What does "dror out" mean in the following passage? Wells's short story Mr. Brisher's Treasure

But in the afternoon I got easier in my mind—it seemed to me it must 'ave been there so long it was pretty sure to stop a bit longer—and I tried to get up a bit of a discussion to dror out the old man and see what 'e thought of treasure trove.

1 Answer 1


This is phonetic spelling intended to convey the speaker’s accent. It means “draw out,” which means luring the man to join them.

  • Thanks! What do you think on "ar-ever"? I guess I don't have to ask a separate question for that. "Ar-ever—after all that was over, off I set for London..." Oct 6, 2022 at 20:51
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    @SergeyZolotarev - however Oct 6, 2022 at 21:56
  • in particular, this spelling shows an "intrusive r", something now pretty universal in non-rhotic British accents, but which was presumably still viewed as non-standard in Wells' day. An intrusive r in however is not common in any British dialect I know of today although I could see it coming about from a Cockney pronunciation of "how" as /hæə/ with the word treated as a transparent compound of the components "how" and "ever" rather than as a single word (as it is usually pronounced today)
    – Tristan
    Oct 7, 2022 at 9:03
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    I think that to "draw out the old man" is not to lure him to join them, it is to encourage him to speak about what he knows, to reveal his private knowledge. Oct 7, 2022 at 9:15
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    @clockw0rk & Tristan - this is 1890s London. Accents change, and phonetic representations are very clumsy at best. Oct 7, 2022 at 22:51

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