The following sentence is taken from Wifey Redux by Kevin Barry:

"He was seventeen, six two, with blonde, floppy hair, and about eight million quids’ worth of dental work."

How to understand the expression "eight million quids' worth of dental work?" Is the author suggesting that "he" has a mouthful of bad teeth that may take eight million pounds to correct, or "he" has perfect teeth that seems to have been corrected by eight million worth of dental work?

  • I think by now enough of your posts have been edited that you should know how to format quoted text: literature.stackexchange.com/editing-help#simple-blockquotes
    – muru
    Commented Dec 15, 2019 at 3:18
  • THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE LINK! I am not a native English speaker and I found some troubles in editting texts but I am learning. Commented Dec 15, 2019 at 3:44
  • 3
    As a non-native speaker I would take that to mean that his teeth looked like a fortune had been spent on them, i.e. they looked absolutely perfect.
    – Jos
    Commented Dec 15, 2019 at 22:46
  • And 'quid' is slang for a UK pound, by the way. Commented Feb 12, 2020 at 0:33
  • @OldBrixtonian True, but in this context (a story set in the Republic of Ireland), "quid" would mean either the former Irish pound or in latter days the euro.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Feb 15, 2020 at 12:37

1 Answer 1


It's hyperbole, suggesting that a huge sum of money had been spent on cosmetic dentistry. You can also tell from the reference to his height and the floppy blonde hair that Barry is creating a character from a relatively wealthy background.

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