Tuesday, 31 July 2012

The horse's laugh

“Soon as I told you I was in Dickie’s Meadow,² with this damned fortune to be shipped and Sturgess in dock, what sympathy did dear old friend Flashy offer? The horse’s laugh, and wished me joy!”

2. “Dickey”, meaning shaky or uncertain, has a currency of centuries, but “in Dickie’s meadow”, meaning in serious trouble is, or was a North Cumbrian expression, and it has been suggested (fancifully, no doubt) that since Richard III was in his younger days Warden of the West March with his head-quarters in Carlisle, where he is commemorated in one of the city’s principal streets, Rickergate, the proverbial “meadow” may have been Bosworth Field.

Flashman on the March, p.3, Harper Collins, paperback edition 2005.

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