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*What was that a nice way of saying? Beat the shit out of any kid caught so much as jay-walking? Yes, he'd been that way himself in his time, and it was a nasty little cul-de-sac, every bit as bad as being sentimental." The fact is, we may lose Tetherdowne altogether," she said, "which would be a shame. I know it doesn't look like much . . ."

"- but it's home," he laughed. The joke fell among thieves. She didn't even seem to hear it.*

I would like to ask a native speaker about the phrase "to fall a joke among the thieves". I was not able to find the meaning on the internet. I thought that it could be an idiom. From the context, I would say that it means the joke did not cause any response and that it was ignored but I am not sure.

  • No idea. It feels like the author is mixing idioms -- "the joke fell flat" and "there is (no) honor among thieves" -- but the combination makes no sense to me. – Andrew Dec 25 '18 at 19:37
  • "fell among thieves" from Bible KJV Luke 10:30 – James K Dec 25 '18 at 20:34
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It is not a common idiom. It appears to mean that there was no response to the joke, as if the humour had been stolen.

The expression "fell among thieves" is from Bible. A man "fell among thieves" who robbed him an beat him, but he was rescued by the "good Samaritan". So this can be seen as a mixed expression "the joke fell flat" (nobody laughed) an "he fell among thieves" (he was robbed).

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