1

I'm reading Jerome K. Jerome's 'Three men in a boat' The above is about fishermen's bluff. My question is in the above paragraph a man knocks ashes (from his pipe) against the bars. But what is bars? On the counter? or on the window bars? But it is not likely under the circumstances, so I just wonder if 'bars' mean something different or particular meaning in this context.

  • 1
    You will have to go to a 19th century fisherman's pub and look around. – jlovegren Aug 27 '16 at 1:54
  • 3
    You really need to include some context. – Hot Licks Aug 27 '16 at 2:10
6

You can't tell from the context in the story. I would knock out a pipe against the bars of an open fire (if I smoked a pipe and lived in a C19 novel)

Victorian coal fireplace

  • If it meant the counter of a pub it would be 'against the bar', and since windows don't usually have bars in English pubs (at least not the sort Jerome went into) I think the fire is right. – DJClayworth Aug 27 '16 at 3:53
  • 1
    An open fire per se does not exactly have bars either. The bars belong rather to the grate or firebasket that holds up the burning bits of wood or coal so that they can get air from beneath. – Brian Donovan Aug 27 '16 at 14:59
  • 1
    Also, the speaker has appropriated the most comfortable chair, which is very likely to be one by the fireside. – Spagirl Aug 27 '16 at 21:18
  • 1
    @BrianDonovan it has bars at the front to stop the coal falling out. This is England so coal fired rather than N American wood hearth – mgb Aug 28 '16 at 2:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.