rip-off

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nasridine

Senior Member
USA
Chinese, China
"rip-off" is to decribe something very expensive right?
I guess it is used as a noun; for example, "This is like a rip-off".
What is the adj form of rip-off? "This watch is so rip-off"? I don't think it's right!
 
  • maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    Not necessarily very expensive in terms of a large amount of money, a rip-off is anything which is being steeply overpriced. It could be a 1 cent nail being priced at 50 cents.
     

    kertek

    Senior Member
    UK English
    There is no adjectival form. You would say "This watch is such a rip-off." The verb is "to rip someone off", meaning to charge someone an extortionate price for something: "He's asking £20 for a second-hand t-shirt? He's trying to rip you off!"
     

    A90Six

    Senior Member
    England - English.
    A rip-off is, as maxiogee has said, something that is steeply overpriced.

    It can also mean something that does not work as it should, or does not live up to its expectations.

    • I bought a sat-nav that was advertised as having London postcodes. It has, but only the postcodes in South London. It's a rip-off.
    • The poster reads, "Three meals from our Special Menu, for the price of two!" What they don't tell you is the two meal price is for two steak dinners, which aren't included in the Special Menu. It's a rip-off.
     

    redgiant

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    Suppose I just bought a Android tablet from a store. I unboxed it, and , much to my disappointment, found that the charger wasn't included with it. I called back to the store and was told that it was only available for separate purchase for $2 dollars. Although $ 2 dollars wasn't much, I still thought it was ridiculous not to include a charger as part of the package. In this case, would you call the separate $ 2 dollar purchase for a charger a "rip-off"?
     

    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I probably would, yes. My teenager absolutely would.
    Edited to add: the difference between my attitude and his: he would barely have enough money for the tablet, and to spend all his money only to find he still doesn't have an essential component would leave him feeling cheated.
     
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    cyberpedant

    Senior Member
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    Although I can't attest that this is anything other than "folk etymology," I've always associated the phrase "rip-off" with the act of purse-snatching, which is an act of robbery. Its meaning has been extended to include much less egregious acts of injustice.
     

    Sparky Malarky

    Moderator
    English - US
    Originally, rip off was a verb, meaning to steal something.

    He saw that jacket in the store and ripped it off.

    He stayed with me last weekend and when he left I realized he had ripped off my radio.

    Then the meaning was expanded to mean to cheat or be cheated.

    That clerk gave me the wrong change. I got ripped off!

    The meaning was expanded a bit more to mean that asking us to pay too much is the same as robbing us.

    The phone store rips people off. Charging that much for a charger is a rip-off.
     

    redgiant

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    Thanks for your help~ To pay for items (like chargers, screen protectors) that have been traditionally thrown in with cell phone purchases is definitely a rip-off, one of the retailers' money grabbing ways to rip off people. :mad:
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The original question on this thread (from 2006) was for the adjectival form of 'rip-off'. I have occasionally seen and heard the term used adjectivally. Of course the phrase is very informal whatever part of speech it occupies.

    Here is an adjectival example I found by searching online for the term 'rip off purchase'. After filtering out examples with a different punctuation I found several with 'rip-off' as an adjective, e.g.

    There is no LIVE person to speak to in regards to this rip-off purchase and I am only given an email address for "customer service"...
    From a consumer website called Pissed Consumer!
    http://telebrands.pissedconsumer.com/petrider-from-telebrands-co-20110710248011.html

     
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    redgiant

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    Suppose a website used to have a collection of public domain games available to download for free before it was ordered to take them down because an online store had bought out their rights and put them for sale. If a guy was upset by how that online store was charging money for games that used to be free, could he say "That store is ripping people off by selling games that used to be free"?
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Suppose a website used to have a collection of public domain games available to download for free before it was ordered to take them down because an online store had bought out their rights and put them for sale. If a guy was upset by how that online store was charging money for games that used to be free, could he say "That store is ripping people off by selling games that used to be free"?
    That would be a perfect example of how the phrase is used. It is exactly the kind of statement that people regularly make.
     
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