Chloe breathed against my neck. Climb on top. Pony up, did I know. Screwing passed the time.

Source: Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

I cannot get meaning of this part, "did I know". It looks like a question by the form of the sentence but it's not.


This combines two unusual archaic English grammatical features.

The first is the use of auxiliary do outside of questions and negation. This is usually used for emphasis:

I did go there.

However, in Middle English auxiliary do served as an aspect marker (Wikipedia). Sometimes you'll see people still use it today in archaic contexts or in order to make things sound unusual:

I did rescue the fair maiden.

The other thing Palahniuk is doing is using V2 word order, which is the canonical order in German and many other Germanic languages. In V2 word order, the conjugated part of the sentence moves to the second position in the sentence. In English we used to do it long ago, but now it's limited to very few contexts:

Never had I been there.

In order to make his sentence even weirder, Palahniuk has used V2 word order, putting did after the verb pony up. Note that since pony up works together as a single unit, that did is technically right after it.

In simple terms, this sentence equates to:

Pony up, I know.


I know to pony up.

Pony up means to pay money, so he knows he needs to pay Chloe for her prostitution.

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