e'd've got a clip round the ear if we'd made any remarks."[/

Discussion in 'English Only' started by laurapiovesan, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. laurapiovesan Senior Member

    italian
    Hi to Everybody!

    I'm translating a text, here there is an old man who is suffering from a mental disease. She is in the hospital, but she wants to go home and she thinks that the doctors are observing her. Now she is talking about a old woman who used to visit her when she was old.

    "Poor Emily used to visit us when she was old and the tops of her stockings fell down- like a fisherman's waders. We'd've got a clip round the ear if we'd made any remarks."

    What does the sentence in bold mean?

    Thank you!

    Laura

    Font: "Matters of Life and Death" of Bernard MacLaverty
     
  2. Dlyons

    Dlyons Senior Member

    Dublin
    English - Ireland
    We would have been given a slap on the ear, if we had said anything derogatory.
     
  3. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Colorado
    English-US
    It means that someone would have smacked the speakers on the side of the head if they had made any disparaging remarks about poor Emily's droopy stockings.
     
  4. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Just a thought: I guess you mean
    She must have been talking about her youth: for the most part, it was only children who were 'clipped round the ear' by parents, schoolteachers and so on.
     
  5. Bobbum Senior Member

    In case you're confused about the contraction We'd've, it's "We would have," but the next we'd is "we had."
     

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