intelligent middle aged <spike>


Senior Member
English-US, standard and medical
In a novel by Dorothy L. Sayers, The Documents in the Case, published early in the 20th century, a man is described as "an intelligent middle aged spike from Keble." I can guess from the context that spike possibly means Anglo-Catholic or high-church Anglican, and possibly means clergyman, but I'm not truly certain. Does anyone have inside knowledge?
  • Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    The OED has, "spike, n.4 slang. An Anglican who advocates or practises Anglo-Catholic ritual and observances."

    In fact, one of the citations given after the definition is: "1930 Sayers & ‘Eustace’ Docs. in Case i. 37 He turned out to be an earnest and cultivated middle-aged spike from Keble." So there you go.
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