ruby
Does "purseless" means poor? When frontier historians theorize about the uprooted,the lawless, the purseless,and the socially cut-off who emigrated to the West,they are not talking about people like my grandmother. this is the whole sentence.
Nov 9, 2012 3:12 AM
Answers · 3
Hi Ruby. In that context "purseless" does indeed mean poor. As has been pointed out, it could also mean "without a purse"!
November 9, 2012
Ruby you would need to post the context to get the exact meaning. Purseless is not a common word. It could mean just "without a purse". However it could also mean "without a prize" - as in a purseless contest. There is a phrase "light purse" which can mean poverty, but I have not seen the phrase purseless being used. Are you still reading 19th Century texts, beacause purseless would be unusual to encounter.
November 9, 2012
That would be the most likely meaning. However, depending on the context, it could be talking about a woman who usually carries a purse and appears without one.
November 9, 2012
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Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English
Learning Language
English