Posted by Claire on August 12, 1997 at 23:46:07:
In reply to Re: Mr. Elliot: Underhung? An underbite, perhaps? posted by AnneM on August 12, 1997 at 16:19:12
] ] ] 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.
] ] ] Anybody?
] ] 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!
] Thanks. I had forgotton about that adjective, and didn't know what to think. ( I was on vacation and didn't have access to a dictionary)
] (it does conjure up all sorts of images!!)
I believe it is still called underhung today, not underbite as when the upper teeth project beyond the normal and being referred as an overbite. It does sound strange, though.
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