anyone who can write a check

calipigia

New Member
Português (Portugal)
Hi,

I need help on understanding a sequence on a TV Episode (Burn Notice S03E11). The purpose is to translate it, but I'll deal with that once I understand it.

So, two guys are talking about someone (Gilroy, not present) who is known to be a "freelance psychopath" (a dangerous spy) in these terms:

"Fi: I don't know why you're willing to meet this Gilroy. He sounds as bad as the people who burned you.

Michael: He's worse. As far as I know, they weren't selling(1) nuclear secrets to anyone who can write a check(2). If the price is right(3), Fi, Gilroy will put anything on the table."

So my questions are:

(1) May this "weren't selling" have the same value of "wouldn't sell"?
(2) Is this idiomatic? Does this mean "any grown-up", just "anyone" (or something like that), or should I take it literally?
(3) Does this have the same value of "for the right price", or is this idiomatic too? I thought of some relation with the TV show title... Would it mean "If I'm right about it"?

Thanks in advance. ;)
 
  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Someone with a penny in the bank can write a check. They weren't selling nuclear secrets cheaply.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Wait.

    I probably am misunderstanding the posts above, but I want to point out that there is a comparison being made here. The people who burned Micheal would not sell nuclear secrets to anyone who could write a check, that is, to just anyone who had money to pay for the secrets. Presumably, there were some people to whom they wouldn't sell the secrets at any price, on the grounds of some principle or another.

    Gilroy is worse: he will sell to anyone who will give him enough money to make it worth his while.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Wait.

    I probably am misunderstanding the posts above, but I want to point out that there is a comparison being made here. The people who burned Micheal would not sell nuclear secrets to anyone who could write a check, that is, to just anyone who had money to pay for the secrets. Presumably, there were some people to whom they wouldn't sell the secrets at any price, on the grounds of some principle or another.

    Gilroy is worse: he will sell to anyone who will give him enough money to make it worth his while.
    Exactly right. Ignore anything I've said... except this. :)

    Thanks, Cagey.
     
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