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"flung a main"

Posted by Bob on July 14, 2003

In Reply to: Thackeray: Vanity Fair posted by Lewis on July 14, 2003

: : In chapter 10, in fifth paragraph from the end, is the following: "I am not sure that she had not flung a main with him". What is "flinging a main"? Sounds nautical.

: Are you sure it's not a very cheap edition with misprints - where somebody dictated it into a PC via an elderly secretary?

: It could be "flung a main" meaning thrown by hand - perhaps a dance.
: "Flogged a man" - suggesting kinky threesomes.
: "Flugelhorn" - perhaps made sweet music together.
: "Frogmarched" - another bit of domination.

: Probably best to forget about it, unless there's an Essay to be done, in which case I suggest you waffle about the inherent ambiguities of speech in the context of past cultures.
: If you like the "flogged a man" bit, you could always develop the idea of an unorthodox sexuality from other remarks and hints in the book.
: It was written by Thwack-ery, after all - and Willy did want to make a piece, wherever possible.

I checked. The quote is correct. But I haven't been able to decode it. I did a Google search, and this is the only place that shows up. It sounds, in context, like some political stratagem. Still looking.