Thank you for explanation of the term "no eating".

Mum: Turn the music off. We are eating.
Son (he wants to dance, not to eat): You know as well as me, there's no eating at a Carneys Feast.

"no eating" means:

  1. no dos and donts, no rules, no restriction at the feast,
  2. Nobody should get angry (like you, Mum),
  3. Nobody is going to starve, get hungry

Maybe it is obvious for the native speakers, but for a foreign like me, it is always a bit difficult to find the right meaning.And I agree, this book is full of slang terms and idioms, which makes it interesting and a difficult to read as the same time.

  • The parenthesised comment he wants to dance, not to eat explains it all. You just have to take it at face value. Incidentally the noun is foreigner not foreign which is the adjective.
    – mdewey
    Commented May 20, 2021 at 13:48

1 Answer 1


None of the three possible figurative meanings you mentioned for "no eating" are ones I've ever heard in English, so it's probably not those.

It sounds to me as if "he wants to dance, not to eat" explains it. It's an exaggeration, there is eating, but he means "people don't come to this party for the food, they come for the music and dancing".

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