Shall we go farther up for you

Does “Shall we go farther up for you” here mean “do you want us to accompany you farther up to the crags” or does it mean “do you want us to go farther up to the crags to tell them about you”? and what does “next oldest” mean?

A little farther on, in a dry, rocky ravine, they reached the cave of five Black Dwarfs. They looked suspiciously at Caspian, but in the end the eldest of them said, “If he is against Miraz, we’ll have him for King.” And the next oldest said, “Shall we go farther up for you, up to the crags? There’s an Ogre or two and a Hag that we could introduce you to, up there.”
“Certainly not,” said Caspian.


Next oldest:
In this case it means the second oldest. If you have people aged 50, 40, 30, 20, 10. The 50 year old would be the oldest. The 40 year old would be the next oldest. The 30 year old would be the next oldest after that. So the next oldest is the one just below the person most recently mentioned.

The reverse is also true. The 10 year old is the youngest. The 20 year old is the next youngest. The 30 year old is the next youngest after that.

" “Shall we go farther up for you, up to the crags? There’s an Ogre or two and a Hag that we could introduce you to, up there.”

This is sarcasm. I think it means to go further up as a group. Yea I know, the “correct” word is probably “farther”, but the large majority of people would say “further”. “Farther” sounds stupid to me. It’s also hard to say. I would have to think about it and concentrate to say “Farther”.


I think it’s important to keep the difference between ‘further’ and ‘farther’. Clearly the two words merge in many situations.but then you would not say ‘Let me give you a farther (additional) example ‘ You would have in that case to use ‘further’. In the text there appears to a reference to a greater distance because the expression ‘farther up’ is said. Using ‘further’ would suggest an additional effort to carry on a bit more. By adding ‘up’ for me indicates a higher climb and thus the use of ‘farther’ seems appropriate.


I remember a while ago we had a similar discussion:

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This is a case that the technical definition of a word is not how it’s actually used.

I don’t think I have used the word farther in my life. It’s not something I’ve specifically listened for, but I don’t know if I’ve heard anyone else use it either. I suspect this may be a case of American vs British English. Collins hints at that but doesn’t outright say it.

According to Collins:

Farther, farthest, further, and furthest can all be used to refer to literal distance, but further and furthest are regarded as more correct for figurative senses denoting greater or additional amount, time, etc: further to my letter. Further and furthest are also preferred for figurative distance.”

Also, from what I’ve read, the two words have been used interchangeably for centuries and the distinction between the two is relatively recent.


The words ‘further’ and ‘farther’ may be swapped in certain contexts but not all. For instance,
‘I cannot walk any further/farther.’ is acceptable while, as @Alan has exemplified, it cannot be used in that sense here: ‘Let me give you a farther (additional) example’.
The word ‘farther’ seems to have been derived from the word ‘far’ and ‘further’, perhaps, from ‘fore’.


One of my favorite resources is World Wide Words which has an article on this:

As with @NearlyNapping , I don’t listen for the difference between further and farther. I do sometimes pause when writing to consider whether a distance is involved and so I should use farther.

After reading the World Wide Words article, though, I think I’ll just drop farther and save myself from having to make a decision.