arch-plotter

mO_ok

Senior Member
Lithuanian
Hello,
could you be so kind as to define the meaning of arch-plotter? I found this word in 'Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks' by John Curran. Here is the sentence:

The blackly comic final question is a classic musing of Christie the arch-plotter. [the question referred is 'Where can you push a body off a train']

Thank you for your help.
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    arch = chief or main (in this context) (WR dictionary)
    plotter = one who devises plots (in this context)

    Christie was pre-eminent among writers who devised elaborate plots.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Arch- means a superior kind: an archbishop is a superior kind of bishop, an arch-fiend is an especially evil fiend, and so on. Christie is not just good at inventing plots (a plotter), she is an especially good example of it: an arch-plotter.

    Normally a plotter would be a person involved in a plot, like Guy Fawkes, but in this context we know Agatha Christie wasn't plotting to blow up buildings.
     

    Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    Arch is a suffix, the WR definition is:
    • -arch- is also used to form nouns that refer to persons who are the most important, most notable, or the most extreme examples of (the following noun): archenemy (= the most important enemy);
      archconservative (= the most extreme example of a conservative).
    So she is a notable "plotter" i.e. writer of plots/stories.
     
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