pariah cur

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dobrinja2011

Senior Member
Bosnian
Hello,

I don't understand the meaning of this sentence; "The pariah curs were baying the moon - it was only a quarter full and nearly down by midnight, but the dogs slept all day in the heat and they had begun their moon choruses already."

Thanks!
 
  • quillerbee

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    A pariah is a social outcast, and a cur is a mongrel (mixed-breed dog).

    He is referring to the dogs who live on the streets of poorer countries. They are medium-sized, lean, and usually yellow.
     

    Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    Cur: a pejorative name for a dog (not used much these days, but Orwell wrote this 80 years ago)
    A
    pariah: someone who is socially unacceptable, not liked, or not trusted.

    Further in the text, it becomes clear that the dogs baying at the moon are unacceptable to Flory, to the point where he goes out to shoot one of them:

    ".... Flory had little sleep that night. The pariah curs were baying the moon--it was only a quarter full and nearly down by midnight, but the dogs slept all day in the heat, and they had begun their moon-choruses already. One dog had taken a dislike to Flory's house, and had settled down to bay at it systematically.... It would keep this up for two or three hours,... In the end Flory could stand it no longer. He got up, rummaged in the tin uniform case under his bed for a rifle and a couple of cartridges..."
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    May I just point out that pariah cur = pariah dog, which is an alternative for pye-dog, which specifically means
    pye-dog /ˈpʌɪdɒg/ (also pi-dog)
    ▶noun (in Asia) a half-wild stray mongrel.
    – origin C19: from Anglo-Ind. pye, Hindi pāhī ‘outsider’ + dog.
    It's all in our dictionary :rolleyes:
     
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