Get out - expression of disbelief

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Cracker Jack, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. Cracker Jack Senior Member

    Could anyone please confirm my suspicion? Is the phrase ''Get out'' used to express disbelief. Could it also mean ''Are you pulling my leg?''

    I often hear dialogues like these:

    ''You see that boat? I bought it.''
    ''Get out.''

    Or should it be get out of here?

    ''Remember when I took the SAT? I partied the night before. But I passed it.''
    ''Get out.''

    Is this as good as ''Oh come on.''

    Thanks in advance.
  2. bibliolept

    bibliolept Senior Member

    Northern California
    AE, Español
    It just expresses surprise or disbelief. The tone of voice or context could mean that you are asking "are you sure" or "you're kidding." (Of course, even "you're kidding" can be used to express only disbelief rather than to express doubt as to the veracity of the statement.")
  3. Pet Korun

    Pet Korun Junior Member

    English - Ireland
    I think it works for pretend disbelief , but not genuine disbelief.

    ''Remember when I took the SAT? I partied the night before. But I passed it.''
    ''Get out.''

    So what you're saying there is: "Wow! I can hardly believe it!"
    However you actually do believe them, it just seems amazing and unlikely.

    Whereas "Are you pulling my leg" can express pretend or genuine disbelief.


    It was me that stole your girlfriend all those years ago. *
    Are you pulling my leg?

    You wouldn't say "get out" here.. because if you believed them you'd be so angry you'd have some stronger words!

    Other than that you're spot on with your understanding of the phrase.


    It was me that stole your girlfriend...
    It was I who stole your girlfriend...

    Are they both technically correct?
  4. kitenok Senior Member

    Hi Cracker Jack,
    "Get out" sounds just fine to my American ear.
    You will often hear it expanded into
    Get out of here!
    Get out of town!
    I had one friend who was fond of saying, in a very excited tone:
    Get out of town and take a bus!

    "Are you pulling my leg?" is close, and it need not be a question ("You're pulling my leg!" is okay).
    "Oh come on," to my ear, expresses somewhat stronger disbelief in a situation like this (in Pet's terms, which I've just read: genuine disbelief as opposed to pretend disbelief).
  5. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    I think 'Get away' is more common where I come from (Manchester), and stands for genuine but amused disbelief, as suggested by Bibliolept.

    P.S. I've heard 'Oh come on' too, but that usually carries a note of irritation, as though you think the other person is trying to fool you.
  6. Pet Korun

    Pet Korun Junior Member

    English - Ireland
    Hee hee yeah we'd say "Get away" here too.. but more likely "Ah would you go on out of that" for genuine disbelief (you're lying!) or "Go way!?" for pretend disbelief (Really!?).
  7. Cagey post mod

    English - US
    I hear it as a good natured expression of disbelief, whether pretended or real, and as an invitation to the other person to enlarge on the assertion.

    "I just bought a yacht."
    "Get out!"
    "No, really. I won the lottery, and the first thing I did was buy a yacht."
  8. Cracker Jack Senior Member

    Thanks a lot for all your explanations. They are all very useful.

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