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Posted by ESC on May 12, 2000

In Reply to: NYspeak posted by Gary Martin on May 12, 2000

: A new series of NYPD Blue is running in the UK. I quite like the programme - but feel the need for subtitles. Can anyone help me out with a couple of phrases from last night's episode? 'Heads up' & 'you can take that to the bank'. Also, dumpsters seem to be everywhere. What are they? From the context I would guess they are what, in the UK, we call skips, i.e. large metallic rubbish containers that are moved around on lorries (sorry, trucks)..

: Gary

Here's my translation.

Heads up. Think of deer quietly eating in a field. A predator comes and the deer heads go up. They are alert and flee. Or you are going to throw a ball to someone and call to him so he'll look up and catch it. "Heads up" is now a business cliche that means you are alerting someone to trouble coming. Or that some major event is about to occur. It means giving someone a warning or an alert. "John, I wanted to give you a 'heads up' on the Walker project."

Take that to the bank. Originated from a business transaction but now relates to anything that you're sure about. It's a done deal. The money is in hand. You can take it to the bank.

Dumpsters are big trash bins for use by several customers in an area. The trash people come with big trucks that have attachments so the bins can be lifted up and dumped. People sometimes dumpster dive and get stuff out. I've heard homeless people sometimes sleep in them. That can be trouble if they don't wake up when the truck comes.

See also: the meaning and origin of 'Heads up'.

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