To have one's wits about something

TraductoraPobleSec

Senior Member
Catalan & Spanish
Dear friends,

I am not too certain about the meaning of wits in the following.

Would you mind to paraphrase the sentence for me?

Do you follow my reasoning? [Pause.] Have you your wits about you, Billy, have you still some of your wits about you?

It comes from a play by Beckett, if it helps :)

A big thank you from Barcelona :)
 
  • The Scrivener

    Banned
    England. English
    Dear friends,

    I am not too certain about the meaning of wits in the following.

    Would you mind to paraphrase the sentence for me?

    Do you follow my reasoning? [Pause.] Have you your wits about you, Billy, have you still some of your wits about you?

    It comes from a play by Beckett, if it helps :)

    A big thank you from Barcelona :)
    Hi TPS,

    "To have your wits about you" means that you are clear-headed and quick-thinking, alert and "on the ball" - ready to deal with anything.

    "To lose your wits" means to go into a serious mental decline.
     

    panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Not to be confused with wit - witty - witticism?

    In this context, wit, or wits, is:
    ... the other kind of wit (noun): native wit, common sense, or nous.
    That is the kind of wit that is measured in titters - have a titter of wit :D
    If you have your wits about you, you are alert, aware, cautious, sensitive to your surroundings ... ...
     

    river

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    It can also mean keeping calm, making one's mind work smoothly, especially in a time of stress.
     
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