rip a new one

SophieD

Senior Member
FRANCE - FRENCH
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.
 
  • cirrus

    Senior Member
    UK English
    There's not enough context here for me to be able to comment.

    I am assuming the D A is a district attorney. Apart from that, the phrase as it stands doesn't make much sense to me.
     

    E-J

    Senior Member
    England, English
    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.
     

    JLanguage

    Senior Member
    USA: American English, Learning Hebrew and Spanish
    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.

    Ripping someone a new one literally means ripping them a new asshole, but iis usually used to mean hurting someone badly. In this case: The District Attorney did brutally interrogate the witness.
     

    JLanguage

    Senior Member
    USA: American English, Learning Hebrew and Spanish
    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.

    I've always thought it could also refer to a physical attack - "Man, if you don't shut the hell up, I'm gonna rip you a new one." Although in this case I agree it would refer to a verbal attack.
     

    GenJen54

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    I agree with more closely with E-J's assessment in that I hear it used more frequently to express a "verbal" attack.

    For example:

    Worker One: Man, that was rough.
    Worker Two: What happened? Didn't you just get out of that management meeting?
    Worker One: Yea. Stephens really ripped me a new one about the drop in my quarterly sales figures.
    Worker Two: That bites.

    Example Two: (two teenage siblings)

    Nathan: Hey, man? Report card come in.
    Joey: Unfortunately.
    Nathan: That doesn't sound good.
    Joey: Yea, well. The "D" in philosophy won't sit well with mom. Neither will the "C" in history. Everything else is okay, though.
    Nathan: If I were you, I'd tell her in advance, otherwise she's gonna rip you a new asshole.
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    Another vote for verbal rather than physical attack.

    Hey, you don't think, we just might have, you never know, AE BE agreement?:eek:
     

    nycphotography

    Senior Member
    American English
    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?:eek:

    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).
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    We all seem to agree on "ripped him a new asshole." Let me add that the expression is about a fierce attack, but also implies something about the overwhelming effectiveness of it. Someone who has been ripped a new asshole didn't just lose the fight/argument (more often argument, I agree)-- he ended up completely rearranged. Transformed. Doing even the most basic things a whole nother way.

    I'm so glad one of my favorite English expressions is so viable, so international in scope. Whatta language!
    .
     

    Ratona

    Senior Member
    UK - Eng
    I've never heard this expression before, I must be far too innocent for such vulgarities!:D
    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?
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    Ratona said:
    I've never heard this expression before, I must be far too innocent for such vulgarities!:D
    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?

    You do hear it, maybe not the commonest of phrases though. And arsehole of course rather than asshole.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    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:eek:
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    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:eek:

    Well I think "rip him a new one" is already playing around with the original phrase of "to rip someone a new arsehole" so not as easily recognised (like saying simply "it never rains!" instead of the full phrase).

    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;)
     

    JLanguage

    Senior Member
    USA: American English, Learning Hebrew and Spanish
    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;)

    What if you were worried someone was going to rip you a new one? "Dude, I totaled my Dad's new Porsche, he's going to f'ing rip me a new one!"
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    JLanguage said:
    What if you were worried someone was going to rip you a new one? "Dude, I totaled my Dad's new Porsche, he's going to f'ing rip me a new one!"

    Haha, good point....and good luck!:eek:
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Should I conduct my poll based on "Rip him a new one....", not "Rip me a new one...."?

    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.

    I have a small yellow post-it note with "rip me a new one" on it, to remind me to ask this question tomorrow.
     

    nycphotography

    Senior Member
    American English
    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.

    You're an engineer of some sort, right? I ask this because... well just because ;-)

    Engineers typically do their real work in about 2 hours a day, spend about 3 hours in meetings, and spend the other 3 hours waiting for other people to do something or another.

    Those last 3 hours are when we, oops, they do perversely satisfying things that are impossible to explain away.
     

    E-J

    Senior Member
    England, English
    I first came across the threat "I'm gonna rip you a new one" intended in the physical sense - in a shoot-'em-up computer game that a friend was playing (and which I probably can't name because of rules about advertising on WR). This would have been in about 1998. As an expression of figurative or verbal attack, it remains much more commonly heard in the States than in the UK.
     

    JazzByChas

    Senior Member
    American English
    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).

    I think "...the boy from New York City.." :) has pretty succinctly stated it.

    Rip/Tear (s.o.) a new one/asshole
    Get one's ass chewed
    are usually used in a figurative sense and imply verbal threat; while

    "I'm gonna kick yer ass!"
    usually implies physical threat, and (much) more rarely implies verbal threat.

    Putting one's foot in (someone else's) ass:
    Severe motivational speech.
     
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