Try on the part of press lord

Normandete

Senior Member
What does "try on the part of press lord" mean in the following sentence:

Vernon, who assumed that George was trying on the part of press lord summoning his editor, declined to apologise or even reply, and followed his host across a bright hallway into the living room.

Thank you.
 
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    Please tell us where you found this sentence (title and author of the book), and give us some context for it. What is happening in the scene?
     

    Chez

    Senior Member
    English English
    experimenting with playing the role of a newspaper owner

    It's using a comparison with the theatre: to 'try out a role' is to try acting like a character in a play.
     

    Normandete

    Senior Member
    Florentia52: Novel: "Amsterdam" by British author Ian McEwan in which Vernon Halliday, a newspaper editor, meets wealthy businessman George Lane:
    Lane himself opened the door of his Holland Park mansion.
    "You’re late."
    Vernon, who assumed that George was trying on the part of press lord summoning his editor, declined to
    apologise or even reply, and followed his host across a bright hallway into the living room.
     

    Winstanley808

    Banned
    English - U.S.
    Chez is right, although he referred to "try out" rather than "try on." The metaphor is from buying clothing. You "try on" a piece of clothing in the store to see whether it fits you properly; if it doesn't, you need to have it altered or you need to buy a different size. George is "trying on" the "part" of press lord—it's as if he were wearing it; if it doesn't "fit" him, he will presumably not continue to play that "part" or "role."
     
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