legs turned to wax

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eclypse

Senior Member
UK
english
Hi!

I am having difficulty understanding the following expression:

"Whenever I was with a smaller man, I would dive for the nearest chair, as thoug my legs had turned to wax".

I think it is vital that I supply you with a little background information, and also, please bear in mind that the text was written back in 1976. It was written by and about a very tall woman, and she is, quite comically and sarcastically describing some of her traumatic experiences linked to her height.

The expression does bear some similarity to "my legs had turned to jelly" but after further investigation, I am no longer that sure.

I hope you will be able to help me, thank you in advance.
 
  • Old Novice

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I've never heard the phrase, but it brings to mind the fact that wax is compressible and even melts. She seems to be trying to make her height go away, by sitting down, which would also happen if her legs compressed/melted.

    Definitely a stretched explanation, I know, but it's an odd expression. :rolleyes:
     

    eclypse

    Senior Member
    UK
    english
    Thank you for your help. You are definitely spot on when you say that she is trying to make her height go away, hide it etc ... However, my instinct told me that she meant that she no longer had control over her legs, but I am still not convinced.
     

    . 1

    Banned
    Australian Australia
    However, my instinct told me that she meant that she no longer had control over her legs, but I am still not convinced.
    Your instinct is correct. She is giving the impression that she must sit down as though she has lost control of her legs. Legs turned to jelly give this impression more readily but perhaps there is a stiffness about her as she sits down as though her legs are difficult to bend.
    It is an evocative phrase and the writer has successfully made you think.

    .,,
     

    eclypse

    Senior Member
    UK
    english
    I've never heard the phrase, but it brings to mind the fact that wax is compressible and even melts. She seems to be trying to make her height go away, by sitting down, which would also happen if her legs compressed/melted.

    I have been thinking a lot about this, and I feel that you are spot on regarding the melting / compressing of wax and in this case, her legs. So thank you very much for that :)

    Thank you all :)
     
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