To pull a fast one ...

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Leandro, Dec 18, 2005.

  1. Leandro

    Leandro Senior Member

    Rio de Janeiro
    Brazil - Portuguese
    Hi, i was wondering what does this expression means.
    Can anyone tell me what it means, and give me some exemples?

    I only have these 2:

    Am I trying to pull a fast one on you?
    They tried to pull a fast one on me at the car repair shop but I stopped them easily.

  2. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    Hi Leandro,

    It means to do something sneaky, to deceive or do something outside the expected rules of honest behavior.

    In your second sentence, this might involve at attempt by the repair shop
    to tell someone that his car requires a very expensive repair, when, in fact, the vehicle needs nothing more than lubrication.
  3. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    English (England)
    I agree with what Cuchu said. I suppose the image is a magician doing a trick so fast that you don't see his hands move and therefore realise you've been tricked.
  4. Vanda

    Vanda Moderesa de Beagá

    Belo Horizonte, BRASIL
    Português/ Brasil
    You'll find an additional discussion on this theme on the Pt forum under the golpe thread. The more, the better.
  5. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    Good answers, but I think the actual source of the expression is from the early 19th century when paper currency was first coming into public acceptance, after centuries of exclusive reliance on precious-metal coinage.

    To "pull a fast one" refers to palming (pulling) a bill or banknote during a shortchanging maneuver. The analogy to card-playing seems obvious, but I think "pull a fast one" is more a grassroots term than a bit of gambling argot, and in the early days of paper money the average person was much more likely to come into contact with shortchange grifters than cardsharks.
  6. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    I've been hunting for the etymology of the phrase, and have found many suggestions, none as much fun as my fellow grifter's offering, but the attributions are mostly hearsay.

    Here's yet another:

    In the early days of the sport of trapshooting, live pigeons were released from a "trap" or cage at the shooter's command of "pull". To pull a fast one could then mean to release a target that was so fast that it missed by the shooter.
  7. Leandro

    Leandro Senior Member

    Rio de Janeiro
    Brazil - Portuguese
    Wow, how many answers.... Thanks a lot guys. I understand now!!!

  8. bachir New Member

    Italy, Pisa
    arabic Algeria

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