I pound back the coffee to empty the mug.

< Previous | Next >

Duddits

New Member
Russian
I pound back the coffee to empty the mug. <——-Example sentence added to post by moderator (Florentia52)——->

Hi!
I'm reading the book "Thirteen reason why". And I saw this phrase.
Can you please help me understand the meaning of the phrasal verb "pound back" here?

Thanks :)
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • Duddits

    New Member
    Russian
    The guy is sitting at a table in a cafe and has been drinking coffee for some time.
    At this time, he listens enthusiastically to his player so he drinks coffee slowly.

    I take a slow sip of lukewarm coffee. [...] I sip my coffee, which is getting cold. [...] I pound back the coffee to empty the mug.

    I hope it became a little clearer
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    He means he emptied the mug in a single gulp. It suggests a quick swallow/gulp.

    It's an unusual use of "pound".
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    It's not that the coffee one was difficult to follow, just that the beers example seemed more obvious. As to why, I suppose "a few beers after work" in combination with an active-sounding word like "pound" indicated drinking quickly, as in the expression "a few quick ones". Coffee conveys the idea of sipping and drinking slowly.

    Also, when I read the OP I got a fleeting impression of the speaker tamping (pounding) down the coffee in the coffee machine. That might be because I'm used to a drip brewing coffee-maker where the coffee is tamped down to make it level. I realised he was referring to drinking it only when I read the words "to empty the mug".
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    The expression is totally unknown to me. We would knock it back, not pound it back.

    Edited to add: I note that pound does appear in OED with that meaning, but note the comments:
    colloq. (orig. and chiefly U.S.). To consume (a drink, esp. beer) rapidly or in great quantity. Also with down.
     
    Last edited:

    Duddits

    New Member
    Russian
    Thank you. I assumed this was the meaning of the phrase. But I couldn't find confirmation in the dictionaries.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top