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H. G. Wells's "The Cone" Options
flylikeeagle
Posted: Monday, December 24, 2018 4:49:37 AM

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Location: Cairo, Al Qahirah, Egypt
In H. G. Wells' short story "The Cone", what does "penthouse brows" mean?

Here's the context: "They saw the face dimly in the half−light, with unexpressive dark patches under the penthouse brows."
Epiphileon
Posted: Monday, December 24, 2018 5:54:14 AM

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Apparently it means jutting out or overhanging.
Oxford Living Dictionary
Fine Dictionary
thar
Posted: Monday, December 24, 2018 6:30:58 AM

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Long before a penthouse meant a luxury top-floor flat, it was a lean-to hanging off another building.

eg
something appended to the main building. - appendix
something hanging - pendant, pendulum

Only in the last century did it become a simple structure built on the flat top of a skyscraper - then the top floor of the building itself. Got a lot more luxurious and expensive in the process!

But the metaphor still kept the old meaning. It has died out now, as you have found out!

Quote:
penthouse (plural penthouses)

(dated or historical) An outhouse or other structure (especially one with a sloping roof) attached to the outside wall of a building, sometimes as protection from the weather.

(tennis) Any of the sloping roofs at the side of a real tennis court.


"Real tennis" is an old English game where you use the walls around the court. Sort of like squash with a droopy net.



This might give you an image of the sort of thing the metaphor means, by projecting brows.


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