"could you shift?"

Posted by David FG on June 16, 2005

In Reply to: "Could you shift?" posted by Smokey Stover on June 16, 2005

: : Hello,
: : While I was sitting on a bench someone came and said "could you shift?" meaning could you move a bit. I was wondering if it was correct to use the word"shift" in such a situation. Some say that it does not sound natural in American english. Others say it's a college slang. Please comment.
: : Thanks

: In polite American, "Would you mind moving over a bit?" Impolite: "Move your ass!" (Fighting words, sometimes.) Expected reply to "Could you shift": "Could I shift what?" SS

Quite common in UK usage, but would normally only be used to someone one knows as if used to a stranger it would be considered somewhat impolite.