A terrible odor that was impossible to expunge permeated the skunk handler's clothing

Can you help me to understand this sentence? In specific, can you explain how I should interpret "skunk handler's"?

Additionally, how does "permeated" relate to this phrase?

  • 6
    What specifically is confusing you? All three of these words are easy to define... a skunk is an animal, a "handler" in this case is a person who cares for animals, and clothing is... clothing... certainly you can imagine that the wardrobe of a person who takes care of skunks would be very smelly?
    – Catija
    Mar 3, 2016 at 22:37
  • Perhaps it's the noun skunk used as an adjective modifying handler which is in the possessive? Mar 3, 2016 at 23:10
  • @TRomano That was the only thing that I could think of, too. Regardless, it would be good if the OP could clarify.
    – Catija
    Mar 3, 2016 at 23:39
  • @Catija If the answer is obvious, I am sorry for my terrible English. I am confused of two things. the first has been mentioned by Tromano. the second is "permeated the skunk handler's clothing" is it some sort of reversing?
    – Cardinal
    Mar 4, 2016 at 6:44
  • 1
    @Cardinal It's not a matter of being obvious... there's no need to apologize for your English. The point is that you need to be more specific when you ask questions so that we understand what confuses you. You didn't even ask about the "permeated" part itself.
    – Catija
    Mar 4, 2016 at 14:07

1 Answer 1


What I imagine is confusing you is the following:

skunk handler : these two words together make up one person who is in charge of "handling" or "caring" for skunks. Likewise, a "snake handler" would be someone who is responsible for taking care of snakes.

Thus, the clothing belonging to the skunk handler (or skunk handler's clothing) is extremely smelly and impossible to clean.

  • 1
    Your answer could be improved if you explained why it means that. Simply rephrasing the sentence isn't always very helpful to learners trying to understand why something means something else.
    – Catija
    Mar 3, 2016 at 23:37
  • @Catija Hope my edits make more sense!
    – cccg03
    Mar 3, 2016 at 23:42

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