It' a quote from TV drama Gentleman Jack S1E01, a historical drama, set in England during the first Industrial Revolution. Here are the lines:

A: She says they were engaged.

B: Did he know about...

A: Yes. She says so. She said he was gonna marry her as soon as they got back to halifax. Happen the gin'll work. She looks sick enough.

I find it strange to use the word "happen", as it certainly doesn't mean "to take place" here.

1 Answer 1


"Happen" in this sense is short for "It might happen that," or "maybe," in other words. "Happen the gin'll work" essentially means "Maybe the gin will work." Check the adverb sense of Happen here: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/happen (listed as Northern English).

  • What do you think "gin" refers to in this context? The alcohol, or the machine, or is it something metaphorical?
    – Andrew
    Apr 23, 2019 at 16:30
  • The drink, commonly used as medicine. Compare Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion "Why should she die of influenza, when she come through diphtheria right enough the year before? Fairly blue with it she was. They all thought she was dead. But my father, he kept ladling gin down her throat."
    – James K
    Oct 24, 2021 at 14:46
  • And to bring on abortion, which sounds like the context here. Nov 18, 2022 at 13:34

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