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bile, vt.? - Impressions and Expressions of Ijon — LiveJournal
November 22nd, 2003
01:13 am


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bile, vt.?
In Charles Dickens's Bleak House, I have encountered the following phrase, spoken by Phil, a tinker:
I never could do nothing with a pot but mend it or bile it—never had a note of music in me.

Does any of you have any idea what 'bile' might mean as a verb? My dictionary hasn't heard of it.

update: It's Dickens's representation of the man's accent. bile = boil.

Current Mood: satiated
Current Music: David Bowie -- Panic in Detroit

(2 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:November 21st, 2003 03:54 pm (UTC)
according to Merriam Webster, it's a form of the verb Boil.
[User Picture]
Date:November 21st, 2003 04:31 pm (UTC)
Oh? Interesting. I consulted m-w.com and J's 1960s Webster. I was too lazy to go to my room and check my newer Webster. I wonder if it would have known.

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