flush enough to punt


Senior Member

This is an excerpt from Peter Silverman's book "Leonardo's Lost Princess".
This is a story about an art collector who tried to purchase a piece of art that he thought was very valuable, but somehow decided not to shell out more than $17,000 at the auction. So his bid was beat by another bidder at $19,000. Here, the author writes

I was not feeling flush enough to punt - as they call it in the trade - for more than $17,000.

Can someone explain how this expression works, or what is the intended meaning of this expression that's supposed to sound 'interesting' to an English speaking reader? 'Flush' means 'healthy' or 'wealthy', and 'to punt' means 'to pay', so the sentence as a whole means that the author wasn't willing to pay more than $17,000. But there must be some ingenuity of the writer to write this way rather than simply say "I didn't want to pay that much." Is there any metaphor for punt sailing, possibly?

Thank you :)
  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    To be flush - to have money in one's purse or bank account.

    To punt - to take a bet, often by buying an object which we think is undervalued.

    This means he wasn't feeling rich enough to take a chance on the object by spending more than $17,000 on it.
    < Previous | Next >