Tit For Tat

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by Saoul, Jul 9, 2006.

  1. Saoul

    Saoul Senior Member

    Milan
    Italian
    A fellow member in a previous post, used the expression: "Tit for tat".

    I checked in the dictionary and it is the English equivalent of the Italian "Pan per focaccia/occhio per occhio".

    I would like to know if it can be used in every sort of conversation (that tit thing, speaking with your boss, may result in being fired?), and if it has the same "revenge" nuance that "occhio per occhio" or "pan per focaccia" have in Italian.

    Thank you in advance for your help.
    Saoul
     
  2. Auno Senior Member

    Australia - English
    Tit for tat = measure for measure, like for like

    No it wouldn't result in your being fired. Unless your boss were female and you were being pointedly ironic.

    No it's not vengeful necessarily.
     
  3. marionuovoaccount Senior Member

    Italian
    Tit for tat e' un po' come....fa tanto se gli altri fanno tanto..
    E se volessi dire occhio per occhio dente per dente?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2011
  4. london calling Senior Member

    SALERNO, ITALY
    UK ENGLISH
    The Biblical expression is "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth".

    To give someone tit for tat means basically the same thing, as the others pointed out. I agree with auno, it's not rude or sexist and it doesn't necessarily imply serious vendetta!

    By the way, we also say: to get one's own back on someone (vendicarsi, ma di nuovo non necessariamente in maniera cruenta!)
     
  5. bis Senior Member

    Italy
    italian
    Hi LC :) I also heard to go tit for tat for example "I go tit for tat with anbody who's talkin this shit:warn: that shit:warn:" does the expression "tit for tat" require the verb to go? and how ca it be translated? my attempt: dò pan per focaccia/faccio occhio per occhio dente per dente con chiunque dice this shit:warn: that shit:warn::confused:
     
  6. london calling Senior Member

    SALERNO, ITALY
    UK ENGLISH
    Ciao Bis!:)

    Molto onestamente, non l'ho mai sentito usare così: credo sia AE. Però credo tu abbia centrato il significato (comunque vorrei sentire qualche americano).;)
     
  7. You little ripper! Senior Member

    Australia
    Australian English
    This might help make it a little clearer.

    tit for tat answering each insult with an equal reply talking this shit that shit saying those bad things
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2011
  8. london calling Senior Member

    SALERNO, ITALY
    UK ENGLISH
    Well found!:)
    Bis was right, then.;)
     
  9. bis Senior Member

    Italy
    italian
    how could I say talk this shit that shit talk on one's back or to speak evil of s.o.? and does tit for tat require the verb to go to say for example yesterday I gave tit for tat to that dude?
     
  10. Seainterpreter Senior Member

    Italy
    Italiano
    Scusate se intervengo adesso, ma tit for tat non corrisponde anche al nostro "do ut des"?
    L'espressione è latina ma il significato non è necessariamente negativo. Non vuol dire occhio per occhio, bensì che io ti faccio un favore in cambio di un altro da parte tua.

    Che ne pensate?
     
  11. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    Italian
    No.
    Tit for tat ha un chiaro senso di vendetta e non ha niente a che vedere con "do ut des".
     
  12. Seainterpreter Senior Member

    Italy
    Italiano
    Lo chiedevo perchè mi sono imbattuta in questo articolo della BBC sull'amicizia:

    Most friendships develop between people who are not family members or sexual partners, so friendship can't be explained on the basis of genetic or reproductive interests. Instead, evolutionary biologists have typically relied on a tit-for-tat process known as reciprocal altruism to explain friendship: you scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours.

    In questo contesto lo interpreterei come un do ut des e non come un occhio per occhio, perchè l'idea che sta alla base dell'articolo è che scegliamo le nostre amicizie non in base alle nostre affinità bensì alla capacità di essere utili gli uni agli altri.
    Grazie
     
  13. King Crimson

    King Crimson Senior Member

    Milano, Italia
    Italiano
    Secondo me hai interpretato bene il senso del brano, l'autore effettivamente intende "do ut des" (oppure, "una mano lava l'altra"). Detto questo, penso che l'autore abbia usato in modo erroneo questa locuzione. Il senso di "tit for tat", come riportano tutti i dizionari che ho consultato e come sembra confermato anche dai madrelingua che hanno partecipato a questa discussione, è quello di "rappresaglia" o "vendetta" (come dice anche Paul).
    Per una conferma definitiva, comunque, aspettiamo anche altri, soprattutto madrelingua...
     
  14. Pat (√2) Senior Member

    Italia
    Italiano
    Come dice tal John Young, "They call it a Tit for Tat process, but it is apparent that it is more complicated than simply Tit for Tat. [...] This provides a scientific foundation for systematic altruistic behavior". Il "tit-for-tat" nella teoria dei giochi.
     
  15. rrose17

    rrose17 Senior Member

    Montreal
    Canada, English
    I found this
    Reciprocal altrusim works in animal communities where the cost to the benefactor in any transaction of food, mating rights, nesting or territory is less than the gains to the beneficiary. The theory also holds that the act of altruism should be reciprocated if the balance of needs reverse. Mechanisms to identify and punish "cheaters" who fail to reciprocate, in effect a form of tit for tat, are important to regulate reciprocal altruism.
    To me, it's saying that there is a "do ut des" accord going on until one fails to reciprocate and then there is the vengeful "tit for tat". Tit for tat remains a you-hurt-me-I'll-hurt-you situation.
     
  16. Seainterpreter Senior Member

    Italy
    Italiano
    Thank you!
    You are always so kind and helpful :)
     

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