To have one's one-four-one - Expression

Discussion in 'English Only' started by James Brandon, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. James Brandon

    James Brandon Senior Member

    Greater London (UK)
    English + French - UK
    Another one I heard recently and I am not familiar with: "To have one's one-four-one." I could have misheard but the person used it in jocular fashion, seemingly referring to something she intended to wear.

    Insight welcome.

  2. dmsaruman

    dmsaruman Senior Member

    American English - America
    perhaps "one for one"?
    like "we are one for one" as in "we are tied at 1 and 1"?
  3. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    English - US
    In the States "to give someone the 4-1-1" on something, is to give information on the subject. This is because 411 is the information number that you dial to get someone's telephone number.

    Then again, 1-4-1 is probably something completely different.
  4. James Brandon

    James Brandon Senior Member

    Greater London (UK)
    English + French - UK
    Thanks for insight but the person in question is not American and it did not relate to information given or to be given... The mystery remains for now, unless indeed she meant "one for one", as in, when you go back to a shop and swap an item you bought (and don't like) for another (similar) item. The context would have been OK for the latter, but I would have thought that I would have grasped the meaning, then...
  5. Lis48

    Lis48 Senior Member

    York, England
    English - British
    Uniform is sometimes referred to as "one four one," because you hand one set in for cleaning in order to get another one. I´ve heard both prison and army uniform referred to as this e.g. "I got given my one for ones today."
    I don´t know if that helps at all. If you google "one for one" and uniform, some ideas might come up.
  6. KHS

    KHS Senior Member

    I found some interesting references when I googled 'one four one' - the one (so far) that comes closest is a "One Four Products In One (Blanket, Rain Poncho, Seat Cushion, Tote Bag)." It's the type of item one would take to an outdoor sports match.

    The Netherlands music website comes up a lot, but doesn't seem as if it quite fits the bill in this case...
  7. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    James, can you ask the individual to explain and then tell us?:)
  8. James Brandon

    James Brandon Senior Member

    Greater London (UK)
    English + French - UK
    This is like forensic work! I will ask the person in question next time I see her, which may not be for some weeks. I am still in contact with her. She may not remember the phrase or context... We shall see.

    I interpreted it as "1-4-1" or "one-four-one", for some reason, and never thought it could be "one for one" (swapping one item for another item), but it could have been the latter. I did not mean to confuse anyone; it simply did not occur to me at the time, obvious as it may be.

    I feel Lis 48 could be on the right track. But I need to check with the person in question. (And it would be "one for one" and not "one four one", then.) At any rate, we have established that an expression does exist in this department, and whether it is the one I heard or not...
  9. James Brandon

    James Brandon Senior Member

    Greater London (UK)
    English + French - UK
    I have talked to the person behind the expression and, unfortunately, she does not remember using the phrase - or it could be that I misheard at the time. Still, Lis found a possible meaning, so the phrase does appear to exist!

    Usually, when I hear a phrase or expression I do not know, I jot it down on a piece of paper and put it away in my wallet; as a rule, this works.

    Thanks for the help of all contributors.

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