intelligent middle aged <spike>

Discussion in 'English Only' started by LVRBC, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. LVRBC 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?
     
  2. Glenfarclas Senior Member

    Chicago
    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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