Can't get more dependable than a wheel gun.

lapot

Senior Member
Hello, I'm watching a series called Breaking Bad and in one episode I've come across this sentence. It's a conversation between a gun dealer and another man. The gun dealer says:

Can't get more dependable than a wheel gun.

I think it short for: "You can't get more dependable than a wheel gun". But I don't really understand the structure of the sentence. I think it'd be better to say:
You can't get anything more dependable than a wheel gun.

Is it sloppy language or am I totally confused here? :D

Thanks!
 
  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Read it as "There's nothing more dependable than a wheel gun. (jargon for "revolver")

    It's an informal idiom and doesn't necessarily have anything to do with possession. :)
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Hullo Lapot. If I stopped to think about it, I'd assume it was short for A gun can't get more dependable than a wheel gun :)

    or You can't get a more dependable gun than a wheel gun.

    But I wouldn't stop to think about the grammar of it: as Mr G says, it's just a kind of meaningless noise people make when they're trying to sell you some of their crap.

    (I have no idea what a 'wheel gun' is.)
    EDIT: Now I know, thanks to Mr G.
     
    Last edited:

    cyberpedant

    Senior Member
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    I assume "wheel gun" = revolver.
    While adding "anything" is certainly correct, I wouldn't call the cited language "sloppy," simply colloquial.
     

    lapot

    Senior Member
    Thank you for all your contributions! But I'm interested in knowing what is the part omitted in the sentence "can't get more dependable than a wheel gun."
    Ewie's answer sounds perfect to me. But I guess there can be different point of view regarding this matter. So, please, let me know :D
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    There's nothing necessarily omitted.

    Idioms are what they are and any attempt to analyze or "correct" them is likely to lead to frustration.

    As an example, let's take another popular idiom: "No shit?"

    What part of speech is missing?

    Obviously, none. It's an expression and such expressions should be treated in the same manner as newspaper headlines, i.e. terse statements, not subject to ordinary grammar.

    If you feel better by inserting something, do so, but the meaning remains as in post #2.
     

    Antoine Meyer

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    Thank you for all your contributions! But I'm interested in knowing what is the part omitted in the sentence "can't get more dependable than a wheel gun."
    Ewie's answer sounds perfect to me. But I guess there can be different point of view regarding this matter. So, please, let me know :D
    The word "something" (or a similar expression, such as "a gun") is omitted. Certainly "you" is not the omitted expression.
     
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