all the meat having been chewed well off the bone

traslatornotyet

New Member
Russian
Hello,everyone!
I'm translating the passage from the Guardian:
By this point in the US election, with all the meat having been chewed well off the bone at least seven months ago and most voters having made up their minds about two years ago, the next two and a bit weeks consists, for voters and politicians alike, of about 80% spin and 20% tea-leaf reading. I'm not a great fan of spin, not because I'm whiter than white but because I have low blood pressure and spinning makes me dizzy so let's all have a nice cup of tea and read them leaves. Specifically, the debate leaves.

I'm not sure what is meant by all the meat having been chewed well off the bone.Is it about the election of the party candidate or something else? What does it relate to?

Thanks)
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    To me, "all the meat having been chewed well off the bone" means that there's nothing of substance (the meat) left to discuss or debate – it's all been done already.
     

    Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    It’s a metaphorical way of saying that “everything has been discussed repeatedly/ there is nothing more to be said” – a variation on the idiom “to chew over things” meaning To think about or discuss something for a period of time
     

    traslatornotyet

    New Member
    Russian
    It’s a metaphorical way of saying that “everything has been discussed repeatedly/ there is nothing more to be said” – a variation on the idiom “to chew over things” meaning To think about or discuss something for a period of time
    Thanks. I'm still not sure why it is at least seven months ago, that is to say why it was discussed exactly at that period (the article was published in October).
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Context helps: The Guardian article: US presidential debates 2012: Can the presidential debates turn the US election?

    What the author is saying is that everything that needed to be discussed or debated was done so seven months before these debates. Why seven months? Perhaps there's an actual reason for that figure, or maybe that's just what the writer feels is a reasonably accurate number.
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    I'm still not sure why it is at least seven months ago, that is to say why it was discussed exactly at that period (the article was published in October).
    At least seven months ago isn't a very exact period - it covers everything from seven months ago to billions of years ago.
     

    pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    Context helps: The Guardian article: US presidential debates 2012: Can the presidential debates turn the US election?

    What the author is saying is that everything that needed to be discussed or debated was done so seven months before these debates. Why seven months? Perhaps there's an actual reason for that figure, or maybe that's just what the writer feels is a reasonably accurate number.
    Seven months before October 2012 (when the article was written) would have been March 2012, which was the height of primary season, including Super Tuesday, on which ten states had their primary elections. I suspect it means "all the issues were discussed to death during the primaries."
     
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