……hold onto the washboards.

vincenthsu

Member
chinese
i watched the movie "when in rome" which is starred by the girl from the tv drama "Veronica Mars" couple of days ago.there is a line from the movie "...hold onto the washboards" which i don't understand.
the whole line is:
"If you can't reach the dashboard,and you wanna hold onto
the washboards, let me know."

the scene with this line is that couple of men are huddling together in a minicar and the driver is driving the car crazily.
By the way,the man who said the line is a narcissism.

please help me with it!! thank you guys
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    You've heard of six-pack abs? Before that term came into vogue there was the term washboard to describe well-developed abdominal muscles. So the speaker is saying the passenger can hold him/her around the waist. At least that's what I'm guessing -- is it a woman driving?
     

    vincenthsu

    Member
    chinese
    thanks man ! Now i know washboard is six-pack abs in this line.
    So he is saying he can hold onto the driver's waist to prevent the driver's pants from dropping or loosening in case the driver is so busy to drive the car and there is no time for the driver to move to hold onto his own pants. right?
     
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    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Nothing about pants... think motorcycle where the passenger puts his or her arms around the rider/driver in order not to fall off. You still haven't said if this is men, women, a combination, gay or straight.
     

    vincenthsu

    Member
    chinese
    these men are all straight
    the man is speaking who is crowding with two other guys on the backseat of this minicar. He looks like so nervous because the car is so fast. a woman is siting next to driver(man).In the begining, i thought the man was speaking to the woman,but he was speaking to the driver.What did the man want to say? I am confused.
    Sorry for being obsessing on this line. I am trying to translate this movie into chinese for my friends.
    thanks in advance!!:)
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    In the begining, i thought the man was speaking to the woman, but he was speaking to the driver.What did the man want to say?
    It would be natural for the driver to say this to the nervous man in the back seat... not for the man in the back seat to say it to the driver.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    What happened next, vincenthsu? Did the people in the car actually hold on to something?


    (I'm just wondering if "washboards" is being used here for a part of the car - it can mean a part of a boat...)
     

    vincenthsu

    Member
    chinese
    It would be natural for the driver to say this to the nervous man in the back seat... not for the man in the back seat to say it to the driver.
    Exactly!
    That's where i am confused. :confused:
    Wish you could see that movie,then you could help me understand this line:D.
    Anyway, thanks for your help!
     

    vincenthsu

    Member
    chinese
    What happened next, vincenthsu? Did the people in the car actually hold on to something?


    (I'm just wondering if "washboards" is being used here for a part of the car - it can mean a part of a boat...)

    maybe you're right!:idea:
    maybe the washboards here is something a part of the car.But in the scene they don't hold onto something in the car.
    Loob,Is there a part in the car can be called washboard?
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Loob,Is there a part in the car can be called washboard?
    No - not as far as I know. But I just wondered whether they were joking that the car was a boat: are they driving (or going to drive) into water?

    If you can tell us more about what's happening in the scene, it would probably help to solve the puzzle:).
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I was just going to say let's go back to Loob's nautical suggestion. Just because there isn't a boat washboard in the car doesn't mean the driver isn't a sailor and isn't just using a familiar term jocularly. (I still occasionally call toilets "heads," so it's not out of the realm of possibility.)

    M-W says: washboard: a broad thin plank along a gunwale or on the sill of a lower deck port to keep out the sea.

    That puts it in the area of a backseat armrest on the door. And since the man in the backseat can't reach the dashboard (naturally, so even that's a little odd for the driver to say), then the armrest (washboard?) would be a natural handhold.

    One other definition comes to mind, also from M-W: washboard: a road or pavement so worn by traffic as to be corrugated transversely. I don't really see the driver suggesting to the man to hold on to that washboard -- unless he's inviting him to step outside?
     
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    vincenthsu

    Member
    chinese
    No - not as far as I know. But I just wondered whether they were joking that the car was a boat: are they driving (or going to drive) into water?

    If you can tell us more about what's happening in the scene, it would probably help to solve the puzzle:).
    No,they aren't driving (or going to drive) into water.
    maybe i can edit this piece of scene for you.That would be clearer for figuring out this little puzzle:)
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Another person who has quoted this line on the Internet starts the quote with "Lady, if you can't ..." as if the line is addressed to the woman in the car.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Is the man speaking in the backseat Dax Shepard? In this link, the reviewer notes that “Shepard's self-obsessed model explores the comic possibilities of his washboard stomach….” This appears to be a running gag.

    So the man in the back could be speaking to Kristen Bell, saying that if she can’t reach the dashboard, she can hang onto his washboard abs. Click on his name above and you'll see he fits the description.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Copyright, I'm sure you've cracked it!

    So you were right all along - apologies for my nautical diversion:D.
     

    vincenthsu

    Member
    chinese
    Is the man speaking in the backseat Dax Shepard? In this link, the reviewer notes that “Shepard's self-obsessed model explores the comic possibilities of his washboard stomach….” This appears to be a running gag.

    So the man in the back could be speaking to Kristen Bell, saying that if she can’t reach the dashboard, she can hang onto his washboard abs. Click on his name above and you'll see he fits the description.
    Yes,you're right!:thumbsup:
    thank you so much!! :D
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Copyright, I'm sure you've cracked it!

    So you were right all along - apologies for my nautical diversion:D.
    No apologies necessary... you never know what might be right in the world of film and the minds of screenwriters. Tummy muscles, boat gunwales and corrugated roads... we've done it all and come out on the other side. One less mystery to wrestle with before we drift off to sleep. :)
     

    ladymarinii3

    Banned
    english - ireland
    i watched the movie "when in rome" which is starred by the girl from the tv drama "Veronica Mars" couple of days ago.there is a line from the movie "...hold onto the washboards" which i don't understand.
    the whole line is:
    "If you can't reach the dashboard,and you wanna hold onto
    the washboards, let me know."

    the scene with this line is that couple of men are huddling together in a minicar and the driver is driving the car crazily.
    By the way,the man who said the line is a narcissism.

    please help me with it!! thank you guys
    Basically it means "if you can't reach/touch the breast - then hold on to the stomach"
     

    pedramcontrol

    New Member
    Persian
    guy with the muscled upper body loved to draw the girls attention to his body and even when they are huddled in mini-car,he is telling the girl that if she can not hold onto the dashboard (to make sure that she will be alright in case of sudden car stoppage),she can instead hold onto his washboard(that as one of the users mentioned this as a six-pack abs,cause the well-muscled stomach looks like a washboard!),and that is why you can see sad reaction from the girl after the guy told this sentence!
    I am a newcomer to this website and i just wanted to share my understanding with you guys.hope you like it.but if there is one another that i can help,just contact me on <Personal information removed by moderator.>
    cheers!
     
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