Kittie again

The other ‘st’ word of the Edwardian period is ‘stout’, as in ‘stout fellows’ (used by soldiers of their comrades).  It is described in dictionaries today as ‘arch.‘, and meant ‘dauntless’ — another word that today surely qualifies as ‘archaic’. In 1914 ‘stout’ seems to have been a more middle-class or colloquial version of ‘stalwart’ or ‘staunch’.  It could therefore have been applied to Kittie Calderon’s stance towards George’s desire to go to war, but it would be impossible for the biographer to use it today, because of its dominant meaning ‘inclined to corpulence’ (O.E.D.).  Kittie was actually slim and short with very pale skin, and nicknamed ‘Swan’…

Next entry: The Peter Pan Factor

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About Patrick Miles

I am a writer who specialises in Anton Chekhov and is writing a biography of George Calderon.
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