Posted by kathleen (elder) on August 12, 1997 at 12:33:31:
In reply to Mr. Elliot: Underhung? posted by Traci on August 12, 1997 at 08:08:56
] Ladies (and gents):
] This question may have been addressed before so if so, please direct me to the answer.
] In "Persuasion", Jane Austen discusses Mr. Elliot's appearance and says that he was "underhung", a phrase I've yet to have encounter elsewhere. Sir Walter marked it a failing and that it had only gotten worse since their last meeting in London.
] What does this mean? Were his clothes not cut well and didn't "hang" properly? Sir Walter was such a clothes horse I have to imagine it had to do with fashion. I am very curious to know.
I have consulted my Webster's on this, and I find the following definition of underhung: having an undehung jaw, i.e., a lower jaw which projects beyond the upper jaw.
So, we might say that Mr Elliot has an underbite -- which word, I find, is not in my Webster's!
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