back in the pit

  • Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    To add to the previous post: it would have one meaning if you are participating in an automobile race, another meaning if you are playing one of several video games, a third meaning if you are a coal miner, and probably more meanings in other contexts. We just don't know. That's why forum rules require context: not to prove that a forum can make rules, but because it's really necessary.


    Senior Member
    I didn't provide any context because I thought the phrase might have a fixed meaning I just don't know about. Now I know that it must be just a phrase the author of the book I'm reading (about smoking cessation) used. The context is basically as follows: the author claims that the second cigarette a person smokes provides relief from the withdrawal symptoms resulting from the first one. After stating that, the author writes You are back in the pit; you are once again a slave. This probably means the person gets addicted to smoking. But I'm still not sure what "the pit" is all about!


    Senior Member
    American English
    In fiction, at least - I don't know if there are any real-life examples - slaves are often kept in pits; see, for example, the orcs at Isengard in Lord of the Rings. It's an extension of his metaphor of the addict as a slave to smoking.


    the key in the phrase is the word "back" so after reading the context I would say is a metaphor meaning after all the efforts you've done you stumbled and you have to start again
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