[Scroll up 7% from the bottom] Just before he died, my grandfather wrote a slim little book called “Last Boat to New York,” which laid out, in typically sparse nordic prose, the mechanics of his unlikely escape to the USA. I’ve read and reread the book many times, each time hungry for answers that aren’t on the page. Even if it lingered on the practical details of how much bread they packed or how they managed to reef the sails in a full gale, the book did not address the man inside the boat nor did it really mine the complex relationship that he maintained with his homeland.


Which entry of "mine' fits here?

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    The verb definition, in the realm of senses 1.3 and 1.4. See also “to delve into and make use of” in TFD. Sep 29, 2014 at 16:13

1 Answer 1


This is a figurative use of mine. The primary ordinary sense is “dig deep into the earth in order to extract valuable minerals”; in this figurative use, the earth is replaced by the grandfather's complex relationship with his homeland, and the valuable minerals are replaced by the implied valued insights he might might have obtained by digging more deeply into that relationship.

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