be it

cheshire

Senior Member
Japanese
Tintin said:
You do as you like! But on your own head be it if we have trouble from this scorpion, Wolff! I disclaim all responsibility!

What on earth does "be it" here mean? Is it an idiom or a present subjunctive?:confused:
 
  • idialegre

    Senior Member
    USA English
    It is a present subjunctive, and nobody really talks like that anymore. But there is a common phrase, "So be it," which means, "Let it be so" or, more colloquially, "OK, that's how it's going to be."

    "If you insist on going to the reception in that shabby old brown suit, so be it. But don't be surprised when nobody wants to talk to you."
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    It is a present subjunctive, and nobody really talks like that anymore. But there is a common phrase, "So be it," which means, "Let it be so" or, more colloquially, "OK, that's how it's going to be."

    "If you insist on going to the reception in that shabby old brown suit, so be it. But don't be surprised when nobody wants to talk to you."

    The Cambridge International Dictionary of Idioms has an entry for "on someone's (own) head be it" to which it adds the usage label " slightly formal." It defines the expression as "something that you say in order to tell someone what they intend to do is silly and they must accept the blame or responsibility if it goes wrong."
     
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