about to get on one


I'm not sure of my translation. Could you help ?

A jockey has just broken his collarbone. A doctor is talking to him.

Doc = I saw a bunch of old breaks on the X-rays.

Jock = About to get on one would have been just the hell I needed !

End of the scene.

Does it mean " Si y en avait au moins une qui pouvait commencer à guérir, ce serait déjà bien ! " ?
  • Novanas

    Senior Member
    English AE/Ireland
    Hello, Alpheratz! I don't think this sentence can mean either of the two things you've suggested, but I really don't know what it means myself. For me it's totally unclear.

    The only guess I can make is that when the jockey says "one" that refers to "old breaks". Perhaps the jockey is saying, "If I had been about to get on an old break. . ." That is, the jockey is making a play on words.

    But then, what is an "old break"? I don't know. We talk about "breaking" a horse, which I believe is "dresser" in French--that is, to tame the horse so that you can ride him. So perhaps the jockey means an old horse that hasn't yet been broken or has only recently been broken. It seems to me that would be hell--i.e., a very bad situation.

    That's the only thing I can think of, but it is a very, very, wild guess, and I'm not sure of it at all.
    OK Let's say there is a play on the word "break" : fêlure / cheval cassé.

    Etre sur le point d'en monter un aurait été tout à fait le genre d'enfer qu'il m'aurait fallu.

    Doesnt mean anything...

    Don't you think "the hell" is an intensifier, here ?

    Etre sur le point d'en monter aurait été tout à fait ce qu'il m'aurait fallu.

    Not more comprehensible.


    Senior Member
    English AE/Ireland
    "Would have been just the hell I needed": this is said sarcastically. I.e., he didn't need/want that sort of hell/problem.


    Senior Member
    English AE/Ireland
    Yes, something like that. But remember, I'm not at all sure of the meaning of this sentence. Maybe someone else will have a better idea.
    I've got the answer !

    If he hadn't fallen down, this jockey would have got on a good horse iin a next race.

    So the translation would be : Juste au moment où j'allais en monter un bon !
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    English - Southern England Home Counties
    I am sorry, like Seneca, I can not see the connections in English. ..... just the hell I needed means just that .. (ironic) I didn't need this pain as well as falling off and losing the race and being out of work for 6 weeks.
    However about to get on one seems to have no references : not the old broken collarbones on the doctor's X-Ray, not a horse, and the break is not for breaking in horses as jockeys don't do that - it would have to refer to broken in not on which should refer to being on the X-rays.
    If this is a "scene" then the transcript must be a "mishearing" e.g. About to get an old one (break) would have been ..... but I can't see any easy possibility of rescripting it to make some sense.
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