Stupid Question: What to Expect Edition

18 Feb

What does “knocked-up” mean?

And if Caspar was in that delicate condition shouldn’t Isabel have married him?

Um, I mean . . . uh . . . okay, I don’t know what I mean, or what James meant either, for that matter.

Here’s the quote at the very end of Chapter XXXII.  Mr. Goodwood has come to see his former love after she’s written to inform him of her engagement.  There conversation is all but over, and he’s headed out the door.

‘How little you make of these terrible journeys,’ she felt the poverty of her presently replying.
‘If you’re afraid I’m knocked up – in such way as that – you may be at your ease about it.’ He turned away, this time in earnest, and no hand-shake, no sign of parting, was exchanged between them.

I’m guessing that he meant “put out, what do you think?


Posted by on February 18, 2013 in The Portrait of a Lady


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7 responses to “Stupid Question: What to Expect Edition

  1. Adriana

    February 18, 2013 at 6:40 am

    Somehow I don’t think it means what we think it means . . . 😉

    • Christina Joy

      February 18, 2013 at 12:11 pm

      The novel might have been more interesting if it had, though.

      • Adriana

        February 18, 2013 at 12:28 pm


  2. Patty Sessions

    February 18, 2013 at 11:13 am

    It means exhausted, worn out. It was an English colloquialism that predates what our ‘knocked up’ means! 😀 A ticked-off Ralph is saying “If you’re worried about the trip being too much for me, that’s not the problem here.”

    • Christina Joy

      February 18, 2013 at 12:10 pm

      It’s always nice when there is an actual answer to a Stupid Question. Thank you.

  3. Jerry

    February 18, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    So – I think our phrase knocked out must of had its origins from that English colloquialism.


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