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Would you hold it against me?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by kojemiaka, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. kojemiaka

    kojemiaka Senior Member

    Russia, France
    Russian
    There is a phrase like this:

    If I said I want you body now, would you hold it against me?

    The phrase in bold means "not to give me your body"?
     
  2. Glasguensis

    Glasguensis Signal Modulation

    Versailles
    English - Scotland
    No, it means (roughly) "be offended"
    There is an old joke "If I said you had a beautiful body would you hold it against me?", which depends on the double meaning 1) be offended 2) cuddle me
     
  3. kojemiaka

    kojemiaka Senior Member

    Russia, France
    Russian
    Thank you.

    And this means that we can also replace the phrase in bold with "feel insulted"?
     
  4. Glasguensis

    Glasguensis Signal Modulation

    Versailles
    English - Scotland
    Yes, that's right.
     
  5. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima

    Singapore
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Kojemiaka, did you try checking the WR dictionary? This is what it says (you have to scroll quite far down):

    That doesn't quite mean to feel insulted to me. (I may dislike what you say but that doesn't mean I feel insulted.) But as Glasguensis said, the sentence works because it has two meanings, because hold something against also means 'hold something next to'. If you substitute hold something against with something else, you remove the possibility of the other meaning.
     
  6. Glasguensis

    Glasguensis Signal Modulation

    Versailles
    English - Scotland
    It's true that to "hold something against someone" doesn't exactly mean "to feel insulted" or "to be offended", but since it does mean "to entertain lasting negative feelings towards someone" I would suggest that this is unlikely unless you felt insulted or offended.
     
  7. kojemiaka

    kojemiaka Senior Member

    Russia, France
    Russian
    Thank you both.
    I think roughly each phrase has some tiny meanings, but as for this one, "feel insulted" or "slightly blame someone" suit me pretty much.
     
  8. Biddlesby Senior Member

    English (Brit.)
    Oh wow, I only just realised the double-meaning of this phrase! Now I will feel much more witty whenever I use it.
     
  9. Nucleara

    Nucleara Senior Member

    Ah, I'm confused by this phrase too.

    From my dictionary: Hold something against someone = to allow something that someone has done to make you have a lower opinion of them.

    I don't really understand the meaning ,though: P
     
  10. Biddlesby Senior Member

    English (Brit.)
    That dictionary has given quite a confusing definition! Here is my attempt at a definition:

    to have a grudge against somebody because of some specific thing they have done

    that is,

    to not forgive somebody because of some specific thing they have done

    Perhaps some examples would help

    "He left me at the altar, but he was pressured into the marriage in the first place, so I don't hold it against him."

    "I'm so sorry, I've crashed your car. I hope you don't hold it against me."
     
  11. Nucleara

    Nucleara Senior Member

    Thank you Bid!
     
  12. Cagey post mod

    California
    English - US
    I am familiar a slightly different line:

    If I said you had a beautiful body
    Would you hold it against me?

    It is a country and western song by the Bellamy Brothers.

    Of course, other people could have used the phrase differently. In the context of the Bellamy Brothers' song, it is a pun based on the literal meaning along with the figurative meaning relating to holding a grudge. The idea is that some women might resent such a comment, either because it is too familiar, or because they don't like being judged by their appearance.
     
  13. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima

    Singapore
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    If I may also offer an example in the positive:

    When I was bullied by Andrew, I felt let down when Mark did not stand up for me, and I have always held this against him.

    Because of this, the speaker feels that he can never trust Mark.
     

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