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What does " turtles 'way down in the pond were afraid " mean ?

Does it mean "turtles that is down something in the pond were afraid" ?

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    I think the "far away" interpretation is probably what they mean. i.e. if I make a loud noise, turtles that are nearby are likely to be startled, but turtles far away might not take notice. So saying that turtles "far away" were frightened means it must have been a significant event that occurred. – Jeffrey Kemp Jul 18 '16 at 8:29
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    I've never seen "way" write with an apostrophe before. Maybe this author takes it to be a shortening of "away"? (This does actually seem to be the origin, but I wouldn't analyze it this way in modern speech.) – herisson Jul 18 '16 at 15:22
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I think the "'way" could be replaced by "deep":

"turtles deep down in the pond were afraid"

or you could compare "far", it can be used similar. the "far" east...in principle you could say simply "east" but that does not say anything about the extend to which it is east from where you are. So you add "far" meaning it is "a long way from your position, in the east".

So I read it as

"turtles (a long) way down in the pond were afraid".

  • I don't know why that was downvoted - it seems like one reasonable explanation to me - so I've upvoted. – David Garner Jul 18 '16 at 8:26
  • does 'way mean way ? – user175012 Jul 18 '16 at 10:04

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