grinding your axes

artep

Member
Sverige
Hi!
I wonder what the following sentence means:
"We're worth every penny FOR GRINDING YOUR AXES, while you sh*t on our head." It's an English working class man from Manchester talking about the "pikeys". I'm a bit lost, normally an axe to grind means that you're angry with someone I suppose?
Thanks a lot in advance!
 
  • Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    An "axe to grind" means to have a grudge or some ongoing dispute or end to pursue. Often meaning a selfish interest in a particular topic. Frankly, I don't think this statement is particularly coherent. To be worth every penny implies that the "pikeys" are paying in some way, but are resentful. I don't understand how that could be. Can you quote more of this speech? Additional background might reveal more clearly what he means.
     

    artep

    Member
    Sverige
    Thank you for your answer. It is from the tv-series "Shameless" where the main character, a drunken man called Frank, talks about the public housing estate where he lives. "We're worth every penny FOR GRINDING YOUR AXES, while you sh*t on our head. But you pay the taxes." I don't know exactly what he implies by grinding your axes? That they (him included) take care of the middle class-people's interests?
    Thanks a lot in advance for any help.
     

    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    I see. He doesn't seem to be talking about "pikeys" then. It seems more the case that he (as a working class man) is being considered the "pikey" (that would be consistent with the word. It originally referred to "travellers" but is used in a wider sense a bit like "chav": lower class people living in state housing, on benefits, and probably engaging in petty crime).

    It would make more sense. The middle classes get their money's worth (the money they pay in taxes that goes to fund welfare and social security) as the "pikeys" give them something to complain about; someone to read about in the Daily Mail; someone to blame for society's woes. This is the axe that the middle classes have to grind. The inference is that they need an axe to grind, and in that case the working classes are providing it, and they (the middle class) are getting good value for their taxes.
     
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >
    Top