Hi every one,

I found the following sentence in a book:

The nicely-articulated blonde at the counter, bare-bosomed and tidy, said pleasantly, “Good morning, Mr. Quail.”

I would like to know what do “nicely-articulated” and “bare-bosomed and tidy” mean.

Could you help know the meaning of these words?

Best regards.

My guess is that the book you are reading appears to be of a very specific genre (probably a detective novel set somewhere between the 1920s and 1950s, where the detective or gangster - the main character who is also the narrator is a ‘tough but firm and fair’ type of person). How close is that?

These would not be standard expressions used to describe someone, but would be typical of the things the author of books of this genre would use in the mouths of such characters. I don’t recommend that you use them in today’s society.

nicely articulated = she had a very shapely figure (probably large breasts and narrow waist).
bare-bosomed = depending on the scenario, either she was topless or, more likely in most contexts, she wore a low-cut rather revealing blouse or top.
and tidy - could refer to the fact that he thought the overall effect of her outfit and figure was pleasing or could simply refer to the fact that she was well-presented and neatly dressed.

Dear Beeasneaes:

Thank you very much for your reply.

The book I am reading was written by Philip K. Dick, a science fiction writer, and the story is “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” which inspired the film ‘Total Recall’.

When I read the sentence, I could not figure out the meaning of “nicely-articulated”, and about “bare-bosomed” I first thought it was topless, but I also thought it cannot be possible because the girl was working at a counter, attending people.

Now, with your explanation, it is clear for me that the girl had a very shapely figure, wore a low-cut blouse and she was well-presented.

On the other hand, I had never listened the expression ‘tough but firm and fair’. Does this mean a kind of perceptive?

Best regards.

On the other hand, I had never heard the expression ‘tough but firm and fair’. Does this mean he is perceptive?

No, it means he is confident and determined, is resolute and has strong opinions. This could make him overbearing, but he is not. When he deals with other people he treats them fairly.

OK, thank you for the explanation.

Best regards.