‘“My troth,” sez I, “you’ve lived too long—you an’ your seekin’s an’ findin’s in a dacint married woman’s quarters! Hould up your head, ye frozen thief av Genesis,” sez I, “an’ you’ll find all you want an’ more!”

‘But he niver hild up, an’ I let go from the shoulther to where the hair is short over the eyebrows. ‘“That’ll do your business,” sez I, but it nearly did mine instid. I put me bodyweight behind the blow, but I hit nothing at all, an’ near put me shoulther out. The Corp’ril man was not there,

This is from "The Solid Muldoon " by Rudyard Kipling.

I don't understand the meaning of
I let go from the shoulther to where the hair is short over the eyebrows.

I am glad if someone would kindly teach me.

  • Have you read through the rest of the story, and understood all the Irish dialect, and British Indian Army slang???
    – James K
    May 1, 2022 at 7:50
  • 2
    I let go presumably means "I let fly." (Once again I am amazed to see you reading such difficult English!) May 1, 2022 at 7:51

2 Answers 2


It appears to mean "I let go" = I released a punch, "from the shoulther" = a with a full swing of the arm from the shoulder (with eye-dialect spelling). "to where the hair is short over the eyebrows" = aimed at the temples.

That is it means "I punched him hard in the head"

  • thank you very much for your precise and helpful answer!! May 1, 2022 at 8:02

From the subsequent sentence, it appears that Mulvaney attempted to punch the Corporal on the forehead - 'put his weight behind the blow'.

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