SophieD said:What is the meaning of "rip a new one" ?
I have to translate this sentence into French :
The D.A. did RIP HIM (the witness) A NEW ONE
Thanks in advance.
E-J said:I believe "one" in this expression refers to an asshole/arsehole and that to rip somebody a new one is a vulgar way of saying to subject somebody to a verbal attack.
timpeac said:Another vote for verbal rather than physical attack.
Hey, you don't think, we just might have, you never know, AE BE agreement?
Ratona said:I've never heard this expression before, I must be far too innocent for such vulgarities!
Though I can't say it's one that my vocabulary has, or shall, ever miss!
I'm intrigued whether it is widely used/known in Britain + Ireland?
panjandrum said:Purely in the interests of linguistic research, I will ask my colleagues later if they have EVER come across "rip me a new one".
I'll be amazed if anyone recognises it...
Gnyurggh - how distasteful.
I have been amazed before
timpeac said:However "rip me a new one" would be very odd - because of course normally we don't go around asking for people to tear us to shreads - unless you are of the more masochistic persuasion I suppose
panjandrum said:This is another example of the "I can't believe I'm doing this," syndrome that afflicts people who spend too long in the WR forums.
nycphotography said:I think the actual form of the attack is implied by the circumstances / context. In this case, circumstances imply (severe) verbal attack.
In english often speakers state a physical attack when implying a verbal one. It's a common figurative construction that can take many many different forms. Tear his head off. Put my foot in his ass. And on and on.
Also, we often we speak of / threaten physical attack literally, when we know that it won't likely happen. I'm going to kick his ass. (which is actually slightly different than putting my foot in his ass, stating a physical (though unlikely) ass beating rather than a motivational talking to.)
Only when knowledge of an actual physical attack has or is likely to occur, would a listener assume as much.
In other words, if Bob the manager says he's going kick the production supervisor's ass, chances are he means "verbal attack".
But if Bob the bully says he's going to kick your ass, chances are he means "physical attack". The probability of it happening is probably estimated as higher by you (the target), than by me (a 3rd party listener).