that suggested the propriety of a barber's practicing surgery

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enkidu68

Senior Member
turkish
Hi folks, this is cited from Redburn by Hermann Melville (1849)
Q: I need that bold sentence to be explained. By the way, I know Tomahawk is a kind of ax used by Indians (from Teksas TommiksJ))

Can I understand this: “It brought to mind the past practice of barbers performing surgery as well as shaving the chins of their customers.”

On the following Sunday, he used that razor; and the result was a pair of tormented and tomahawked cheeks, that almost required a surgeon to dress them. In old times, by the way, it was not a bad thought, that suggested the propriety of a barber's practicing surgery in connection with the chin-harrowing vocation.
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    To In my opinion it was a bad thought because a barber is not a real surgeon.
    In the days when barbers did surgery, it was a very good thing. Barbers were usually quite skilled at surgery. If you were cut, then it was most appropriate that there should be a person there who could treat the cut.
     
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