[PW] "Iiable" used as a noun in "The Univited"

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com
Fri Oct 14 14:24:32 PDT 2016


Bristol Library (Jeanne) wrote:
> Patron brought in a reprint copy of Dorothy Mcardle's The Univited. On page
> seven, the description of a place reads "a liable opened onto the drive."
> The question is, what is a liable in this context?  Or is it a misprint?
> We checked the OED (print) and didn't find any definition that seemed to
> fit.  I also looked at a couple of slang and architectural dictionaries and
> didn't see it.

The word "liable" might be a misprint for "stable" based on the
sentence fragment you provided and scans of a 1966 edition. See the
excerpt from the 1966 edition below.

Year: 1966
Book Title: The Uninvited
Author: Dorothy Macardle (book specifies Macardle not Mcardle)
Publisher: Bantam, New York
Quote Page 5
(Verified with scans)

[Begin excerpt]
There was a yard with out-houses, and a stable opened on to the drive.
The place had been neglected for years . . .
[End excerpt]

The printing history of the 1966 book lists a Doubleday edition
published May 1942. The 1966 book also has a copyright of 1942.
Wikipedia asserts that the work was first published under the title
"Uneasy Freehold" and Worldcat lists "Uneasy Freehold" by Dorothy
Macardle with a 1941 publication date from Peter Davies in London. It
would be useful to gather data about the sentence from other editions.

Garson


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