Strange usage of the word spill in children's book Strange usage of the word spill in children's book
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    Default Strange usage of the word spill in children's book

    From "The owl who was afraid of the dark" here: https://books.google.ch/books?id=zZL...elf%22&f=false

    "I'm not a good lander" he said, "I might spill myself".

    Any ideas what this might mean? The book was written in 1968 so perhaps so older usage.
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    I always thought it meant fall over, although I do not have anything to back that with.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyUserName View Post
    I always thought it meant fall over, although I do not have anything to back that with.
    WHS.

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    As it says here.

    a fall from a horse or bicycle.
    synonyms: fall, tumble, accident; informalheader, cropper, nosedive
    "he decided to rest following his spill in the opening race"


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    It does mean to fall off a horse (as in "the horse fell, spilling the jockey"), if that helps?
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    From Urban Dictionary...

    spill
    1) To take a bad fall while attempting a great feat.
    Although without knowing the Owls socio-economic background it could also possibly be..

    Spill
    Verb; the act of smoking those greens or sippin some purp with your bros; often accompanied by the phrase doof out
    Any mention of gangs or other drug related slang in the book?
    Last edited by northernladuk; 16th August 2018 at 15:38.
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    Thanks MF, but as a yank you have nothing to say about English. The query arose from two well qualified English teachers. (English English, not the primitive dialect used across the pond).

    Quote Originally Posted by Mordac View Post
    It does mean to fall off a horse (as in "the horse fell, spilling the jockey"), if that helps?
    I'm aware of that usage. "He took a spill from his horse", "He spilled himself out of bed".

    But the usage in this children's book doesn't seem to work. It seems the "I might spill myself" is a consequence of being a bad lander. "I might land badly and fall over".

    There is an archaic usage of damage or kill, but that seems a little extreme.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NotAllThere View Post
    Thanks MF, but as a yank you have nothing to say about English. The query arose from two well qualified English teachers. (English English, not the primitive dialect used across the pond).


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    Any more of that pal and the word you'll be looking up will be defenestrate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NotAllThere View Post
    From "The owl who was afraid of the dark" here: https://books.google.ch/books?id=zZL...elf%22&f=false

    "I'm not a good lander" he said, "I might spill myself".

    Any ideas what this might mean? The book was written in 1968 so perhaps so older usage.
    Although I'm not generally afraid of the dark, and thus have no first-hand experience of this, my informed guess is that it just means "fall over in a heap", as others have pointed out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NotAllThere View Post
    From "The owl who was afraid of the dark" here: https://books.google.ch/books?id=zZL...elf%22&f=false

    "I'm not a good lander" he said, "I might spill myself".

    Any ideas what this might mean? The book was written in 1968 so perhaps so older usage.
    It comes from the phrase "thrills and spills"; spills being danger of being injured or a fatality.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarillionFan View Post
    Any more of that pal and the word you'll be looking up will be defenestrate.
    As in - 'pick a windae, jimmy, - you're leaving' ??
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