How often my wife was at me about that projected grand entrance-hall of hers, which was to be knocked clean through the chimney,

What is the meaning of the highlighted section?

  • Welcome to the site. The question is about a puzzling idiom. There are many uses of "clean" and it is not reasonable to expect a non-native (I assume) speaker to recognise the appropriate idiomatic usage. No source is needed to define the question better. I therefore do not understand the unexplained downvote and have compensated for it.
    – Anton
    Commented Feb 2, 2023 at 18:08

1 Answer 1


"clean" is used informally to emphasize that something was done completely, thoroughly (definition 12). "clean through" is similar to "straight through".

It seems that the wife wants to build a grand entrance hall through where the chimney is. The chimney will need to be demolished.

  • +1 though I wonder whether through may suggest the width of the entrance hall is going to be no more than the width of the chimney.
    – Henry
    Commented Feb 1, 2023 at 17:40
  • @Henry Doubt it. Entrance halls are usually bigger than chimneys. Commented Feb 1, 2023 at 17:40
  • That was my concern. When I go straight through something, I expect it to be bigger than me, whether or not I leave a me-sized hole in it.
    – Henry
    Commented Feb 1, 2023 at 17:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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