Let someone off the hook

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by net, Jan 4, 2007.

  1. net Senior Member

    Italian
    Hi!
    While I was watching episode 3.10 of "Grey's Anatomy", I ran across this phrase: "Let her off the hook, just let Cristina off the freaking hook".
    Context: Cristina did something against the rules and her friends were mad at her and cut her off the group. So the only one (Meredith) who stayed with her, not being able to take this situation anymore, said that phrase to the others.
    I think it's a sort of apology and so Meredith asks the others for apologizing to Cristina for their behaviour.
    Is that right? And how would you translate it in italian?
    Thanks.
     
  2. jennijenni

    jennijenni Senior Member

    Tampa, Florida, USA
    American English (AE) / USA
    To "let someone off the hook" is to no longer hold them accountable for their misdeed/error/sin. It loosely means "to forgive." In this case, Meredith is pleading for the group to forgive Christina. (add an "h" to Christina for the English equivalent)

    I haven't been able to find anything that explains how this idiom came into being. Conceptually, I could see how a guilty person might have literally been put on a hook on a wall or door back in the Middle Ages when found guilty of a crime--left to hang there until the person's punishment was over. As an FYI (for your information), this idiom is used by all ages and ethnic groups in the US.

    The phrase "off the hook" (and "off the chain") also can mean "totally awesome" or "cool" or "better than you could imagine." Example: "That new CD is off the hook." As an FYI, this meaning of "off the hook" is typically only used by young people and/or people in the African American community.
     
  3. Murphy

    Murphy Senior Member

    Sicily, Italy
    English, UK
    It's not an apology, it's more like forgiving someone for something they have done.

    To me is seems to come from fishing, you have a worm or fish on a hook and it is struggling, wriggling, trying to escape. To let it off the hook would be to let the fish or worm go. Used figuratively it means to excuse someone when they have done something bad and you would otherwise be justified in punishing them.
     
  4. Brian P

    Brian P Senior Member

    Ciao Net,

    jennijenni ha ragione. Forse già sai che "freaking" è una forma cortese della famosa parolaccia "fu--ing"
     
  5. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    Italian
    Lasciate in pace Cristina, laciatela respirare! (non assillatela).
     
  6. jennijenni

    jennijenni Senior Member

    Tampa, Florida, USA
    American English (AE) / USA
    One more thing: "freaking" is a less offensive way to use the "f-word" (f**king) in English. Some older or more conservative people in the US find the word "freaking" offensive. It's a mild epithet.

    However, "freak" has many meanings in English.
    A "freak" is an odd person. Weird. Strang.
    "To freak out" is to panic.
    "To get your freak on" or "to get your groove on" is normally a complimentary phrase used from one friend to another. This is very hard to explain. Basically it means to preen or do those things that would make you attractive to the opposite sex.
    "Freaky" means weird or strange.

    A good source for explanations of American English slang is: http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~wrader/slang/a.html
     
  7. jennijenni

    jennijenni Senior Member

    Tampa, Florida, USA
    American English (AE) / USA
    Murphy, you're probably right. I bet it does come from fishing! Ha! My explanation went a bit overboard.
     
  8. net Senior Member

    Italian
    Ok, thank you all for the explaination. ;)
     
  9. Jamila

    Jamila Senior Member

    Italian
    or

    smettetela di starle addosso, lasciatela in pace...
     
  10. Murphy

    Murphy Senior Member

    Sicily, Italy
    English, UK
    I don't know. Yours looks pretty good to me, too;) We posted more or less at the same time.
     
  11. underhouse Senior Member

    Credo che il senso sia "scagionare" anche se nel caso specifico ci sono traduzioni migliori.
     
  12. confusion

    confusion Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    My friend used to have this sentence in his msn nickname "the s*it is off the hook".

    Reading what you wrote, this phrase doesn't make sense, does it? :confused:
     
  13. MissLonelyHearts Senior Member

    Málaga
    English
    To answer your question, in this case 'the s*it' could have been used as a very offensive term to a person they don't like. So they are saying that they let this person off for what they have done wrong.
     
  14. confusion

    confusion Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian

    Thanks!!!! :D
     
  15. vale_ca Senior Member

    Italy, Milan
    Italiano
    Non riesco a trovare una traduzione corretta di questa frase e i suggerimenti precedenti non mi sembrano adatti al mio contesto.

    Sto traducendo una frase relativa alla CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility, Responsabilità sociale d'impresa) che suona:

    International law would not supplant national laws but would buttress national efforts, would act as a benchmark and as a stop-gap where failures at the national level left companies off the hook.

    Le leggi internazionali non rimpiazzerebero le leggi nazionali ma darebbero supporto agli sforzi nazionali, sarebbero il punto di riferimento e la soluzione tampone nel caso in cui le mancanze a livello nazionale lasciassero le aziende ??? ​

    Grazie mille
     
  16. byrne Senior Member

    Rome
    English - UK (Londoner)
     
  17. vale_ca Senior Member

    Italy, Milan
    Italiano
    Thanks.

    Avevo il dubbio che volesse dire invece "libere di fare quello che vogliono"...
     

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