lo these many turns agone


"See, ’tis as I told yer Reverence’s noble pa, lo these many turns agone, '...'"

-- If looks could kill by Esther Friesner

Could you clarify what does that mean? Dead long ago? Or what?
  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I'm not sure I've seen the phrase with "turns" but I have seen "lo these many year (ago)" many times. Merriam Webster has it as an example of the use of "lo".
    Definition of LO
    used to call attention or to express wonder or surprise - lo these many years
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    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I think you're on the right track. I don't think I would have understood it that way without you asking the question but it makes sense.

    "See, ’tis as I told yer Reverence’s noble pa, lo these many turns agone, '...'"

    See, it's as a I told your Reverence's [reverence is an honorific/title of repsect] noble father, who has been dead [gone] for many years [turns of the sun]…

    I'm not certain that's right but it seems plausible. It's sort of a digression for a moment of condolence, which is a normal speech pattern. With the use of "lo", I lean toward the death meaning.

    If it doesn't mean that, it just means "as I told him many years ago".

    So "ago" refers to the father or the telling but I'm not certain which. If he died many years ago then then it would apply to both, of course.

    Here's a link to the page in question. There is a lot of non-standard, dialectical dialogue. And it turns out "your Reverence" was more sarcastic/smart-alecky than sincere.
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