give him my <special love>

Tea Addict

Senior Member
Republic of Korea Korean
Hello everyone! I am wondering what the expression "give someone one's special love" means in the following sentences:

"I did not see Julia that morning, but just as I was leaving Cordelia ran to the door of the car and said: 'Will you be seeing Sebastian? Please give him my special love. Will you remember—my special love?'"

This is an excerpt from Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. Charles Ryder visited Sebastian Flyte's house in Brideshead and spent time together; however, Sebastian was unhappy being with his family and drank so much till he became embarrassed and ran away from the house one morning. When Charles was done with saying goodbye to his mother and about to follow Sebastian in London, his younger sister Cordelia asked Charles to give her special love to her brother.

I was told that "give someone one's love" meant "say hello to someone", but if "special" goes in there, I wonder how the meaning becomes different.
I would very much appreciate your help.
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    "Give someone one's love" means more than "say hello to someone". It means what it says, that there is a high degree of affection. (Remember, this is an innocent teenager in the 1930s, not a sophisticated Hollywood actress of 2017.)


    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hello Tea Addict,

    "Give them my love" is a very traditional way of asking someone to tell your family or friends that you love them, usually because you are unable to speak to, or visit, them yourself. It doesn't usually just mean "say hello to someone", it means "remind them that I care, and am thinking, about them". It can be jokingly, or very casually used to mean "say hello", but that is not the true meaning, which is why it is often made into a joke - but even then by using it you are still saying that you care about someone.

    Cordelia says "Please give him my special love" because she wants him to especially know that she loves him. She uses "special" to let him know that she forgives, or doesn't care about, him getting drunk and running away, she loves and cares about him regardless of that fact.

    [Cross-posted with Keith, with whom I agree.]
    Last edited:

    Tea Addict

    Senior Member
    Republic of Korea Korean
    Dear Keith Bradford and Trochfa,

    Thank you so much for your reply.
    So its original meaning was more than just "say hello".
    Now I think I truly understand what Cordelia tried to convey thanks to you.
    I really appreciate your help. :)
    < Previous | Next >