Bohemian soul

xxana

Senior Member
Hi there

I´m re-reading A Scandal in Bohemia and I found that at the beginning Sherlock Holmes is said to "loathe every form of society with his whole Bohemian soul."

Can you help me understand the meaning of this?


Thanks a lot!


xxana
 
  • timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    "With his whole soul" means the same as "with his whole being" so "completely". "Bohemian" is a neutral to negative word describing people who live an "alternative" life-style. It suggests not conventional, or if more negative not serious, not grounded (from the point of view of the person speaking). A definition is here.
     

    xxana

    Senior Member
    Yes, but the problem is that I had always thought Holmes to be English, not Bohemian. Is there a meaning for "Bohemian soul"? Is it a kind of temperament?

    Thank you!

    xxana
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    Yes, but the problem is that I had always thought Holmes to be English, not Bohemian. Is there a meaning for "Bohemian soul"? Is it a kind of temperament?

    Thank you!

    xxana
    I think that I answered this directly in the last post:confused:. Is there something in that you didn't understand?
     

    xxana

    Senior Member
    Sorry, timpeac, I hadn´t seen your post. I had just seen JamesM. However, I don´t agree with you, because in the book Bohemian is written with a capital B, and your explanation of bohemian doesn´t take a capital.

    Thanks anyway!


    xxana
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    Sorry, timpeac, I hadn´t seen your post. I had just seen JamesM. However, I don´t agree with you, because in the book Bohemian is written with a capital B, and your explanation of bohemian doesn´t take a capital.

    Thanks anyway!


    xxana
    "Bohemian" with the meaning I gave it (which is what it usually means) comes originally from the geographical meaning. Whether it takes a capital or not is a matter of style, they're not two different words. Anyway, the only English adjectives that take capitals are those which describe peoples and countries. Therefore, if you will only believe the word must have the capital then you have answered your own question - it could only mean that Sherlock comes from Bohemia. I don't think that's very likely to be the meaning.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    I think you might make a case for a Victorian thinking of him as a Bohemian. He has no "regular" job. He studies poisons, instruments of torture, and methods of murdering people. He consorts with criminals and street urchins. He experiments with drugs.

    I think Bohemian, in the sense of "unorthodox and outside the norms of current society", fits his behavior.
     
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