striking the centre of the altar

ludovica

Senior Member
Spanish - Spain
Can anybody explain the meaning of the above phrase, please? The context is a couple of chaps that are locked up in a church at night, without a light, and are groping their way around:
"Striking, as nearly as we could, the centre of the altar, working from it, we made a guess at the position of the stone."
Thanks.
 
  • mgarizona

    Senior Member
    US - American English
    It's definitely odd, though the OED does like this meaning of 'strike': To come upon, reach ... in traveling; to come to in the course on one's wanderings.

    This is one citation: "Born of pioneer parents, who struck Iowa just before the Civil War."

    Can't help thinking it would be clearer to say "Striking out, as nearly as we could, from the centre of the altar ..."

    Hmmm, note the 'centre' spelling, which marks this as BE, while the OED lists that definitely of 'strike' as AE.

    Very confusing. Would they have some reason to physically 'strike' the altar? As in delivering a sharp blow?
     

    ludovica

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Spain
    Not really, mgarizona. They were trying to find their way to the altar because that would help them realize whereabouts they were.
    I think that perhaps 'hitting by accident', as tepatria proposes, fits into the meaning of the story.
    Thanks to both of you.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top