I’m going to shoot the lock in

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Sjonger, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. Sjonger Senior Member

    Dutch - Netherlands
    Hello everyone,

    I'm trying to find a good translation (in Dutch, but that's not your concern) for the phrase mentioned in the title.

    The context is a modern version of Thyestes (play by Seneca). In this scene Atreus is having an psychotic attack and shouts:

    - I’m going to shoot the fucking lock in. I’m going to talk to the cunt and if he doesn’t seem amenable, you know what we got to do.

    The 'cunt' he's referring to is - I think - either King Pelops (who years earlier declared his bastard child and their half-brother Chrysippus heir to the throne, after which Atreus and Thyestes killed him), or Chrysippus.

    My question is: what does 'shoot somebody in' mean in this context (I know the meaning of 'lock; is in this context).

    Thank you all!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 10, 2014
  2. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    English - South-East England
    Presumably the other person is behind a closed and locked door? He's going to shoot the lock to open the door. 'In' is probably influenced by 'kick the door in', where the action of kicking will physically break the door open and move it into the room. I don't think we normally say 'shoot the lock in' (even those of us who routinely go around doing it). Or, depending on the type of lock, shooting may cause it to collapse into itself. Some such notion, the door or the lock moving in, is what allows the addition of 'in'.
  3. Sjonger Senior Member

    Dutch - Netherlands
    Thank you entangledbank. I suspected a lock in this context was a whore (as in the saying - not mine - 'If one lock is opened by 5 keys its a shitty lock, If one key opens 5 locks its a master key)`but in your explanation it's just a lock and that makes much more sense.
  4. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    English - South-East England
    Well, I can't think of any way it could be read figuratively. If he mean to shoot the fucker's head in, he'd have to say 'head'. (Again here 'in' adds the sense of collapsing inwards.) On the other hand, shooting a bolt can mean sliding it to, and you could add 'in' to mean into the lock, so locking the door. But it seems rather a small, mundane action to add an expletive to, so I think shooting it open is much more likely.

    I don't know the play, only the general story of Thyestes and Atreus, but I'm guessing from the language it's in modern dress so we can read any amount of guns and modern locks in.
  5. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

    I see it as simply driving the lock inwards with a shot of some kind.

    Note, however, that there's no such English word as "sb." You mean "somebody."
  6. SwissPete

    SwissPete Senior Member

    94044 USA
    Français (CH), AE (California)
    I understand "in", but I think "off" would work better.

    I’m going to shoot the fucking lock off

    because presumably the lock will fall off the door.
  7. JamesM

    JamesM Senior Member

    Unless, of course, the lock is built into the door. :) "Shoot the lock in" does sound strange, unless he thinks the lock will actually separate from the door (assuming it's built in) and land inside on the floor. I would use "off", too, even it was built in.

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