pass one on/ put one over on

redgiant

Senior Member
Cantonese, Hong Kong
grocery store cashier: The junior college near my grocery store has some guy who makes very good fake IDs. After a couple of months, we’ve become adept at spotting them. One night, a young customer tries to pass one on me.

http://notalwaysright.com/a-squeaky-clean-record/3088

Does "one" refer to a fake ID? Since you flash a passport "at" the security, what do you think about "pass one at me" in this context?

P.S: Sorry for the wrong title. Would you the esteemed moderator change the title for me please?
 
  • Tegs

    Mód ar líne
    English (Ireland)
    Yes, "one" here refers to a fake ID.

    Is there a chance you misread the sentence? Usually, we say pass one to me, pass one on to me, or pass me one. Pass one on me is not correct.

    Pass one at me is also incorrect, and it would not be used in airport security - security would say, rather: show me your ID please.
     

    redgiant

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    Thanks Tegs. It was quoted from that story without any modification so I guess that cashier chose the wrong preposition.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "Pass one on me" doesn't refer to the physical action of displaying the card (passing the card before my eyes), but the attempted trick (attempting to make a fake ID pass as a real one) played on the cashier . Notice the different meaning of "pass".
     

    Tegs

    Mód ar líne
    English (Ireland)
    Is "pass one on me" a common expression in AE then? And does it mean "try to trick me"? I've never heard that in BE...
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Is "pass one on me" a common expression in AE then? And does it mean "try to trick me"? I've never heard that in BE...
    I'd take one to mean one of the fake IDs. To pass one on me I'd take to mean to get me to think a fake ID was the real thing.

    The sense of pass which Myridon is talking about is in this case to pass X on Charlie - to mislead Charlie into thinking X is the real thing. It's particularly suitable for documents or photographs.

    It's similar to the verb to pass something off as something else as in the example in the BNC - He took a wagonload of the spoiled crop to San Francisco and passed it off as a Peruvian delicacy.

     

    Tegs

    Mód ar líne
    English (Ireland)
    Yea, to pass something off as something else is of course completely familiar to me - I'm just surprised at this other construction that I'd not heard before. I've learnt something new - thanks ;)
     
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