For all they're worth

NagiMahori

Senior Member
Italian
#1
I have just discovered that it does mean "A più non posso" or something like "very + adj.";

But I can't figure it out what is doing in this phrase....
"The carnival impresario P.T. Barnum was famous for saying "Never give a sucker an even break," meaning if someone is stupid enough to believe this crap take them for all their worth."
(Break has to be intended like our (grande salto,:warn: botta di culo, occasione - anche se può essere negativo, e quindi una botta e basta!)

Something like "SFRUTTALI per quanto puoi?" "Suck from them all the energy, empty them, take advantage of them, exploit them" ?

(By the way I took it from the wr.Forum itself:))

Thank you
 
  • Murphy

    Senior Member
    English, UK
    #2
    In questo caso penso che il significato è più letterale: Take them for everything they've got/they possess.
     

    giovannino

    Senior Member
    Italian, Neapolitan
    #3
    Shouldn't it be for all they're worth? Dall'Oxford:

    for all somebody/it is worth
    1 with great energy, effort and determination He was rowing for all he was worth.
    2 in order to get as much as you can from somebody/something She is milking her success for all it's worth.
     

    joanvillafane

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    #5
    I thought about this yesterday, too - when it came up in another post. I can see how there could be confusion between:
    all they're worth/all their worth
    and
    all it's worth/all its worth
    But it becomes clear if we substitute his or her - for all he's worth :tick: for all his worth :cross:
    for all she's worth :tick: for all her worth :cross:
     

    NagiMahori

    Senior Member
    Italian
    #6
    I thought about this yesterday, too - when it came up in another post. I can see how there could be confusion between:
    all they're worth/all their worth
    and
    all it's worth/all its worth
    But it becomes clear if we substitute his or her - for all he's worth :tick: for all his worth :cross:
    for all she's worth :tick: for all her worth :cross:

    So the formula is only one: " For all SUBJ.+VERB + worth" isn't it?

    Thank you all
     
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