Send away for?

sambistapt

Senior Member
Brazilian Portuguese
Hello amigos!

I sent away for those gloves last month but they haven't arrived yet.

I´ve already checked the WR dictionary and haven´t found any meaning that could fit in the sample above:( What does it mean? to me, just a guess, it´s like an order, Am I right?

Thanks,

Sam:cool:
 
  • Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    So, if I placed an order for, say, a book on Amazon, could I tell my friends, “I’ve sent away for that book, but it hasn’t arrived yet.”?
     

    Wordy McWordface

    Senior Member
    SSBE (Standard Southern British English)
    So, if I placed an order for, say, a book on Amazon, could I tell my friends, “I’ve sent away for that book, but it hasn’t arrived yet.”?
    You can. It's correct and meaningful, but a little old-fashioned. The phrase 'send away for [something]' predates Amazon by many, many decades. I doubt that you'd hear a twenty- or thirty-year-old saying that. These days, you'd just say "I've ordered ..."
     

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    You can. It's correct and meaningful, but a little old-fashioned. The phrase 'send away for [something]' predates Amazon by many, many decades. I doubt that you'd hear a twenty- or thirty-year-old saying that. These days, you'd just say "I've ordered ..."
    Thanks. I get the feeling it’s more common in American English. So, maybe it wouldn’t sound strange in the USA.
     

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    A native speaker of American English told me recently that you would only say “I’ve sent away for that book/game/whatever.” if you’d ordered from Sears or JC Penny. You would never use that expression when ordering from Amazon.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    ...You would never use that expression when ordering from Amazon.

    That's rather sweeping!

    If you're writing an order to Sears Roebuck you then send it in an envelope by post/mail.
    If you're writing an order to Amazon, don't you then send it with the click of the "confirm" button?

    I'd certainly say "I've been on their website and I've sent away to World of Flags for an SPQR banner." Perhaps AE writers have a less visual imagination than me.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I'm not young anymore, apparently, but I would restrict my use of "sent away for" to mail order catalogues where you write your order details on a paper form, put it in an envelope and mail it off to be fulfilled by someone who opens the envelope. And since I will likely never do that again, I will probably never say that again. I will just order things on the internet.

    So, if I placed an order for, say, a book on Amazon, could I tell my friends, “I’ve sent away for that book, but it hasn’t arrived yet.”?
    Personally, I wouldn't.
     

    ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    A native speaker of American English told me recently that you would only say “I’ve sent away for that book/game/whatever.” if you’d ordered from Sears or JC Penny. You would never use that expression when ordering from Amazon.

    While I agree with Keith that "never" is "rather sweeping" (#11), I (AE) would say "I've ordered something from Amazon" or "I've placed my order for something on/with Amazon".

    < Edited to update post number. Cagey, moderator >
     
    Last edited by a moderator:
    I agree with Kentix. Send away for originated in the days when, as Keith describes, you filled out an order blank - or sometimes just wrote a letter - and sent it by mail to the vendor, usually along with payment by cash or check. (I mention these payment methods to show how antique the concept has become.)

    Even before the internet, this procedure had been largely replaced by phone orders.

    With internet orders, it sounds odd. I don't think the phrase is used much anymore, although I might say it if were having a flashback moment or being a bit retro on purpose. I doubt that younger people use it at all ... with the usual caveat that, in a country of 330 million, there will always be somebody who says some phrase or other. The point is that "send away for" is falling out of use.
     
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