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What does "a thousand-fold" mean in this sentence?

I protest, added my uncle Toby, looking up, as he protested it, towards the top of the ceiling,—that was I her brother, Trim, a thousand-fold, she could not make more constant or more tender inquiries after my sufferings—though now no more.

"Trim" is the name of the person that Toby is talking to; "she" refers to a woman whom Toby has fallen in love with and who has been asking him about an injury that he used to have. He is saying that she couldn't have cared more for his well being even if he had been her brother; but I don't get what "a thousand-fold" means in this sentence. Can someone rephrase?

The text is from the novel Tristram Shandy.

  • You left out the most significant context. – Hot Licks Dec 18 '19 at 13:14
  • I see it as saying she felt 1,000 times closer to me and more tender than if I had been her brother. I was her brother multiplied many, many times. – Yosef Baskin Dec 18 '19 at 20:36
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it can be answered by consulting a general-reference dictionary. For example, from Merriam-Webster's Eleventh Collegiate Dictionary (2003): "-fold suffix 1 : multiplied by (a specified number) : times—in adjectives {a sixfold increase} and adverbs {a repay you tenfold} ..." So, here, "thousand-fold" = "multiplied by a thousand"; and the sense of the phrase is "if I were a thousand times as close to her as a brother would be." – Sven Yargs Dec 18 '19 at 20:47
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    @SvenYargs I did consult dictionaries but I wanted to ask about the meaning in this specific context, not the definition of the word. It seems to me people gave me two different answers, a) She felt a thousand times closer and more tender than if I were her brother, and b) If I were her brother who is a thousand times closer to her. – normanmo Dec 18 '19 at 23:04
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I protest, added my uncle Toby, looking up as he protested it, towards the top of the ceiling, that was I her brother, Trim, a thousand-fold, she could not make more constant or more tender inquiries after my sufferings, though now no more.

Source

If I were her brother a thousand times over she could not be as tender as she has been.

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    Of course, the O.P. has chosen one of the hardest novels to read. Interestingly, it, taken with your excellent paraphrase, illustrates the back and forth of grammar: the use of ‘was’ by Stern, where you use ‘were’, just as more and more people are ‘reverting’ to ‘was’! – Tuffy Dec 18 '19 at 13:33
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Let's say she might care for a brother B1 with a certain level of tenderness L1. Then imagine she cares for a brother B2 who is a thousand times closer to her than B1 with a tenderness level L2. The narrator says that the way she cared for him was much much more than even L2.

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