run riot

Anya Smitty

Senior Member
Chinese
"The spirit of mirthfulness which one associates with the name certainly ran riot in the boy, but it was a twisted wayward sort of mirth of which Francesca herself could seldom see the humorous side."
The name is Comus, which is a Pagan name.
What's the meaning of this sentence?
Source: The Unbearable Bassington by Saki
 
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  • Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    Hello Anya Smitty, if something or someone "runs riot", they behave wildly, without restraint, or out of control. So in your context, the spirit of mirthfulness was unrestrained, out of control.
     

    Anya Smitty

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    But why this is a Pagan name?
    Francesca’s husband had insisted on giving the boy that strange Pagan name, and had not lived long enough to judge as to the appropriateness, or otherwise, of its significance. In seventeen years and some odd months Francesca had had ample opportunity for forming an opinion concerning her son’s characteristics. The spirit of mirthfulness which one associates with the name certainly ran riot in the boy, but it was a twisted wayward sort of mirth of which Francesca herself could seldom see the humorous side.
     
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