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stocking feet and actual feet

Discussion in 'English Only' started by maidinbedlam, Sep 3, 2010.

  1. maidinbedlam

    maidinbedlam Moderanged

    Vigo, Galicia
    Spanish - Spain
    This is from a short story by Woody Allen.

    "Homer Pugh stands five-eight in his stocking feet, which he keeps in a large duffel bag along with his actual feet"

    Obviously there is another meaning to "stocking feet" other than "without shoes". I can only gess these feet are made of "stocking material". Am I missing something?
    Thank you.
  2. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Stocking(ed) feet means "without shoes".

    You might find this thread interesting: stocking or stockinged.

    (In your text, Woody Allen is making a joke...:).)
  3. maidinbedlam

    maidinbedlam Moderanged

    Vigo, Galicia
    Spanish - Spain
    Thank you for your answer, Loob. Yes, I knew it means "without shoes", but I was wondering about the joke. I imagined there must be a double meaning in "stocking feet", since he carries them along with his "actual feet".
    But maybe I am complicating things and it is simpler than that.
  4. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    English - South-East England
    It looks like there is a joke there, but there is no obvious linguistic joke. I would understand 'stocking feet' as just a variant of 'stockinged feet', and can't see quite what Woody Allen is getting at. But jokes don't have to make sense. He keeps X feet next to his actual feet - it works as a joke whatever X is.
  5. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
    He is saying that stocking feet are different from bare feet and he has a pair of each, one of which he stores in a duffel bag.
  6. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    English - US
    Stockinged feet are feet that have been 'stockinged'. Stockinged is an adjective.

    Stocking is (usually) a noun. Stocking feet could be feet made from stockings.

    Woody Allan is pretending to take this possibility literally, instead of understanding "stocking feet" as a variation of "stockinged feet", as the rest of us do.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2010
  7. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
    I think you can take stocking feet another way, as well -- as feet suitable for stocking on a department store shelf and purchase as a spare pair you carry in your duffel bag.

    Personally, I never heard stockinged feet until I grew up and moved into the wider world -- it was always stocking feet. What a hayseed I am. :rolleyes:

    But as often as I agree with Cagey -- which is too close to 100% to worry about decimal places -- I can't imagine feet made of stockings. :)

    Ultimately, though, I think he's just differentiating between stocking feet and bare feet and pretending he has both at his disposal. It think it's quite a small joke, maybe size 6.
  8. mplsray Senior Member

    In one's stocking feet is an idiom, meaning, as shown under the entry "stocking" in the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, "with the feet in stockings but not shoes."

    The Oxford English Dictionary (second edition 1989) lists the idiom, under the entry stocking-foot, as "c. (in, on) one's stocking feet," showing the first recorded use as occurring in 1802 and later uses by Washington Irving, William Makepeace Thakeray (although he identifies it as something said in Scotland) and Anthony Trollope.
  9. maidinbedlam

    maidinbedlam Moderanged

    Vigo, Galicia
    Spanish - Spain
    Thank you very much for your ideas! Yes, I know it's not a big joke, but it got me thinking (and puzzled) for quite a while. The meaning I got closer to was the "made of stocking" that Cagey mentions, but I still thought there must be more to it- it seems there isn´t.
    Thank you again.

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