snooze away

Discussion in 'English Only' started by VicNicSor, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. VicNicSor

    VicNicSor Senior Member

    Joe, talking to Ann on the park bench after she woke up there:
    You're well-read, well-dressed; you're snoozing away in a public street.
    'Roman Holiday', movie

    What does 'away' mean here? I didn't find such phrasal verb.
    Thank you.
  2. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    It means "sleeping heavily" or "sleeping soundly". I don't have the energy to do any research for you right now, but that phrasal verb might have been derived from a longer phrase like "to sleep the day away".
  3. Florentia52

    Florentia52 Modwoman in the attic

    English - United States
    I don't think it's a phrasal verb. See the WR dictionary, definition #6. "Away" is commonly used in this way with "sleep," but it can be used with other verbs as well.

    "I'm all worried about the kids not being home yet, and yet here you are, calmly munching away on potato chips."
  4. Biffo Senior Member

    English - England
    I agree. Here are some other examples:

    Toiling away without sleep is not normal

    All the weavers were working away at their looms.

    a group of three males were laughing away in the Hot fm 87.7 radio studio.
  5. VicNicSor

    VicNicSor Senior Member

    Thanks to all of you!
  6. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    You two could be right. Macmillan says "sleep away" is a phrasal verb, but I've found nothing so far that specifically calls "snooze away" a phrasal verb. My guess is that "away" makes many different verbs act like phrasal verbs. It generally changes the meaning of "to X" into something like "to X heavily/continuously".
  7. Biffo Senior Member

    English - England

    Note that "away" is sometimes used in imperatives as well.

    1. (invented by me)
    A married couple are conversing.
    "John, I have something important I want to talk to you about."
    "I'm listening. Talk away!"

    In this case it can be taken to mean "Go ahead. Talk as much as you wish!"

    2. (traditional song)
    Way, haul away, we'll haul for better weather,
    Way, haul away, we'll haul away Joe.
    In this case it is an injunction for the sailors to continue hauling until the sail is fully raised.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2014
  8. Glenfarclas Senior Member

    English (American)
    The OED contains this definition of the adverb away:

    II.7 Onward in time, on, continuously, constantly; with idea of continuance of action and progress; e.g. to work away = to go on working.

    Biffo's example of "Talk away!" uses the word in a slightly different sense, which is covered instead in the next definition:

    II.8 Straightway, forthwith, directly, without hesitation or delay; chiefly colloquial in imperative sentences, as Fire away! = proceed at once to fire, begin immediately, Say away = say on, and U.S. and Eng. colloq. right away = straightway, directly.
  9. VicNicSor

    VicNicSor Senior Member

    Thanks for the answers.

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