dip Toontown off the face of the earth


Judge Doom shows his machine which is supposed to eject the killing mixture:
- Enough to dip Toontown off the face of the earth! Vehicle of my own design... Five thousand gallons of heated Dip... pumped at enormous velocity through a pressurized water cannon. Toontown will be erased in a matter of minutes.
'Who Framed Roger Rabbit, movie

Is it just a pun, or it's really possible to say "dip something off something"? Usually something is dipped into something.
  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "Dip" has a particular meaning in the movie (a special solvent invented to destroy toons). You paint things with paint. In the context of this movie only, you can dip things with dip.


    Senior Member
    No, you can dip a negative in fixer, you can dip a tortilla chip in salsa, you can dip your toes in the water. The verb is very common. In this particular movie, however, dip (the noun) is a solvent that kills "toons", the animated characters like Roger Rabbit. When he says "dip" them he is referring to dipping them in the solvent, which is called "dip" in the movie. I wouldn't call it a neologism.


    Senior Member
    Oh! No. "Off the face of the earth" is a common collocation. "We're going to wipe them off the face of the earth", for example, or "We're going to bomb them off the face of the earth". He's not saying "dip off". He's saying "dip them" (as a way to kill them) followed by "off the face of the earth".


    Senior Member
    English - England
    "To wipe something off the face of the earth" is a common phrase = to annihilate something utterly

    The speaker has simply substituted "dip" for "wipe."

    It is not uncommon to use a noun as a quasi-verb in a sentence for dramatic effect[1].

    If, for example, the means of destruction had been cyanide, then "Enough to cyanide Toontown off the face of the earth!" would be fine.

    [1]I am not saying that "dip" is a noun here. It may be or may not be but as, in the example, dip is both a noun and a verb, the sentence is quite clever and has an interesting construction.