A Spanish writer and translator, David Paradela, needs help in 'translating' these idiomatic bits in the following O'Hara stories. If you can assist in 'translating,' please send your responses to me at Many thanks, Richard.
The Girl from California
“Why don’t you knock a little sense into him?” (The New Yorker, May 27, 1961, p. 37)
Vince and his father are talking about Vince’s brother, Pat. It’s my understanding that the references to the Army getting him have something to do with the Vietnam War, but I don’t exactly know why the father should knock a little sense into him: is it because he wants or because he doesn’t want to serve?
“It sounds like you ought to use it cooking” (The New Yorker, May 27, 1961, p. 41)
Talking about Montana, Karen says that the name Missoula “sounds like you ought to use it cooking”. I understand she says so because she finds the name funny, but I feel like I’m missing some hidden reference: some kind of cooking ingredient, product, label, utensil…?
Call Me, Call Me
“I just remember you rode out the bonnom of the depression in Hollywood” (New York Stories, p. 49)
I guess “bonnom” is here a mispronunciation for “bottom”, isn’t it?
“That sounds so Camp Fire-y” (New York Stories, p. 53)
Here I just have no idea.
Where’s the Game?
“I guess you boys were on that goat yesterday. That Fanciful” (The Selected Short Stories of John O’Hara, p. 94)
What’s with the reference to the goat?
A Phase of Life
“A Buick, and wherever the horses were running at the time go there” (New York Stories, p. 195)
Does Tom mean literally horses or does he mean heroine, junk (p. 190)?
“And she’d always get along” (New York Stories, p. 195)
I don’t get what he’s implying about Honey.
“Well, anyway I don’t have to be jealous of that bum” (New York Stories, p. 197)
Who does Honey mean by “that bum”? Francesca?
Now We Know
“two Kids, 3-A” (New Yorker, June 5, 1943, p. 20)
What is 3-A?
Your Fah Neefah Neeface
“a 150-pund crew type he was” (New York Stories, p. 361)
What does he mean by “crew type”?


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