Call for the cordon

Worcestershire

Senior Member
The narrator in Sun Also Rises was Jake Burnes. Jake and Lady Ashly were in love. Jake lived in an apartment where a concierge was in charge of the door through which everyone entered or left the building. After a night’s party, the drunken Lady Ashly paid a visit to Jake at 4:30 in the morning, to the great displeasure of the concierge. At the end of that short visit and Lady Ashly was getting ready to leave, they “kissed again on the stairs and as [Jake] called for the cordon the concierge muttered something behind her door.”

What does “call for the cordon” mean?

The dictionaries everywhere only give the meaning of “cordon” as ribbon, line or cord or something derivative.

Thanks.
 
  • se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Last edited:

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Sounds plausible, except that a Bugatti Cordon bleu was an open two-seater racing car and the text goes on to mention the “big limousine” that drew up outside.
     

    Worcestershire

    Senior Member
    Lady Ashley came with a count who had a big limousine with a chauffeur. When she was upstairs with Jake, limousine was waiting outside.

    I saw a Chinese translation that interpreted “called for the cordon” as “knocked on the door of concierge” which appeared to be consistent with the context.

    Is this way of using the word “cordon” way out of norm in English?
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I found a post on another WR forum that explains it, I think. But it's in the French English Vocabulary forum so I don't understand all the details of it.

    Tirer le cordon

    But I'm fairly certain that what they're saying is that the concierge (commonly in French buildings at that time, I guess) had a cord (one of the standard definitions of a cordon) that they can pull to allow the door to be opened (or that opens the door, I'm not completely clear). In that post they mention a concierge opening the door himself instead of using the cordon. So the cordon, basically, is a pre-electronic era remote door opener/unlatcher/unlocker allowing the concierge to open the door without leaving their place.:oops:

    So I think what's happening here is they are calling for the concierge to pull the cord that will allow them to exit. And she's grumpy about having to do that at 4:30 in the morning.

    Translated with Google Translate:
    Small rope by means of which a concierge opens to those who want to come in or out" (Ac.). Pull the cord. Ask for the cord, ,, p. ell., the cord, please`` (Ac.).

    Sounds like a firetrap to me.
     
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >
    Top