Posted by Smokey Stover on May 17, 2006
In Reply to: As much as one's life is worth posted by Smokey Stover on May 17, 2006
: : : : I am trying to find a definition of the phrase "as much as one's life is worth." Any clue?
: : : In the UK, there's a phrase - "that's more than my job's worth". That is, "If I let you do that I'll get sacked". It was supposed to be said by petty officials as an excuse for trying to stop you breaking the rules. I never heard it said in real life. In my experience park keepers and the like would just shout "Oi, you hooligans. Clear off or you'll feel the back of my hand".
: : : Such folk came to be known as jobworths. In alternative culture circles that extended to pretty much everyone who had a job.
: : : I've never heard a 'life is worth' version.
: : I have, but I can't remember where or how. I'll think about it. SS
: After thinking about it, numerous possible uses spring to mind. And then I found, by Googling, that many uses have sprung to the minds of others.
: You must not do so, Mrs. Jester; it's as much as your life is worth to attempt it," said she. But I thought only of the money, and notwithstanding warning ...
: www.kancoll.org/books/cody/bbchap20.htm - 19k - Cached - Similar pages
: Early Kings of Norway - Chapter IV.
: "It is as much as your life is worth to speak again of sharing this Danish kingdom," said Hakon very privately to Gold Harald; "but could not you, ...
: www.worldwideschool.org/library/books/hst/european/EarlyKingsofNorway/chap4.html - 18k - Cached - Similar pages
: Waverly - Chapter LXII
: It may be as much as your life is worth.' 'Dear Mr. Waverley,' said Lady Emily,' to whom I owe so much more than acknowledgements can ever pity, ...
: www.worldwideschool.org/library/books/lit/historical/Waverly/chap62.html - 37k - Cached - Similar pages
: Bruce Sterling firstname.lastname@example.org Literary Freeware: Not For ...
: You have to buy her, and if you catch anything from her, it's as much as your life is worth. There's no birth control to speak of, so you may well end up ...
: www2.cddc.vt.edu/www.eff.org/pub/Misc/Publications/Bruce_Sterling/Catscan_columns/catscan.12 - 35k - Cached - Similar pages
: XII. The Adventure of the Copper Beeches Page 6
: For goodness' sake don't you ever on any pretext set your foot over the threshold at night, for it's as much as your life is worth.' ...
: Well, what's good enough for Sherlock Holmes is good enough for me. SS
If something is "as much as one's life is worth," then doing it is taking your life in your hands, that is, risking it. The syntax may be problematical, but the meaning is clear. SS