I'm reading The Way We Live Now by Susan Sontag, and have a problem with this paragraph:

The one thing I'm sure I couldn't take, Jan said he said to her, is becoming disfigured, but Stephen hastened to point out the disease doesn't take that form very often anymore, its profile is mutating, and, in conversation with Ellen, wheeled up words like blood-brain barrier; I never thought there was a barrier there, said Jan.

I can't understand the bold part. What's the meaning of wheeled up words?

  • 1
    You're on an site dedicated to English, asking experts in English for help about English. Please have the courtesy to properly capitalize and punctuate your writing (including apostrophes for contraction). I've fixed it for you in this instance, but I expect any further material from you to be considerate and courteous in the first place. Mistakes are 100% ok and no problem. Deliberate oversights aren't. – Dan Bron Nov 9 '18 at 13:40

Wheel means "cause to move on wheels"; the intransitive preposition up has the sense of "raising" its object into immediate presence or consciousness—compare "drive up", "walk up", "pipe up", "bring up".

Here the collocation is employed metaphorically: Stephen brings up ponderous technical words and terms like "blood-brain barrier" as if he were wheeling them into the conversation on a cart or wheelbarrow.

  • exactly. thank you very much. did you read the story? I have another sentence. would you please help me? Kate recalled, sighing, a brief exchange she'd insisted on having as long as two years ago, huddling on a banquette covered with steel-gray industrial carpet on an upper level of The Prophet and toking up for their next foray onto the dance floor: she'd said hesitantly, for it felt foolish asking a prince of debauchery to, well, take it easy. I can't understand what they have been done – sarkhail Nov 9 '18 at 15:51
  • @Sarkhail No; I just browsed through it. Your quotation was quite enough to pin down the sense of the collocation. – StoneyB on hiatus Nov 9 '18 at 15:54

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