tagliarsi ogni ponte alle spalle

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by Bell, Dec 1, 2006.

  1. Bell New Member

    Hello everyone
    I was wondering if anyone could help me with this sentence, I think I understand most of it, it's just the word - spalle that is throwing me!

    'Si È tagliato ogni ponte alle spalle'

    Thank you
  2. ricky.sk Member

    It's an idiomatic expression that means: him with his actions has been lost every friend, every help, every possibility, or he has broken all ties with something or someone...I think that the equivalent expression in English is : he has burned his boats (to burn one's boat). hope I help you
  3. Bell New Member

    Grazie mille
  4. SweetSoulSister Senior Member

    American English
    The English saying is "To burn all your bridges."
    Because of his horrible temper, he has burned all his bridges at the agency.

    I haven't heard "boats" before. :)
  5. Lizzy18 Member

    I just found this sentence in "Look back in anger" by Osborne:
    "And I'd burnt my boats" It's Alison speaking, referring to her marriage with Jimmy without the approval of her parents, so I think the meaning can actually be:
    "E avevo tagliato tutti i ponti".
  6. london calling Senior Member

    Sì, l'avevano già segnalato.;) E visto che SSS (americana) non l'ha mai sentito, deduco che è solo roba nostra (di noi inglesi, intendo).

    Grande Osborne!:)
  7. Tojo Senior Member

    Australia - English
    For the benefit of SSS, "burning your boats" is said to date to William the Conqueror who burned his ships when he landed in England so that his knights just had to win because they could not escape back to France. And so it is very commonly used in British English. But "burning your bridges" dates back even further I think. Some Roman general, maybe Caesar, employed it as a tactic, I seem to recall.

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