For all they're worth

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by NagiMahori, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. NagiMahori

    NagiMahori Senior Member

    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
  2. Murphy

    Murphy Senior Member

    Sicily, Italy
    English, UK
    In questo caso penso che il significato è più letterale: Take them for everything they've got/they possess.
  3. giovannino

    giovannino Senior Member

    Naples, Italy
    Italian, Neapolitan
    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.
  4. rrose17

    rrose17 Senior Member

    Canada, English
    I think you're right but I can see how it can be easily switched to "their" instead. Their still makes sense but they're makes more sense.
  5. joanvillafane Senior Member

    U.S., New Jersey
    U.S. English
    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
    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:
  6. NagiMahori

    NagiMahori Senior Member


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

    Thank you all

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