fat-throated sigh

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kahroba

Senior Member
Persian
Dear all
What's your interpretation for "fat-throated sigh" in the following context from "Manhattan Transfer" by Dos Passos:
They are walking up the Mall in Central Park.
"Looks like he had a boil on his neck," says Ellen in front of the statue of Burns.
"Ah, whispers Harry Goldweiser with a fat-throated sigh, "but he was a great poet."
Does it simply mean a sigh heaved from a fatty throat or what?
 
  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Hullo MrK. Without knowing anything more, yes, I'd assume it just meant Harry had a fat throat (neck) and heaved a sonorous sigh out of it:)
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It means thickened, Mr E, and is often used (when it's used) in a figurative sense. Dr Johnson talks of inspissated gloom, if you remember, when talking about Macbeth. (In the description of night in Macbeth, the beetle and the bat detract from the general idea of darkness - inspissated gloom) - you've got a black cat, he's got a blacker one.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    It means thickened, Mr E, and is often used (when it's used) in a figurative sense. Dr Johnson talks of inspissated gloom, if you remember, when talking about Macbeth. (In the description of night in Macbeth, the beetle and the bat detract from the general idea of darkness - inspissated gloom) - you've got a black cat, he's got a blacker one.
    Ah that's good to know, Mr T. (Unfortunately I've forgotten all my Johnson-on-Shakespeare stuff:rolleyes:) It looks like someone couldn't make their mind up whether to say insipid or dissipated so decided to combine the two.

    Anyway, to get back to our muttons, when I said 'sonorous' (a very late addition to that post) I didn't so much mean 'loud' as 'which makes a sound'. Sighs, unless one happens to be my mother in the throes of a cold, don't generally make much sound: I was thinking that Harry's fat-neckedness for some reason made his sighs more-audible-than-the-norm ... approaching groan or even grunt status:)

    Which I suppose Dr Johnson might have called 'an inspissated sigh':confused:
     
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