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  1.    #1  
    I have been listening to the Sherlock Holmes stories in audiobook form, and I have heard a phrase used that I can't seem to find a definition for. It's in reference to giving a date or time, and is followed by "in the fourth instant". What does that mean?

    And another one is "Lady Day".

    I figured out that a fortnight is two weeks, but any help with those other two would be most appreciated.

    Thank you!
  2. groovy's Avatar
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    #2  
    Lady Day is the Feast of the Annunciation but it was also the traditional end of the year so, depending on the context, it could mean the rent is due or the lease is up, etc. No clue what the "fourth instant" means outside of following the third instant.
  3.    #3  
    Yes, exactly! Lady Day was used in the context of a rent or bill being due.

    But what is "the third instant"? In American English it makes no sense.
  4. #4  
    Maybe try browsing some British websites to get an idea. They end in dot UK

    (No, I'm not a Brit, and i don't play one on TV)
    Last edited by residentcomedian; 10/11/2011 at 06:55 AM.
  5. Xeron's Avatar
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    #5  
    Well, I'm a brit, but I need more context. "The fourth instant" doesn't mean anything on its own.

    Edit: and I had no idea what Lady Day was ;-)
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  6. Xeron's Avatar
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    #6  
    Could it be "the fourth instance"?

    As in, describing four instances in which something could happen. "In the first instance, this could happen... etc."
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  7.    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by Xeron View Post
    Could it be "the fourth instance"?

    As in, describing four instances in which something could happen. "In the first instance, this could happen... etc."
    No no, it is clearly "instant". That's what's so confusing.

    I googled it, but all I found were some 19th century legal document texts, but no clue as to its meaning.

    I find stuff like this to be very interesting. I'll try to find the text of the story and post it.
    Last edited by katefields; 10/11/2011 at 09:46 AM.
  8.    #8  
    Here is a sample from "A Study in Scarlet":

    "The two bade adieu to their landlady upon Tuesday, the 4th inst., and departed to Euston Station with the avowed intention of catching the Liverpool express."
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by katefields View Post
    Here is a sample from "A Study in Scarlet":

    "The two bade adieu to their landlady upon Tuesday, the 4th inst., and departed to Euston Station with the avowed intention of catching the Liverpool express."
    Oh, that's easy:

    It means that the couple said goodbye to their landlady after receiving their fourth Pre that Tuesday and put it up for sale in the PreCentral Marketplace so they can proceed to get onboard with Android.
  10. #10  
    I think it would mean the 4th of the current month (at the time of the story). I have seen that terminology in 19th century documents when I've been doing genealogy research.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by bevcraw View Post
    I think it would mean the 4th of the current month (at the time of the story). I have seen that terminology in 19th century documents when I've been doing genealogy research.
    That is correct

    Quote Originally Posted by http://www.thefreedictionary.com/instant

    inĚstant (nstnt)
    n.
    1. An almost imperceptible space of time. See Synonyms at moment.
    2. A particular or precise time: at the instant of combustion.
    3. Abbr. inst. The current month: your letter of the 15th instant.
    4. A food or beverage designed for quick preparation.
  12.    #12  
    Thanks! That solves that mystery.
  13. #13  
    4th Tuesday of the month?
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by GuyFromNam View Post
    They end in dotcodotuk, you new world barbarian.
    Technically he was right, you're just more right.

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