a drag away

Sylph

Senior Member
Chinese, China
Hi, all:
What does "a drag away" mean in the following sentence:

Situated on the banks of the Bitou River, this friendly establishment is close to the beaches of Plett, a golf course, and the restaurants and shops are just a drag away.

Does "drag" mean "street" here? Or "a drag away" just means "the restaurants and shops are very close to the establishment"?

Thanks in advance!
 
  • Milander

    Member
    Hungary, English
    Hi,

    Drag may be referring to - drag strip - a short, straight course for racing cars, usually a quarter mile long (?). It is possible the writer is making a colloquial reference comparing the short distance of that race to the distance between establishment and the other amenities.

    I cannot think of any kind of street refered to as a 'drag'

    Hope this helps
     

    amnariel

    Member
    Bosnia and Herzegovina - Croatian
    Hi, all:
    What does "a drag away" mean in the following sentence:

    Situated on the banks of the Bitou River, this friendly establishment is close to the beaches of Plett, a golf course, and the restaurants and shops are just a drag away.

    Does "drag" mean "street" here? Or "a drag away" just means "the restaurants and shops are very close to the establishment":tick:?

    Thanks in advance!
    At least that's how I always use "a drag away", but maybe I'm absolutely, completely wrong :D
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    I've never come across this use of drag in American English. I can't find it in
    AE or BE dictionaries, or even the Urban Dictionary. Is this BE slang?
     

    Sylph

    Senior Member
    Chinese, China
    This is an article from a South African website.
    As for the meanings of drag, I looked up two dictionaries and found that in American slang, it can mean "street" or "road". In spite of this, I thought "a drag away" might mean "be close to some place". That's why I asked you for a definite answer.
    Thank you all for your help.
     

    Milander

    Member
    Hungary, English
    I'm a British native and have never heard it used to define distance! I automatically thought it would be and Americanism. Gosh!

    On the other hand it's quite possible Amnariel that your ex-boss picked it up from American English as British English is absorbing a LOT of americanisms these days (and past days too).

    Another possibility is that IF the quote is taken from a local newspaper or pamphlet it may simply reflect a regional usage. If that is the case it may not yet have been recorded and included in either dictionaries or any of the many slang/urban dictionaires on the net. Just a thought...
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    A Google search produced a single, solitary use of a similar phrase, "half a drag away".
    The AE usage is different, mostly limited to "the main drag" as slag for the
    most important street in a locale.

    With oddities such as this, BE speakers naturally assume it's AE, while the AE speakers
    attribute it to BE, because it isn't known locally for either. Maybe it's South African.

    Sylph- Can you give us a link to that South African website? I can't find this text with search engines, other than
    this thread itself. Thanks.
     

    tinlizzy

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Drag is pretty common here where I live. I don't know if it's common to other Midwest cities. I'm really surprised it's not a well-known AE word and have no idea where it came from, why, or how far reaching it is.

    To say the "main drag" would mean the biggest, busiest street that other streets branch off from (which might only mean a two block street with the Post Office, a few businesses and a bar in a town pop.500) but it's still the main drag.

    In my city "the" drag is a curvy road with a large city park on one side and the river on the other side. Anyone 16 to ~25 hangs out there on a weekend or at the least cruises the drag to see and be seen. If other streets
    become popular hang-outs to a subset of people then it would be the drag by....wherever it's by....

    The main drag here is a four lane avenue that bi-sects the city and is intersected by the river, dividing the city into four quadrants.

    Weird, I can't believe I'm writing this and don't get lost here because I guarantee someone will direct you using the main drag as a point of reference! Okay, take a left and go 2 blocks to the main drag, then take another left......:)
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    tinlizzy, I think the particular usage being discussed is "a drag away." I'm very familiar with "the main drag", or even saying "it's just across the drag", meaning on the other side of the main boulevard or "cruising the drag" to mean driving up and down the main street or boulevard at night. I imagine cuchu is, too.

    However, I have never heard "just a drag away" as a measurement of distance. Have you?
     

    tinlizzy

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    No, never a drag away. If I did hear it.....not sure what I would think.....that every street is very busy (bustling) in that area?
     

    bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    Searching Google for "a drag away" (minus any pages that mention "click," as in "click and drag") leads me to believe that this phrase is not in the least bit idiomatic, either in AE or BE.
     

    tinlizzy

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Bitou River and the beaches of Plett are along the "Garden Route" in S.Africa and after a lot of scrounging around on the internet I learned that the "Pink Route" is a route of gay owned/friendly establishments along the Garden Route for gay/lesbian travelers.

    Do you think it might be 'code' for, the places around the establishment (inn?) are gay friendly?
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Hi Lizzy,

    I don't know enough to guess about whether there might be a gay reference. I do know that we have been told that the full quotation comes from a South African web site, yet no amount of searching can find the same text, in full, on the web. There may
    be a transcription issue here.

    Anyone remember Steve Allen's "Solar side of the drag"? Naw...you're all to young.
    It was a beatnik/hipster parody of the song Sunny side of the street. c. 1960
     

    tinlizzy

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Hi cuchu

    When I did a search for drag away here up popped the Pink Route. I scoured that site but must have overlooked the search words because I couldn't find them.

    Situated on the banks of the Bitou River, this friendly establishment could also be code.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Good sleuthing. Might all be correct.

    If we Google the beginning of the sentence, there are a few sites with similar text,
    but no mentions of drag. They identify a hotel on the Garden Route.
    Moon River (Western Cape, Garden Route, Plettenberg Bay)

    Moonriver is your peaceful, secret escape from the rush of the world, and the perfect place from which to explore the abundance of the Garden Route.


    Moon Palace, the hotel with some text overlapping with our topic, is not listed among the Pink Route accomodations for the Garden Route area.
     

    Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Well, I don't have the answer. But, I did race over to The Word Detective. By golly there was "Drag" in his archives but the etiology was devoted to the fellow who wears girlie clothing. It only seems to me that the author of Sylph's sentence went and coined an expression, "a drag away." In the context of the sentence I would favor that it means near or close by.
     

    bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    Well, I don't have the answer. But, I did race over to The Word Detective. By golly there was "Drag" in his archives but the etiology was devoted to the fellow who wears girlie clothing. It only seems to me that the author of Sylph's sentence went and coined an expression, "a drag away." In the context of the sentence I would favor that it means near or close by.

    Well, yes, the use of "just a drag away" does seem to support that meaning, as does the tenor of the text.
     
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