unless he were 'wizard' enough to detect a poignant wish (adjective/noun)

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Does the word "wizard" functions here as an adjective or a noun? Because of the position of the word enough, I assume it is an adjective. Since the text was written in 1897, I believe that the word wizard could have been used as an adjective back then. Am I right? (This is what I saw on thefreedictionary.com:
1. Chiefly British Slang Excellent.
2. Archaic Of or relating to wizards or wizardry.)

In case this is an adjective, is there a synonym for it?

"A man with keen eyes, who sat opposite to her, seemed to like the study of her small, pale face. It puzzled him to decipher what he saw there. In truth, he saw nothing-unless he were wizard enough to detect a poignant wish, a powerful longing that the cable car would never stop anywhere, but go on and on with her forever." (Kate Chopin, A Pair of Silk Stockings)
  • carolmoraiss

    So, why the position of enough?

    Can one sometimes use a noun + enough as a short way of saying "enough of"?

    So wizard as an adjective is nowadays used by schoolkids? That's funny. I thought it was used long ago and then no more.


    Senior Member
    American English
    It's an acceptable word order, as in these sentences:

    "If you were man enough to stand up to him, he wouldn't push you around so much."
    "You ain't woman enough to take my man." (An old Loretta Lynn song.)


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    It* is very old-fashioned: well known in children's books from Biggles in the First World War to Jennings in the 1950s, maybe 1960s.

    * 'wizard'
    Last edited:
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