When I was a girl we called in the doctor alike when we had measles, or when mother's sister died in the far West. He cut out redundant tonsils and brought the babies with the same air of inspiring self-confidence.
Nowadays it requires a different specialist for each of these occurrences.

The above is depicting the medical situation of 19 century, when the division of labor in medicine was not clear-cut. The phrase 'bring the babies with' doesn't seem to be an idiom since I can't find anywhere in dictionaries, but the meaning of the sentence is not very clear to me.

My guess is 'brought the babies with' means the doctor is helping the babies born or like. Am I right? Or is there any other meaning?

  • 1
    The phrase we use is "bring babies into the world", so my guess is that "and brought babies into the world with the same air of inspiring self-confidence" is what was meant. It is the doctor that delivers the babies, of course.
    – user3169
    Dec 29, 2016 at 6:16

1 Answer 1


You are are not separating the parts of the sentence correctly.

He cut out redundant tonsils and brought the babies

This portion of the sentence is an independent clause that describes the work that the 19th century doctor did. "Brought the babies" means "assisted with the birth of the babies", so your guess was correct in that respect.

with the same air of inspiring self-confidence

The word "with" is the beginning of a prepositional phrase which describes the way the doctor performed his work. Whatever he did, he did confidently.

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