here's how

Janeca

Senior Member
Portuguese
Hi, everyone,

Could someone please explain to me if the expression «here's how» can (or could one day) mean something like «here's to you»?
It's Charley Anderson, a character from Dos Passos' Big Money, who says it to his newly-wed wife, Gladys, on the train they have taken to go on honeymoon. Gladys had been showing how nervous she was, presumably because their first night was approaching:

«Charley drank off his glass and filled it up again. "Here's how, Glad, this is the life." When the porter had gone Charley asked her why she wouldn't drink.»

Thanks a lot.
 
  • Meyer Wolfsheim

    Senior Member
    English
    The meaning escapes me. The only usage of "here's how" I am familiar with is when you are stating a method of doing something or how something is going to be.

    "Here's how you're going to make dinner"

    etc.

    Usually it indicates some kind of unwillingness from the person being given the command but as I said I have no idea what the meaning could be in your example.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I suspect that Charley is showing her how a person should drink, or should handle nervousness by drinking.

    A summary of the action preceding this might be helpful. Is this preceded by a discussion of nervousness or drinking? You may also quote another sentence, if one seems significant, but then you will be at the 4 sentence limit for quotations.

    Added: I think that Charley is showing Gladys how a person should drink: "Glad, this is the life" suggests that this is a demonstration of how to live properly, or well, or something like that.

    Added #2: I found the source. <<--->>
    It turns out that Gladys has been told that the children they conceive while they are drunk will be "idiot children".
     
    Last edited:

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Think of it as a toast. It fits very well with "this is the life". If you want a meaning - "Here's how (to live)" - travel and champagne. It is not something I would say, but it is something I have come across (I think in old films). I think it is rather dated, just as calling a woman "Glad" is dated. Gladys is not a popular name now.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Adding to Cagey's explanation -- and thanks for the source -- it's the sentence before that explains Charley's comment:

    When the porter grinning and respectfully sympathetic opened the champagne she just wet her lips with it. Charley drank off his glass and filled it up again. "Here's how, Glad, this is the life."

    Gladys barely sipped her champagne, while Charley drained his glass and filled it up again -- telling her "Here's how (to drink champagne and toast the good life)."
     

    Janeca

    Senior Member
    Portuguese
    Thank you all very much.

    I suppose the sense of showing someone how to live is not far from the sense of making a toast to life, right?

    Besides, this is the second time I come across that expression in John Dos Passos. The first one, I recall now, was in the initial pages of Manhattan Transfer, when Ed Thatcher is drinking with a German he met just after his daughter was born. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the quotation online and I'm no longer in possession of the book...

    Anyway, I feel I can grag the meaning now.
    Thanks once more!
     

    Doofy

    Member
    English - US
    Think of it as a toast. It fits very well with "this is the life". If you want a meaning - "Here's how (to live)" - travel and champagne. It is not something I would say, but it is something I have come across (I think in old films). I think it is rather dated, just as calling a woman "Glad" is dated. Gladys is not a popular name now.
    This is right. Just a toast, like many others...some of which don't make a lot of sense:

    "Cheers"
    "Bottoms up"
    "Chin-chin"
    "Here's mud in your eye!" :confused:
     
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