Right first pip

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MrsS

New Member
Russian
“You don’t mean that the baby was a brown one?” she asked incredulously.
The Chief Constable, smiling gently, kept nodding his head like a mandarin.
“Right first pip!” he observed, with almost boyish inelegance, of course, but rather expressively.

Please, what might the phrase «Right first pip» mean? It is understood from the lady’s further retort to these words that her companion’s answer is affirmative and the baby is «a half-caste», but what is its literal sense?

The dialogue is from «The Saltmarsh Murders» by Gladys Mitchell. (The action takes place in England, 1932)
 
  • sb70012

    Senior Member
    Azerbaijani/Persian
    Hello dear Mrss,

    As you know the word (pip) means : a small seed from a fruit such as an apple or orange.

    In the sentence you have posted it's written as a metaphor to refer to the little baby.

    (first pip) = (first little child) or (first little baby) = Sort of metaphor I think.



    Good luck with your study.
     

    sb70012

    Senior Member
    Azerbaijani/Persian
    The mind is an ocean' and 'the city is a jungle' are both metaphors.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    I have strong doubts, sb70012. I rather think it's slang for "Right first time!" A pip (among other things) means one of the six strokes that signals the hour on a recorded clock or a radio broadcast.
     

    sb70012

    Senior Member
    Azerbaijani/Persian
    Hello dear Keith Bradford,

    Well, maybe you are right. I really hadn't heard it before. It was just my idea. I don't know why the actors use such strange things.
     

    MrsS

    New Member
    Russian
    sb70012, Keith Bradford,

    Thank you very much.

    (I think, "Right first time" makes sense in this context.)
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Though the topic starter has understood the answers, I'm not sure that I have. Tell me please if I see it rightly:

    As Keith said, "right first pip" means "right first time". Russian dictionaries say that "right first time" means "at the first try, at the first attempt, "at the first time of asking"... So, when the man said "right first pip" he refered to lady’s remark “You don’t mean that the baby was a brown one?”. That is, he meant that she was right in supposing that "the baby was a brown one".
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Yes, he means "You've guessed right first time". This is perfectly current modern English, but "Right first pip" is so dated that it's disappeared from the dictionaries.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Thanks, all!
    One question: Is "right" here an adjective ("true or correct") modifying "pip/time" or is it an adverb ("correctly") ?
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Thanks
    (We, Russians, never get confused in our parts of speech, because they all sound in different ways:))
     
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