Pardon me all over the place.

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Zorgdoin

Member
español España
Hi,

I heard that line in Scorsese's Cape Fear.

Is that common in English usage or is only famous because Robert Mitchum said it?

I really can't understand it. Is there a synonym expression to make it clearer to me? Every dictionary says "All over the place": in disorder or disarray.
Pardon me in disorder or disarray??

Thank you in advance
 
  • wildan1

    Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
    English - USA
    No, pardon me all over the place is not common, although it is easily understood to mean pardon me very much--maybe offering an excess of pardon assuming the other person expects more than is warranted.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    The original expression "all over the place" was a literal one meaning "everywhere". It took on a common use in the expression you found which refers to things that are not where they should be. Usually, that would mean things are in some kind of order, neatly arrayed or even all in one place. So, if everything is "all over the place" it's out of place and in disarray or disorder. However, the quote from the film is closer to the original literal meaning of everywhere, but used figuratively as opposed to geographically to mean "profusely" (sort of everywhere I go in this conversation, please pardon me ) Hope that makes sense!

    Note: Over 3000 hits on g**gle for the phrase and only a small fraction of those are the movie as the source. Perhaps it's catching on in some subcultures :)
     

    ajo fresco

    Senior Member
    I agree with the other foreros.
    I've only heard that phrase in Cape Fear; never in ordinary conversation.
    It's like saying "pardon me in every possible way" or "pardon me for everything."
     
    Last edited:

    wildan1

    Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
    English - USA
    Thank you everybody!

    Can I ask you what dictionary did you use, kenny4258?
    I am sure that expression appears in many dictionaries, Zorgdoin.

    all over the place is a common expression:
    She went all over the place looking for a button to match the one she lost.

    After the bombing there was broken glass all over the place.
    But it is unusual to hear it used with "Pardon me..."
     
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