'Crake's beige tropicals were splattered with redbrown. In his right hand was an ordinary jackknife, the kind with the two blades... ' (Margaret Atwood 'Oryx and Crake')
What's the 'tropicals' here - some kind of clothes? I've never seen 'tropical' used as a noun.
Thank you, Brennus. Just in case - one more question from 'Oryx and Crake', OK?
'Snowman - goon, buffoon, poltroon - crouches on the rampart, arms over his head...'
Actually I have two question about this extract.
1. For me 'goon, buffoon, poltroon' - sounds like some nursery rhyme, or other quotation. Is it so?
2. About the word 'poltroon' (coward, timid person, wimp ): never seen it before. Maybe it's here just for the some old rhyme's sake?
This isn't a nursery rhyme, quotation, or common phrase as far as I know. I've seen poltroon before, as you say it means coward, chicken (poultry? ^^). It probably does contribute actual information to the sentence.