The one-off rough-up

MaryamSeresht

Senior Member
Persian
Hello,

Here a ghost is talking about her death, she went into a dumbwaiter, and fell. I could not find the meaning of "the one-off rough-up".

It was something fine. The fall. the feeling. The one-off rough-up; the flight to the bitter end, all the way down to the biting of dust.
From Hotel World, by Ali Smith.

Thank you.
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    One-off is a British English term meaning or describing the sole example of something. Oxford lists rough-up as an Australian term for a fight or brawl.
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Ali Smith is Scottish.:) According to Wikipedia:

    Acclaimed as a truly inventive novel, Hotel World received much praise for its unique storyline and distinct formal choices. Garnered as a rare novel filled with hope and despair, Hotel World’s characters, linguistic choices, and thematic elements are what have set it apart as a genuinely modernist -- and some would argue postmodern -- piece of literature.

    Note 'linguistic choices'. Presumably why a lot of it sounds a little odd to my untrained ears.

    That said, as LB says a rough-up is a brawl in AusE so it's obviously part of a linguistic choice, given that in BE we only ever use the verb 'to rough (someone) up' (assault someone) and I don't even know how common that is these days.
     

    MaryamSeresht

    Senior Member
    Persian
    One-off is a British English term meaning or describing the sole example of something. Oxford lists rough-up as an Australian term for a fight or brawl.
    Dear Lingobingo, thank you for your help. According to what you have said, does this sentence mean: " this fall was an example of a fight"?
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The fall. the feeling. The one-off rough-up; the flight to the bitter end…
    I think to a large extent the writer is just using words that she likes the sound of when juxtaposed. It’s all rather literary and very idiosyncratic — and, as such, not really worth analysing as though it were a normal use of English. The whole point of that style is not to be normal.

    Obviously the experience was a one-off as it would be impossible for it to be repeated. And to me, rough-up conveys something similar to a rough-and-tumble — a last, chaotic fight for life.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top