take a little bit of that

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
Joe pays the cab driver, then gives a tip and says:
Now look: take a little bit of that; take her wherever she wants to go.
'Roman Holiday', movie

Joe says this when the driver has taken him at the address, but Ann, which also in the car, is very sleepy and Joe wants to get rid of her.
The Russian translation says something like "Now, look, one more thing I want to say is..."
So, Is take a little bit of that an idiom or set phrase?
Thank you.
 
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    It doesn't sound like an idiom or a set phrase to me. Given the context you've provided, it sounds as though Joe is telling the taxi driver to use some of the money to pay Ann's fare to "wherever she wants to go."
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    Like Florentia and suzi, I can't think of any other meaning than the literal one. However, that raises more questions than it answers ...

    You say, Vik, that "Joe pays the cab driver, then gives a tip".
    If it's really a tip, it would have to be enormous to cover taking her "wherever she wants to go".

    And if the cab driver is to take only "a little bit", what does he do with the rest? Even if Joe gives a lot of money, he doesn't know how much will be left after Ann's ride is paid for, so why say "a little bit"? I'd have thought "Keep the rest" or "Keep the change" would be more appropriate.

    Finally, there's that Russian translation. Did the translator just invent it out of nowhere, or did he have some basis for it?

    Sorry to give questions rather than answers, but maybe someone else can get their head round it all. For the moment, I'm just puzzled.

    Ws:)

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    [Edit]: I've now found the transcript online. I can't see any mention of a tip. The fare is 1000 lire. Joe gives the cab driver some money. The cab driver counts 'one, two, three, four thousand', and gives money back to Joe. (I assume that Joe gave him a 5000 lire note, and the driver gave him back 4000).

    Joe then gives him back "the money" (presumably the 4000 lire) and says "Ok, ok. Now look: take a little bit of that; take her wherever she wants to go". (I assume that Joe intended that the cabbie take only some part of the 4000 lire). But the cabbie didn't understand, and there's no further mention of what happened to the money.

    I think that covers all my questions (except why the Russian translator thought it meant something completely different!). And it does seem to confirm that the literal meaning is the right one.
    .
     
    Last edited:

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Thank you.
    Sorry, Ws, but no:)

    Joe realy gave him 5000 and got 4000 change (the fare was 1000). But then Joe gave him one banknote - 1000 (from those 4000). The driver was very glad and thanked Joe, who then said that phrase.
    You can watch this episode in the movie.
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    Thanks for putting me right on that, Vik. The transcript I found was misleading: it said "gives him back the money" (there's that good old English definite article again!;)).

    So now I'm puzzled again. If Joe had just paid 1000 lire for the first cab-ride, then "a little bit" out of another 1000 lire doesn't seem to be enough to take Ann "wherever she wants to go". Perhaps there's something I'm not understanding about the Italian taxi system!:confused:

    Ws:)
     
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