There’s a long gawky lass of a daughter training for a school-teacher

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longxianchen

Senior Member
chinese
Hi,
Here are some words from the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover(page 442, chapter 19) by DH Lawrence (planetebook,here):
(background: Mellors got a job on a farm.He wrote to Connie, saying that he lodged in an old cottage. And the man was tall and very chepel. And the woman is a birdy.…)

The woman is a birdy bit of a thing who loves anything superior. King’s English and allow-me! all the time. But they lost their only son in the war, and it’s sort of knocked a hole in them. There’s a long gawky lass of a daughter training for a school-teacher, and I help her with her lessons sometimes, so we’re quite the family.


The blue part is very difficult to me. Now I rephrase it as:
There was a tall(=long) stupid girl(=gawky lass) as their daughter(=of a daughter), who was taking part a training to be a teacher(=training for a school-teacher)

Could you please give me some help?
Thank you in advance
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    No, it's the dictionary definition of "gawky".

    Their daughter was a tall, gawky lass.

    Compare: He's a giant of a man=he's a very tall man indeed.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    It's unusual to describe a person as "long", and it sounds rather comic. Have you ever heard of the Little Richard song "Long Tall Sally" and the Treasure Island character Long John Silver?
     

    longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Have you ever heard of the Little Richard song "Long Tall Sally" and the Treasure Island character Long John Silver?
    Never. But I can infer from your comic: Lawrence wanted to be humorous by long. Maybe he implied thin, slim and very tall in a humorous way.
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I would say that he use of 'long' to mean 'tall' is both regional and, possibly, old-fashioned. My grandmother (a Londoner born and bred) used to describe me as a 'long streak of nothing' :D (meaning tall and thin), but she was born in 1905.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Never. But I can infer from your comic: Lawrence wanted to be humorous by long. Maybe he implied thin, slim and very tall in a humorous way.
    She was gawky, and tall (perhaps too tall) -- not an elegant, poised young lady. It sounds rather deprecating than comic here.
     
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