Ripping to have him so thin

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park sang joon

Senior Member
The protagonist, Philip moved in with his uncle Mr. Carey, the Vicar of Blackstable after his mother's death.
He goes to a medical school.
He is dissecting a leg of a man with his partner.

Then Philip took up the scalpel and the tweezers and began working while the other looked on.
"Ripping to have him so thin," said Newson, wiping his hands. "The blighter can't have had anything to eat for a month."
[Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham]
I'd like to know what "Ripping to have him so thin" means.
Thank you in advance for your help.
  • se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I don't think I have heard this use of ripping before, but it is in the OED:
    1. That rips or undergoes ripping (in various senses of the verb); tearing, cutting, etc. Freq. fig., esp. of something painful or otherwise unpleasant.
    It is distressing (ripping) to experience (have) that he is so thin.
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