On the first page of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry:

Serviceable-enough Dahl offering, though Lambiase questioned whether a professional housewife could successfully cook a leg of lamb in the manner described—i.e., without thawing, seasoning, or marinade.

I can't find the verb in the first part of this sentence. I looked up all key words in dictionary and still don't understand the word "offering".

Thanks in advance.


First of all, "Dahl" is Roald Dahl and this refers to his story "Lamb to the Slaughter", included in Tales of the Unexpected. (I recognized it just from what was included in the question.)

In a literary context an "offering" is a published work by an author, the metaphor is that it is being offered to the public or to an audience. This word is usually used in connection with a critical analysis or review, such as:

Trading in Danger is a superior offering by Moon, compared with the later books in her "Serrano" series.

In this usage "work" can be substituted with little change in meaning.

So "Serviceable-enough Dahl offering" means that the writer thinks this is a story of reasonable quality by Dahl, perhaps up to his average performance, but not exceptional.

This usage may be influenced by the use of "offering" to mean "a sacrifice to a god or gods".


The quote indeed does not have a verb, but there is an implied "This is a" and so "is" would be the verb. The sentence before this is:

Wife kills husband with leg of lamb, then disposes of the weapon by feeding it to the cops

The first clause also has deleted "the" from in front of "wife" and "husband", as well as "a" in front of leg of lamb.

This deletion of some grammatical elements is stylistic

Offering here is sort of a euphemistic use.

from Merriam Webster:

1a : the act of one who offers

1b : something offered

especially : a sacrifice ceremonially offered as a part of worship

1c : a contribution to the support of a church

2 : something offered for sale or patronage

"latest offerings of the leading novelists"

Looking at the definition 2, this is exactly the usage that is mentioned in your quote. It is referring to the Roald Dahl's story "Lamb to the Slaughter".

Since Dahl wrote this story to sell and be read by people, he "offered" it to the public, and so it is an "offering"

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