Lines

The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places. The part allotted to me and measured off by a measuring line. (Palms xvi. 6.)

Hard lines.
Harsh restrictions. Here lines means an allotment measured out. To read between the lines. To discern the secret meaning. One method of cryptography is to write in alternate lines; if read line by line, the meaning of the writer is reversed or wholly misunderstood. Thus lines 2, 4, 6 of the following cryptogram would convey the warning to Lord Monteagle of the Gunpowder Plot.

My lord, having just returned from Paris,
(2) stay away from the house to-night and give me the pleasure of your company.
(4) for God and man have concurred to punish those who pay not regard to their health,
and
(6) the wickedness of the time adds greatly to its wear and tear.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

More on Lines from Fact Monster:

  • Line Islands - Line Islands Line Islands or Equatorial Islands,coral group, 43 sq mi (111 sq km), central and S ...
  • Shakespeare Quotes: Histories - The better part of valour is discretion . . .
  • snow line - snow line snow line, altitude above which or latitude beyond which snow does not melt in summer ...
  • assembly line - assembly line assembly line, manufacturing technique in which a product is carried by some form of ...
  • fall line - fall line fall line, boundary between an upland region and a coastal plain across which rivers from ...

Related Content