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English help?

manfrombelow

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Hi guys,

I'm reading the novella "All You Zombies" by Robert A. Heinlein. But since English is not my mother tongue, I encountered very early on one obstacle as followed:

"The Unmarried Mother was a man twenty–five years old, no taller than I am, childish features and a touchy
temper. I didn’t like his looks—I never had—but he was a lad I was here to recruit, he was my boy. I gave him
my best barkeep’s smile.

Maybe I’m too critical. He wasn’t swish; his nickname came from what he always said when some nosy type
asked him his line: “I’m an unmarried mother.” If he felt less than murderous he would add: “at four cents a
word. I write confession stories.


=> I didn't get the bolded part. What does the word "line" here mean?
 

jimwho

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Improper English. It should have read "when some nosy type asked him about his line". Line being "I'm an unmarried mother". (I think).
 

manfrombelow

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Improper English. It should have read "when some nosy type asked him about his line". Line being "I'm an unmarried mother". (I think).
Thank you, sir. I copied it from my PDF file btw.

So, can I paraphrase it like this? => This guy's nickname (The Unmarried Mother) came from his catchphrase everytime somebody asks him about his line, which is also The Unmarried Mother?

Is it correct? But if it is, it makes little sense to me.
 

christie

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line of work=it's like a type of slang english

barkeep asked him what was his job, his occupation, his 'line' of work

Example: if you worked at the Amazo n warehouse and I asked you "what's your line, manfrombelow?"
you would answer "distribution"

I could be wrong.

But in the example you gave, it seems like the guy is pretending to be a female writer, an unmarried mother, getting 4 cents a word writing confession stories.

He probably resents being asked what he does for a living and so always says something ridiculous to divert the nosy question.

A lot of Irish, Scottish, English manner of speaking is like this.
 
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zekko

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line of work=it's like a type of slang english

barkeep asked him what was his job, his occupation, his 'line' of work
That's how I read it.
 
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