Make it in one piece

minhduc

Senior Member
vietnamese
Hi there, how can I understand this phrase?

The context is when the mother said goodbye to her son, she said: "Call me when you get in, all right? Just so I know you made it in one piece."

Does it mean she wanted to know that if her son arrive home safe and sound or not?

Thanks,
 
  • VicNicSor

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Do I correctly understand that literally this expression means that the person on their arrival has not been broken/torn apart, all parts of his/her body are still together — s/he is still one piece (of a whole body).
    Thank you.
     

    Pertinax

    Senior Member
    BrE->AuE
    Yes, I think so - you haven't lost a limb.

    I thought it might be an ancient nautical allusion to a boat returning "in one piece", but there is no evidence for that. The earliest OED reference to its "figurative" use is dated 1929:

    I returned to the ravine..reaching the bottom all in one piece with nothing more serious the matter with me than torn fingers.

    In this context I suppose the phrase could be taken almost literally.
     

    VicNicSor

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Yes, I think so - you haven't lost a limb.

    I thought it might be an ancient nautical allusion to a boat returning "in one piece", but there is no evidence for that. The earliest OED reference to its "figurative" use is dated 1929:

    I returned to the ravine..reaching the bottom all in one piece with nothing more serious the matter with me than torn fingers.

    In this context I suppose the phrase could be taken almost literally.
    Thank you:)
     
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