1. “Have you swallowed a dictionary??”
I laughed out loud. And then again. I paused the show, and said to Will…”Isn’t that hilarious??”
He didn’t think it was so funny. He knew the truth: Mrs. Patmore was using a phrase commonly used in Victorian England around the turn of the century. “Swallowing a ‘dic'”, or “swallowing a dictionary” was an admonishment one would receive if they used too big of a word.
Guess they weren’t too keen on intellectualism, eh?
2. “If we aren’t employing people, what are we doing for this county?”
Dowager Countess of Grantham made this statement at dinner, from which Will concludes that she has adopted Thomas Malthus’s defense of their class. For those with economic side interests, read his argument here.