A drunk man beat the bartender for nothing.


Senior Member
Hi, is it idiomatic to say "A drunk man beat the bartender for nothing." to mean: "A drunk man beat the bartender for no reason."? Thank you.
  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes, Caireo, the for nothing part is entirely idiomatic.

    I'm wondering about the drunk man. For some reason we don't say that very often, and I would regard a drunk as being more idiomatic in BE.

    There's a moment in John Ford's film, My Darling Clementine, when Wyatt Earp (Henry Fonda) goes up to the bar and says to the barman: "Mac, have you ever been in love?" and gets the reply, "No, I've been a bartender all my life". In BE it would have to be "I've been a barman all my life", so that part of your sentence is AE rather than BE.

    I mention this because a drunken man may be more idiomatic in AE than it is in BE.
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