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Within the bawl of an ass of it (meaning)

Posted by Citkane on March 09, 2005

within the bawl of an ass of it (meaning)

is this some irish idiom?

from

The Confirmation Suit by Brendan Behan (1962

The lapels were little wee things, like what you'd see in pictures like Ring magazine of John L. Sullivan, or Gentleman Jim, and the button were the size of saucers, or WITHIN THE BAWL OF AN ASS OF IT, and I nearly cried when I saw them being put on, and ran down to my mother, and begged her to get me any sort of a suit, even a jersey and pants, than Ii me set up before the people in this get-up. My mother said it was very kind of Aunt Jack and Miss McCann to go to all this trouble and expense, and I was very ungrateful not to appreciate it. My father said that Miss McCann was such a good tailor that people were dying to get into her creations her handiwork was to be found in all the best cemeteries.