I pressed my thumb and forefinger together, put them to my nose, sniffed.

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bombara

Member
Korean-English
This is from "Goldfish" by Raymond Chandler.

Sentence: He asked, "How's Peeler?" I pressed my thumb and forefinger together, put them to my nose, sniffed, shook my head sadly. "Hitting it high?" "Yeah," I said.

Context: He and Peeler were supposed to meet, but Peeler couldn't go to see him because Peeler was killed by someone. Therefore, I, instead of Peeler, went to see him. When he asked me why Peeler didn't come, I didn't let him know Peeler was dead. Anyway, in this story, Peeler is a cocaine addict. The above sentences show the situation in which he asked me about Peeler. My act of pressing the thumb and forefinger to the nose and siffing means breathing in cocaine? And what does "Hitting it high" mean?
 
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  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    My act of pressing the thumb and forefinger to the nose and sniffing means breathing in cocaine? - Yes, it imitates taking a pinch of cocaine between the thumb and forefinger bringing it to one nostril and then 'sniffing' (breathe in through the nose sharply)

    "Hitting it high" -> taking large amounts.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    As an aside, bombara, Raymond Chandler is a particularly difficult author to read for non-native English speakers. His books are full of slang and gestures that are unique to his time and (sometimes) place.
     
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