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Thu Dec 24, 2020, 02:55 PM

"Marley was dead, to begin with."

"There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it. And Scrooge's name was good upon 'Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to.

Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.

Mind! I don't mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country's done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail."

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Reply "Marley was dead, to begin with." (Original post)
brooklynite Dec 2020 OP
dawg day Dec 2020 #1
BlueSpot Dec 2020 #3
ProfessorGAC Dec 2020 #5
stopdiggin Dec 2020 #6
Hekate Dec 2020 #8
nolabear Dec 2020 #2
dawg day Dec 2020 #4
electric_blue68 Dec 2020 #7
Roisin Ni Fiachra Dec 2020 #9

Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Thu Dec 24, 2020, 03:36 PM

1. That's a great opening.

What is dead about a doornail, after all? What IS a door-nail?

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Response to dawg day (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 24, 2020, 03:59 PM

3. Here ya go

Dead as a doornail is a phrase which means not alive, unequivocally deceased. The term goes back to the 1300s, the phrase dead as a doornail is found in poems of the time. The term dead as a doornail was used in the 1500s by William Shakespeare, and in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in 1843. It is thought that the phrase dead as a doornail comes from the manner of securing doornails that were hammered into a door by clenching them. Clenching is the practice of bending over the protruding end of the nail and hammering it into the wood. When a nail has been clenched, it has been dead nailed, and is not easily resurrected to use again. An alternative wording of the phrase dead as a doornail is deader than a doornail.


https://grammarist.com/idiom/dead-as-a-doornail/

A doornail is, of course, a nail in a door. Don't you feel silly now?

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Response to BlueSpot (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 24, 2020, 04:09 PM

5. Cool Find!

That was interesting! Now, I know!

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Response to BlueSpot (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 24, 2020, 04:39 PM

6. to elaborate just slightly

Nails were (relatively) expensive and valuable .. and often subject to salvage and reuse if possible -- and thus a "clinched" (door) nail would not live (or work) again -- and had it's value reduced to -- scrap.

A clinched nail is also "dead" in the sense that it is fixed permanently in place -- never to move again.

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Response to BlueSpot (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 25, 2020, 06:35 AM

8. Interesting! Thanks for that tid-bit,,,

As a person who has often re-used nails around the house (resurrected them, I now discover) and thus keeps a few jars sorted into various sizes, on occasion I have also had to hammer one over, which I now discover is what renders it dead.

How cool is that?

Oh, and Marley, you are indeed dead as a doornail.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Thu Dec 24, 2020, 03:47 PM

2. So many people know the movies rather than the story

that wonderful, somewhat wry writing doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

Thank you for reminding me!

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Response to nolabear (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 24, 2020, 04:01 PM

4. Yes, it's much less sentimental than the film

And Scrooge is so... "reasonable".

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri Dec 25, 2020, 05:01 AM

7. I could have read the book but decades ago. Will...

have to reread. Or read first time. Thx!

Merry y Christmas. Happy Holidays!

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri Dec 25, 2020, 09:00 AM

9. "This parrot is deceased!

'E's not pinin'! 'E's passed on! This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!

'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the perch 'e'd be pushing up the daisies!
'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig!
'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible!!

THIS IS AN EX-PARROT!!"

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