That's a bit of reach.

HSS

Senior Member
Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
That's a bit of reach.

1) A man was saying he was going to see a famous TV drama producer with a 'humongous clout' in the industry, hoping he might get a chance to land a high-paying job. Upon hearing that, his friend said 'C'mon, that's a bit of reach!,' with a smile.

2) Another example: 'That's a bit of reach' was said when someone was trying to be admitted by a high-ranking, difficult college.

My question:
Could this phrase be used toward someone who is trying to have something hard to come by? In the first example, would it be most likely that the friend was referring to the producer or the high-paying job? What do you think?

Hiro
 
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  • GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Are you sure you did not hear "That's a bit of a stretch"? That would sound more common to me. If the word was "reach", though, you still need an indefinite article before it: a bit of a reach, and not "a bit of reach".
     

    mr cat

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I've heard it and a google search gives 122,000 results, it means the same as 'a bit of a stretch'.
     

    HSS

    Senior Member
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    I've done a bit more research. My CoCA* search has led me to trust there are both phrases used.

    Examples:
    Tacit concept a " hard sell " Gilmour, a former top product designer at Lotus Development, has high hopes for his Palo Alto, Calif., start-up of about 25 employees: " I believe every single company in the global 2,000 will want to use this technology. " That may be a bit of a reach. Top executives don't always see the bottom-line benefit in what some may consider a glorified dating service for workers... " ('Tacit finds matches in company e-mail' in the June 14, 2004, edition of USA Today)

    Dr-STRATYNER: Well, I think, you know, if you have multiple plastic surgeries, it's an assault on the body. Now, if you multiply that -- and we speculate that Mr. Jackson had multiple plastic surgeries -- after a while it takes a toll on your body. It has an effect on your heart, it has an effect on your overall system. So it may be a bit of a stretch, but at the same time it's something we'd have to consider. (June 26, 2009, edition of 'NBC Dateline')

    However, 'a bit of a reach' is only used in AE (Ngram: English, AE, BE), and it is used only ten times less often.

    Do they mean 'hard to believe'?

    *CoCA: Corpus of Contemporary American English.
     
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    mr cat

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Do they mean 'hard to believe'

    I think they do in your examples, (verbs used are 'believe' and 'speculate'), in the second I think it's like contracting the phrase ' a (bit of a ) stretch of the imagination'.

    Often these phrases mean that something is just difficult to achieve rather than relating to believing something is possible.
     
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