in my dewy days

Couch Tomato

Senior Member
Russian & Dutch
Even in my dewy days, I never gazed at the world wide-eyed with wonder. If I wasn’t born shrewd, at least I grew up too smart to be naïve.
(CPE Practice Tests – Mark Harrison, p. 98)

The meaning of "dewy" seems clear here - it means to me "younger". But the curious thing is that if I google "in my dewy days", the only results point me to the same book - Lily White by Susan Isaacs.

Is it strange to say Even in my dewy days as opposed to Even in my younger days? Will I be understood by everyone if I were to say that or is it perhaps more appropriate in a novel?

Thank you in advance.
 
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  • exgerman

    Senior Member
    NYC
    English but my first language was German
    I suspect that the author is desperately trying to avoid the standard salad days.
    "Salad days" is an idiomatic expression, referring to a youthful time, accompanied by the inexperience, enthusiasm, idealism, innocence, or indiscretion that one associates with a young person. More modern use, especially in the United States, refers to a person's heyday when somebody was at the peak of his/her abilities—not necessarily in that person's youth.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    I don't think folk would particularly know what you meant if you adopted this phrase, unless the rest of the context signed it up very clearly.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I must admit my first thought when I read it was 'my wet days' rather than 'my early in the morning days', i.e. it's pretty but it takes a bit of context and (fairly lateral) thought to figure it out.
     

    Couch Tomato

    Senior Member
    Russian & Dutch
    I must admit my first thought when I read it was 'my wet days' rather than 'my early in the morning days', i.e. it's pretty but it takes a bit of context and (fairly lateral) thought to figure it out.
    Thank you, ewie.

    Is 'my early in the morning days' also a common phrase, similar to 'salad days'? I can't find it. I only know of 'my early days': Even in my early days, I never gazed at the world wide-eyed with wonder.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    No, not at all (that I know of): I just said that to illustrate you're meant to focus on the early(-in-the-morning) aspect of 'dew' rather than the wet one:)
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    The more usual expression is dewy-eyed (naive, innocent,trusting, credulous). Since this is a lady writer, she's probably also thinking of the dewy skin popularly supposed to be a property of young girls (me, all I got was acne.)
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    The more usual expression is dewy-eyed (naive, innocent,trusting, credulous). Since this is a lady writer, she's probably also thinking of the dewy skin popularly supposed to be a property of young girls (me, all I got was acne.)
    This is exactly how I interpreted it. While it's not common, it is poetic. I like it and think it's good writing, unless it really doesn't fit in with the general feel of the whole story.

    But to answer your specific question, it's very understandable to me.
     
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