Posted by Bob on May 04, 2003
In Reply to: These phrases meaning plz. Pavement posted by James Briggs 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'.
To complicate matters further, we (Yanks) only use "tarmac" when we refer to the surface on which airplanes land and taxi, at the airport.