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"Dying on the vine"

Posted by ESC on November 25, 2005

In Reply to: "Dying on the vine" posted by Bruce Kahl on November 25, 2005

: : "Dying on the vine" I heard it used by a traffic court judge in reference to a misdemeanor case. I want to know what it means. I've heard it used in other situations not related to legal situations. Does anyone know what it means, or if there is a special legal meaning?

: A vine is the part of a plant, usually a vegetable or fruit plant, that supports the fruit as it is growing.

: When the fruit is ripe and ready to be eaten someone takes the fruit off the vine.

: If the fruit is left too long on the vine after it ripens,it starts to spoil and rot and wither away.

: So if something is "dying on the vine" then it is starting to wither away and disappear.

: I don't think the phrase has any particular legal meaning.

: Maybe the judge was referring to a case which has been scheduled,rescheduled and postponed so many times that the case is now dying on the vine or about to be abandoned by the prosecution.

Good ol' Merriam-Webster says:
die on the vine : to fail especially at an early stage through lack of support or enthusiasm. Let the proposal die on the vine.