The old woman held out her hand to each of us in turn. Thereafter, she never touched me if she could avoid it. If I offered my hand, she would brush my fingers aside as if waving away a fly. She didn't enter our service that evening — that would have been unworthy, improper. She enlisted in it. As she was leaving, she said to my husband: "I wish the master good night." He stared after her. There was no man on the planet to whom this magnificent word might less apply. But that was how she addressed him until her dying day. It took a while for him to get used to his new title, and answer to it.

Does it mean: this magnificent word is appropriate for every man?

Source: The door: The novel by Magda szabo

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    The narrator says that the title 'Master' was not appropriate for her husband. With some exaggeration, she claims that she cannot imagine any man for whom it would be less appropriate. Feb 22, 2020 at 8:56
  • Thanks, so does she mean: there was no man in the planet that this title would be approprite. I get somehow confused. Feb 22, 2020 at 10:34
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    She means "the master" is not an apprpriate name for her husband, like Kate says.
    – anouk
    Feb 22, 2020 at 10:38
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    In other words, the title is more inappropriate for her husband than it would be for any other man in the world. Feb 22, 2020 at 12:07
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    I have just done so in my last comment! There is no other man whom it would be less suitable to address as 'Master' than it is to address her husband that way. Is that any clearer? Feb 22, 2020 at 13:17

1 Answer 1


It means

There is no one on Earth less worthy of the title of "Master" than my husband.

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