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Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Tuesday, August 01, 2017 8:45:39 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/4/2016
Posts: 217
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Location: Moscow, Moscow, Russia
Good afternoon!

This is from "Ten Little Indians" by Agatha Christie:

Lombard: Quite right. If I were to commit one or more murders it would be solely for what
I could get out of them. This mass clearance isn't my line of country.


I guess this "line of coutry" is for line of behavior, but I can't find the actual idiom in any dictionary, TFD included. Is this a set expression?

Many thanks!
NancyUK
Posted: Tuesday, August 01, 2017 9:39:09 AM

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Joined: 6/15/2011
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Hi KV

TFD doesn't always have all the well-known idioms.

Oxford Dictionary idiom

Edit: Sorry, didn't actually explain the meaning! It is one's area of expertise or knowledge.

I wonder if it might be a fox-hunting term - when you are galloping across the countryside chasing a fox, if you don't know the area you wouldn't know what line to take across the country. Just a guess on my part.

I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance, Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance. Ogden Nash
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Tuesday, August 01, 2017 9:44:26 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/4/2016
Posts: 217
Neurons: 1,138
Location: Moscow, Moscow, Russia
Hmm, Thanks a lot!

So the meaning is somewhat different from what I thought... What he said was then more like mass cleansing was not his area of expertise. Thanks!

Edit: (origin) Or maybe landscape? This is not the type of landscape I am familiar with and accustomed to. (?) If "line of country" could refer to that. (I have no idea if it makes sense)
NancyUK
Posted: Tuesday, August 01, 2017 9:47:32 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/15/2011
Posts: 691
Neurons: 42,896
If I remember correctly, in 10 Little Indians the guests at the hotel or country house are killed off one by one? So I presume that is the mass clearance mentioned, and it must be towards the end when quite a few people have been bumped off already!

I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance, Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance. Ogden Nash
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Tuesday, August 01, 2017 9:50:25 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/4/2016
Posts: 217
Neurons: 1,138
Location: Moscow, Moscow, Russia
NancyUK wrote:
If I remember correctly, in 10 Little Indians the guests at the hotel or country house are killed off one by one? So I presume that is the mass clearance mentioned, and it must be towards the end when quite a few people have been bumped off already!


Quite right. There's still seven left but they've already started to suspect each other, as there's nobody else on the island it seems.
NancyUK
Posted: Tuesday, August 01, 2017 10:03:37 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/15/2011
Posts: 691
Neurons: 42,896
OK, so what this character is saying is that he might kill one or more people if it benefited him in some way, but there is no obvious link between all of the people invited, who are being murdered.

I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance, Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance. Ogden Nash
NKM
Posted: Tuesday, August 01, 2017 12:13:08 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/14/2015
Posts: 3,763
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Location: Corinth, New York, United States
I've never heard "isn't my line of country", but it took me no more than a few milliseconds to decipher its meaning. (Context is everything!)

Perhaps it's a British idiom that's never found its way across the Atlantic, or maybe I'm just out of touch.

I'd expect an American to say "not something I'd do", or (nowadays) "not my thing".

Romany
Posted: Tuesday, August 01, 2017 12:41:43 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 12,364
Neurons: 37,621
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

NK - don't forget this is an old book!

You don't really come across it any more - as you say, we have different ways of saying it now.
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