Cramp (of the boat)

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glamour_bliss

New Member
Italian-Greek Bilingual
Hi, I've just come across a sentence which does not make any sense to me. The sentence is :

The one cursed the cramp of the boat, the heat and the insects..."

I don't understand what it's supposed to mean. What is the "cramp of the boat" in this sentence ?

Thanks in advance.
 
  • Fabulist

    Banned
    American English
    Can you give more context? It might be a clumsy way to say that because the boat was small, it was "cramped," or maintaining the position required to avoid falling out gave the narrator cramps. It doesn't appear to be a specialized nautical term for some characteristic, part, or equipment of a boat.
     

    glamour_bliss

    New Member
    Italian-Greek Bilingual
    That's the problem, it's no specific in any other way, and it's used only in that sentence:

    "The one cursed the cramp of the boat, the heat, the insects and the other the lack of airstrips"

    That's why I don't get the meaning. I can assume it's a metaphore or something like that but still I don't get it...
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Please remember that the forum rules require you to give clear attribution for any quoted text. This particular sentence is from The Devil's Garden, the Man Booker Prize longlisted Edward Docx novel.

    The paragraph that includes the sentence, in full:
    I switched off my desk fan the better to listen. Sole was showing them the path down to the washhouse and explaining how our makeshift showers work. I could tell by her tone that she was trying her best to be soothing. The one cursed the cramp of the boat, the heat, the insects; the other the lack of airstrips.
    I don't know the book, but from a quick look around it is clear that some people have arrived in some strange out of the way location.

    The "cramp of the boat" refers to the boat journey by which they arrived. The conditions on the boat were cramped.
     
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