to kick the road down the can/to kick down the can

< Previous | Next >

ekbatana

Senior Member
German Austria
I recently stumbled accross this rather unusual somewhat exotic expression "to kick the road down the can":

So, to sum Emanuel up: don’t expect an Obama administration to let the clock run out in the final quarter when the bases are loaded – even if the blitz of crises facing the country makes them want to kick the road down the can.

What exactly does it mean in this particular context and how frequently is it used? Does it mean the same like to kick the road or is there a difference?
 
  • Old Novice

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    The entire expression consists of mixups in standard phrases. Time running out in the fourth quarter happens in American football, while the bases can be loaded only in baseball. "Kick the can" is a game children play, in which a can is literally kicked down the road as you walk (or sometimes somewhere else). Not being able to mix up two games in the second part of the sentence, the author reverses what is being kicked.

    As to the reason for all these mixed metaphors, we'd need more context.
     

    kitenok

    Senior Member
    Hi ekbatana,

    The usual expression is "kick the can [down the road]," meaning, figuratively, to put off dealing with a problem, usually repeatedly. It is deliberately wrong in this article (source) to make a humorous point about Rahm Emanuel's tendency to get expressions like this wrong in his own speech. The first part of your quote is also deliberately mixed up, as Old Novice has said.
     

    ekbatana

    Senior Member
    German Austria
    Thanks guys!! No wonder I didn't get the meaning. Not being a native speaker and totally ignorant of all team sports like baseball, the irony of the sentence was totally lost on me and I racked my brain to figure out the meaning of the phrase. I guess you had a good laugh at my expense!!
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top