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|Changing meaning of "stout"
Written by Line
(1/14/2004 7:34 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Definitions, penned by Christiana
Yes, I think in JA's time, stout actually meant healthy, since thinness was one of the warning signs of TB, as well as other diseases. Remember that in the 19th century, girls actually worried about becoming unattractive through losing weight, not gaining it! My dictionary also lists the meaning: "of considerable thickness or strength" - the opposite of delicate, so I think JA used the adjective in a positive sense.
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