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to step and fetch

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by Tritta, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. Tritta Senior Member

    Paris
    French
    Hello,

    I can't find the translation of this expression anywhere. Does it mean "to obey"?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Suehil

    Suehil Medemod

    Tillou, France
    British English
    What is the context, Tritta? We cannot help you without it. All I can tell you is that your phrase is not a set expression.
     
  3. Tritta Senior Member

    Paris
    French
    Hello,

    Yes, sorry... I am translating a film where several men are used for an experiment in a prison. Some play the prisoners and some, the guards. The prisoners have just been punished by the guards, doing push ups. Afterwards, one of the guards says:

    "I felt embarrassed for them. Stepping and fetching like that."

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
     
  4. Bordelais Senior Member

    Bordeaux
    English - British
    It dates back to the days of slavery, when masters ordered their slaves to work harder. It's now a derogatory term for being subservient, especially on racial grounds.

    source
     
  5. Tritta Senior Member

    Paris
    French
    Thank you for this great explanation. Is it then like "to obey the orders"? For example go (step) and bring or do something (fetch)?
     
  6. Bordelais Senior Member

    Bordeaux
    English - British
    Yes, "step and fetch" seems to mean "go and get (it)".

    Try Google with "stepping and fetching" and also "steppin and fetchin" as search terms.

    See also this thread which makes reference to the black actor who took the stage name Stepin Fetchit.
     
  7. Tritta Senior Member

    Paris
    French
    Thank you very much!!
     

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