MWU'S in LDG Chapter 1

A. Michiels


negative contexts

no earthly X

though the German authorities had no earthly means of knowing this 11

not a shred of

there was not a shred of proof  14

needing supporting descriptive phrase


a classic set-up, straight out of bomb school 30

adj + noun

good nature

the fatal good nature of the Labour Attaché‚ 18

a blind alley

both bomb and suitcase were a blind alley 30


bikini bomb

we are calling this the bikini bomb 31

window table

and insisted on preparing a big window table that could have seated six 34

used as adjective phrase


a night-and-day affair 17



some voting-fodder from the Bundestag 28

the living end

We are the living end. 28

used adverbially

either side of it

and buy a couple of things either side of it to confuse the assistant's memory 31

Derivational morphology issues


by such unpersons as guestworkers 30



Mr. somebody

by my colleague Mr. somebody from the state analytical laboratories 30

postmark X

note of good wishes, postmark Jerusalem 38


for the life of X

but he could not remember for the life of him whether the dress ... 22 (# for his life ?)

of all people

who were the Germans, of all people, they begged him to consider, that they should expose such a man as an adulterer? 26

at dead of night

had persuaded her, at dead of night, to postpone her departure 26

in the small hours

in the small hours while others slept 27

at arm's length

he was running them at arm's length 38


Derivational morphology issues

to unchain

he unchained the door to her 19

Phrasal verbs (e.g. give up, go off)

to bring on

a hangover brought on by marital stress 12

to wear off

when the shock wears off 13

to set off

intransitive : seen her ... set off with cheerful waves to the Labour Attaché‚ 18

transitive : a silk headscarf which set off her gold hair 19

to drop by

said she would drop by another time 19

to come by

she would come by again when Elke was back from holiday 20

to collect up

softly collecting up the dead 24

Prepositional verbs (e.g. come across)

to fall on hard times

the forlorn air of an Alexandrian villa fallen on hard times 12

to remonstrate with

remonstrating with an unrepentant daughter for returning home late the night before 12

to live off

Lived off the land. 37

Phrasal/prepositional verbs (e.g. put up with)

to hang up on

he had hung up on them 13

to go down well with

he went down well with the Israelis 16

to put down to

It was slightly heavier than he had expected, but he put this down to the gramophone records 20

to pass on to

passing on to his team the pressures that were upon himself 25

to flesh out with

the Germans were fleshed out with officials from the Ministry of the Interior 28

to crash in upon/on

once again crashing in upon his companion's thoughts 35

Other vp's

V + adj

to go dead

when the line went dead 13

to escape scot-free

the children had escaped scot-free 13

V + NP

to waste time / to waste one's time

the general injunction upon him never to waste his time 19

to take time / to take the time to

Investigations ... would take time 21

to mark time

Marking time but excited somehow 23

to hold the floor / to take the rostrum

he had expected to be holding the floor himself 28

whenever he took the rostrum 29

to put it

Our dear Führer himself would have put it no better 29

to strike a bargain

as if the bargain had been struck 36

to raise hell

a bunch of Palestinians raised a certain amount of hell in my country 36

V + NP1 + NP2 (=? V N2 to/for NP1)

to kiss somebody goodbye (# kiss sth goodbye)

seen her ... kiss little Gabriel goodbye 18

to cost somebody blood

with a courtesy that Alexis knew cost them blood 23

V + NP + prep

to take a liking to

doves that had taken a liking to the mauve wistaria 12

to scale one's bag down to

the press had been forced to scale their bag down to five dead 14

to give (the) credit to

they gave the credit to Black September 14

to lay claim to

a group which laid convincing claim to the previous explosions also 14

to bear responsibility for

neither was old enough to bear the remotest responsibility for what Germans sadly refer to as their unconquered past 16

to keep watch on

no special security watch had been kept on the target house 17

anybody passing the house or keeping watch 18

to have no patience with

my wife has no patience with fine cooking 20

to ring a bell with

the photographs ... rang no bells with the Labour Attaché‚ 22

to have an eye for

he had an uncommonly good eye for seeing such things far ahead of his colleagues 23

to lay money on

he would have laid good money on the kind of answers that Schulmann might have coaxed from her 27

to crane one's neck at

The German contingent craned their necks at everything 28

to make a fuss of

the Italian padrone made a predictable fuss of Alexis 34

to have a soft spot for

One had a soft spot for a liitle girl in Amman 37

to give rein to

but one (i.e. a job - A.M.) that gave less rein to his capricious individuality 38

V + PP

to go through a trough

the relations between Israel and the Federal Republic were going through a trough 16

to clutch at straws

when he was clutching at straws 19


to sit shiva

and they could sit shiva together in Jerusalem 15

to stand guard

a green police caravan stood guard outside it 17

Adverbial phrases

sooner or later

Sooner or later, they say in the trade, a man will sign his name 11


in the trade

Sooner or later, they say in the trade, a man will sign his name 11


all right

they remembered the tinkling of falling glass all right 14

in defiance of

in stark defiance of the opinions of his niece 15

under orders to

Alexis was under pressing orders to deny the Israelis nothing 17

Adjectival phrases

Derivational morphological issues


he himself was shy and over-large 19

adj + infinitival to-phrase

hard to take

at a time when Israel was being a little hard to take. Politically. 17

adj + pp

kind on

he was being kinder on the clothes and records 21

Sentential phrases

the mantle fits X

His father had been some kind of resister against the Hitler thing, and the mantle, in these altered times, fitted the erratic son uncomfortably 16

it BE common ground that S

it was common ground that no special security watch had been kept on the target house 17

the signs are written all over X

the signs were written all over the file 26

let the grass grow over X

Let the grass grow over it first. 27


let alone

at any German airport, let alone Cologne 22