Reading The Small House at Allington by Anthony Trollope I came across the expression as best she might in the following quote:

But she had been a good daughter, assisting her mother, as best she might, in all family troubles, and never repining at the cold, colourless, unlovely life which had been vouchsafed to her.

I think I understand its meaning from this question and from some of the adequate answers.

I'm aware that the author wrote the book almost two centuries ago and as such the expression might be archaic but I don't think it would be appropriate to say it is a sloppy language use.

However, I wonder what would it sound like if used in today's English? Would it sound fine or weird?

  • books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – TimR
    Jul 1, 2015 at 17:20
  • As an aside, I made a quick search (electronically) through the all 34 books that I posses of the author in question and found out that this construct appears 115 times. Jul 1, 2015 at 18:04

1 Answer 1


It would be weird to hear it in modern day English, and it was never a popular phrase, as you can tell by this graph.

  • That's not a useful graph for this discussion, as it does not include the actual phrase in question. Here is a more comprehensive graph, modified from TRomano's comment to the original question: [goo.gl/4LIf0n]
    – Jesse
    Jul 1, 2015 at 20:40

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