Posted by James Briggs on May 03, 2003
In Reply to: These phrases meaning plz posted by Bob on May 03, 2003
: : : hello,
: : : I would like to know the meaning for these phrases if possible. Thank you.
: : : 1)take on the whole world at once
: : : 2)scale down to size
: : : 3)look down on yes people
: : : 4)stick to your guns
: : : 5)run off the road
: : : 6)put into perspective
: : : 7)works his tail off
: : : 8)darted off to
: : : 9)hard to pin down
: : : 10)come to terms with
: : I'll answer a few of these--the ones for which I can easily think up a clear explanation.
: : 1. In the context of taking on the world, "take on" means to engage in combat with, as a champion boxer takes on a challenger in a boxing match. "At once" means simultaneously rather than serially. So "take on the whole world at once" means to fight with everybody at the same time.
: : 3. "Look down on yes people" = have a poor opinion of people who agree unthinkingly with whatever the boss says.
: : 4. "Stick to your guns" = steadfastly maintain your beliefs, your demands, and so forth despite challenges to them from someone else.
: : 6. "Put into perspective" = think clearly about something so that you assign it the importance it deserves and no more.
: : 7. "Tail" is slang for buttocks. To work one's tail off simply means to work very hard.
: : 8. "He darted off to Paris," for instance, means that he left where he was and traveled quickly to Paris.
: : 9. "Hard to pin down" = hard to identify; vague.
: : 10. "Come to terms with" = accept; come to understand.
: 2. Scale down to size means to reduce something proportionally to fit a (more convenient/more workable) size. If you have a document for example,, too large to copy on a standard piece of paper, you can scale it ( at, for example, 75%) to make it fit your page.
: 5.Run off the road means to drive off the pavement (if you do it yourself) or it can mean to dirve in a manner that forces someone else to leave the pavement.
Just to point out that 'pavement' has a very different meaning in the UK. Here it is the place where pedestrians walk - the US 'sidewalk - and not the surface of the road, which is usually described as 'the road', or 'the tarmac'.