In Book 1, Chapter 2 of A tale of two cities, Dickens wrote the following:

“After that there gallop from Temple Bar, old lady, I won’t trust your fore-legs till I get you on the level,” said this hoarse messenger, glancing at his mare.

In the story, the messenger had just gotten the message and ridden the horse from Temple Bar. The sentence seems perfectly interpretable without the word "there", going as "After that gallop from Temple Bar, I won't trust your fore-legs till I get you on the level."

I am not sure what the word "there" is meant for. To me, it makes the sentence seems very unnatural.

But as I searched around, nobody seems to be taking notice of it.

One potential reason I thought about is that "there" is meant for exclamation, and conveying a similar meaning as in "After that gallop there from Temple Bar".

I am not sure whether it is a common practice, though. I am not a native speaker. I tried searching for similar usages, and the only likely candidate I found is here.

Some dog gone bit that there kitty, and he don't take that from nobody.

The writer explained that this is nonstandard grammar, but I don't know where I may be able to find any reference for this nonstandard grammar.

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    It's local dialect. That there X is an emphatic version of that X; similarly for this here Y. Dickens is describing England 200 years ago; one characteristic of English in England is that there are local dialects that vary a great deal from RP, and there are plenty of them. Be prepared for extremely nonstandard speech. Jan 14, 2017 at 16:56
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    @JohnLawler That there and this here (often elided to 'atair' and 'thisear') are still quite common in Southern US dialects, and in my part of the country that there and this here would be regarded as "colloquial" rather than "non-standard". 'Standard' English uses that X there and this Y here in the same intensive sense. Jan 14, 2017 at 17:02
  • Yeah, I know people who talk that way. But they're not found in Dickens. :-) Jan 14, 2017 at 17:12
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    @John Lawler Thank you so much! I think I have a better idea what to look for from now on.
    – xychang
    Jan 14, 2017 at 17:12
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    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._F._Stephenson There's this phrase too, very much still in use as a cliché: There's gold in them thar hills.
    – Lambie
    Jan 14, 2017 at 17:52

1 Answer 1


There is a nice entry on the subject on the Grammarphobia Blog, dated June 9, 2012 that states, in part:

The English essayist and poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge complained in the mid-19th century that uneducated British speakers were committing the same misdemeanor.

In a treatise on grammar in the Encyclopaedia Metropolitana: Or, Universal Dictionary of Knowledge (1845), Coleridge criticized the redoubling of word elements “for the sake of emphasis, which is a habit common to barbarous nations, and to the illiterate in all countries.”

And he meant all countries. Coleridge didn’t exempt the English, grumbling that “our own rustics commonly say this here, that there.” This usage (at least in English) is still considered rustic today.

As Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage says: “Our evidence from published sources shows that writers in general have no need to be told that this here and that there are something less than standard English.”

“The use of here and there for emphasis following a demonstrative adjective is a characteristic of dialectal and uneducated speech,” M-W continues. “It does not occur in writing except when such speech is being recorded, evoked, or imitated.”

More than likely, Dickens made that word choice to give definition to the character of Jerry.

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    Thanks, that's really insightful. Now I understand Jerry better :)
    – xychang
    Jan 14, 2017 at 17:53

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