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He was taken for a ride

Posted by ESC on October 12, 2000

In Reply to: He was taken for a ride posted by Daniel Dainty on October 12, 2000

: I am 9 years old and need to know the meaning and origin of He was taken for a ride. Please help. Thank you.

: Daniel D.

TO TAKE FOR A RIDE - "This may be jocular or serious; one is sometimes taken for a ride when he suffers nothing more severe than being kidded, made the butt of some joke. But in a sinister and the original sense the person taken for the ride rarely returns. The expression was of underworld origin, coined in the United States during the wave of criminality after World War, when rival gangs of law-breakers waged warfare on each other. Anyone incurring the displeasure of a gang chieftain was likely to be invited by a henchman to go for a ride in the car of the latter, ostensibly to talk matters over and clear up the misunderstanding. The victim rarely returned from such a trip; his body might later be found by the police - or might not." From "A Hog on Ice" (1948, Harper & Row) by Charles Earle Funk.