. I think it's a play on words. She has fat, lumpy arms and her hands are literally covered in flour. (It could also mean that she has extremely pale hands, but that is not how I would read it.)


    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I'm with Autumn Owl. I think it was meant literally, that the quoted author views "British costume dramas" as filled with stock characters, and the housekeeper would be depicted as up to her elbows in bread-baking ingredients. (If you've ever baked bread, you're familiar with the kneading-by-hand process.)

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    There is never going to be a definite answer with a question like this, but if we are having a ballot: I thought of the pun-type meaning that others have said as soon as I read it.
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