In Molly's Game (2017), former skier Molly meets her psychiatrist father after a long time at ice rink:

Molly: I wasn't asking for money when I called you, Dad. I just needed my dad. God forbid you part with a nickel.

Father: Yeah, Tiny Tim, you grew up on a lake and you've skied all over the world. Were those workhouses tough?

What does "workhouses" mean? I am thinking her father is making a sarcastic remark by suggesting that the experiences of her daughter, who grew up skiing, were similar to those of people who lived in workhouses.

  • 1
    As part of the sarcastic response to his spoiled child, it means "shelters for the homeless".
    – Graffito
    Jul 9, 2023 at 13:48
  • 1
    I know nothing of the story, but Tiny Tim is a well-known Dickens character, the disabled youngest child of a poor family, so presumably the reference is indeed to Victorian workhouses. Jul 9, 2023 at 13:59

1 Answer 1


This is sarcasm.

Tiny Tim is character from Dicken's A Christmas Carol, he is the disabled and underweight son of Scrooge's underpaid clerk.

Workhouses were a feature of Victorian Britain. A person who could not find normal paid work would be housed in a "workhouse" and required to work for food and a bed.

Molly is complaining that her father never gave her money. The father is using sarcasm to suggest that the daughter had a privileged upbringing - she had money and opportunities. She never lived in a workhouse.

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