Can someone please help me picture the following situation?

A lop-sided board drooped over the garden wall, announcing that it was 'to let on very reasonable terms, well furnished.

Charles Dickens, The Haunted House

2 Answers 2


There is a sign on the garden wall. The sign reads, "Furnished property for rent, reasonable terms."

Lopsided - with one side lower or smaller than the other

Board - a thin, flat, rectangular piece of wood or other stiff material used for various purposes.

Let - allow someone to have the use of (a room or property) in return for regular payments; rent

  • a board that says that? can i be 100% sure?
    – user54495
    Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 18:23
  • 6
    Yes, I am confident in my interpretation of the quote you provided.
    – Lumberjack
    Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 18:24
  • 1
    I agree with Lumberjack. It is a board serving as a sign. "...drooped over a garden wall," could mean hung over the wall or perhaps mounted on top of the wall but sagging.
    – user54934
    Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 18:50
  • Yes, this board is a sign. You might be thinking that a board must be arbitrarily long to be called a board, and thus is not suitable for a sign, but no it doesn't. A board could be square. That being said, if Dickens were writing his stories today, he probably would have been explicit that this was signage. Commented Oct 28, 2013 at 17:37

lopsided = uneven, i.e. hanging or tilted to one side. the type of board referred to was generally a piece of flat wood with the information written/painted on, this in turn would be secured to an upright post to make it easily visible, e.g. above a fence or wall surrounding the property being advertised. If the post wasn't completely upright, the board would appear 'lopsided', and would droop, or hang, over the wall.

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