bungle away

Nuzzi

Senior Member
Spanish (Spain)
Hi there,
in Saki's "Reginald on house-parties" Reginald says: "Of course, as I say, one never really knows one’s ground, and one may make mistakes occasionally. But then one’s mistakes sometimes turn out assets in the long-run: if we had never bungled away our American colonies we might never have had the boy from the States to teach us how to wear our hair and cut our clothes, and we must get our ideas from somewhere, I suppose."

What is the meaning of 'bungle away' here and how do you interpret the whole remark?
Thank you
 
  • DocPenfro

    Senior Member
    English - British
    A "bungle" is a clumsy mistake. America won the War of Independence (a mistake by the British) and went on to develop its own style in all areas.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Hullo Nuzzi. Bungle away = 'lose through our own clumsiness'.
    Whether Reginald is referring to a specific 'boy from the States', or just one of his acquaintance, I couldn't say.
    He (Reg) likes to affect boredom and jadedness: ideas from the bright, brash, young and increasingly 'fashionable' United States would have appeared exciting amid the unutterable stagnancy of Edwardian England:)
     

    Nuzzi

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    Thank you again, ewie, that really makes sense as well... I think, by the way, he is referring to any 'boy from the States' anyone might have known...
     
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