The Tyrant <beckons>

Sherla Muriel

Senior Member
Czech
"The Tyrant beckons.”
Grace looked up from her small desk at the rear of the shop. Here she marshalled all manner of what the bookshop staff called couches: the piles of letters, requests, adverts, journals, newspapers, trade cards, catalogues, magazines, announcements, invitations, and all the rest of the paper ephemera that kept Bloomsbury Books in commerce with the outside world.
Bloomsbury Girls by N. Jenner

Ty Tyrant is the nickname of the chief. There is no more context. There are two women in the room and the first one says: The Tyrant beckons. What does it mean please? There is no other reference to it later. Just: He is about to appear / to come (kind of warning?)

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Thanks a lot for your help...

< Second question has its own thread: What the bookshop staff called couches
Cagey, moderator >
 
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  • LVRBC

    Senior Member
    English-US, standard and medical
    Beckon - see definition #1 in the WRF dictionary. The Tyrant is summoning someone, metaphorically or actually.
    < Second question now has its own thread. Cagey, moderator >
     
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    Sherla Muriel

    Senior Member
    Czech
    Beckon - see definition #1 in the WRF dictionary. The Tyrant is summoning someone, metaphorically or actually.
    I don't know why the bookstore calls the accumulated paperwork of correspondence "couches" but what they mean by this seems clearly explained in the sentence you quote. It's not a term in general use in US-English but may be trade-jargon that I don't know.
    But the Tyrant is not in the room when one of the women says : Tyrant beckons. And it is described as summoning by waving or nodding...that´s why it didn´t fit for me.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    You haven't told us who said this or what was happening before the statement. Nothing after "The Tyrant beckons" has any relevance to the meaning of that sentence.
     

    Sherla Muriel

    Senior Member
    Czech
    You haven't told us who said this or what was happening before the statement. Nothing after "The Tyrant beckons" has any relevance to the meaning of that sentence.
    I did: one of those two women that are in the room. (Their chief, the Tyrant, is not there). This is just the opening sentence of the book - the very first one.

    A few sentences later, they are mentioning him again:
    The Tyrant had a name, but Vivien refused to use it in private, and Grace often found herself failing to do so as well—just one example of how Vivien’s attitude at work sometimes seeped into her own.
    <——-Excess quote removed by moderator (Florentia52)——->


    I found somewhere that "to beckon" can mean also something like "approach, appear on the horizon" this is the only sense that makes to me.
     
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    Sherla Muriel

    Senior Member
    Czech
    Thank you...:) Is there the connotation that he wants to discuss with her something not really pleasant or is it neutral?
     

    Sherla Muriel

    Senior Member
    Czech
    I'd need to read some of the book to know, but they do call him "the Tyrant".
    I don´t know it : these are just the first lines of it.

    You did not tell us it was the first sentence in the book.

    In that case.

    is the meaning. The speaker means that theTyrant has called one of them to come to him.
    But there is just said: The Tyrant beckons.
    Has called one of them to come to him. In my opinion it is not referring specifically to these two women....
     

    Sherla Muriel

    Senior Member
    Czech
    Added to previous thread.
    Cagey, moderator


    Two persons mention one of their colleagues who is NOT present in the room and one of them says: He beckons.
    The background = a Bookshop in England, in the fifties, no further context

    How would you interprete the meaning of the word "beckon" please...
     
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    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I would interpret it as inviting or signaling someone with a hand motion or head nod to come closer.
    But the normal idiomatic way of saying this would be, "He is beckoning", not "He beckons". That is why I asked for more context.

    Can we wait for the OP to respond.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    “He beckons” would be a strange way to say that someone was literally beckoning with a forefinger for you to come to him. And if he’s out of sight anyway, that can’t be it.

    It’s almost certainly a way of saying “We know he’s outside waiting for us, so we’d better hurry up and go!”. Bearing in mind that we use the word beckon to mean that something seems to be (figuratively) calling or luring us, in casual remarks such as: “I’m off. Bed beckons. Early start tomorrow!”
     

    Sherla Muriel

    Senior Member
    Czech
    This question cannot be answered without further context unless we guess.

    The further context that would be useful is:

    1. Where is this story from? Is it a book, a movie? a video?

    2. Who is the author?

    3. Do you have a link to the full text?

    4. What was the conversation before someone said "He beckons"?

    5. Can they see the colleague when they are talking?


    As it is, your question cannot be answered. Either the colleague is making a beckoning movement with his hand (in which case I would expect "He is beckoning"), or there is some metaphor. We cannot possibly know, without some more information.
    Thank you!
    1. It is a very first sentence from a book: Bloomsbury Girls
    2. N. Jenner
    3. Link not really: I have it in PDF - But we are actually in the position of the reader: we start reading the book that has this opening sentence, maybe they will come back to the subject in some of the next chapters but when we start to read the book we will not try to look for it, right?
    4. No conversation before, not related description or conversation afterwards
    5. No, these two women are alone in the room and they are just speaking about one of their colleagues who is not in the room.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It’s Vivien who says that, and she’s being sarcastic. “The Tyrant” is her nickname for the boss, and she’s implying that when he says “Jump!”, the staff ask “How high?” – in other words, he bosses people around and they’re all a bit frightened of him.
     

    AutumnOwl

    Senior Member
    Swedish, Finnish
    The name of the chapter is "Tea will be served four times a day", and it's time for Vivian, the woman who says "The Tyrant beckons", to prepare the elevenses tea, and the fuse to the cooker has gone. I understand the "beckon" here to be about the tea. The book is set in a bookshop in 1950, and the male staff would expect to have their tea served. Vivian expects that the Tyrant soon will beckon to her for his tea.

    It’s Vivien who says that, and she’s being sarcastic. “The Tyrant” is her nickname for the boss, and she’s implying that when he says “Jump!”, the staff ask “How high?” – in other words, he bosses people around and they’re all a bit frightened of him.
    The Tyrant isn't the boss, he only runs the new books, fiction and art department at the book store. He and Vivian are rivals at that department, but as he's male, he sees himself as her boss.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    But there is just said: The Tyrant beckons.
    Has called one of them to come to him. In my opinion it is not referring specifically to these two women....
    You have the book, I don't. If he doesn't want to see one of them the comment seems pointless.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The Tyrant isn't the boss, he only runs the new books, fiction and art department at the book store. He and Vivian are rivals at that department, but as he's male, he sees himself as her boss.
    I think you misunderstand the meaning of “boss”? It doesn’t necessarily mean the business owner. Your boss is just the person you “report to” in your job. The girls report to the guy who runs their department.
     

    Sherla Muriel

    Senior Member
    Czech
    The Tyrant isn't the boss, he only runs the new books, fiction and art department at the book store. He and Vivian are rivals at that department, but as he's male, he sees himself as her boss.

    I think you misunderstand the meaning of “boss”? It doesn’t necessarily mean the business owner. Your boss is just the person you “report to” in your job. The girls report to the guy who runs their department.
    Yes, this is how I understood it.

    What is more probable in your opinion please?
    The Tyrant beckons :
    -> he is expecting the tea and waiting for the women to come
    -> it is the reference to the fact that he is bossing them
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Both. It’s the sort of glib remark that someone might well say in that situation.

    “The Tyrant” beckons / The boss (who thinks he’s God! :rolleyes:) wants his tea.
     
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