"Here," I said, "deposit it." The tone of the words seemed to mean, "Let us do this painful thing while the fit is on us."

(Reference: MY FINANCIAL CAREER by Stephen Leacock)

What does the author actually want to imply in the dependent clause, while the fit is on us,? secondly, the text suggests that it is the author who is nervous while in this sentence he is using the pronoun 'us' as they both are nervous.

  • 1
    "While we're in the mood to make the resolution to do it". Sep 25, 2022 at 16:31
  • What's the meaning of on in this sentence?
    – Sam
    Oct 7, 2022 at 15:16

1 Answer 1


One (rare) sense of "fit" is "a sudden burst of activity". It is related to the medical sense of "uncontrolled movement caused (for example) by epilepsy".

So the sense here is "... while we are engaged in this burst of activity." (and before we get "cold feet", and start to procrastinate)

The mood is rather poetic and elevated.

  • Here "on" mean "engaged in"?
    – Sam
    Oct 7, 2022 at 15:14
  • No. The fit (the burst of activity) is on us. TBH I don't see much point in talking about the meanings of individual prepostions in this context. YOu need to understand it at the level of the phrase.
    – James K
    Oct 7, 2022 at 18:05
  • I have not seen any usage of on as in this types of structure that's why i have doubt..
    – Sam
    Oct 7, 2022 at 19:39
  • Compare "when the spirit is on us"
    – James K
    Oct 7, 2022 at 21:24
  • 1
    @Sam - consider it to be something like to be happening to : the fit is happening to us right now- the effects of the fit are influencing us.
    – Jim
    Oct 8, 2022 at 20:12

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