an edgy mixture

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jacdac

Senior Member
Lebanese
He’d just landed at the airstrip in Tingwall after a short break in Fair Isle, staying on his parents’ croft. Three days of being spoiled by his mother and listening to his father complain about the price of sheep. As always after a trip home, he wondered why he found it so difficult to get on with his father. There were never arguments, no real antagonism, but he always left feeling an edgy mixture of guilt and inadequacy.
Source: White Nights by Ann Cleeves
Context: The character is inspector Jimmy Perez.

If I feel an edgy mixture of guilt and inadequacy, would I feel guilty and inadequate,and edgy to boot?

I looked up instances of the bolded collocation edgy mixture and it seems to be rather common as in these sourced examples:
edgy mixture of self-confidence and doubt
edgy mixture of fantasy and fact
an edgy mixture of laughter, shock and outrage
an edgy mixture barbarous atrocity and black humour

What does this collocation really? Would it mean edgy in addition to the chosen mixture (say fantasy and fact)?

Thank you.
 
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I don't think the author is using "edgy" in the way in which it's most commonly used (at least in the US). I would interpret her meaning here as being "uneasy," that is, something that would make you feel "on edge."
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    There are two distinct meanings of "edgy":
    nervous, irritable, tense, or anxious
    daringly innovative; on the cutting edge​

    I'm not quite sure about the first one, but the other three example you give all appear to have the second meaning (which usually relates to some sort of performance, exhibition, display, film or something similar). Perez is definitely using the first meaning, and The Newt's "uneasy" fits well.
    If I feel an edgy mixture of guilt and inadequacy, would I feel guilty and inadequate,and edgy to boot?
    Possibly, but I would not have thought of it that way. To me it seems that guilt and inadequacy are stronger feelings, and edgy is a sort of background state of mind, but I am not at all certain here and if you find it easier to think of it as a mixture of the three things equally then I don't think you will be far away from the meaning Cleeves intended.
     

    jacdac

    Senior Member
    Lebanese
    Thank you. I like the idea of edgy as the background state of mind for the dominant feelings.
     
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