Posted by James Briggs on May 06, 2003
In Reply to: A few more phrasal verbs posted by ESC on May 06, 2003
: : hello,
: : why should we have phrasal verbs in the first place..it sure isn't making english easy to learn..anyway here I go...thank you.
: : 1)engrossed in
: : 2)poked around in the system
: : 3)fooling around in someone else...
: : 4)pranking about
: : 5)the shoe was on the other foot
: : 6)the story began to trumble out
: : 7)give off heat
: : 8)swept out from under
: : 9)crushed up his prescribed sedative...can't I use the word "crushed" alone without the "up" part here?
: : 10)cover your butt
: : 11)go in and out of fasion
: : 12}gaining ground over
: 1) engrossed in ? Deeply interested in something (like a book). ?He was so engrossed in his book that he didn?t answered when I called him."
: From Merriam-Webster online at http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary --
: Engrossed: to take or engage the whole attention of : occupy completely
: 2) poked around in the system ? Took a look/ examined here and there.
: 3) fooling around in someone else... ? Not sure from the sentence fragment. ?Fooling around? has several meanings depending on the context.
: 4) pranking about ? I?m not familiar with this phrase. A prank is a ?practical joke? like turning someone?s phone ringer up high so it startles him. The phrase could mean ?goofing off,? spending time on nonproductive activities. Prank: a mildly mischievous act; a ludicrous act. Merriam-Webster
: 5) the shoe was on the other foot ?The shoe is on the other foot ? Conditions have been reversed?the situation has changed?? From "The Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985).
: 6) the story began to trumble out ? A person begins to rapidly tell about an experience.
: 7) give off heat ? Not sure. There?s more than one meaning depending on the context. Could be literal ? ?The stove gave off heat.? Or could be figurative.
: 8) swept out from under ? Not sure. Suddenly taken away. The image is an ocean wave sweeping someone off his feet. Or a rug being pulled out from under someone?s feet.
: 9) crushed up his prescribed sedative...can't I use the word "crushed" alone without the "up" part here? Yes, I think so. Crushed the prescribed sedative.
: 10) cover your butt ? Take action, assembling evidence, etc., so you won?t be blamed for something. ?I wrote a letter telling them the machine should be repaired. I wanted to cover my butt in case it broke and someone was hurt.? The phrase it usually ?cover you?re a*s or CYA. ?Butt? is considered less crude than a**.
: 11) go in and out of fashion ? A fashion or fad is popular then everyone tires of it. Later it may revived in popularity.. ?The mini-skirt has gone in and out of fashion several times since its original popularity in the 1960s.?
: 12} gaining ground over ? Steadily catching up with. I guess the origin is a race ? a person/horse behind can gain ground and pass the person out front.
The boot's on the other foot implies that there has been a reversal of circumstances in a situation. In this instance the "boot" is indeed an item of footwear. In the 18th century there was a major change in the method of making footwear; for the first time right and left sides could be made. Before that they were the same for both feet and if a boot was uncomfortable on one foot, it could be tried on the other, often with success. A total change came about when the boot was on the other foot.