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Hardnut etc

Posted by TheFallen on February 22, 2003

In Reply to: Hardnut posted by R. Berg on February 22, 2003

: : Pentti Airikkala is a former British, Finnish and Scandinavian Rally Champion, and what he doesn't know about throwing a car through a forest you may as well not bother with.

: : what does the sentence mean?

: : and
: : Spend a weekend learning to skin rabbits, make nettle soup and erect shelters made of bin liners in the capable company of hardnut ex-SAS instructors

: : Hardnut?

: "Hardnut," I should think, means tough, macho, no-nonsense, stoic, energetic.

: Don't know about throwing a car through a forest except that the general impression is that the man is an expert at car racing.

I can confirm that "hardnut" is British slang, and as guessed means incredibly tough or capable of withstanding almost anything. I expect its oringins lie in the fact that a hard nut is near impossible to crack.

Looking at the first sentence, in case you didn't know, rallying is a motor sport that's quite popular here in Europe. It involves professional drivers driving specially tuned cars at breakneck speed over a number of timed stages. Many of these stages are run over unmade roads or tracks, and many of them pass through forests. One of the essentials skills of rally driving seems to be an ability to perform controlled skids round corners at breakneck speed. This is a crucial skill to have, since the organisers invariably provide driving surfaces that are skiddy and slippery, such as mud or loose gravel. There's another related British piece of slang, namely "throwing a car round a corner", which means taking a corner at high speed. So, to paraphrase the first sentence:-

Pentti Airikkala is a former British, Finnish and Scandinavian Rally Champion. He knows nearly everything there is to know about driving a car extremely fast through a forest.