as that <chip of the female block> was returning from school

< Previous | Next >


Senior Member
Here are some words from the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover(page 394-395, chapter 17) by DH Lawrence (planetebook,here):
(background: Connie received a letter from Clifford, saying:Mellors' wife Bertha Coutts..……" )

I hear this Bertha Coutts besieges Mellors in his mother’s house, having ransacked the cottage and the hut. She seized one day upon her own daughter, as that chip of the female block was returning from school; but the little one, instead of kissing the loving(sarcastic and ironic?) mother’s hand, bit it firmly, and so received from the other hand a smack in the face which sent her reeling into the gutter: whence she was rescued by an indignant and harassed grandmother.

I know a chip of the old block is a fixed phrase, but not sure whether means being similar in appearance or in character. And I suspect the loving is ironic.
Could you tell me how to understand this sentence please?
Thank you in advance
Last edited:
  • Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I'd say 'a chip off the old block' always means resembling in character and behaviour and that's certainly what it means here. Yes, 'loving' is being sarcastic because her mother was not at all loving.
    < Previous | Next >