Rachel vs Celt

< Previous | Next >


Senior Member
I grab Kate's hand and slip out and away into the perilous out-of-doors, find the tiniest bar in the
busiest block of the Loop. There I see her plain, see plain for the first time since I lay wounded in a
ditch and watched an Oriental finch scratching around in the leaves—a quiet little body she is, a
tough little city Celt; no, more of a Rachel really, a dark little Rachel bound home to Brooklyn on
the IRT. I give her a pat on the leg.

This is a passage from the novel The Moviegoer, and this is the only time that the name Rachel appears in the book. My question is: Who is Rachel?

Sorry that I can't provide more context due to the rules here, neither can I explain what kind of person Kate is. One might have to read the book through to find out. I am not sure anyone can give a definitive answer to the question based on the passage, but I just wonder what is your first impression of the name here versus Celt as native English speakers.

I asked some people, who said it might refer to Rachel in the Bible, the second wife to Jacob.

Any idea? Thanks.
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    From Wikipedia: Rachel: The name "Rachel" is from an unused root meaning: "to journey as a ewe that is a good traveller."

    You might also check Urban Dictionary ... there are several definitions and all on the first page have more thumbs ups than thumbs down by a large margin.


    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    A toughie with no context at all - except that this is obviously set in the USA, and specifically New York.

    I'd say "Celt" is a reference to a person of Irish extraction and a "Rachel" to a female of Jewish extraction.
    < Previous | Next >