marking the time with his teaspoon

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Senior Member

Please, I'm not sure whether or not the meaning of "mark the time" in this passage is related to this WR dictionary definition:
mark time = pass one's time in routine activities until a more favourable opportunity presents itself.
This is the context:
Oh, yes!’ rejoined the matron with enthusiasm; ‘so fond of their home too, that it’s quite a pleasure, I’m sure.’
‘Mrs. Corney, ma’am,’ said Mr. Bumble, slowly, and marking the time with his teaspoon, ‘I mean to say this, ma’am; that any cat, or kitten, that could live with you, ma’am, and not be fond of its home, must be a ass, ma’am.’
‘Oh, Mr. Bumble!’ remonstrated Mrs. Corney.

Source: Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. Chapter 23.
Thank you very much in advance
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  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    Hello, Sami. This should mean that Mr. Bumble was tapping the tabletop with his spoon or wagging it in the air as he spoke. People can mark time with objects by tapping them against something or moving them up and down in the air. Bumble could be marking time along with some music, but instead he's probably emphasizing his words by jerking his spoon with each word that he speaks.

    Does that make any sense to you?
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