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A handful!

Posted by Smokey Stover on March 21, 2004

In Reply to: Re: Thanks posted by Miri Barak on March 19, 2004

: : : context:
: : : "But just as they start to dig in, the party is crashed by a pack of Troodons. Smaller and smarter than Pod, these predators are *a handful*".

: : : Yes, another kind of dinosaurs.
: : : My question: a handful has two meanings: a few and wild, uncontrollable. According to this sentence, which meaning do you think right? Because there is some kind of contrast in this sentence which doesn't suit the first meaning of few, but I might be wrong, of course.

: : : And thank you of course.

: : The second meaning is closer. The invading dinosaurs are "a handful" FOR POD. That is, Pod has difficulty dealing with them. "Handful" in this sense always appears in the context of someone (this time it's Pod) facing the challenge of coping with something troublesome.

: Thank you Berg - you are fast and helpful as ever.

The phrase "He's a real handful!" is most often used to describe tykes like the protagonist of "The Ransom of Red Chief." But just today I was talking to my neighbor, whose new (and young) dog stands (when he stands) taller than his wife, and acts like a good-natured but willful boy. Says my neighbor, "He's a handful." SS