always <making believe them>

Discussion in 'English Only' started by gil12345, Jun 1, 2017.

  1. gil12345

    gil12345 Senior Member

    Hi there,

    " The old man's eyes glistened, as he held the coin close to them. "I can't see," he muttered. "You look and see if you can make out the date, Edwin."

    The boy laughed.

    "You're a great Granser," he cried delightedly, "always making believe them little marks mean something." “

    Jack London: The Scarlet Plague

    What does "them" refer to? people in general? Does "make believe" here mean "to pretend"? If so, "always pretending them little marks mean something" seems wrong.


  2. velisarius

    velisarius Senior Member

    British English (Sussex)
    "Them" here is non-standard. It means "those".

    Yes, "make believe' means "pretend".
  3. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    English - British
    The meaning is 'always pretending that those little marks mean something'.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017

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