a slip on the shoulder

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by Ritka, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. Ritka

    Ritka Member

    Cordoba, Argentina
    Spanish Argentina

    Necesitaría ayuda para traducir al español la frase "a slip on the shoulder". Por el contexto, creo que quiere decir algo así como "tener un affair/una aventura/ser amantes (whatever) pero no la encuentro en ninguno de mis diccionarios.
    PLEASE, necesitaría que algún "native speaker of English", o alguien que esté seguro de su significado me confirme que la estoy interpretando bien.
    que algún español me diga cuál es la frase más usada en su país, algo más bien formal y que suene antiguo porque estoy traduciendo una novela AMBIENTADA EN EL s. XIX.
    But, no matter, let me whisper the word in your ear--marquises do not marry governesses.”
    “No, indeed,” Mrs. Pelham said. “If you think to angle for an offer, well...”
    “You’ll get an offer, all right.” Lady Dunlee chuckled. “An offer of carte blanche.
    “A slip on the shoulder,” Lady Oldston said. “Necklaces, bracelets, and rings--but never a wedding ring.”

    ¡Gracias desde ya!!
  2. Doval

    Doval Senior Member

    New York City, USA
    USA English/British Caribbean
    I believe it means to make the woman his mistress. I figured this out using these two links.
  3. Larkspur New Member

    USA (English)

    I am a native English speaker, but the phrase "a slip on the shoulder" is archaic English and now seems to be more associated with British English. I can find no exact defintion, but my understanding is this: if a man offered a woman a "slip on the shoulder," he offered an illicit sexual affair, brief in nature (possibly a "one-night stand," to use modern English). To offer "carte blanche" was to offer her the position of mistress, longer standing and holding "obligations" for the woman's care during the duration of their arrangement. Whether brief or extended, ultimately the phrase is a reference to sexual activity outside of marriage without any commitment.

    I will not provide an example since you offered your own: note that the context is conversation about a possible affair between two people of different classes. A common theme in these novels (yours appears to be Regency?) is love between a woman of a lower class and a nobleman, accompanied with the fear/belief that he cannot offer her marriage but only the chance to be his mistress (by social dictate).

    I hope I have been of help to you. Though I may be too late...
  4. Anabasis New Member

    Surrey, England
    English UK
    I know you asked this question a long time ago, but in case you are still looking for an answer I may be able to help. I am a native English speaker, from England. "A slip on the shoulder" is not a phrase used today, but in the 18th and early 19th century "to give a girl a slip on the shoulder" meant to seduce her, sexually, and it implied that the man involved had behaved dishonourably to the girl probably by ruining her and then deserting her.

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