3

The term is from "The Difference Engine" by Bruce Sterling and describes a certain kind of journalist. The story is set at the time of Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace/Byron.

What does it mean?

  • 1
    I'm not sure what is meant, but I'll include the quote: "Mallory, having met more that his share of gin-and-water reporters, hacks pursuing wide-eyed articles on the great Leviathan, registered a faint twinge of anxiety; this fellow evinced the smooth self-possession of the extremely well-advantaged. – Jacob Mattison Apr 29 '14 at 17:00
  • I think that gin and water was the drink of the poor (I recall it in Oliver Twist. This is contrasted with the "extremely well-advantaged". – Colin Fine Apr 29 '14 at 20:10
  • The phrase occurs 11 times in Oliver Twist: one is the dying midwife, three are Fagin's gang, and the rest are all Mr Bumble. – Colin Fine Apr 29 '14 at 22:22
3

It helps if you read the before and after.

Mallory, having met more than his share of gin-and-water reporters, hacks pursuing wide-eyed articles on the great Leviathan[...]

In short: Hack reporters. It is considered a sin amongst the gin aficionados to mix gin and water.

0

This is inference, from the words as well as the excerpt, as I could not find a source to support this directly.

Gin = Clear, Water = Clear

Someone who offers you one thing and surreptitiously provides another for their own benefit.

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