Posted by ESC on September 04, 2003
In Reply to: What is "to be had"? posted by James Briggs on September 04, 2003
: : : : Hi all,
: : : : I can not figure out the meaning of this expression.
: : : : Can anyone help me?
: : : "I've been had" is colloquial for "I have been deceived" or "I have been cheated."
: : When what is to be had is a thing, not a person, "to be had"means "available." Rings are to be had at a jewelry store. Used clothing is to be had at a flea market.
: Thus, the expression has the two above meanings - one 'to be cheated' and the other 'to be obtained'.
See Meaning 10b (Merriam-Webster online):
10 a : to hold in a position of disadvantage or certain defeat "We have him now." b : to take advantage of : TRICK, FOOL "been had by a partner."