hump and shoulder

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Tenos

Senior Member
Arabic
In the detective short story, The Sign of the Broken Sword, a church yard is described by the narrator as "It rose abruptly out of the ashen wastes of forest in a sort of hump or shoulder of green turf that looked grey in the starlight".

It seems like an easy sentence, but I am intrigued here whether he means by "hump" the structure in the back of a camel or some geographical elevation; and the same thing with shoulder, is it the shoulder in its anatomical sense or geographical sense?!
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I don't know whether at that time people already referred to humps and shoulders on roads, but the origin of the metaphor is the human body. The passage certainly suggests to me that the raised area of turf reminded the onlooker of the contours of a human body. A humped back isn't only found on a camel.
     

    Tenos

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    A camel's hump in a churchyard in the Cotswolds? Pretty unlikely, don't you think?
    :) Sure, It seems that I am deeply influenced by my place of living.
    Actually, I meant that he could be using hump and shoulder like sort of metaphors for something elevated.
     
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