break out the bubbly

dhejejjeskms

Senior Member
Korean
Hi, everyone.

I learned that "the bubbly" means "champagne" .
I thought that "break out the bubbly" means to celebrate and was wondering if "break out the bubbly" is an idiom because there is no explanation about that in my dictionary.
Would you explain about that?
(It is from a Toronto Sun article.)

What we encounter on Hale St. isn’t unique. It isn’t an aberration. Maine Democrats have encountered it so often, an entire section of the script we’ve been given deals with Democrats who are ready to vote Republican.

Right about now, Trump fans shouldn’t start breaking out the bubbly. It’s not that Americans have grown to love the guy. Polls clearly show they don’t, and in battleground states he won in 2016, too.

Thank you very much.
 
  • dhejejjeskms

    Senior Member
    Korean
    I was also wondering if "break out" means "open" even though it is used with other things like beer ( ex) Let's break out the beer).
    Would you let me know about that?
     

    jwood

    Member
    English (USA)
    Yes, absolutely.

    Maybe this is just my own interpretation, but I’ve always thought “break out” means “open” but also has a connotation of also first getting the items out of where they are stored. In other words, if a bag of snacks was already out on the table, it might be odd to say “let’s break out the snacks.” But if the snacks were still in the pantry, it would make sense. So to me it means “let’s get (break) the food/drink out (of where it is stored) so we can enjoy it.” Does that make sense?
     

    dhejejjeskms

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Yes, absolutely.

    Maybe this is just my own interpretation, but I’ve always thought “break out” means “open” but also has a connotation of also first getting the items out of where they are stored. In other words, if a bag of snacks was already out on the table, it might be odd to say “let’s break out the snacks.” But if the snacks were still in the pantry, it would make sense. So to me it means “let’s get (break) the food/drink out (of where it is stored) so we can enjoy it.” Does that make sense?
    Thank you for your kind reply, jwood.
    It makes sense. :thumbsup:
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Yes, break out doesn't literally mean open. It means the whole process of retrieving the item (which might include buying) and making it available. Of course, all that would be pointless if it wasn't open and drunk so that idea is implied with it.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    But I'm sure you wouldn't hand someone a bottle and say "Would you break out this bottle, please", right? It's not a direct substitute for the word "open".
     

    SwissPete

    Senior Member
    Français (CH), AE (California)
    The WR dictionary has 4 definitions for break out; the one closest to what's being discussed here is "break out the parachutes".

    break out,
    • [no object]to begin suddenly;
      arise: An epidemic broke out.
    • [no object; (~ + out + in)](of a person's appearance) to have a mark or spots on the skin appear suddenly: Her face broke out in red blotches.
    • [~ + out + object]to take out or prepare for use: to break out the parachutes.
    • [no object]to escape;
      flee: The prisoner broke out at about noon.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Open up, rather than just open. Here is the definition from the OED, which labels it as chiefly American.
    7. transitive. To open up (a receptacle or the like) and remove its contents; to get (articles) out of a place of storage; hence, to prepare (food or drink) for consumption. colloquial (chiefly U.S.).
    ...
    1962 ‘K. Orvis’ Damned & Destroyed vi. 47 I went home and broke out a fresh bottle of Scotch.
    1968 C. Burke Elephant across Border vi. 236 ‘Break out some more coffee.’ Lori made more coffee.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Speaking from an AE perspective, the gist of that idiom to me is bringing things out of storage for a (at least somewhat) special occasion.

    to get (articles) out of a place of storage; hence, to prepare (food or drink) for consumption.

    You take champagne out of storage for special occasions. The preparing is not just the opening of the bottles, it's the locating, the bringing out, the gathering of glasses, maybe arranging furniture, gathering people around and passing glasses around actually opening and pouring the champagne. That phrase indicates all of that (directly or indirectly).

    To open up (a receptacle or the like) and remove its contents;

    To me this refers to the place where the champagne is stored, not the champagne bottles themselves. That's step one of breaking it out. The opening and pouring comes last.

    1968 C. Burke Elephant across Border vi. 236 ‘Break out some more coffee.’ Lori made more coffee.

    That seems quite odd to me. I've never heard anyone break out coffee. Especially "more" coffee. Once it's been broken out, it's out.
     
    Last edited:

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    That seems quite odd to me. I've never heard anyone break out coffee. Especially "more" coffee. Once it's been broken out, it's out.
    I understand "break out the xxx" to mean "get the xxx out of storage to put into use", and it seems that you do too. In that case, what is odd about "break out some more coffee"? We are making many cups of coffee for a lot of people. The jar of coffee we are using is almost empty. "Hey, Fred, break out some more coffee." Fred goes to the storeroom for another jar of coffee. That seems unremarkable to me.
     

    dhejejjeskms

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Speaking from an AE perspective, the gist of that idiom to me is bringing things out of storage for a (at least somewhat) special occasion.

    to get (articles) out of a place of storage; hence, to prepare (food or drink) for consumption.

    You take champagne out of storage for special occasions. The preparing is not just the opening of the bottles, it's the locating, the bringing out, the gathering of glasses, maybe arranging furniture, gathering people around and passing glasses around actually opening and pouring the champagne. That phrase indicates all of that (directly or indirectly).

    To open up (a receptacle or the like) and remove its contents;

    To me this refers to the place where the champagne is stored, not the champagne bottles themselves. That's step one of breaking it out. The opening and pouring comes last.

    1968 C. Burke Elephant across Border vi. 236 ‘Break out some more coffee.’ Lori made more coffee.

    That seems quite odd to me. I've never heard anyone break out coffee. Especially "more" coffee. Once it's been broken out, it's out.
    Thank you so much, kentix.

    I understand "break out the xxx" to mean "get the xxx out of storage to put into use", and it seems that you do too. In that case, what is odd about "break out some more coffee"? We are making many cups of coffee for a lot of people. The jar of coffee we are using is almost empty. "Hey, Fred, break out some more coffee." Fred goes to the storeroom for another jar of coffee. That seems unremarkable to me.
    Thank you so much, Andygc.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I was thinking about this as I fell asleep last night. We're really working with two ideas here. The more literal meaning of "break out the <x>" and the more figurative meaning of, specifically, "break out the bubbly".

    Trump fans shouldn’t start breaking out the bubbly
    This is almost purely that symbolic meaning. As you said in you first post, "I thought that "break out the bubbly" means to celebrate". And that's what it does mean here in this sentence because champagne is associated with celebrating special occasions. "Trump fans shouldn't get the idea that they have something to celebrate." The writer is using it as a figure of speech to mean they might be tempted to celebrate but they shouldn't. He does not care what they actually drink or don't drink. He is simply saying they don't have a good enough reason to celebrate.

    In other scenarios, the more literal meaning applies.
    "The hurricane is coming, we need to break out the storm shutters."
    "We're lost, we need to break out the GPS."
     

    dhejejjeskms

    Senior Member
    Korean
    I was thinking about this as I fell asleep last night. We're really working with two ideas here. The more literal meaning of "break out the <x>" and the more figurative meaning of, specifically, "break out the bubbly".


    This is almost purely that symbolic meaning. As you said in you first post, "I thought that "break out the bubbly" means to celebrate". And that's what it does mean here in this sentence because champagne is associated with celebrating special occasions. "Trump fans shouldn't get the idea that they have something to celebrate." The writer is using it as a figure of speech to mean they might be tempted to celebrate but they shouldn't. He does not care what they actually drink or don't drink. He is simply saying they don't have a good enough reason to celebrate.

    In other scenarios, the more literal meaning applies.
    "The hurricane is coming, we need to break out the storm shutters."
    "We're lost, we need to break out the GPS."
    Thank you again for your kind reply. :thumbsup:
     
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