dose of salts

< Previous | Next >

Surinam del Nord

Senior Member
Español - España
Hello:

I would like to understand this sentence:

I took him like a dose of salts.

There are two boys talking about a third man. A says that the man is not good. B asks why. A suggests he has a weird behaviour and gives a deep look as to mean something misterious. Then B says he has had enough of those looks from his boss, he doesn't want any more from his friend A. So, I (B) took him (his friend A) like a dose of salts.

Can you help me? Have I not been clear enough? Thanks in advance.
 
  • Surinam del Nord

    Senior Member
    Español - España
    Oh, I see. There must be a way of saying that in Spanish containing all the meanings you've given me. I'll look for it. Thank you all!
     

    Not Logged In

    Banned
    England
    No MissFit you are thinking of a completely different expression.

    To "go down like a dose of salts" means to go down well or fast. Epsom salts are a laxitive.

    "How did your speech go?"
    "It went down like a dose of salts."
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I think that "like a dose of salts" means very quickly.
    I think it comes for the alacrity with which one has to visit the lavatory having taken a dose of (Epsom) salts[...]
    Yes, that's the only meaning I take from this phrase. It is used when something or other travels very quickly - usually through people :)
    [...]To "go down like a dose of salts" means to go down well or fast. Epsom salts are a laxative.
    "How did your speech go?"
    "It went down like a dose of salts."
    I'm not sure that I would use it in this context, a speech that went down like a dose of salts would pass through the audience too quickly and without lasting impact - rather "in one ear and out the other" if you can cope with the alternative anatomical analogy.
     

    Not Logged In

    Banned
    England
    That would be a literal assumption about the salts not about the going down!

    It's like the expression "went down like a lead balloon". Some use it to mean it was hopeless in the sense that a balloon made of lead is too heavy to fly and is thus not fit for purpose. Others mean that the going down was the purpose not the flying. So that even though a balloon is usually light as it was made of heavier than nomal stuff, it literally went down well.

    Take your pick.
     

    . 1

    Banned
    Australian Australia
    It is possible that there was a slightly agressive flavour to the saying.
    In Australia there is a saying;
    He'll go through you like a dose of salts.
    This refers to arguing or physically fighting and it means the he will beat you so comprehensively that he will virtually walk straight through you.
    Maybe there was a hint of the agressive delivery from the boss.

    .,,
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    That would be a literal assumption about the salts not about the going down!

    It's like the expression "went down like a lead balloon". Some use it to mean it was hopeless in the sense that a balloon made of lead is too heavy to fly and is thus not fit for purpose. Others mean that the going down was the purpose not the flying. So that even though a balloon is usually light as it was made of heavier than nomal stuff, it literally went down well.

    Take your pick.
    I've never heard "went down like a lead balloon", only "went over like a lead balloon" which only has the negative connotation.

    Ah... searching a bit, I find that it's a BE/AE difference - "over" in AE, "down" in BE. Still, all the references I found to "down like a lead balloon" were negative, not positive. Are you sure that it's commonly used in BE with a positive meaning?

    Sorry... a bit off-track. I've always heard "Like a dose of salts" used as .,, described it: "he'll go through you like a dose of salts." I can't see how the original sentence works at all, to be honest: "He took him like a dose of salts." It doesn't compute for me, I'm afraid.
     

    winklepicker

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    I've never heard it used positively
    I have - quite commonly:
    It's a great book: he went through it like a dose of salts
    The traffic was heavy but on his scooter he went through it like a dose of salts

    etc. Maybe it's a south east England thing?
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top