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Splinter group

Posted by Henry on July 03, 2004

In Reply to: Re: Thank you Henry. Here is another: posted by Henry on July 02, 2004

: : From the same book.
: : ??
: : (it is said about someone that is angry or down)

: : Judy
: : Israel

: THE PRINCE AND BETTY PG Wodehouse 1912
: Gee, we'll wipe Monte Carlo clean off the map. We'll have 'em licked to a splinter. We--It's the greatest scheme on earth."
: I've never heard this phrase before! It seems to mean "We'll beat them easily."

Some further thoughts! Licked has two meanings; one is to beat in a fight. A splinter is just a fragment of something wooden, a weapon perhaps. Perhaps the phrase was common in Wodehouse's circle of friends, or perhaps he invented it himself. It doesn't seem to have widespread usage.