I came upon this paragraph:

Dennis was taken back to the jail. He carefully removed his new suit and put it on a hanger. A guard took it up front.

I can not figure out what the guard did with the suit. Thank you in advance for any enlightenment.

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  • Its difficult to determine but I believe the guard is confiscating Dennis' suit, at the check-in area for the jail (being referred to as "up fron"t), because Dennis will be required to wear a generic prisoner's uniform once he's inside. – Tonepoet Jun 27 '15 at 3:49
  • There is no phrase here -- it's two words: up and front -- that should clarify things. – Kris Jun 27 '15 at 5:42
  • 2
    The question is based on incorrect parsing. – Kris Jun 27 '15 at 5:42
  • The guard took the suit, on its hanger, up to the front of the jail, where, presumably, prisoners' personal effects are stored in some sort of closet or locker until the prisoners are released. – Sven Yargs Jun 27 '15 at 23:51

Although there are other possible meanings which aren't applicable here, "up front" as a location usually means 'to the front' of the place in question. So in a hotel "up front" might be to reception, in an office it might be to the entrance. I believe it's related to the theatre expression "front of house", meaning the side of the theatre the public see. Not knowing where the incident took place it's hard to know where that might be in this case.

"Up front" can also mean "in advance", so it is possible it meant that the guard carried the suit ahead of Dennis.

  • 1
    Thank you.Your comment makes the situation clear. I can now see that the guard took the suit to the front office of the jail, which is his proper station at duty. – user126770 Jun 27 '15 at 4:03
  • The word front to mean front desk is one English expression that is widely used in Japan. In fact I would go so far as to say that front has become a Japanese word. George Mikes in the Land of the Rising Yen treats his readers to a most amusing moment when the chambermaid in his hotel, unable to deal with what she was being asked said Would you like to see my front? – WS2 Jun 27 '15 at 9:06

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