"wholesome" and "gave it away"

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ktm

Senior Member
Hello, can anybody explain the meaning of "wholesome" and "gave it away" in the context below. It seems to me, that "wholesome" can't mean here "beneficial for health" or anything like that.
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He was good-looking in a way which one might describe as...? Fresh-faced? Open? Of course the rugby shirt gave it away: he was the sort that one saw by thousend, streaming out of Murrayfield after a rugby international. Wholesome was the word which her mother would have used, and which Pat would have derided.
 
  • french4beth

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Hi ktm,

    In this context, 'wholesome' would mean healthy in an athletic way; to 'give something away' in this sentence means 'to reveal' or the fact that you could tell that he was a sports fan by the clothing he wore (a rugby shirt).
     

    equivoque

    Senior Member
    Australia - English
    When I hear "wholesome" in this context, I immediately think of "good and respectable". A wholesome young woman is usually "the marrying type". So this man would appear to spend his leisure time on healthy pursuits, not chasing women and drinking with bad company.
     

    ktm

    Senior Member
    When I hear "wholesome" in this context, I immediately think of "good and respectable". A wholesome young woman is usually "the marrying type". So this man would appear to spend his leisure time on healthy pursuits, not chasing women and drinking with bad company.
    He wasn't driner in any way but used to spend a lot of time on chasing women.
     
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