like the bite under a punch bar

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sisse nar

Senior Member
Hi, all.

This is from <A death in the family> by James Agee.

He is an alcoholic, so he is trying hard to resist the tempt to drink a strong achohol.
I don't get the expression "like the bite under a punch bar".
Does the "bite" mean "A sharp or pungent flavour"(OFD), or "An act of biting something in order to eat it"(OFD) to resist the temptation?
Or does it mean that to resist punch ball is easier than to resist liquor?

He felt as if he had great physical strength, and in his feeling of strength his thirst was merely like the bite under a punch bar, a pleasure to feel and to brace against. But within a short while the thirst returned even more fiercely as irresistible pain. No, by God, he said again to himself.
  • My guess is that the bite, yes, is like a 'sharp taste,' specifically of alcohol. I think he may be talking about punch, as in the drink. If punch is spiked, say, with vodka, it may well have a 'bite.' The point, here, is that drinking punch is a way some people try to avoid stronger drinks. The punch is diluted, despite its 'bite' so it might seem to be a way to cope with an alcohol craving.

    At some gatherings, punch is served at a bar, sometimes a bar of its own, separate from the regular bar (which may be charging per drink).
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