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Wu Ting
How would you interpret the phrase “piddling at it” here? I told her it’s time (for burning his diaries), I kept saying that. It is time. I’d been piddling at it, trying for more than a year since we pitched Billy Boorzai into the flames. Better dead than read, I told her. Expecting a fight, but strangely, no fight came. Not even from Violet the defiant, who always insists, Those are your words so claim them, leave your bairns not to be orphaned, you wrote those. She too is defeated. She wanted to do the job herself. Stood at the door watching while I cleared the whole shelf, all the way back to the beginning. She seemed as eager as I was to get it over with, taking our medicine. How would you interpret the phrase “piddling at it” in the third sentence? Does it mean he had been hesitating? Thanks. And this excerpt is taken from The Lacuna by Kingsolver.
Jun 17, 2015 10:17 AM
Answers · 1
'Piddling' means to spend time wastefully, so I'm guessing in this context, her previous year had been spent attempting to get her to burn the diaries to no avail.
June 17, 2015
Wu Ting
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French
Learning Language