they're much harder to squash


Senior Member
Nasty little worm, I'll be bound. I have discovered, Miss Honey, during my long career as a teacher that a bad girl is a far more dangerous creature than a bad boy. What's more, they're much harder to squash. Squashing a bad girl is like trying to squash a bluebottle. You bang down on it and the darn thing isn't there. Nasty dirty things, little girls are. Glad I never was one."
Matilda by Roadl Dahl

Can you tell me what here squash means?
Is this <squash verb (PUSH) B2 [ I or T, usually + adv/prep ] to push yourself, a person, or thing into a small space:>?SQUASH | meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    You should use the WRF dictionary first :D You can squash something by banging down on it.

    squash1 /skwɑʃ, skwɔʃ/ v.
    1. to press into a flat mass; crush:[~ + object]She squashed the spider with her shoe.


    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    We don't usually talk about "squashing" a human being, unless there's a context such as a crowded train, bus or plane. I've often been squashed by the person sitting next to me.

    In the sense Dahl has used it here, we might more normally talk about "crushing" someone.
    Whichever word is used, the idea of a teacher deliberately though only metaphorically squashing or crushing a student is nasty.
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