was rendered rather misty by an unwonted allowance of beer

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Senior Member

From WR forum I found: "Misty" is a metaphor for being so emotional, you feel like you want to cry."
I wonder if that meaning apply to this context(It seems to me that the answer is no, but I'm not sure):

Oliver had been surrounded by careful grandmothers, anxious aunts, experienced nurses, and doctors of profound wisdom, he would most inevitably and indubitably have been killed in no time. There being nobody by, however, but a pauper old woman, who was rendered rather misty by an unwonted allowance of beer; and a parish surgeon who did such matters by contract; Oliver and Nature fought out the point between them.

Source: Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. Chapter 01.
  • JustKate

    Senior Member
    That's what misty can mean, but you're right that it doesn't fit here. I'd guess the intended meaning is more like "inattentive." She's not watching him closely because she's had too much beer. Misty isn't used like this any more, as far as I know, but you'll sometimes see hazy used this way.


    Senior Member
    English & Swahili - East Africa
    First, I think that to make sense the sentence should begin "Had Oliver..."
    The old pauper woman had had more beer than she was used to, and so she was useless for practical purposes. There is no suggestion that she or anyone else there (Oliver, the mother in labor, the old woman and the surgeon) would have been emotional to the point of crying, although the mother could be expected to be in pain.
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