lumbering in

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Senior Member
Dear all
Can you tell me what's meant by "lumbering in" in the following passage, taken from "The Three Soldiers" by Dos Passos?
Time: 1919
Location: Paris, in front of Saint Sulpice Church
Manon's songs came to his head, and the sentimental melancholy of eighteenth century Paris with its gambling houses in the Palais Royal where people dishonored themselves in the presence of their stern Catonian fathers, and its billets doux written at little gilt tables, and its coaches lumbering in covered with mud from the provinces through the Porte d'Orleans and the Porte de Versailles; the Paris of Diderot and Voltaire and Jean-Jacques, with its muddy streets ...
  • e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    The carriages (or coaches) are rolling in and are also described as "lumbering" perhaps because of the noise the wheels make or the irregular movement of the coaches (since the wheels are not perfectly shaped). The mud may not make for a smooth ride.

    The verb lumber is often used of animals or people who move clumsily and heavily.
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