Near the beginning of "The Sculptor's Funeral," a character says, "Jim's ez full ez a tick, ez ushel.” Indeed, Jim does habitually drink to excess. Does "ushel" mean "himself"? If not, what does it mean?

The heavy man turned on his heel without replying, and walked up the siding. The spare man shuffled back to the uneasy group. "Jim's ez full ez a tick, ez ushel," he commented commiseratingly.

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Somewhat confusingly, the word is meant to be said you-shell not uh-shell. It's Cather's depiction of the character's pronunciation of usual. In standard spelling, the man is saying: "Jim's as full as a tick, as usual."


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